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Trucks of a Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine drive onto the territory of a Russia-Ukraine border crossing point "Donetsk" in Rostov Region

Trucks of a Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine drive onto the territory of a Russia-Ukraine border crossing point "Donetsk", as a woman waits for her son who has fled from fighting in eastern regions of Ukraine and is expected to cross the border, in Russia's Rostov Region, August 22, 2014. Ukraine declared on Friday that Russia had launched a "direct invasion" of its territory after Moscow sent a convoy of aid trucks across the border into eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian rebels are fighting government forces. REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk (RUSSIA - Tags: TRANSPORT POLITICS CONFLICT SOCIETY CIVIL UNREST)

Ukraine conflict refugees

Yahoo NewsJuly 23, 2014

Russia sent dozens of aid trucks into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without Kiev's approval, saying its patience had worn out with the Ukrainian government's stalling tactics. Ukraine called the move a "direct invasion."

The unilateral move sharply raised the stakes in eastern Ukraine, for any attack on the convoy could draw the Russian military directly into the conflict between the Ukrainian government in Kiev and separatist rebels in the east. Ukraine has long accused Russia of supporting and arming the rebels, a charge Russia denies.

The white-tarped semis said to be carrying food, water, generators and sleeping bags are intended to help civilians in the city of Luhansk, where government forces are besieging pro-Russian separatists. The city only 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Russian border has seen weeks of heavy shelling that has cut off power, water and phone lines and has left food supplies scarce.

(AP)


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