Humanitarian aid to Ukraine: lost in translation

Russia has long been insisting on the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk Republics. Recently, an agreement on the delivery of humanitarian aid under the auspices of the International Red Cross has been achieved in spite of resistance from the authorities of Ukraine and the United States. The Red Cross has published the following statement:

In response to the latest initiative of the authorities of the Russian Federation to hand over humanitarian assistance to the ICRC in order to help people and areas affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine, the ICRC is ready to facilitate such an operation with the involvement, endorsement, and support of all sides concerned.

Today the ICRC met with the Ukrainian and the Russian authorities and shared a document which specifies the manner in which such an operation could take place. This includes the agreement by all sides that the ICRC will be allowed to deliver the aid with due respect for its fundamental working principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence.

Translated into the language of the Ukrainian government, according to a statement published on the website of the President of Ukraine, the same statement sounds like this:

A telephone conversation of President Poroshenko with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, has occurred today.

Peter Maurer said that he appreciated the President of Ukraine’s initiative for an international mission of humanitarian assistance. He assured that the International Committee of the Red Cross is ready to provide all possible assistance to this mission.

Lost in translation, is it?..

In the meantime the convoy carrying humanitarian aid left from Moscow suburb Narofominsk on Tuesday, August 12, and went in the direction of the south-western border of Russia, RIA Novosti reported.

“The convoy will deliver the inhabitants of eastern Ukraine about two thousand tons of humanitarian aid collected by residents of the Moscow region”, – told reporters the administration of the Moscow region.

Humanitarian aid, sent by Moscow and Moscow region, will be delivered by 280 trucks “KAMAZ”. Among the goods sent is food, including 400 tons of cereals, 100 tons of sugar, 62 tons of baby food, 54 tons of medical equipment and medicines, 12,000… -->

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Russia sends 60 tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has sent a note to the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine regarding the provision of humanitarian assistance to the southeastern regions of Ukraine, the office website says.

In response to numerous appeals for help by people of Donetsk and Lugansk, Russian Emergencies Ministry has sent humanitarian cargo weighing 60 tons, consisting of food and personal hygiene products.

“We plan that the trucks will head out on June 28 to Donetsk, Lugansk, and possibly other regions of Ukraine, where there are refugees,” said a statement on the website.

Foreign Ministry officials expressed hope that the humanitarian aid will offer relief to the inhabitants of the regions and refugees, and “will help reduce the number of the latter in the future”, according to the Foreign Ministry.

On Friday, the Russia’s Emergencies Ministry reported on the decision to send assistance to residents of the south-east of Ukraine.

Earlier this week, the head of the PACE Anne Brasseur named humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine horrendous.

FMS head Konstantin Romodanovskiy said earlier that in the border regions of Russia there are about 400,000 refugees from the Ukraine. In late April Romodanovskiy noted that signs of a humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine are becoming quite obvious and include killings of civilians, including women and children.

Estimates differ widely on the number of people displaced. As of June 23, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had profiled more than 46,100 internally displaced persons (IDPs). But since there is, as yet, no formal registration system in place for Ukrainian IDPs and considering that humanitarian agencies have only limited access in some areas of the country, Ivan Šimonović, the UN’s Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, took the view that the actual number of Ukrainian IDPs was likely higher than stated UN figures.

Among those that remain, roughly a quarter of the Donetsk region’s 4.5 million population are suffering shortages of some or all basic supplies, including medicine and water.

Sonya, 4, watching as her brother collects water at a pumping station in Slovyansk, a city gripped by shortages.… -->

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