Pro-Russian activist vows to send aid to east Ukraine
A former Ukrainian presidential candidate and current backer of the pro-Russian separatist movement said Thursday he planned to ship food, medicine and money to the nation's war-ravaged east.
Oleg Tsarev, also previously a member of Ukraine's parliament, said while on a visit to the east Ukranian city of Donetsk that his People's Front movement had opened an office in Moscow and was preparing the first shipments of aid.
"I think from next week, quite big cargoes will be sent off," he said, adding they would consist of "money, medicine, food".
He said his supporters would distribute the supplies in coordination with representatives of two self-proclaimed "people's republics" set up in eastern Ukraine.
Eastern Ukraine has been the scene of continuous fighting for two months, as the Ukrainian government is trying to suppress an armed pro-Russian rebellion.
Local civilians are suffering increasingly because of the fighting, as the supply of even simple commodities like water has been reduced drastically or halted completely.
Volunteers in 15 different regions in Russia were also preparing cargoes for shipment to eastern Ukraine, according to Tsarev.
"The desire to help is massive," he said.
A Russian lawmaker for the ruling United Russia party, Alexei Zhuravlyov, who was visiting Donetsk with Tsarev, confirmed the initiative.
"I am sure that literally in a few days all the regions of the Russian Federation (will be donating)," he said.
© 2014 AFP