Friday August 22, 2014
After waiting more than a week on the border with Ukraine while the Kiev government's cooperation then condemnation switched several times, Moscow gave the green light for its humanitarian convoy of 280 trucks to enter war-torn Lugansk today. Civilians in breakaway areas of Ukraine have suffered without food and water for weeks and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) agreed that the situation was desperate.
As if in waiting, the moment Russian humanitarian aid crossed into Ukraine, NATO and US officials raced to condemn the action. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who just days ago falsely claimed that a Russian military convoy had entered Ukraine, was first out of the gate:
I condemn the entry of a Russian so-called humanitarian convoy into Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities and without any involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross.Though the ICRC and the Russian Red Cross had supported and participated in the mission, they declined to accompany the aid convoy into Ukraine, citing ongoing fighting in the area and a lack of a force to protect the convoy and ICRC personnel. In other words, Rasmussen's own allies in Kiev had prevented ICRC involvement in the mission by their shelling of Lugansk. And the Ukrainian authorities had consented — several times — before they unconsented!