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Russia convoy 'at Ukraine customs'

August 20, 2014 6:17 pm

Several lorries from a Russian convoy carrying aid are close to crossing into Ukrainian territory, local reports say.

The first vehicles from the 270-lorry convoy have moved into the customs zone between the two countries at the Donetsk border crossing.

A border official told Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency that the vehicles were “undergoing customs procedures”.

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The vehicles are due to continue into eastern Ukraine to deliver aid to civilians trapped by the fighting.

Pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions declared independence from Kiev in April, following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March.

More than 2,000 civilians and combatants have been killed since mid-April, when Ukraine’s government sent troops to put down the rebel uprising.

Ukraine accuses Russia of arming the rebels and sending Russian soldiers into eastern Ukraine – a claim denied by the Kremlin.

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