24 October 2016

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New "humanitarian" convoy from Russia arrives in Donbas

A new, 56th "humanitarian" convoy sent by Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry has arrived in Russia-occupied Donbas.

"Trucks formed by the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry in a humanitarian convoy have reached their destinations in Donetsk and Luhansk regions," the ministry announced on Thursday.

The ministry claims that the freight would allegedly be distributed among "residents of Donbas."

Russian authorities originally announced that over 60 vehicles carrying humanitarian cargo weighing over 600 tonnes would be sent.

"The cargo includes mainly food, essential goods, medications, construction materials, and school supplies. The humanitarian cargo for the formation of the convoy came from public organizations and union associations from different regions of Russia," the Emergency Situations Ministry press service said.

"Representatives of 'local authorities' are present during uploading, they will then distribute the humanitarian aid among socially important facilities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions," the ministry said.

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service Oleh Slobodyan commented on the new convoy on Facebook: "Since the Russian Federation has once again grossly violated international and national laws, which govern the procedure for sending humanitarian supplies, and ICRC representatives did not take part in this process, the Ukrainian side carried out only visual observation [of the trucks] without performing control functions."

He said that Ukrainian representatives had seen that the trucks were carrying foods and medicines, but pointed to the fact that the freight mentioned in the documents provided by Russia's Foreign Ministry for the convoy and actual cargo differed, as in addition to the mentioned goods, there were trucks with books (one vehicle), furniture (one vehicle) and fixtures (on vehicle). What is more, the quantity of the vehicles did not correspond to the number mentioned in the documents: the convoy consisted of 69 vehicles instead of earlier announced 60 trucks.

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