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Red Cross pauses Ukraine field work for security reasons

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The International Committee of the Red Cross and at least one other aid group paused their field work in Ukraine for security reasons on Monday after Russia fired missiles at cities across Ukraine.

Russia hit sites across the country, striking the capital Kyiv with an intensity not seen since Russian forces sought to capture the capital early in the more than seven-month war.

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Moscow says the strikes were against energy, command and communication targets in retaliation for what it describes as terrorist attacks.

“For security reasons, our teams have paused operations today,” a spokesperson said in an emailed response to a Reuters question. The ICRC has some 700 staff working at 10 locations across the country and delivers aid and medicine, including to the millions of people displaced by the ongoing conflict.

A second ICRC spokesperson later added that while field work had halted, aid workers were able to continue desk work. “As soon as it’s safe to move they will,” he added.

The Norwegian Refugee Council also said that it had halted its aid operations in Ukraine until it is safe to resume.

“We cannot aid vulnerable communities when our aid workers are hiding from a barrage of bombs and in fear of repeated attacks,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the NRC.

A spokesperson for the UN refugee agency said its operations continued, with staff sheltering during air raids.

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