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Red Cross says its representatives not escorting Russian aid convoy in Ukraine

August 22, 2014, 14:23 UTC+3 GENEVA
ICRC spokeswoman Anastasiya Isyuk told ITAR-TASS that in view of heavy artillery shelling of Luhansk overnight the organization needs confirmation of security guarantees from both conflicting parties
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© ITAR-TASS

GENEVA, August 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Red Cross representatives are not escorting the convoy of Russian trucks with humanitarian cargo along its route in the embattled southeast Ukraine citing unstable security situation in the region, the International Committee of the Red Cross Committee (ICRC) said in its statement on Thursday.

The ICRC said that the Russian convoy was moving toward Ukraine but the committee’s representatives were not escorting it due to unstable security situation.

ICRC spokeswoman Anastasiya Isyuk told ITAR-TASS that in view of heavy artillery shelling of Luhansk overnight the organization needs confirmation of security guarantees from both conflicting parties.

“Due to the unstable security situation, when heavy artillery fire in Luhansk continued throughout the night, we believe that we did not receive from the warring parties ample security guarantees in order to escort the convoy at the given stage,” Isyuk said.

“The convoy with the Russian aid is currently on the move,” she said. “However, we [ICRC] are in no way are part of it.”

The ICRC wrote in its Twitter account earlier in the day that “We've not received sufficient security guarantees from the fighting parties. Our team in Luhansk reports heavy shelling overnight.”

A total of 70 trucks from the Russian humanitarian aid convoy cleared border customs, entered the Ukrainian territory and currently proceed in the direction of the embattled Lugansk region in the southeast of the country.

Russia dispatched a convoy of some 270 white-painted Kamaz trucks with humanitarian supplies for the population of the war-torn southeast Ukraine on early August 12. The humanitarian supplies include foodstuffs, baby food, medicines and drinking water.

The convoy reached Russia’s southern Rostov region, bordering on Ukraine, on August 17 and until Thursday was idling near the border waiting for the permission to enter Russia’s neighboring country.

Infographics Humanitarian aid to southeastern Ukraine Humanitarian aid to southeastern Ukraine
Russia has sent a humanitarian cargo to Ukraine to deliver food, medicines and water to the conflict zone. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
The aid convoy of trucks delivers 2,000 tons of basic necessities for southeast Ukraine residents. The Russian authorities said the humanitarian cargo included 400 tons of grains, 100 tons of sugar, 62 tons of baby food, 54 tons of medicines and medical items, 12,000 sleeping bags and 69 mobile power generators.

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 Lugansk People’s republics.

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