“Direct invasion”: Aid convoy enters Ukraine

posted at 8:01 am on August 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Russia claims that their aid convoy has nothing but humanitarian motivations, while Ukraine had until today kept them sidelined on the other side of the border. The trucks went on the move today, rolling through the border in what Ukraine called “a direct invasion,” accusing Russia of using military personnel to drive and accompany the convoy. The International Committee of the Red Cross, which Moscow initially claimed as a partner in the aid delivery, completely disavowed the move:

Russia began sending in its lorries, stranded at the border for more than a week, after formally accusing Ukraine of unreasonable obstruction.

Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, head of Ukraine’s SBU security service, said it was a “direct invasion”.

The aid is destined for civilians in the east Ukraine war zone.

Reports suggest the lorries are being escorted by rebel fighters.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was not part of the convoy “in any way”.

Curiously, though, Ukrainian authorities seemed to have been prepared to let the trucks through. Before Russia ordered the trucks to cross the border, CNN reported from Kyiv that their border guards had started their “final inspection” to grant approval to come into Ukraine:

So what happened? Did Russia jump the gun just over frustration over a ten-day standoff and a final few hours for inspections? The Washington Post offers more scrutiny about Russian motives:

The decision to send in the aid without the consent of the Red Cross or Ukrainian authorities marked a dangerous new step in the four-month conflict. If Ukrainian forces fire on the trucks, they could trigger an all-out invasion by Russian forces that have accumulated by the tens of thousands across the border from eastern Ukraine. If they allow the trucks to disperse across the Luhansk region without any Ukrainian controls, Russia in effect will have imposed a cease-fire in the fight against pro-Russian separatists without Kiev’s permission.

Ukrainian authorities appeared to be scrambling Friday to decide how to respond to the border incursion. A Ukrainian military spokesman backed away from previous bellicose statements, but state security chief Valentyn Nalivaychenko told journalists in Kiev, “We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine,” Reuters news agency reported. He said Ukrainian forces would not use force against the convoy because they want to avoid “provocations.”

“We underline that responsibility for the secure movement of Russian trucks through territory that is not under control of Ukrainian armed forces is the responsibility of the Russian Federation,” Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told a briefing in Kiev. He said that 34 Russian trucks had entered Ukraine without the government’s permission and that an additional 90 appeared to be readying to do so.

After the trucks crossed the border, Lysenko said, “the Ukrainian side suggested holding negotiations between the leadership of the general staffs of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, but the Russian side refused.”

Russia tried a direct invasion last week in what appeared to be an attempt to start a shooting war. Although Russia later denied it, at first they confirmed the incursion, but didn’t follow up with military action when it came under Ukrainian fire. Prior to that, I warned that the aid convoy could be used to force the Ukrainian military into a unilateral cease-fire to prevent any Russian retaliation for convoy losses in potential firefights, and that seems to be at least one of the motives for running through the border now. Otherwise, why not wait for the inspections?

CNN noted that the people in Luhansk want humanitarian aid, but what they want most is an end to the fighting:

Zhanna Sologub doesn’t know if the rocket that struck the courtyard of her house this month was fired by pro-Russian rebels or Ukrainian government forces.

What she does know, she says, is that the biggest humanitarian gesture either side could make right now is to stop the fighting.

Amid intensifying battles Friday for control of key cities in eastern Ukraine, Ukraine and Russia are clashing over the delivery of food, medicine and other supplies to areas hit by the conflict. But aid, some residents say, is not as critical as peace.

“People are able to survive even without electricity and water,” Sologub said as she lay bandaged in a hospital in this government-held village eight miles from Luhansk, a Ukrainian city close to the Russian border that has seen some of the worst combat of the four-month conflict. “But you can’t prepare yourself for bombing.”

Until the rebellion gets settled one way or the other, peace will not be forthcoming. The aid convoy only delays that resolution if Russia plans to use it as a barricade for the rebels, or as a beachhead for an occupation.


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Mexico and basically all of Central America is directly invading the United States.

And we do nothing.

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 8:09 AM

This is beginning to bore . . . they’re big trucks, look inside them and if it’s humanitarian aid then move on. They’ve about sucked this issue dry.

rplat on August 22, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Why can’t they just search each “aid” truck as it crosses the border? Isn’t SOP for just about every country when a foreign truck crosses into it’s territory?

HotAirian on August 22, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Retweeted by Noah Rothman
Oleksii Makeiev ‏@Makeiev 1h

RU trucks entered UA without any consent by UA and the @ICRC. No @ICRC stamp, no flags. Not humaid anymore, just organized smuggling.

Bmore on August 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Mexico and basically all of Central America is directly invading the United States.

And we do nothing.

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 8:09 AM

^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^

Obama intends to provide citizenship (or at least voting rights) to every single illegal. He’s indicated as much with his comments about “immigration”. Adding that many potential Democrat voters is the only possible way they can ensure future wins for their party, and thus remain in power and further pillage our nation.

TKindred on August 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Has anyone consider what Russia is really smuggling in those trucks?

The drivers of the truck. They are military. They are soldiers.

Bingo!!!

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Recap: after a fair election in 2010 (a pro-Euro gov’t flooded the country with observers, and yet the result was 48-45% against the pro-Euro gov’t), western Ukraine stages a coup because of a … trade agreement. The Crimea (historically Russia) refuses to go along and moves under the Russian flag. The eastern Ukraine votes overwhelmingly to secede, but is ignored by the west (because elections only count if they go in America/Europe’s favor). All of the fighting takes place in the east, with refugees fleeing to Russia. Kiev bombs train stations, airports, stadiums, water treatment plants, chemical factories, and massacres police stations, yet none of this makes the news in America.

higgins1991 on August 22, 2014 at 8:22 AM

If Ukrainian forces fire on the trucks, they could trigger an all-out invasion by Russian forces that have accumulated by the tens of thousands across the border from eastern Ukraine.

That is what Putin is hoping for. The trucks, from what I remember seeing, were only partially full. At least some were. They did have a lot of water, but not much food.

What’s the likelihood of Russia ‘claiming’ that they were fired on thereby ‘forcing’ Russia to come to the aid of their relief workers?

Patriot Vet on August 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Adding that many potential Democrat voters is the only possible way they can ensure future wins for their party, and thus remain in power and further pillage our nation.

TKindred on August 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Assuming, of course, that the existing American population will sit still for it and consent to be violated the rest of our lives instead of fighting a Revolution over it.

I am not going to work 40 hours a week to keep less than half what I earn. That is not going to happen. And I don’t see many others letting that happen. And the answer is not the dole, we already have too many on the dole versus too few working.

Why does God only want 10%, but Obama gets close to 50%?

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

What’s the likelihood of Russia ‘claiming’ that they were fired on thereby ‘forcing’ Russia to come to the aid of their relief workers?

Patriot Vet on August 22, 2014 at 8:28 AM

Odds are higher than the chance of Obama golfing today.

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

higgins1991 on August 22, 2014 at 8:22 AM

.
Translation :

A majority of Ukrainian citizens want communism back.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Translation :

A majority of Ukrainian citizens want communism back.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 8:30 AM

The lure of having all of one’s needs provided for without having to work for it is always seductive.

But it is impossible to achieve without gulags, forced work camps, and the deaths of millions. Russia can’t afford to purge tens of millions of people again, their country is almost empty as it is.

ConstantineXI on August 22, 2014 at 8:32 AM

Russia tried a direct invasion last week in what appeared to be an attempt to start a shooting war. Although Russia later denied it, at first they confirmed the incursion, but didn’t follow up with military action when it came under Ukrainian fire.

Ed, you are completely full of it… they never confirmed an incursion they completely denied it… and it was Kiev that said they destroyed part of a convoy without any evidence whatsoever.

ninjapirate on August 22, 2014 at 8:33 AM

If you’re a commentator on the Russian-Ukraine crisis and you can’t acknowledge that Kiev lied about a week ago about destroying a Russian convoy then you’re a hack. This is a propaganda war on both sides and you just can’t take either’s words at face value.

ninjapirate on August 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

A majority of Ukrainian citizens want communism back.

listens2glenn on August 22, 2014 at 8:30 AM

Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world ranking 144th out of 175 in 2013. Russia was ranked 127th..

Neither one is a good choice for the population, but after living under the corruption of the Ukraine, much of the population might like to try the Russian form of corruption for awhile.

Kaffa on August 22, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Trojan horse…

albill on August 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM

The Ukraine had to let the trucks through because they were loaded with Hondurans.

vnvet on August 22, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Waiting for Putin to send a convoy of white trucks across the Mexican border into the US….

albill on August 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Neither one is a good choice for the population, but after living under the corruption of the Ukraine, much of the population might like to try the Russian form of corruption for awhile.

Kaffa on August 22, 2014 at 8:43 AM

They experienced “The Russian Way” for several hundred years. It resulted in man-made famine and attempted genocide.

TarasBulbous on August 22, 2014 at 10:21 AM

If you’re a commentator on the Russian-Ukraine crisis and you can’t acknowledge that Kiev lied about a week ago about destroying a Russian convoy then you’re a hack. This is a propaganda war on both sides and you just can’t take either’s words at face value.

ninjapirate on August 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

You are correct. The first fake invasion was not corroborated, so now comes the second.

Ferguson is old news. They are getting with the program
9:20 am I tried to post information related to the gaming going on, but that post has not been allowed

entagor on August 22, 2014 at 10:49 AM

what I find when a post does not publish, it often publishes after the thread rolls off, but back dated and inserted at the time the original post was attempted. Makes it look as if it was there all along

entagor on August 22, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Walter Schellenberg nods.

formwiz on August 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Has anyone consider what Russia is really smuggling in those trucks?

The drivers of the truck. They are military. They are soldiers.

Bingo!!!

Walter L. Newton on August 22, 2014 at 8:20 AM

A news video (BBC, I think) I saw earlier show each of these trucks with about a pallets worth of stuff — meaning they only need 1/10 the trucks to carry the stuff. Do all these trucks have false walls and have a load of arms/munitions?

Also, So why aren’t our “humanitarian” Russian friends sending a humanitarian convoy to Erbil?

KenInIL on August 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
5m

NATO officials say Russian personnel are manning artillery units inside Ukrainian territory, firing at Ukrainian forces – @nytimes
Read more on nytimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/23/world/europe/russia-moves-artillery-units-into-ukraine-nato-says.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

canopfor on August 22, 2014 at 12:19 PM