Some were confused by the latest bout of radio silence emanating from the Kremlin in the aftermath of both the “Chocolate King” winning the Ukraine presidential election, and the most recent escalation of fighting in self-proclaimed as independent Republic of Donetsk, in which more than 50 “separatists” were killed. This ended moments ago when the Russian foreign ministry issued a press release that it has received appeals for humanitarian aid from the “conflict zone” in east Ukraine, and that more importantly, it is is ready to the “provide the population with the required assistance.”
As Bloomberg adds, Russia has asked for Ukraine’s help in allowing delivery of supplies to affected areas, and that it is ready to seek approval on routes, terms of transportation of supplies, ministry says.
“Given the urgent nature of the situation, Russia is counting on the fastest possible answer from Ukraine on this request,” the ministry says.
Separatists reported suffering heavy losses in an offensive by the Ukrainian military to retake a strategic provincial airport in Donetsk, their leaders said on Tuesday, while a team of European security monitors lost contact with their headquarters, raising fears of kidnapping.
Some of the accounts of rebel losses were conflicting, in part because the fighting continued into Tuesday morning and it was difficult to retrieve the dead. Schools were closed and city authorities warned residents not to leave their homes.
The clearest count came from Donetsk’s mayor, Oleksandr Lukyanchenko, who said about 50 people had been killed, including two civilians, and that 43 others had been wounded. Other counts by rebels put the death toll as high as 100.