MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia suggests sending an international humanitarian mission to eastern Ukraine that will be protected and sponsored by the Red Cross and escorted by the organization’s representatives, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said Tuesday at an emergency UN Security Council session on the humanitarian situation in violence-torn Ukraine.
“We suggest sending convoys of Russian humanitarian aid – under the auspices and accompanied by the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] – to Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as to other cities of Ukraine where the internally displaced people from eastern regions [of Ukraine] are located,” Churkin said.
He added that Russia is ready for a total transparency and wants the International Committee of the Red Cross to monitor the loading of convoys, to escort them on the itinerary and to handle the distribution of aid.
“According to our assessment, alimentary goods, drugs, medical equipment, water cleaning systems, electrical generators are most needed,” Churkin said, calling on the international community to undertake all the necessary measures to provide the population of eastern Ukraine with humanitarian aid.
Churkin reminded that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sent official requests to the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UN to establish a humanitarian mission in southeastern Ukraine.
Russia’s UN envoy also stressed that “Russia’s numerous calls to establish humanitarian corridors to withdraw civilians and children, and first and foremost seriously ill orphans, as well as to send Russian humanitarian aid, have been cynically rejected by Kiev.”
On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Moscow would persistently promote the initiative on setting up a humanitarian mission in crisis-hit Ukraine.
The ministry said citing a report by the mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), that since the start of the special operation in eastern Ukraine in mid-April, a total of 1,367 people have been killed and another 4,087 wounded, including 2,589 civilians and 29 children.
Kiev has been conducting a military operation targeting Luhansk and Donetsk regions, which refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government and chose to pursue independence.
The operation has also forced 117,000 Ukrainians to flee their homes and cross into neighboring Russia in search of shelter. Nearly 3.9 million people who stayed are now trapped in the combat zone.