Moscow Condemns 'Cynical' Red Cross Comments on Death of Russian Medics

Petros Giannakouris / AP

Russia’s Defense Ministry has criticized the International Red Cross (IRC) for its “cynical” comments on the death of two Russian medics in Syria.

Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said that the IRC had not shown sufficient respect for the medics, who were killed when a field hospital in east Aleppo came under artillery fire on Monday afternoon.

On Monday evening, the Kremlin called on the aid agency to condemn the attack. The IRC told Russian news agencies that the attack suggested that parties involved in the conflict could not “fulfill their duties” to protect medical staff, patients, and hospitals.

The Defense Ministry condemned the comments, claiming that they had not gone far enough.

"We expected that the IRC would at least respect the work of our doctors in Aleppo and condemn the so-called [Syrian] 'opposition,'" Konashenkov said on Tuesday morning. “Instead, we got cynical comments unworthy of the International Red Cross’ high status, which show real indifference to the murder of Russian doctors, rather than objectivity.”

Konashenkov stressed that the IRC had visited Russia’s Defense Ministry last week and was “well-aware” of the aid Russia was providing to civilians in Aleppo.

The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Syrian anti-government forces for the attack, as well as Western nations who “sympathized with their cause.”

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