MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - Kiev is conducting a full-on military “cleansing” of the eastern Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk before the country’s independence day on August 24, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website Friday.
“Kiev has delayed the formally needed agreement from the International Red Cross for several days in a row, inventing new pretexts and at the same time increasing attacks on Luhansk and Donetsk by using aviation and heavy armored equipment against housing blocks and civilian objects,” the ministry said.
The ongoing attacks in the country’s eastern regions have raised concerns of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that still has doubts about the safety of the Russian humanitarian convoy despite previous assurances of secure passage.
From mid-April, Ukrainian forces have been conducting a military operation in southeastern Ukraine, aimed at suppressing independence supporters who refused to acknowledge the new government that came to power following a February 22 coup.
As the situation in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions worsened, with increasing numbers of civilian casualties, Russia proposed to send a humanitarian convoy under the auspices of the ICRC. The convoy comprises 280 trucks carrying about 2,000 tons of humanitarian aid that includes baby food, medication, grain, sugar, sleeping bags and other necessities.