News / Europe

Ukraine to Deny Access to Russian Aid Convoy

  • A Russian Orthodox Church clergyman blesses a convoy of white trucks with humanitarian aid in Alabino, outside Moscow, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014
  • The convoy on the road as it leaves Alabino, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014.
  • A woman emerges from a basement which she used as a shelter during shelling in Donetsk, Aug. 12, 2014.
  • A man holds the remains of a rocket which he said was fired by Ukrainian army. Donetsk, Aug. 12, 2014.
  • A man searches through the debris of his house, ruined during recent shelling in Donetsk, Aug. 12, 2014.
  • A man sells vegetables in Donetsk, Aug. 12, 2014.
  • A Ukrainian government soldier from the "Donbass" battalion guards a position in the village of Mariinka, near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Aug. 12, 2014.
  • Police stand guard during a rally in front of the parliament building in Kyiv, Aug. 12, 2014.

Ukraine - Tuesday, August 12

Gabe Joselow

A convoy of nearly 300 Russian trucks is headed from Moscow to the Ukraine border, carrying what Russia says are hundreds of tons of aid to civilians in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.

But Ukraine says the goods will only be allowed entry if they are first inspected by the International Red Cross.  For its part, the relief agency said Tuesday it had no direct contact with Russian authorities about the shipments, and it is awaiting information on the convoy's cargo.

It remained unclear late Tuesday when the convoy would complete its 750-kilometer journey, or what will happen if it is confronted at the border.

But Kyiv authorities said the Russian trucks could transfer their cargo at the border to trucks leased by the Red Cross, which has described the humanitarian situation in strife-torn eastern Ukraine as dire.

Valeriy Chaly, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, said his government is "not considering" allowing the convoy to enter Ukraine. He said the Russian aid would be loaded onto vehicles provided by the ICRC, which will be responsible for coordinating and delivering international aid to eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine, Chaly added, will "definitely" not permit personnel from Russia's emergency situations ministry or military to accompany the Russian aid deliveries.

Russian news agency ITAR-TASS quoted a Russian Emergencies Ministry spokesman as saying 2,000 tons of supplies - including baby food, medicine and drinking water - left Moscow early Tuesday for the Ukrainian border.

Russia insists convoy going through

Later Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he hoped that public statements made by "some figures" in Kyiv would be "disavowed," and would not interfere with an agreement he said had been reached between Russia, Ukraine and the ICRC. He claimed the Ukrainian side had earlier suggested transferring the Russian aid to trucks provided by the ICRC, but had "abandoned" the idea because it would "complicate" and increase the cost of the operation.

Lavrov also said Russia was "firmly relying" on reassurances he claimed were given by Ukraine that it would "guarantee the safe movement of the entire convoy through the territory controlled by the Kyiv security forces." The Russian foreign minister said he expected to get similar guarantees from the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Russia's Foreign Ministry released a statement saying Moscow had "met the wishes" of Kyiv regarding the convoy's route and inspection of its cargo, adding that the two sides had agreed the aid would be delivered through a checkpoint on the border between Russia's Belgorod and Ukraine's Kharkiv regions.

Russian television reported Tuesday that Moscow's aid mission is being carried out in cooperation with the ICRC.

ICRC: no agreement

But the relief agency said Monday no agreement on Russian participation is in place and said in a statement "practical details need to be clarified" before such a mission could move forward.

On an official Twitter feed, the Red Cross said it had been told by Russian authorities about the aid heading to the border and added “we're not in charge of this convoy at the moment.”

 

The Red Cross said it needs to clarify details about the delivery, including the type and amount of aid, and that it is working with Russian and Ukrainian authorities on this issue.

Ukraine blasts Russia on aid to rebels

Officials in Kyiv said Russia continues to supply rebels in the east.

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivsky told reporters that Russia can improve the situation in the east by stopping its support of rebel groups.

“Stop the aggression, stop the Russian terrorists, stop the shelling, stop your cynical propaganda and there will be no need for any humanitarian aid," Lubkivsky said.

Russia has repeatedly denied that it is aiding the rebels.

In a phone call Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama and Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko agreed that any unapproved Russian intervention in Ukraine would be considered a violation of international law.

Fight for Donetsk

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said it is closing in on the remaining separatist strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Security council spokesman Andriy Lysenko told Reuters news agency that government forces had already cut off Donetsk from neighboring Luhansk, but would move to retake Donetsk first because, in his words, "it is more important."

Lysenko warned civilians in Donetsk and Luhansk to leave the areas "temporarily"  to avoid the coming assault.

Early Tuesday, residents of Donetsk combed through the rubble of their belongings and recalled a night of shelling, during a break in fighting.

Others ventured out to buy food and stand in long queues for cash.

U.N. agencies said well over 1,000 people have been killed, including government forces, rebels and civilians, in the conflict in which a Malaysian airliner was downed on July 17 with the deaths of all 298 people on board.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 Million by January

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ivan from: Minsk
August 13, 2014 2:12 AM
Do you know how Putin gained his popularity during first time presidential election? He set a deal with terrorists of Caucasus to blow out multi-stores apartments across the Russia and he promised to stop that once he is president. Pro-Russia separatists shot down Boeing but by mistake. Putin wanted they to shoot down the airliner of Aeroflot,the biggest Russia 's carrier,to declare war against Ukraine and to help his separatists. He is KGB agent. You must know their methods.


by: david from: Israel
August 13, 2014 1:36 AM
Putin is out of control. He is evil

In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
August 13, 2014 11:11 AM
Russia is NOT Israel's enemy. So you'd better not instigate hatred between our peoples. Russia is not like some useless countries in the Middle East. If you attack us, you will stand NO chance to survive. Please bear in mind that we risked ourselves to protect the Jewish in the WWII, so please do not betray the kindness of the russians only because you are the USA closest ally.


by: Igor from: Russia
August 13, 2014 1:00 AM
Those in Kiev must bear in mind that if they prevent russian humanitarian mission in Estern Ukraine, they will face heavy consequences because by that action they will prove themselves enemy of russian speaking people in Ukraine. To save our fellows in Ukraine we will surely use force against you and no Western nation will dare to intervene to save you.


by: vc from: Philippines
August 13, 2014 12:59 AM
Russian is loosing the war,only a strategy the aid,compare it to trojan horse to win the war

In Response

by: Sergey from: Russia
August 13, 2014 6:37 AM
it is nonsense...trojan horse?! we don't need it. If we realy wanted to take Uktaine we would do it in 1-2 days without any horses...


by: tom from: austin tx
August 12, 2014 2:51 PM
The ruskies are thumbing their noses at the world and the us in particular. First they instigate and are responsible for all the death and destruction in ukrraine, then pretend to send humanitarian aid.

In Response

by: Igor from: Russia
August 13, 2014 4:55 AM
Are you meaning our country which put its nose into other affairs such as Vietnam, Korea, The philippines, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lybia, Ukraine....and killed millions of innocent civilians and making a lot of crimes against humanity...Russians are much more human than you are because you have instigated the war in many other parts in this world and letting many other die from hunger by preventing other to offer their help. Your nation is not nice as it seems to be...


by: R
August 12, 2014 1:16 PM
Don't trust Russian government! I am local, I am know.

In Response

by: Michael from: S-Pb
August 13, 2014 2:36 AM
In Russia there are no people with the name of R. Do not trust him!


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
August 12, 2014 11:43 AM
There were numerous independent reports about the humanitarian crisis and the dire plight of the residents in the Eastern Ukraine with ruins, no electricity, no food, no drinking water and no medidine. The prowestern government of Poroshenko-Yatsenyuk was in no hurry to alleviate the suffering of their compatriots. Actually, they wished them dead for their speaking Russian, for their sharing Russian culture and their willing to be independent from Kiyv.

The same maybe said about The Red Cross that showed the same attitude. Now when Russia from its generosity offered humanitarian help to alleviate the suffering, Kyiv and the Red Cross put up all possible obstacles for the aid to reach those in need. Malignant hypocrisy is the banner of their policy. Shame upon the hypocrites of Kyiv and the Red Cross!!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
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