A snaking Russian convoy that the Kremlin says is carrying humanitarian aid is closing in on the country’s border with Ukraine.
The 280 vehicle cavalcade is the subject of a major diplomatic row with the West and Ukraine fearing it as the opening salvo in a potential invasion.
Moscow is adamant the trucks are carrying much needed assistance for those trapped by conflict in the east of Ukraine.
Aseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister, slammed Russian actions, saying: “There is no limit to Russian cynicism. At first they deliver tanks and Grad multiple rocket launcher systems to terrorists and criminals to shoot Ukrainians, and after that they bring water and salt.”
Kyiv will not allow the convoy to enter Ukraine and will only accept aid from the Red Cross under international law.
Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov said details regarding the convoy had already been agreed with Ukraine:
“We have developed a plan that was coordinated yesterday. We have taken into account all requests from the Ukrainians on all aspects of this operation including the route that was suggested by Kyiv, despite the fact that it is a very long detour.”
Around 100 km of Ukraine’s border with Russia is under the control of pro-Moscow separatists, and many believe the trucks are headed there.