White-painted Kamaz trucks are leaving in groups of 10-15 vehicles in each and proceed in the direction of the Donetsk border checkpoint located some 50 kilometers (31 miles) from their point of departure.
Russia dispatched a convoy of trucks with humanitarian supplies for the population of southeast Ukraine early last week. The humanitarian supplies include foodstuffs, baby food, medicines and drinking water.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry announced earlier in the day that Red Cross representatives will be escorting in their cars the humanitarian aid convoy of Russian trucks along the route in the embattled southeastern Ukraine.
“Cars bearing Red Cross flags will be escorting the convoy along its whole route,” the ministry said. “There must be only a single driver in the cabin of each vehicle, all stops are prohibited along the route and medical personnel will be also in the escort in case of the emergency medical assistance.”
Ukraine and Russia have agreed the following cargo’s inspection and customs clearing procedure: each truck must be accompanied by a Red Cross official, while both Russian and Ukrainian customs officers were obliged to examine and seal the trucks before they crossed the border.
The southeastern Ukrainian Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been the scene of fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway territories, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums and now call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics.