Russian aid convoy crosses into Ukraine

World Today

A Ukrainian border guards look at the first aid truck as it passes the border post at Izvaryne, eastern Ukraine on Friday, Aug. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Frustrated by a week of delays, Russia sent over 130 aid trucks into separatist-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without the approval of the Kiev government. Ukraine called the move a “direct invasion” that aimed to provoke an international incident.

Russian aid convoy crosses into Ukraine

Frustrated by a week of delays, Russia sent over 130 aid trucks into separatist-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without the approval of the Kiev government. Ukraine called the move a "direct invasion" that aimed to provoke an international incident.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said it had lost patience with Ukraine’s stalling tactics and claimed that soon “there will no longer be anyone left to help” in Luhansk, a war-torn city that Ukrainian forces are trying to recapture.

The unilateral Russian sweep across the border drew strong condemnation from the European Union, the United States and NATO.

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described the entry of the trucks without Kiev’s permission as a “flagrant violation of international law.” But a senior security chief said Ukrainian forces would let them pass to avoid “provocations”.

Ukraine has long accused Russia of supporting and arming the rebels, a charge that Russia denies. Yet NATO said Friday that, since mid-August, it has seen “multiple reports of the direct involvement including Russian airborne, air defense and special operations forces in eastern Ukraine.” It also said Russian artillery support is being used against Ukraine’s armed forces and it has seen “transfers of large quantities of advanced weapons, including tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery to separatists.”

The U.S. Pentagon press secretary accused Russia of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty. “Russia must remove its vehicles and its personnel from the territory of Ukraine immediately. Failure to do so will result in additional costs and isolation,” Rear Admiral John Kirby said in Washington.

At the United Nations in New York, Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, denied that any Russian troops were inside Ukraine.

After spending hours driving up and down winding country roads, apparently to avoid any Ukrainian troops, the convoy began pulling into Luhansk on Friday evening. The city has seen weeks of heavy shelling that has cut off power, water and phone lines and left food supplies scarce.

Speaking on national television, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk declared that the half-empty trucks Russia sent into Ukraine were not going to deliver aid but would be used to create a provocation. He said Russia would somehow attack the convoy itself, creating an international incident. Ukrainian security services chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko called the Russian convoy a “direct invasion.”

Following the developments, both Russian and the Ukrainian ambassadors spoke at the United Nations and they each blamed the other. For more details, CCTV America’s Liling Tan reports from the U.N. headquarters.

Follow Liling Tan on Twitter @LilingTan

Russian and the Ukrainian ambassadors speak at UN

Following the Russian aid convoy crosses into Ukraine, both Russian and the Ukrainian ambassadors spoke at the United Nations and they each blamed the other. For more details, CCTV America's Liling Tan reports from UN headquarters.

As the fighting rages on in eastern Ukraine, thousands more civilians are fleeing the conflict. CCTV’s Kate Parkinson reports.

Civilians continue to flee eastern Ukraine amid conflict

And as the fighting rages on in eastern Ukraine, thousands more civilians are fleeing the conflict. CCTV's kate Parkinson reports.

To talk more about the rapid developments between the two countries, here is an interview with Job Hennning, a specialist on Europe with a special focus on Russia.

Russian and the Ukrainian both announced at UN

Frustrated by a week of delays, Russia sent over 130 aid trucks into separatist-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without the approval of the Kiev government. Ukraine called the move a "direct invasion" that aimed to provoke an international incident.

Report compiled with information from Reuters and The Associated Press