OSCE: 66th Russian convoy cross into Ukraine, return through Donetsk border crossing point
On August 24, 2017, at 06:47 (Moscow time), the sixty-sixth Russian convoy arrived at the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP). A total of 28 vehicles were checked by the Russian Federation border guards and customs services prior to crossing into Ukraine. All of the 28 vehicles had crossed back into the Russian Federation by 16:18 on August 24, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine said in a spot report.
"On 24 August at 06:47 the Observer Mission observed the arrival of a Russian convoy at the gate of the Donetsk BCP. A Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) team co-ordinated and led the movements of the convoy. The convoy consisted of 23 cargo trucks and five support vehicles belonging to the MES. All cargo trucks bore the inscription 'Humanitarian help from the Russian Federation,'" the OSCE said in a report.
"At 06:47 the vehicles entered the customs control area and queued in three lines. Once the convoy arrived, the vehicles were visually checked from the outside by the Russian Federation border guards and customs officers. The Russian MES staff rolled up/opened the tarpaulins of the trucks and the border guards and customs officials performed a visual observation from the outside."
Read alsoAnother Russian "humanitarian" convoy to enter Donbas on Ukraine's Independence Day"Two service dogs were present and used by the Russian Federation border guards to check the vehicles from the outside. Six Ukrainian officials (five border guards and one customs officer), were observed accompanying their Russian counterparts; they also performed a visual observation of the vehicles from the outside (without entering the trucks' cargo space). The Ukrainian officials had clipboards in their hands and were taking notes. The Ukrainian officials were permanently escorted by three armed men in camouflage. By 07:45 all the vehicles had left the BCP towards Ukraine," the OSCE said.
"At 15:58 the convoy returned and queued in the customs area. The tarpaulins of the trucks were opened and Russian Federation border guards and customs officers visually checked the returning convoy from the outside with the assistance of one service dog. Ukrainian representatives (five border guards and one customs officer) were present during this check. They also performed visual checks of the opened trucks from the outside. The Ukrainian officials were permanently escorted by three armed men in camouflage. By 16:18 all 28 vehicles had crossed back into the Russian Federation."
"According to the statement of the Russian Federation officials, this convoy is considered to be the sixty-eighth Russian convoy which was sent to Ukraine. As two of these convoys did not cross through the 'Donetsk' or 'Gukovo' border crossing points, the Observer Mission did not record them. Hence, based on the Observer Mission's counting, this convoy is considered the 66th convoy that has crossed into Ukraine," the OSCE added.