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DONETSK /Rostov Region/, September 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The first trucks from the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s convoy that brought humanitarian aid to the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk have crossed the Ukrainian-Russian border and entered Russian territory, an Itar-Tass correspondent reported from the site.
Earlier it was reported that the first column of 35 trucks left Lugansk and others were unloading in the city. Overall, six columns of trucks arrived in it earlier Saturday. Local volunteers are unloading the cargoes. Cereals, sugar, medicines and warm clothes are distributed among storage enterprises to be packaged in bags and handed to residents.
Lugansk residents were waiting for the arrival of the humanitarian convoy since morning. They went out to welcome Russian Emergencies Ministry trucks. Many were crying. Five-liter containers with drinking water brought special joy to residents who had been left without water for more than a month.
The city has no electricity or communications. Making calls is possible from the only site in the city.
There were no problems when the Russian humanitarian convoy traveled in Ukraine. Earlier, Russian Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimir Stepanov reported that the delivered humanitarian cargo weighed 2,000 tons.
On August 22, Russia delivered the first batch of its humanitarian assistance to eastern Ukrainian regions: some 2,000 metric tons of aid, including food (grain, sugar, baby food), medications, sleeping bags and portable power generators, to eastern Ukrainian regions.
Clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the southeast Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics (DPR and LPR), have killed hundreds of civilians, brought destruction and forced hundreds of thousands to flee the area.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on cessation of fire during talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Minsk on September 5. The long hoped-for ceasefire took effect the same day, but the West keeps imposing sanctions on Russia and claiming Moscow is involved in hostilities in Ukraine, which Russia has repeatedly denied.
The Minsk talks were held two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested his seven-point plan to settle the crisis in Ukraine after a phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Pyotr Poroshenko.