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Russian aid convoy for Donbas crosses state border, heads for Donetsk, Lugansk

January 08, 2015, 9:48 updated at: January 08, 2015, 11:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The relief cargo will be distributed among schools, kindergartens, public canteens, hospitals and other socially important facilities
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© Valery Matytsin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 8. /TASS/. The Russian Emergencies Ministry convoys with relief aid have crossed the state border and are heading for Ukraine’s Donetsk, Lugansk, Oleg Voronov, deputy head of the national crisis management centre, told TASS on Thursday.

“The customs clearance procedures are finalised, and over 60 trucks head for Donetsk, and other trucks - for Lugansk,” he said. About 700 tonnes of cargo will be delivered both to Donetsk and to Lugansk.

Earlier on Thursday, the convoy split into two parts. The relief cargo includes Christmas gifts for children consisting of toys and sweets as well as foods including canned meat, fish and milk; baby food and seven types of grits, including buckwheat, barley groats, barley, wheat farina, rice as well as macaroni products, confectionaries, essentials and medical supplies.

The relief cargo will be distributed among schools, kindergartens, public canteens, hospitals and other socially important facilities.

“The relief cargoes were formed in the Moscow, Voronezh, Ivanovo, Tula, Volgograd and Rostov regions,” Voronov went on to say. Gifts for children had been prepared by the Russian Emergencies Ministry jointly with the Russian Union of Rescuers public organization.

The convoy was ready for dispatch on Wednesday evening. All the vehicles underwent technical maintenance. The drivers received additional instructions on how to drive in complicated weather conditions because low temperatures and a snow fall are expected on January 8.

“All the drivers have enormous experience in carrying out humanitarian missions. They have delivered relief cargoes to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions many times,” Voronov stressed. Ten previous Russian relief convoys have delivered more than 13,000 tonnes to the conflict-stricken Donetsk and Lugansk regions since August.

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