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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs