Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) strongly denies media reports that it was involved in transporting combatants in its vehicles from Donetsk airport on Monday 26 May 2014. MSF confirms that its office in Donetsk was closed on Monday and none of its vehicles were in use.
“MSF is a neutral humanitarian organisation so we do not take sides in any conflict,” said Stéphane Prévost, Head of Mission for MSF in Ukraine. “We do not provide support to any armed group. In Ukraine, our medical teams are focused solely on responding to medical humanitarian needs and we have no political agenda.”
MSF has been working in Donetsk since 2012, running a programme to treat patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis within the regional penitentiary system. In order to run this programme, MSF is in contact with all relevant authorities in Donetsk. MSF currently has no other activities in the Donetsk region.
“MSF is deeply concerned about the serious abuse of our name by a number of individuals,” said Prévost. “The inaccurate information circulating about MSF puts our patients and staff at significant risk and impedes our ability to provide medical assistance to those who need it.”
MSF is an international medical humanitarian organisation working under the principles of neutrality, independence and impartiality in more than 70 countries around the world. This means MSF does not take sides in any conflict, is independent of all political, military and corporate agenda, and treats people on the basis of need alone, regardless of gender, race, religion or political affiliation.
As an emergency medical organisation, MSF is closely monitoring potential medical needs in Ukraine and is ready to provide assistance if needed.