World Bulletin/News Desk
The ninth in a series of humanitarian aid convoys left Moscow on early Tuesday morning bound for separatist-controlled enclaves in the Donbass region of Ukraine, according to Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations.
The convoy, which consists of approximately 40 vehicles, is part of a larger convoy which will form in the Rostov region near the border with Ukraine.
After assembling with other vehicles from the Russian cities of Astrakhan, Taganrog, Tver, Krasnodar, and Voronezh, the convoy will consist of around 120 vehicles loaded with 1,200 tons of food and first aid supplies.
The convoy will deliver its cargo to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine, now under the control of armed separatists who have proclaimed the territories to be separate people's republics.
Russia started sending aid convoys on Aug. 11 and the Ministry of Emergency Situations claims the convoys have delivered more than 10.7 tons of humanitarian aid to the war-torn region.
The Ukrainian government has criticized the practice in the past, citing the lack of adequate inspections for the convoys and irregularities in crossings over the border.
Between mid-April and Oct. 6, at least 3,600 people have died and 8,700 people have been wounded in the conflict between the Ukrainian government and the rebels, the UN Human Rights Office said in a report last month.
The crisis was triggered in November 2013 when ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych announced the abandonment of a trade agreement with the EU and chose to pursue closer ties with Russia.
Last Mod: 09 Aralık 2014, 12:53