MOSCOW — A convoy of 280 Russian trucks reportedly packed with aid headed for eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, but Kiev said it would only allow the goods through under the close supervision of the international Red Cross.
A Ukrainian security spokesman said the convoy of vehicles was being managed by the Russian army and that it could not be allowed into the country.
The humanitarian crisis provoked by fighting between government troops and pro-Russian separatist militants in eastern Ukraine has reached a critical point in recent days and heightened the urgent need for intervention.
But Ukraine and the West have voiced concerns that Russia could use the aid initiative as a cover for sending troops into separatist-held territory.
"This convoy is not a certified convoy. It is not certified by the International Committee of the Red Cross," said Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council. "No military structures have the right to escort humanitarian aid convoys, especially into another state."
The government in Ukraine says it is willing for trucks from Russia to unload their contents at the border and for the aid to be transferred to transportation leased by the Red Cross.
Read Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.