Job done, one hundred and eighty-four Russian trucks from an aid convoy that entered Ukraine yesterday have re-crossed the border back into Russia.
Ukraine says another eighty trucks remain in the country. The OSCE says they have all left.
Russia says the lorries were only carrying vital humanitarian supplies for the besieged cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, but many entered Ukraine empty. Kyiv refused permission for the convoy, believing it was a subterfuge for re-arming pro-Russian rebels, but then allowed it to proceed without interference. Now the government says it knows why there were so many empty lorries, and its suspicions have been confirmed.
“Our operational information tells us the trucks that came into Ukraine pretending to be a humanitarian convoy were used to load the “Topaz” production unit for the ultra-modern “Kolchuga” radar, and equipment from a factory in Luhansk that makes specialised ammunition magazines,” said the National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko.
Ukraine is home to many high-tech plants vital for Russia’s space, missile, defence and aeronautics industries. Indeed many companies continue to do business with Russia despite the war raging in the east, and management loyalties are often divided between Moscow and Kyiv.