Dozens of truckloads of humanitarian aid for residents in the ATO zone have left for the Donbas from Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, the Minister of the Infrastructure of Ukraine, Maksym Burbak, announced August 14, as reported by Tyzhden.
Burbak stated that this transport is being dispatched to Starobilsk in the Luhansk Oblast at the direction of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk.
“We had a meeting with the drivers and reassured them that safety would be ensured,” he said. Burbak added that the transport is being financed partly by the state budget and partly by donors.
At the same time, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Ihor Baluta informed journalists that a column of trucks with 220 tons of humanitarian aid is being dispatched from Kharkiv to the Luhansk Oblast. According to Baluta, 26 trucks have been sent to the Luhansk Oblast — 18 arranged by the Kharkiv Oblast Administration, the others by neighboring oblasts and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The humanitarian cargo to the Luhansk Oblast includes food and hygiene products — in particular, 12 tons of bread, 30 tons of grain, 3 tons of confectionery products, 44 tons of water, 21.5 tons of sugar, 30 tons of potatoes, 17 tons of cabbage, 19 tons of onions, other vegetables, fruit and so on.
Baluta noted that, based on experience from previous humanitarian transports from the Kharkiv Oblast to the ATO zone, the distribution of aid is at the rate of 19 tons per 10,500 persons. The logistics and distribution of the cargo will be provided by the State Service for Emergency Situations, he said. The head of the State Traffic Police for the Kharkiv Oblast, Ihor Shvydkyi, said that the entire column will be divided in two parts, which will be accompanied by teams of traffic police.
Additionally, another column of trucks will be going from Dnipropetrovsk to the city of Starobilsk (Luhansk Oblast), where, according to international rules, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross will receive them and distribute the cargo to the civilian population of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the areas controlled by terrorists.
As previously reported, on August 12, a convoy of some 300 trucks with allegedly humanitarian aid left Podmoskovye, Russia, in the direction of Ukraine. On August 13, it was reported that the Russian convoy would not go through Kharkiv Oblast as previously planned. Additionally, it was reported that Russia has not yet agreed to provide a list of the cargo to the Red Cross.
Meanwhile, the office of Ukraine’s president has not ruled out that Russia’s “humanitarian convoy” could be used for a direct invasion of Ukraine.
Translated by Anna Mostovych