In Ukraine war, Red Cross defends neutrality against critics

In Ukraine war, Red Cross defends neutrality against critics

For more than 150 years, the Red Cross has remained neutral in wars. Today, it still defends that stance against critics as Russia ravages Ukraine. A man presses paper with a red cross on it against the windshield of a bus as civilians are evacuated from Irpin, on the...

For many people, the war in Ukraine seems one of the latest litmus tests of ideological purity: One side is good, the other side bad. So it is with politics in many countries: One side is right, the other wrong. Nowadays it can be difficult, especially for youth, to understand why diplomats speak to all sides in an armed conflict, or why the Red Cross would remain neutral in Ukraine. In their story, Katharine Lake Berz and Daneese Rao, fellows at the University of Toronto, examine why the 159-year-old Red Cross, true to tradition, has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion so it can offer aid to victims on all sides of the conflict. It’s a valuable lesson for a world hungry for harmony.

Exercise: Have your students debate this resolution: “The Red Cross should condemn Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.”

Tag: Ukraine