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Ukraine Rebel Military Chief Quits As Russia Aid Convoy Arrives At Border

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By Kalyan Kumar | August 15, 2014 1:13 PM EST

In the ongoing conflict between pro Russia separatists and government forces in Ukraine, the separatists announced the resignation of their military chief, Igor Strelkov, from the post.

Reuters
Foreign citizens working and living in Ukraine wave the flags of their countries during a rally demanding justice for the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at Independence Square in Kiev July 27, 2014. Nearly 300 people, 193 of them Dutch citizens, were killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down in eastern Ukraine, where separatists are battling government forces, on July 17.

The AFP reported that the insurgent authorities have accepted the resignation of Strelkov, who is a Russian. Earlier he was officiating as the defence minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. The separatists informed that Strelkov will be moving to another responsibility after the resignation.

Convoy At Border

The Ukranian government that has been accusing Russia of arming the separatists, even humanitarian aid from Russia comprising grains, baby food, water and sugar are becoming a thorny issue. The controversial Russian convoy of 280 trucks reached the Ukraine border and is awaiting official permission to take the aid to the violence-hit cities in the eastern part of Ukraine. Russia has dismissed Ukraine's fears that the convoy was a ploy to provide military supplies to the rebels.

Ukraine, fearing the content to be military supplies for the rebels wanted it to be independently checked by a third party. Red Cross officials are negotiating with the government for its passage.

Red Cross official Laurent Corbaz made clear that Red Cross had a "strictly humanitarian role" and "the delivery of aid should not be politicised".

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security, said if the content is not verified, the movement of the convoy will be "blocked with force".

Meanwhile, heavy shelling in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk on Thursday by government forces inflicted heavy losses to the rebels, reported BBC.

Russian Military Trucks Spotted

A Guardian report says that even though the trucks were halted well short of Ukraine's border, a Russian convoy did cross into the Ukrainian territory late on Thursday evening. The report said an estimated column of 20 armoured personnel carriers carrying Russian military plates was spotted heading towards the Ukraine border.

It said, armed men were visible as the column moved into Ukraine soil. Kiev has no control over the border at this area, near Donetsk. The Guardian report said the entry of Russian military vehicles has substantiated the charge of Ukraine that Russian troops are active inside its borders.

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(Photo: Reuters / Konstantin Grishin)
Foreign citizens working and living in Ukraine wave the flags of their countries during a rally demanding justice for the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, at Independence Square in Kiev July 27, 2014. Nearly 300 people, 193 of them Dutch citizens, were killed when the Malaysia Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was brought down in eastern Ukraine, where separatists are battling government forces, on July 17.
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