Tags: Russia | Ukraine | Russia | crisis | aid | OSCE | trucks

All Russian Aid Trucks Return From Ukraine

Image: All Russian Aid Trucks Return From Ukraine
Workers unload Russian humanitarian aid goods from a truck in Lugansk on Saturday. All of the trucks in Moscow's controversial aid convoy returned to Russia. (Getty Images)

Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 07:36 AM

All of the trucks in Moscow's controversial aid shipment to rebel-held parts of Ukraine returned to Russia on Saturday, according to European observers.

The return of the convoy "is complete," the acting head of the OSCE mission watching over the Russian border post known as Donetsk, Paul Picard, told AFP.

Kiev had accused Russia of invading Ukraine, while the West warned that the move could lead to an escalation in the four-month conflict.

The OSCE said Friday that only 227 vehicles had crossed the border, while Russian authorities had previously said the convoy consisted of around 280 trucks.

"We have counted 220 vehicles returning today plus the seven support vehicles that returned on Friday," said Picard.

The Russian convoy rolled over the border on Friday without Red Cross escorts after Moscow accused Ukraine of intentionally delaying the convoy.

The aid, which Ukraine suspected might be a pretext for a Russian invasion, had been held up at the border for a week while Moscow, Kiev and the International Committee of the Red Cross tried to reach agreement on the convoy's passage.

Russia had previously allowed journalists look inside a handful of the trucks, which it said were carrying around 1,800 tons of aid including food, water, medicine and electrical generators.

The vehicles unloaded their cargo in rebel-held Lugansk late on Friday, according to Russian state television.

Russian television stations showed footage of customs agents looking in the returning vehicles and finding them empty.

A Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman snapped at the United States for failing to report the return of the trucks.

"It is strange that Washington, which always vaunts its arsenal of technical monitoring, still doesn't know that the Russian humanitarian convoy has left Ukrainian territory and is now back in the Russian Federation," deputy spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency.

"We hope that the United States will with as much decisiveness call for an immediate ceasefire by both sides in the conflict in Ukraine as it did on the subject of humanitarian aid," she said.

© AFP 2017

 
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All of the trucks in Moscow's controversial aid shipment to rebel-held parts of Ukraine returned to Russia on Saturday, according to European observers.
Ukraine, Russia, crisis, aid, OSCE, trucks, humanitarian, convoy
342
2014-36-23
Saturday, 23 Aug 2014 07:36 AM
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