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

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs