News / Europe

Russian Aid Convoy Stalled North of Ukraine Border

  • Trucks of a Russian convoy said to be carrying humanitarian aid for people caught in the conflict in eastern Ukraine are seen parked outside the southwestern Russian city of Voronezh August 13, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian rebel checks the car of a local citizen at the place where at least 12 militiamen fighting alongside government troops against pro-Russian separatists were killed in an ambush, on the outskirts of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 13, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian rebels stand at a security post where at least 12 militiamen fighting on the side of the Ukrainian government were killed, on the outskirts of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 13, 2014.
  • A damaged apartment after shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 13, 2014.
  • Men reinforce a gas station with sacks of sand in Donetsk, Aug. 13, 2014.
  • A Ukrainian border guard checks a car at the crossing point Pletenivka, near the border with Russia, in the Kharkiv region, Aug. 13, 2014.
VOA News

A Russian aid convoy moving toward rebel-held parts of eastern Ukraine stalled Wednesday in Russian territory, still some 300 kilometers away from Ukraine’s border, as controversy swirled about its contents and its final destination.

Television footage showed the huge caravan parked outside the southwestern city of Voronezh, as Russian officials and their Ukrainian counterparts traded accusations and threats about the shipment.

Ukraine officials have issued conflicting statements about whether the convoy will be permitted to enter Ukrainian territory, where Ukraine troops are battling pro-Russian separatists for control of the border region.

Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

Russian Convoy Enroute to Ukraine Raises Suspicions in Ukraine, Westi
X
August 14, 2014 4:25 AM
A massive Russian convoy is on the way to Ukraine's border with what Moscow says is emergency relief for the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine. Kyiv says it will allow distribution of aid only through the International Committee of the Red Cross because of concerns the Russian convoy may be carrying military assistance to pro-Russian rebels. Zlatica Hoke reports.

After reports of a deal allowing passage for the convoy, Ukraine's interior minister later called the convoy a "provocation by the cynical aggressor," and said it would not be allowed in.

Adding to the confusion, there has been no definitive statement from Moscow about the convoy's destination.

The Kyiv government, which accuses Russia of arming and otherwise supporting the rebellion, has repeatedly voiced suspicions that Moscow is using the convoy as a pretext for a full-scale invasion.  Moscow on Wednesday called the accusation "absurd."

Height of cynicism

Ukraine’s prime minister said on Wednesday that Russia could not possibly get any more cynical if at first it brings into Ukraine “tanks, ‘Grads’ (missile systems), terrorists and bandits who kill Ukrainians, and then [offers] water and salt.”

“It would be better if the Russians sent these trucks in empty and picked up their bandits – then no humanitarian aid would be needed,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk told a Cabinet meeting.

Earlier this week, Ukraine officials said the Russian goods could be allowed entry if they were first inspected by the International Red Cross.  Kyiv also has said the convoy could transfer its cargo at the border to trucks leased by the relief agency. 

However, the Red Cross said Wednesday it was still awaiting a detailed inventory of the shipment before it will take custody of the goods.

International relief officials say much of eastern Ukraine, including the hub cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, lack medical supplies, water and electricity, as Ukrainian government forces press their offensive aimed at ending the rebellion by pro-Russian separatists.

The United Nations human rights office said Wednesday that the death toll from the fighting in eastern Ukraine, which began in mid-April, appears to have doubled in the last two weeks, climbing to nearly 2,100 fatalities as of August 10.

Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived Wednesday in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Russia seized and annexed from Ukraine in March.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid