Tensions rise as Russian convoy crosses into Ukraine
Friday, August 22, 2014 - 01:25
A Russian convoy of trucks apparently carrying humanitarian aid, has crossed the border into Ukraine, further raising tensions between Moscow and Kiev. Rob Muir reports.
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Almost as soon as the trucks began moving, accusations and warnings from both sides over the true nature of what Moscow calls an aid convoy, but Ukraine believes is a trojan horse being used to disguise an invasion of its territory.
Ukraine government spokesman Valentyn Nalivaychenko says he's in no doubt about Russia;'s intentions.
(SOUNDBITE) UKRAINIAN SECURITY SERVICE (SBU) CHIEF, VALENTYN NALIVAYCHENKO, SAYING:
"It's a direct invasion with the cynical use of Red Cross. These are military vehicles. These are servicemen with fake documents.
But Moscow maintains that the trucks are transporting much-needed humanitarian aid to Russian speaking residents of Ukraine cities beseiged by government forces.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich is warning Kiev against any interference.
SOUNDBITE) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN, ALEXANDER LUKASHEVICH, SAYING:
"We warn against any attempts to disrupt the purely humanitarian mission which was being prepared for a long time in full transparency and in coordination with the Ukrainian side and the International Committee of the Red Cross."
But the Red Cross says it is not part of the convoy. It says plans to accompany the trucks were abandoned when authorities were unable to guarantee the safety of Red Cross staff.
Kiev has stated that it won''t attack the convoy, but as the trucks approach their destination, the tension is rising.
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