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Ukraine: Russian Aid Can Enter with Red Cross

AP
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No information about what trucks carrying or where they are headed.

Valeriy Chaly, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential administration, said a suitable transfer point could be between Russia’s Belgorod region and Kharkiv, which has been spared the major unrest seen farther south. Chaly said that any attempt to take humanitarian goods into Ukraine without proper authorization would be viewed as an attack

Ukraine has stressed that the effort to alleviate hardship in the conflict-wracked Luhansk region should be seen as an international undertaking. Officials in Kiev have said Russia’s involvement in the humanitarian mission is required to ensure cooperation from separatist rebel forces, who have consistently expressed their allegiance to Moscow.

French President Francois Hollande discussed the aid delivery Tuesday with Putin, saying "he emphasized the strong fears evoked by a unilateral Russian mission in Ukrainian territory." Hollande told Putin that any mission must be multilateral and have the agreement of the ICRC and Ukraine, according to a statement in Paris.

NATO was following the situation closely, spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said.

"Without the formal, express consent and authorization of the Ukrainian government, any humanitarian intervention would be unacceptable and illegal," she said.

The Western alliance also expressed concern about the possibility of a Russian military operation.

"What we see is thousands of combat-ready troops from Russia being close to the Ukrainian border," NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said. "There could be a risk of further intervention."

The fighting between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian government has scarred Luhansk, the region’s rebel-held capital, which had a pre-war population of 420,000. On Tuesday, authorities said the city’s 250,000 remaining residents have had no electricity or water supplies for 10 days.

"Luhansk is under a de facto blockade: The city continues to be destroyed, and the delivery of foodstuffs, medicine and fuel has been interrupted," the city council said.

As Luhansk remains cut off, the situation looks to also be worsening in the main rebel city of Donetsk, where train links were no longer running Tuesday.

Residents seeking to leave Donetsk were forced to drive to a station in a rebel-held town to the north, Yasynuvata, which had also come under rocket attack in the day. Eyewitnesses said at least three people were killed when a local market and two apartment blocks were shelled.

 

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