Russian military convoy crosses into eastern Ukraine

While a Russian convoy of more than 200 trucks transporting humanitarian aid arrived Thursday, stopping short of Ukraine's border, another Russian convoy of 23 military vehicles continued its trek, crossing into Ukrainian territory through an opening in a barbed wire fence.
By JC Finley  |  Aug. 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A Russian military convoy crossed into Ukraine on Thursday evening, according to eyewitness accounts and confirmation by the Ukrainian government.

The military convoy, comprised of 23 armored personnel carriers, fuel trucks and unspecified logistics vehicles, all bore Russian military license plates. The trucks waited until it was dark before entering Ukrainian territory through an opening in a barbed-wire fence.

Reporters Shaun Walker from the Guardian and Roland Oliphant with the Telegraph witnessed the Russian military convoy cross into Ukraine on Thursday, documenting it with Twitter posts and photos.

The journalists were covering the Russian humanitarian convoy's delivery of aid at the border when, in Walker's words, they "stumbled upon an actual mini-invasion."

Oliphant wrote Friday that he saw a "Massive column of APCs flying Russian flags and some with MC -- peacekeeper -- driving past aid convoy and barrelling it toward Donetsk," and posted a photo of the convoy.

Ukraine's state-run Ukrinform news site reported the National Security and Defense Council confirmed the Guardian's account of the border breach.

It is unclear how far the convoy intended to travel inside Ukraine, but was likely providing military supplies to pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The Ukrainian government continues anti-terrorist operations against the Russian-backed rebels as the government seeks to regain control of its restive eastern region. NSDC spokesman Andriy Lysenko noted Friday that "Fighting continues near Donetsk, Luhansk, Horlivka, Ilovaisk, Pervomaisk and Krasny Luch."

When asked why the Ukrainian military hadn't launched airstrikes against the Russian military convoy that illegally entered eastern Ukraine, Lysenko responded, "I assure you that what has got here, will not be released."

The Russian military crossed into Ukraine as another Russian convoy of more than 200 Russian trucks Moscow says contains humanitarian aid for embattled eastern Ukraine arrived Thursday. Unlike the military convoy, the aid convoy stopped short of the border so that International Committee of the Red Cross personnel could verify the cargo's contents.

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