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Published in Stream:
Ukraine Liveblog Day 179
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian Defense Minister Says There's No Military Soldiers In 'Aid Convoy.' He's Lying
8 years
More Russian Armored Vehicles Moving Near Border Crossing Right Now
Russia Tries To Explain Why The Aid Trucks Are Empty

Below is the readout of US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's Phone Call with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu:

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke today via telephone with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu to discuss the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Specifically, Secretary Hagel requested clarification regarding the Russian humanitarian convoy. Minister Shoygu "guaranteed" that there were no Russian military personnel involved in the humanitarian convoy, nor was the convoy to be used as a pretext to further intervene in Ukraine. He acknowledged that the goods would be delivered and distributed under the International Committee of the Red Cross. Minister Shoygu assured Secretary Hagel that Russia was meeting Ukraine's conditions.

The two ministers discussed the need to have bilateral follow-on meetings of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. They also agreed to maintain open lines of communication.

The promise that this is not a pretext for an invasion would be more comforting if it were not placed right after an obvious lie. The aid convoy originated on a military base and was guarded by an S-300 missile defense system. A Russian soldier claims the military painted 300 military trucks to make them white. It appears that the drivers of the vehicles are, in fact, military officers, and some of them have even been seen with Russian airborne tattoos.

And then there's the claim that the aid is being delivered under Ukraine's conditions. No, it is not. Ukraine negotiated with Russia to have these vehicles driven to a border crossing north of Kharkiv and allow the Red Cross take over the convoys. Instead, these vehicles are located near the separatist-controlled Izvarino crossing and are guarded by a large amount of military vehicles, some of which have already been documented as having crossed the border last night.