MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The convoy of 25 trucks will carry some 300 tonnes of cargo, mostly food, a spokesperson at the Russian emergencies office in the southwestern Rostov region on the Ukrainian border told Sputnik.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine began in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.
This week’s humanitarian effort will be the 61st since Russia started sending humanitarian assistance to people in eastern Ukraine in August 2014. It has supplied up to 67,000 tonnes of life-saving aid since fighting erupted in the region between pro-independence militias and troops loyal to the government in Kiev.