Russian trucks arrive at rebel stronghold Luhansk

The presence of the Russian trucks could force Ukrainian troops encircling Luhansk to rein in their offensive against the rebels there, because if they hit one of the Russian vehicles, that could give Moscow justification for a full-scale invasion.

Russian trucks have begun arriving in the rebel bastion of Luhansk, in Ukraine‘s east, according to local officials, in a move that Kiev has called a “direct invasion”.

Moscow, which has thousands of troops close to the Russian side of the border, has warned against any attempt to “disrupt” the convoy operation, but has not said what action it might take if the Ukrainian military intervened.

Mr Poroshenko said more than 100 trucks had crossed the border, of which only some had been checked earlier by Ukrainian officials inside Russian territory.

Ukraine‘s president Petro Poroshenko called the convoy’s entry to Ukraine a “flagrant violation of international law”, and the United States accused Russia of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Russian troops also fired artillery across the border and within Ukraine, NATO said, in a major escalation of military support for pro-Moscow rebels waging war on its former Soviet neighbour.

Repeating earlier suspicions by Kiev that the aid cargo could be somehow used to support the separatists, the foreign ministry said: “Neither the Ukrainian side nor the International Committee of the Red Cross knows the content of the trucks.

Photo: A Russian convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine parked at a camp near Donetsk.

A senior security chief said Ukrainian forces would let the convoy pass to avoid “provocations”, but other authorities said the convoy’s security could not be guaranteed as it was passing through an area where the rebels were fighting.

The US has demanded Russia withdraw its equipment and personnel from Ukraine, while NATO has deployed extra troops in member states bordering Russia, including the Baltic states and Poland.

An official from the Kiev-loyal regional administration told the AFP news agency that “around 20 trucks entered Luhansk from the direction of the Russian border.

Read more here: ABC

    

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>