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Russian Weapons Convoy Spotted Entering Ukraine as Poroshenko Dissolves Parliament

After the humanitarian aid convoy from Russia was unloaded in Ukraine, it now seems that tanks and weapons are crossing the border.

by Jordan Larson
Aug 25 2014, 10:25pm

Image via AP/Sergei Grits

After weeks of tension, Ukraine seemed to relax when a controversial Russian humanitarian aid convoy finally unloaded its supplies in Luhansk on Saturday. Fearing a surprise, Trojan horse-style attack from Russia, Ukrainian officials had been cagey about letting the more than 200 trucks enter the country, making them wait at the border for over a week. Eventually, the convoy entered Ukraine without permission anyway.

Now there are reports from the Associated Press that a second Russian procession has entered rebel-held Ukraine, this one filled with military weaponry.

AP reporters stated that they witnessed "large convoys of military hardware" travel through the rebel-held town of Krasnodon, and on towards where separatists and Ukrainian troops are fighting, on three evenings between August 19-23.

The Ukrainian government also claimed that about 10 Russian tanks, two armored vehicles, and two trucks had entered the country on Monday, and that a clash with government forces had ensued.

'Nowhere is definitely safe anymore': Inside the besieged Ukrainian city of Luhansk. Read more here.

More than 2,000 people have died in eastern Ukraine and at least 344,000 have fled the region since fighting began in the spring, according to UN figures. With ever-increasing casualties, food shortages, and electricity cuts, civilian aid is desperately needed. The humanitarian aid convoy from Russia that arrived in Luhansk on Saturday was reportedly comprised of 1,800 tons of medical supplies and food. 

Earlier today, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko also voted to dissolve parliament and called for early elections on October 26, according to a statement on his website. Poroshenko cited the collapse of Ukraine's coalition government, claimed that pro-rebel MPs remained supporters of former President Viktor Yanukovych, and referred to polls supporting early elections as reasons for the decision.

Poroshenko also claimed the move was legal, citing article 90 of the Ukrainian Constitution, which allows the president to halt operations if a coalition government has lapsed for over a month. According to him, the coalition government had collapsed on July 24.

Amid outrage, aid delivery to Ukraine brings a public relations win in Russia. Read more here.

Follow Jordan Larson on Twitter: @jalarsonist