Humanitarian aid convoys from Russia and Ukraine are traveling from opposite directions to the embattled region of eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists are fighting elements of Ukraine's army. (Aug. 14)
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Near Russian-Ukraine Border - 14 August, 2014
1. Various of Russian convoy
2. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Ivan Nikolayev, Truck Driver:
(See transcript below)
3. Russian convoy
Kiev, Ukraine - 14 August, 2014
4. Various of Ukraine trucks in convoy
5. SOUNDBITE: (Ukrainian) Maxim Burbak, Ukraine Minister of Infrastructure:
"In this convoy we are carrying 240 tons of aid, and in total between three convoys we have 75 vehicles, carrying close to 800 tons of aid."
6. Close of grain bags in convoy truck
Near Donetsk, Ukraine - 14 August, 2014
7. Various of bombed out homes
8. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Valentina Smirnova, Local Resident:
"My son left and now I am staying with my daughter. I don't know what to do afterwards. Where should I run to after that? Please tell me."
9. Various of woman going through bombed house
IN A HIGH STAKES DIPLOMATIC GAME OF CHICKEN, A LARGE RUSSIAN AID CONVOY ROLLED TOWARD THE UKRAINIAN BORDER ON THURSDAY.
BUT THE TRUCKS WERE HEADING TOWARD A CROSSING CONTROLLED BY PRO-RUSSIAN REBELS INSTEAD OF A BORDER CROSSING CONTROLLED BY THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT.
THE UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO BLOCK THE CONVOY IF THE TRUCKS ARE NOT INSPECTED.
(SOUNDBITE: (russian) Ivan Nikolayev, Truck Driver:)
"We will go there where we are ordered to. As I say, the weather is a bit hot. Everything is very good. The truck works well. And the goods are buckwheat, oatmeal, water."
THE CONVOY OF NEARLY 200 TRUCKS WAS STOPPED NEAR THE RUSSIAN-UKRAINE BORDER AMID DISAGREEMENT OVER HOW AND WHERE THE AID COULD BE DELIVERED.
BY HEADING TOWARD REBEL HELD TERRITORY, MOSCOW APPEARS TO BE IGNORING A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT TO DELIVER AID TO THE RED CROSS IN THE KHARKIV REGION.
AT THE SAME TIME, FROM THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION, THE UKRAINE GOVERNMENT DISPATCHED ITS OWN CONVOY OF HUMANITARIAN AID TOWARD EASTERN UKRAINE.
(SOUNDBITE: (Ukrainian) Maxim Burbak, Ukranian Infrastructure Minister:)
"In this convoy we are carrying 240 tons of aid, and in total between the three convoys we have 75 vehicles, carrying close to 800 tons of aid."
THE AID INCLUDES GRAINS, SUGAR AND CANNED FOOD.
MEANWHILE, FIGHTING CONTINUES IN THE SUBURBS OF DONETSK.
RESIDENTS SAY THE MISSILE ATTACK CAME FROM THE UKRAINE ARMY DURING THE NIGHT.
(SOUNDBITE: Valentina Smirnova, local resident)
"My son left and now I am staying with my daughter. I don't know what to do afterwards. Where should I run to after that, please tell me. (cries)
SHELLS ALSO STRUCK SEVERAL SHOPPING COMPLEXES IN DONETSK OVERNIGHT.
UKRAINIAN FORCES HAVE STEPPED UP EFFORTS IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS TO DISLODGE PRO-RUSSIAN SEPARATIST FROM THEIR STRONGHOLDS IN DONETSK AND LUHANSK.
TOM RITCHIE, ASSOCIATED PRESS