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39th Russian Humanitarian Aid Convoy Heads to Donbass

24.09.2015 09:52

Russia's 39th humanitarian aid convoy for residents of Ukraine's crisis-hit southeast (Donbass) has departed for Ukraine, a spokesperson of the Russian Emergencies Ministry said early on Thursday.

"At 04:00 Moscow time over 100 vehicles left the Donskoy rescue center of the Russian Emergencies Ministry in the Rostov region and are headed for the state border," the spokesperson told journalists.

The convoy is carrying over 1,200 metric tons of aid for residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. The humanitarian cargo consists mostly of food and medicine and will be distributed evenly between the two regions.

Donbass residents have been severely affected by fighting between Ukrainian troops and local independence supporters, which started in April 2014 when Kiev launched a military operation in the region.

In November 2014, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered to impose an economic blockade on Donbass, withdrawing all state-funded health, educational and social protections from the region.

Overall, Russia has sent more than 46,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid to Donbass since August 2014.

Russia plans to send its next convoy to Ukraine's southeast on September 30.