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Russia ready to send third batch of relief aid to Ukraine

September 17, 2014, 11:44 UTC+3

Russia's Emergencies Ministry is prepared to send the third batch of relief aid to Ukraine later this week

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Humanitarian aid unloaded in Luhansk

Humanitarian aid unloaded in Luhansk

© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

MOSCOW, September 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Emergencies Ministry says it will be prepared to go ahead with delivering relief supplies to Ukraine’s civil-war stricken south-eastern areas within days.

“By the end of the week we shall be prepared to go ahead with this work, provided there are the appropriate decisions,” Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimir Stepanov told the Federation Council (upper house of parliament) when asked about the possibility of dispatching a third humanitarian convoy to Ukraine.

Stepanov believes that such work must be continued by all means.

“The campaign to raise humanitarian aid is in progress across the nation. Teams of volunteers are being formed. The emphasis is on preparations for the winter season,” he said.

Earlier, Russia’s Emergencies Ministry delivered about 2,000 tonnes of relief supplies to civilians in Ukraine’s southeast.

Humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday said the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is catastrophic.

“We believe that the humanitarian situation in southeastern Ukraine is catastrophic,” Lavrov said in an interview with the Russia Beyond the Headlines supplement to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily and to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, adding that Russia’s assessment is shared by many international organizations.

According to Lavrov, the conflict, during which Kiev has used heavy artillery, airstrikes, ballistic missiles and phosphorous bombs against militia in Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, has killed over 2,000 people, while more than 5,000 others, including many children, have been injured. Vital infrastructure has been destroyed, including power and water supply systems, governmental and residential buildings, some 200 local schools have been ruined.

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