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Russian Emergencies Ministry aid convoy departs for border with Ukraine

December 12, 2014, 4:55 UTC+3

The convoy comprising more than 130 trucks

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MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. The Russian Emergencies Ministry’s humanitarian aid convoy has left the southern Russian Rostov Region for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine, the ministry told TASS.

“The convoy comprising more than 130 trucks has departed from the Emergencies Ministry’s Donskoy rescue center in the Rostov Region and is heading to the Russian border,” a ministry spokesman said.

The trucks are carrying more than 1,200 metric tons of humanitarian cargo, including canned meats, fish, milk, as well as sugar and equipment to ensure operation of socially significant facilities.

The preparation for the journey has been held for a few days, with trucks with humanitarian cargos from different Russian regions, including the town of Noginsk in the Moscow Region, arriving in the southern Russian Rostov Region, where the convoy was being formed.

This is the ninth convoy of humanitarian aid for Donbass. Since August 11, more than 10,700 metric tons of humanitarian cargo has been delivered to Donetsk and Lugansk.

The Emergencies Ministry plans to form a tenth truck convoy soon. Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimir Stepanov said it will be sent to Donbass (Donetsk and Lugansk regions) before New Year, approximately after December 20. Besides foodstuffs and essential items, it will also contain fir-trees, New Year’s gifts and toys for children.

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway southeastern territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have killed over 4,000 people.

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 been violated on numerous occasions.

In another attempt by both parties to the Ukrainian conflict to put an end to hostilities, the "day of silence" in eastern Ukraine began at 09:00 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on Tuesday, December 9.

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