MOSCOW, August 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia cannot remain indifferent to the events unfolding in eastern Ukraine which led to a humanitarian catastrophe in the region, so that Moscow is calling for a so-called “humanitarian bridge” which will unite Russia with the violence-torn regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Saturday in an interview with Slovak television.
“We cannot be indifferent toward what is happening in southeastern Ukraine. We see the humanitarian catastrophe there. These are not my words, but the statements of the United Nations representatives,” Antonov said.
“In this situation, we could not stay aside. And our civic organizations, businessmen, emergencies ministry are thinking about the organization of not just one humanitarian aid convoy, but the second, third, tenth ones. We want to have a normal humanitarian bridge uniting the Russian Federation, Luhansk and Donetsk,” Antonov added.
Earlier in August, Russia sent the first humanitarian convoy of 280 trucks carrying 2,000 tons of aid to the troubled Luhansk region. The passage of the convoy was significantly delayed and Moscow said Kiev was deliberately dragging on the aid delivery “in order to create a situation so that there is no one to be helped.”Kiev accused Moscow of sending weapons to the self-defense forces in Ukraine along with the humanitarian aid.
Antonov reminded that the convoy was thoroughly checked by the Red Cross representatives who “could not escort our convoy as the night before the convoy was to set off, the Ukrainian military forces kept shelling Luhansk as if on purpose.”
Earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow is planning to deliver a second convoy carrying humanitarian aid to Ukraine’s eastern regions.
Since mid-April, Kiev has been conducting a military operation against the southeastern regions of Ukraine that refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government after a February coup.