Humanitarian aid for Ukraine from Russia

No, the convoy with the humanitarian aid from Russia to Ukraine did not disappear. It is driving now on the “Don” highway in the direction of Rostov, leaving Boguchary. BBC also reports that the convoy continued on its way, although it has been split into two parts now.

The situation is reported to be desperate in the city of Luhansk, where for more than a week civilians have been short of water, food and electricity. The International Red Cross (ICRC) continues negotiations with Russia and Ukraine about the border crossing and exact destinations of the goods.… -->

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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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Red Cross designates situation in Ukraine as “war”

Reuters reports that Red Cross has made a confidential legal assessment that Ukraine is officially in a war.

The designation as a war – either international or civil – changes the game legally, because it turns both sides into combatants with equal liability for war crimes, which have no statute of limitations and cannot be absolved by an amnesty. Suspects may also be arrested abroad, since some countries apply “universal jurisdiction” to war crimes.

Without the designation, Ukrainian government forces would be responsible for protecting civilians and infrastructure under international human rights law, while separatists would only be liable under Ukraine’s criminal laws.

“It changes their accountability on the international stage,” said Andrew Clapham, director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. “This makes individuals more likely to be prosecuted for war crimes.”… -->

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