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ROSTOV-ON-DON, November 4. /TASS/. Russian Emergency Situations Ministry trucks that earlier Tuesday delivered humanitarian aid to Donetsk and Luhansk have returned to Russia, deputy chief of the ministry’s National Crisis Situations Control Center Oleg Voronov told TASS.
“The regular stage of the operation to deliver humanitarian cargoes to Donetsk and Luhansk has been successfully completed. All vehicles of the Noginsk rescue center have returned to the Rostov Region by now. They have passed border and customs control procedures,” Voronov said.
The empty trucks were also shown to journalists at border crossing points.
A ministry convoy of 20 trucks loaded with medications and fuel left the southern Russian Rostov Region early Tuesday morning.
On the border with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics (Donetsk and Luhansk regions), it split into two columns: 10 trucks delivered over 50 metric tons of aid to Donetsk and another 10 trucks brought the same amount of cargo to Lugansk.
“There were no unforeseen situations that could affect the movement of convoys on their way,” Voronov said. “All rescuers-drivers feel okay.”
He explained that the cargo was formed on requests from Donetsk and Luhansk leaders. “We delivered medical supplies to certain specifically chosen healthcare institutions and fuel to provide life support for the regions, including for fire and rescue services, emergency medical services and utilities. The overall weight of the cargo exceeded 100 tons,” he said.
Voronov recalled that since October 31, Russian Emergencies Ministry convoys have delivered aid to Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine’s embattled southeast) three times, bringing overall some 2,200 tons of foodstuffs, medical supplies, construction materials and fuel to Donetsk and Luhansk.
Russia earlier sent to Ukraine three convoys with humanitarian aid for residents of Donbass. Overall, the three convoys brought to war-torn southeast Ukraine some 6,000 metric tons of humanitarian cargoes, including food (grain, canned goods), medications, warm clothes and water.
According to the UN, more than 4,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled Ukraine’s southeast as a result of clashes between Ukrainian troops and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics.
The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.
The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.
On September 19 in Minsk, the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum outlining the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.
The document contains nine points, including in particular a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.