Source Pravda.Ru

135 years of Russian Red Cross

On May 15th, 1867 Emperor Alexander II ratified a statute of society of solicitude towards wounded and ill soldiers /in 1876 it was renamed into the Russian Red Cross society/. Russia was one of the first countries in the world to establish a Red Cross society. Within its 135 years history, the Red Cross society has gone a complicated way and accumulated an enormous work experience considering the protection of human lives and values. Starting from the early years of the Red Cross society existence, it highly developed its activities in Russia as well as abroad. Its missionaries worked on fields of battles during the Franco-Prussian war /1870-1871/, the Montenegrin and Serbian war against Turkey /1876/, the Serbian-Bulgarian war /1885/, the Greek-Turkey war /1897/, and other wars and conflicts. The Russian Red Cross society aimed much higher than the societies of the other countries. According to its statute, adopted in 1893, besides help for wounded soldiers on battle fields, the Red Cross also had to render help to war invalids and people who had suffered from natural calamities. The October revolution and the following Civil War had brought ordeals for Russia. At that time the most important direction for the Soviet Red Cross was fighting against epidemic diseases and hunger. 439 medical formations, including medical and epidemic divisions, nutrition posts and hospitals, were formed and sent to the front lines. In 1918 the society was reformed into the Proletarian Red Cross. The Union of Red Cross societies and Red Crescent /SOKK and KP/ of the USSR was formed in 1925. More than 4mln medics and nurses participated in the rescue of the lives of wounded and ill soldiers during World War II. 18 medicine nurses were honoured with the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, and one of them is the bearer of the Orders of Glory of all the Classes. Red Cross medical posts worked in the rear, their aim was to render help to the wounded and diseased and to keep medical regime. A blood donation movement unfolded in the war years. More than 700 litres of donated blood was sent to the army and guerillas, who fought in the rear. Since March 1992 the Russian Red Cross has been the official successor of the SOKK and KP.