Red Cross to usher aid into eastern Ukraine - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Red Cross to usher aid into eastern Ukraine

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Convoys of Russian trucks will bring tons of humanitarian aid to people who are reeling from the violence in eastern Ukraine. (Source: CBS) Convoys of Russian trucks will bring tons of humanitarian aid to people who are reeling from the violence in eastern Ukraine. (Source: CBS)

VORONEZH, RUSSIA (CBS) - A convoy of 280 Russian trucks was on its way to eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, a day after an agreement was reached on an international humanitarian relief mission.

Russian news agencies reported that 2,000 tons of aid was en route to Ukraine and state television showed a long convoy of white trucks travelling along a road in the southern Voronezh region, closely monitored by Russian police.

The international Red Cross, which is due to coordinate the operation, said it had no information on what the trucks were carrying or where they were going.

In Ukraine and the West, leaders have voiced concerns that Russia could use the initiative as a pretext for sending troops into rebel-held territory.

Some of the heaviest impact on civilians from fighting has been seen in the rebel-held city of Luhansk.

City authorities said Monday that the 250,000 residents remaining had no electricity or water supplies for nine days.

It was unclear whether the trucks would cross the border into that province, where much of the frontier remains under separatist control, or the government-held Kharkiv province.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ukraine said it would deny the mission entry because it has not been certified by the Red Cross and could be a covert military operation.

But at a news conference in Kiev, the deputy head of Ukraine's presidential administration, Valeriy Chaly, said Kiev had since agreed to an arrangement whereby aid could be transferred across the border and reloaded onto trucks approved by the Red Cross.

Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

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