Spot Report: The fifty-ninth Russian convoy of ten vehicles crossed into Ukraine and returned through the Donetsk Border Crossing Point

SUMMARY

Moscow. March 2, 2017. (mediap). On 28 February 2017 at 06:55 hrs (Moscow time), the fifty ninth[1] Russian convoy arrived at the Donetsk Border Crossing Point (BCP). A total of ten vehicles were checked by the Russian border guards and customs services prior to them crossing into Ukraine. All of the ten vehicles had crossed back into the Russian Federation by 12:32 hrs on 28 February.

DETAIL

Leaving the Russian Federation

On 28 February 2017 at 06:55 hrs the Observer Mission observed the arrival of a Russian convoy at the gate of the Donetsk BCP. A Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations team co-ordinated and led the movements of the convoy. The convoy consisted of five cargo trucks and five support vehicles. All trucks bore the inscription “Humanitarian help from the Russian Federation”.

At 06:55 hrs the vehicles entered the customs control area and queued in three lines. Once the convoy arrived, the vehicles were inspected by Russian Federation border guards and customs officers. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations staff rolled up/opened the tarpaulins of the trucks and the border guards and customs officials performed a visual observation from the outside.

Two service dogs were present and used by the Russian Federation border guards to check the vehicles from the outside, and one border guard video-recorded the whole procedure. Five Ukrainian officials, three border guards and two customs officers were observed. They accompanied their Russian counterparts and also performed a visual observation of the vehicles from the outside (not entering the trucks’ cargo space). The Ukrainian officials had clipboards in their hands and were taking notes. By 07:08 hrs the vehicles had left the BCP towards Ukraine.

Returning to the Russian Federation

At 12:20 hrs on 28 February the convoy arrived and queued in the customs area. The tarpaulins of the trucks were again opened and Russian border guards and customs officers visually checked the returning convoy from the outside. Two service dogs were present on site during the convoy crossing and were used to check some of the cargo trucks from the outside. Two representatives of the Russian Federation Ministry of Emergency Situations were taking photos of the convoy while it was crossing back into the Russian Federation. Ukrainian representatives – three border guards and two customs officers – were present during this check. They also performed visual checks of the opened trucks from the outside and some of them were taking notes. By 12:32 hrs all of the ten vehicles had crossed back into the Russian Federation.

[1] According to the statement of the Russian Federation officials, this convoy is considered to be the sixty-first Russian convoy which was sent to Ukraine. As two of these convoys did not cross through the “Donetsk” or “Gukovo” border crossing points, the Observer Mission did not record them. Hence, based on the Observer Mission’s counting, this convoy is considered as the 59th convoy that has crossed into Ukraine.

For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit: http://www.osce.org/om/302121

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