Russian Convoys Near Ukraine Promising Aid, Stirring Fears of Trojan Horse

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 14 2014 1:15 PM

Russian Convoys Near Ukrainain Border as Rebel City Shelled

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Trojan trucks? Russian convoys allegedly transporting aid arrive near the Ukrainian border.

Photo by ANDREY KRONBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Russian convoys allegedly carrying humanitarian aid finally arrived near the border of Ukraine on Thursday.

From the Guardian:

The route of the 280-truck convoy, which set off from the Moscow region on Tuesday, has been closely followed by journalists, observers and the international community amid fears it is a Trojan horse-style military invasion.
Ukraine has said it will not allow the trucks, escorted by Russian soldiers, to enter its territory. But Moscow-backed rebels are in charge of the Izvarino crossing point, near where the convoy has stopped.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which was informed by Moscow last week of the shipment, said it still had no details of where the convoy was heading. Its destination appears to be Luhansk, one of two major cities still controlled by rebels, and the scene of fierce fighting between the Ukrainian army and separatist forces.
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While Russian President Vladimir Putin insists that the convoys will provide aid for a "large-scale humanitarian catastrophe" (Donetsk is, after all, being shelled by Ukrainian forces), many have expressed concerns that they are in fact being used to smuggle munitions to the separatists. These pro-Russian forces have suffered recent setbacks, including the resignation of allegedly wounded rebel military chief Igor Girkin, who is known as Strelkov. Further, the convoys have been joined by military helicopters and trucks (which have an unspecified destination).

Emily Tamkin is an editorial intern at Slate and a M.Phil. candidate in Russian and East European studies at Oxford. Follow her on Twitter.  

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