Supplies being carried on 280 trucks will need to be reloaded onto other vehicles by the Red Cross, Ukraine says
August 12, 2014 8:31AM ET
A Russian convoy carrying food, water and other aid set off on Tuesday for eastern Ukraine, where government forces are closing in on pro-Russian rebels, but Kiev said it would not allow the vehicles to cross into its territory.
Kiev and Western governments warned Moscow against any attempt to turn the operation into a military intervention by stealth in a region facing a humanitarian crisis after four months of warfare.
"This cargo will be reloaded onto other transport vehicles [at the border] by the Red Cross," Ukrainian presidential aide Valery Chaly said. "We will not allow any escort by the emergencies ministry of Russia or by the military [onto Ukrainian territory]. Everything will be under the control of the Ukrainian side," he told journalists.
Andre Loersch, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross mission in Ukraine, said that while the organization had reached a general agreement about delivery of humanitarian aid to the region, he had "no information about the content" of the trucks and did not know where they were headed.
"At this stage we have no agreement on this, and it looks like the initiative of the Russian Federation," he said.
Russian media said the column of 280 trucks had left from near Moscow and it would take a couple of days for it to make the 620-mile journey to Ukraine's eastern regions where rebel fighters seek union with Russia.
Western countries believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has whipped up nationalist fervor in Russia through the state-controlled media since annexing Crimea in March, might be spurred to fresh military action since separatists in Donetsk are now encircled by Kiev government forces.
Rossiya 24 TV showed a nearly two-mile-long line of containers and trucks loaded with crates of water stretched along a road with workers loading sacks of aid. A Russian Orthodox priest marched across a line of trucks, spraying them with holy water before they left.
Itar-Tass news agency said the convoy was carrying 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid. It included 400 tons of cereals, 100 tons of sugar, 62 tons of baby food, 54 tons of medical equipment and medicine, 12,000 sleeping bags and 69 generators of various sizes.
"It has all been agreed with Ukraine," Business FM radio quoted Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, as saying of an operation publicized with fanfare on Russian TV channels.
Thousands of people are believed to be short of water, electricity and medical aid in Donetsk and in the border town of Luhansk due to bitter fighting involving airstrikes and missile attacks.
The United Nations says 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, killing 298 people on board.
With Ukraine reporting Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border, NATO said on Monday that there was a "high probability" Moscow might now intervene militarily in Ukraine.
French President François Hollande took the up issue directly with Putin, saying "he emphasized the strong fears evoked by a unilateral Russian mission in Ukrainian territory."
Hollande told Putin on Tuesday morning that any mission must be multilateral and have the agreement of the Red Cross and Ukraine, according to a statement."
“Ukrainian Troops Retreat From Russian Border, Leaving 100 Kilometers Open to Invasion”
“Thousands of troops were surrounded by pro-Russian rebels and saved from death by Kiev, but now several border crossings are completely open to the Russian military.”
I think they worded that wrong,,,, it should have been; Thousands of Pro Russian rebels surrounded by Ukrainian troops, saved by Kiev.
If Kiev pulled their troops back, expecting that convoy to be a trap,,,, then I say that was a good move. They can concentrate all of their firepower on that 100km strip.
If this convoy turns out to be anything other than humanitarian aid,,, shouldn’t or wouldn’t the world community fry Putin’s ass???
In response to lonely, and to rodan (who seems to have accidentally posted a couple of comments to the wrong thread):
I read some interesting analysis today (in Time magazine of all places!) suggesting that the humanitarian aid convoy ... is just an aid convoy. With those arguments in mind, here is my presentation of the case:
1. Putin has very strong military forces just across the border, which (as lonely just noted) now has no Ukrainian soldiers to defend much of it. So Putin can invade any time he wants, without need for subterfuge.
2. If this supposed humanitarian aid convoy formed the basis of a military attack, everyone would be know it (I don't see how such a thing could be concealed). This would look VERY bad to the whole world -- not only to those in the West who already oppose Putin's actions, but also to the Russian people, to Putin's international allies, and to Putin's many defenders and apologists outside of the Russian-language zone. Even Putin's many arse-lickers (some of whom have posted in this forum) would have a tough time defending such a move.
3. A Trojan-horse convoy could readily be revealed as such at Ukraine's border, before there is a chance to make use of it. If this happened, Putin might take all of the political damage, without any gain to balance it.
This argument is persuasive to me ... but if the plan is for the convoy to turn left, and crosses at the Russian-controlled zone south of Luhansk instead of heading to Kharkiv (as the press has reported it is intended to do), then all bets are off.
A more acute danger is of Russian _peacekeepers_, rather than an aid convoy. (Hint: to my knowledge, no country that has ever been entered by Russian "peacekeeping forces" has ever seen them leave.)
However, this is not so likely, because in the usual international understanding, peacekeeping forces can only be sent by the United Nations ... if Russia sent "peacekeepers" without UN authorization (and obviously, without the consent of Ukraine's elected state government), the rest of the world would understand this to be an unlawful invasion, notwithstanding any lying claims from the Kremlin.
"If this convoy turns out to be anything other than humanitarian aid,,, shouldn’t or wouldn’t the world community fry Putin’s ass??? "
nope! Odumba and Camaroon are both weak and scared of Putin's big balls. We had a damn 4 party treaty that US and UK would defend Ukraine and that Russia would
respect Ukraine's sovereignty. 3 of the signatories have all basically gang raped the 4th. If Ukraine still had its nukes we would not be discussing this situation and Crimea would not be occupied
On a warm June morning, a dozen masked, armed men burst into the Church of the Transfiguration in the Ukrainian town of Slaviansk, demanding to know who among its 300 congregants owned the four expensive vehicles parked in front.
Four men stepped forward – the church priest’s two grown sons, Ruvim and Albert Pavenko, and two deacons, Victor Brodarsky and Vladimir Velichko – and were quickly hustled out of the large, Soviet-era edifice, thrust into their cars, and forced to drive away with the rebels. After 35 agonizing days of searching came evidence that all four were dead.
The murder of these men, and the discovery of their bodies at a mass grave near an old war memorial, may prove one of the most cold-blooded acts in a conflict that has so far taken hundreds of lives – showing in one terrifying move how the rebels cemented a mechanism of intimidation in Slaviansk.
Rick,,, as I wrote that, I wasn’t really including the US in the world community,,, I meant the rest of the world. Obama is the worst thing to happen to the US since,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ah,,,,, since,,,,,,,?????
That treaty isn’t worth the paper it was printed on. It has a clause in it, that it needs to be a nuclear threat before UK or the US will step in.
“If Ukraine still had its nukes we would not be discussing this situation and Crimea would not be occupied “
Yeah,,, I said the same thing months ago! It’s an up hill battle fighting your way out from a position of weakness!
"HUMANITARIAN CONVOY" REPORTED TO HAVE TURNED LEFT
A couple of days ago, I posted: "but if the plan is for the convoy to turn left, and [it] crosses at the Russian-controlled zone south of Luhansk instead of heading to Kharkiv (as the press has reported it is intended to do), then all bets are off."
Well, all bets are off. Reuters reports that the convoy has veered to the south, where it will presumably be impossible for any inspection to be made of its contents.
This being so, the function of the convoy is likely to reinforce the rebel stronghold of Luhansk, and to prevent Ukraine's army from defeating them.
JOURNALISTS WITNESS RUSSIAN MILITARY CONVOY CROSSING FROM RUSSIA INTO UKRAINE
Note Well: this is NOT the "humanitarian convoy" from Moscow, but rather a much smaller group of armored personnel carriers, tanker (liquid transport) trucks and cargo trucks.
One or more reporters for the "The Daily Telegraph," a newspaper published in Britain since the 1850s, saw a convoy of 23 military vehicles altogether. The reporter(s) did not witness all of the convoy crossing the border, but saw did see "a substantial number of vehicles pass through check point manned by gunmen after shadowing the convoy down narrow country lanes near the frontier."
No distinctive markings were seen on the APCs, but the tanker and cargo trucks had "black Russian military number plates."
This is the first time that the Western press has directly witnessed Russia's military supplies and reinforcements into Ukraine. Of course, everyone who isn't a Putin toady has known for months that Russia has been arming the supposedly Ukrainian rebellion.
(Reuters) - Two of the most senior rebels battling government troops in eastern Ukraine quit on Thursday, deepening the disarray in a pro-Moscow separatist movement that is being pushed back by an Ukrainian military offensive.
The resignations came on the same day that artillery shells landed for the first time since the conflict began in the centre of the eastern city of Donetsk, the separatists' main stronghold.
Traitorous rebels start walking east, ride the white trucks back to Moscow and grovel at your master's feet. Ukraine's future will be better without you and with the reality that you are gone from the soil that you have shed your family's blood upon. Go, drink your vodka and relish in your shame. Your rebellion was not one of hope , but despair.
You cannot understand that Yanukovych has fled and left you empty. He has looted the treasury and lives a life of a Tsar in Russia. The protests in Kiev began in 2010 with tables with petitions to free Julia Timoshenko from the prison as political retaliation. Today, she and Victor Yushchenko are home in Ukraine, they are regardless of your political views patriots and the former is oblivious to the harm and destruction "he" and Putin have orchestrated. This reality is your legacy too....
UKRAINE ANNOUNCES THAT IT DESTROYED PART OF RUSSIAN MILITARY CONVOY
"Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Ukrainian artillery destroyed a large part of a column of Russian armored vehicles that had been seen entering Ukraine from Russia."
Note that this is NOT the "humanitarian aid" convoy, but is presumably the smaller group of Russian army vehicles including armored personnel carriers observed by UK's "The Daily Telegraph" (see my post above).
When I first read this, I thought, "no big deal ... there are often exaggerated claims in war, maybe Ukraine hit few or even none of them."
But I just realized, this is a Big F*cking Deal, and here's why. People have been thinking that Ukraine would be inhibited from killing Official Russian Guys, because this would give Putin an "excuse" for all-out invasion. Now, that logic is debatable, because Putin could send heavy forces into Ukraine any day he chooses, excuse or not; and as things stand today, he can't say "we must invade Ukraine to avenge our soldiers" without also admitting "our soldiers already invaded Ukraine."
But Ukraine has just announced to the world:
If foreign soldiers invade our country, no matter how official their uniforms and equipment, or how clearly their invasion is authorized by their own government ...
... we are not afraid to kill them, and not afraid to tell the world we killed them.
So the supposed "barrier" against Ukraine killing Real Russian Soldiers (on Ukraine's own sovereign territory, mind you) has been broken, and no longer exists.
Personally, I wish the killing would stop at once. Ukraine can't stop its self-defense without being destroyed as a state. But there is one guy whose order could bring peace in a matter of hours. I hope that Russia's brutal selfish tyrant won't sacrifice thousands of his own soldiers to his own vanity. If he does, I hope that the Russian people tear him limb from limb.