While fighting continues, Russian ‘aid’ convoy reaches Ukrainian border

posted at 12:31 pm on August 17, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Just days after Russia reportedly transferred sophisticated anti-air missile systems to pro-Russian separatist fighters in Ukraine, Kiev reported on Sunday that a militants shot down another Ukrainian fighter jet.

“Ukraine’s military told AFP its MiG-29 warplane was blown out of the sky as it carried out ‘an assignment to eliminate a large group of terrorists’ in the strife-torn Lugansk region,” an AFP report read. Coming exactly one month after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, this would be one of several military aircraft taken out of the sky by Russian rebels.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces appear to be enjoying some successes in their efforts to dislodge separatist fighters from their strongholds in the east. Ukrainian’s armed forces reportedly took control of a key police station in a residential area of the rebel-held city of Luhansk on Sunday, despite a recent influx of military equipment which local commanders allege is coming from Russia.

Similarly, separatist forces in the rebel-held city of Donetsk are also suffering setbacks. On Sunday, Kiev asserted that Yasynuvata, a town in the Donetsk region, fell to government forces.

With pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east apparently losing ground, a convoy of vehicles which Russia claims is transferring humanitarian aid arrived on Sunday at the rebel-held border. The convoy has not crossed the border, however, reportedly because they lack security guarantees.

“The Red Cross, quoted by Reuters news agency, said Ukrainian and Russian customs officials had agreed to inspect the lorries,” the BBC reported. “But the Izvaryne crossing where the vehicles have arrived is controlled by rebels, so it is not clear how Ukrainian officials will reach them.”

The convoy has been parked near Ukraine’s border since Thursday, but Russia has apparently been reluctant to let the convoy proceed into Ukraine. “The Red Cross told AFP its officials had arrived at an area where some 300 Russian trucks are waiting but that official inspections of the cargo were yet to begin,” a Sunday report read.

Russian officials continue to contend that there are no plans to allow this convoy to cross the border until security considerations have been met. The forward positioning of the convoy could suggest that Russia is considering pressing ahead with its “humanitarian aid” mission, which would not be an unexpected development.

If the pro-Russian separatists continue to suffer the defeats they have been contending with at the hands of Ukrainian forces, Moscow’s hand may be forced. New equipment has been pouring in from Russia for weeks, but all the equipment in the world won’t matter if the separatist forces are dwindling.


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“Fore!” – The Greatest, Smartest President EVER

MidniteRambler on August 17, 2014 at 12:35 PM

I read all this stuff, but let’s get real, 90% of everything released about a current war is intentionally or unintentionally wrong. We might not know the real facts for years!

Tard on August 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM

With Obama and his merry band of idiots doing nothing but “stupid $hit”, Putin will have all of Ukraine by end of the year. The EU will also cave as winter approaches and their GDP spirals downward.

Obama said he wanted to undo all that Reagan accomplished. he has finished with our economy. Now he will undo the cold war victory.

jukin3 on August 17, 2014 at 12:38 PM

The food is for the soon to invade Russian army. The empty trucks are for transporting Russophiles out. That’s my guess.

OldEnglish on August 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM

The food is for the soon to invade Russian army. The empty trucks are for transporting Russophiles out. That’s my guess.

OldEnglish on August 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I’m hoping the trucks are empty and intend to haul back the bodies of dead Russian soldiers.

slickwillie2001 on August 17, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Stalin didn’t see Barbarossa coming, either.

formwiz on August 17, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Stalin didn’t see Barbarossa coming, either.

formwiz on August 17, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Well, that’s debatable.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 17, 2014 at 1:34 PM

a militants

Dude, hate to nitpick… you’re better than some of your predecessors, but you needs to improve your proofreading.

Arnold Yabenson on August 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM

It is also important to think more long-term. With winter approaching, Ukraine will be under increasing pressure because of its dependence on Russian energy. Does the West have a plan to address this?

PBH on August 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM

It is also important to think more long-term. With winter approaching, Ukraine will be under increasing pressure because of its dependence on Russian energy. Does the West have a plan to address this?

PBH on August 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Yes, of course. Strongly worded statements, #GiveUkraineOil hashtag activism,and respites from otherwise taxing vacations to demonstrate “concern” and “evaluation of all options.”

MistyLane on August 17, 2014 at 2:42 PM

It is also important to think more long-term. With winter approaching, Ukraine will be under increasing pressure because of its dependence on Russian energy. Does the West have a plan to address this?

PBH on August 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Yes, of course. Strongly worded statements, #GiveUkraineOil hashtag activism,and respites from otherwise taxing vacations to demonstrate “concern” and “evaluation of all options.”

MistyLane on August 17, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Barry will threaten to block all US imports of Russian vodka.

He won’t block the caviar however as that would totally mess up his White House parties with the Hollywood crowd.

slickwillie2001 on August 17, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Damn that Mitt Romney and his Cold War mentality for impugning the niceness of the Russian leadership!

Take that Mitches! (as Beyonce said after Obama won a second term of escalating tyro incompetence.)

profitsbeard on August 17, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Similarly, separatist forces in the rebel-held city of Donetsk are also suffering setbacks. On Sunday, Kiev asserted that Yasynuvata, a town in the Donetsk region, fell to government forces.

Now the rebels are claiming that they’ve retaken Yasynuvata:

REPORTS #Yasinovataya has NOT been taken by #Ukraine troops. #Poroshenko announced it was taken when a few tanks drove in. Far from it.

BREAKING #Yasinovataya completely under NAF control. #Ukraine army assault repelled. Oops #Poroshenko (Pinocchio) #cdnpoli #Donetsk

#Yasinovata, strategically important town for #Kiev army is still in hands of the militia, despite #Poroshenko’s tweet about its capture

#Yasinovataya is still in firm grip by the rebels, after the entire day worth of fighting. #ATO

Jon0815 on August 17, 2014 at 7:29 PM

I think this is about three days after it was breaking, Noah. The stuff about the trucks being empty and so forth came out on FRIDAY.

GWB on August 18, 2014 at 11:42 AM