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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More