The International Red Cross has suspended the membership of the Belarusian Red Cross effective 1 December on account of its leader, who illegally transported Ukrainian children to Belarus and visited the Russian-occupied part of Donbas wearing clothing marked with the letter Z [one of the symbols with which the Russian occupying forces mark their military equipment that has become part of Russian propaganda – ed.].
Details: The statement said the Belarus Red Cross Society had been suspended as a member due to its refusal to dismiss its head, Dmitry Shevtsov, over remarks he made about nuclear weapons and the displacement of children to Belarus, as well as his visit to the Russian-occupied Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk.
The Belarus Red Cross loses its membership rights effective 1 December. Any new funding for the organisation will be suspended. It will no longer be able to participate in the General Assembly or to vote or be elected at any statutory meetings.
The Belarus Red Cross can be reinstated after Shevtsov has been dismissed.
Shevtsov himself has labelled the decision "purely political" and said that three countries - Russia, Venezuela and Egypt - backed him in the vote.
- In July 2023, Belarusian opposition media reported that Dmitry Shevtsov, Head of the Belarusian Red Cross, had travelled to Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine and, wearing a uniform with a Z patch, admitted to Belarusian state television that his organisation had "taken and will continue to take" children from the occupied territories of Ukraine.
- The International Red Cross launched an investigation after Shevtsov's trip to the occupied territories of Ukraine, during which he confessed to abducting Ukrainian children and taking them to Belarus.