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Russia delivers over 21 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Donbass, Ukraine — ministry

Since May 18, motorized columns delivered over 800 tonnes of bottled water, foodstuffs and first necessity items

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Motorized convoys of the Russian Emergencies Ministry delivered over 21 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Donbass and Ukraine since the start of the humanitarian aid operation, the ministry’s press office said in a statement on Saturday.

"Since May 18, 2022, motorized columns delivered to DPR [Donetsk People’s Republic], LPR [Lugansk People’s Republic] and Ukraine over 800 tonnes of bottled water, foodstuffs and first necessity items," the statement reads.

"In all, over 21 tonnes of humanitarian aid were delivered by 337 motorized convoys since the launch of the humanitarian aid operation," according to the statement, which added that up to 16.5 tonnes of medicines were also delivered.

The situation at the line of engagement in Donbass escalated on February 17. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics reported the most massive bombardments by the Ukrainian military in recent months, which damaged civilian infrastructure and caused civilian casualties.

On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as of the beginning of 2014.

Russian President Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years."

The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, noting that the operation was aimed at the denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine.