Russian humanitarian convoy earns reputation of Flying Dutchman
The convoy with humanitarian aid from Russia, which has been traveling since Tuesday to the east of Ukraine, stopped for the night at military airfield Baltimore near Voronezh. Deputy head of the Moscow bureau of the American edition of the Financial Times, Courtney Weaver, said that the auto column was on its way to Rostov. The journalist wrote about it on Twitter. Komsomolskaya Pravda correspondent Alexander Boiko, who is traveling with the column, confirmed that the convoy resumed its movement, although he did not specify the direction.
"Humanitarian convoy is traveling on the territory of Russia," he wrote on his Twitter. The post led to scathing remarks from people, who wrote that the convoy has turned into the "Flying Dutchman."
The convoy of 280 white KamAZ trucks carrying humanitarian aid to civilians in the south-east of Ukraine continues to travel, RIA Novosti reports. The question of a humanitarian corridor for the Russian column remains open. It is still unclear where, when and how the cargo will be distributed, said the agency.
Yesterday, August 13, there were conflicting reports about the movement of the humanitarian convoy. It was said that the trucks had changed the route and did not reach the destination in the Belgorod region of Russia and the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, where they were supposed to be inspected. For a while, the convoy disappeared from media sight, but was soon found in Voronezh. At least 100 KamAZ trucks stayed for the night near the Russian city of Voronezh. According to the journalist, truck drivers and accompanying personnel were near the vehicles; some were taking a shower.
Meanwhile, there is no official information on to where exactly the Russian convoy is going to cross the border with Ukraine. Representatives of the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry told the BBC on condition of anonymity that it would happen near the village of Izvarino, the Luhansk region, located 450 km south of Voronezh.
According to journalists, even the participants of the convoy do not know where the column will move further, as orders constantly change.
Final details of the humanitarian operation are to be coordinated between representatives of the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The night before, the Red Cross requested a detailed list of goods on board the humanitarian convoy from Russia.
Kiev officials still believe that the convoy may try to "invade" Ukraine. The head of the Information Center of the National Security Council, Andrei Lysenko, said that the Ukrainian military may attack the column, should the terms of the transfer of humanitarian cargo be violated. In turn, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said that Ukraine would not accept humanitarian aid from Russia, as the country only agrees for assistance from the ICRC.
Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov released even more insane statements saying that the Russian convoy was an act of cynical provocation from an aggressor on the territory of Ukraine. He stated that the convoy would not be allowed to cross the border. At the same time, Ukrainian President Poroshenko said that Kiev was ready to accept the Russian humanitarian convoy, albeit under certain conditions.
The column consisting of more than 250 KamAZ trucks carrying humanitarian aid left Moscow suburbs in the morning on Tuesday, August 12. Russian officials stressed out that the delivery of goods had been agreed with the Ukrainian side and was being conducted under the auspices of the ICRC. Representatives of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation said that the convoy was carrying 69 mobile electric power plants, 400 tons of cereals, 340 tons of canned meat, 30 tons of salt, 100 tons of sugar, 60 tons of canned milk, 0.8 tons of tea, 679, 5 tons of bottled water, 62.4 tons of baby food, 54 tons of medical equipment and 12,300 sleeping bags. The cargo is meant for residents of the Donetsk region, where combat actions between the Ukrainian troops and the militia continue.