Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross border into Ukraine

Exclusive: Telegraph witnesses Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross the border from Russia into Ukraine

A separate, larger convoy of around 270 Russian trucks, which Moscow claims is carrying aid, rumbled to a halt just short of the border on Thursday night, while in east Ukraine, shells hit the centre of rebel-held Donetsk for the first time.

The Telegraph witnessed a column of vehicles including both armoured personal carriers and soft-skinned lorries crossing into Ukraine at an obscure border crossing near the Russian town of Donetsk shortly before 10pm local time.

The Ukrainian and Western governments have long accused Russia of filtering arms and men across the border to fuel the separatist insurgency in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but such an incident has never before been witnessed by Western journalists.

The convoy, which included at least 23 vehicles, appeared to be waiting until sunset near a refugee camp just outside Donetsk, before moving towards the crossing without turning off headlights or making any other attempt to conceal itself.

While it was not immediately clear whether all of that convoy crossed the border, The Telegraph did see a substantial number of vehicles pass through check point manned by gunmen after shadowing the convoy down narrow country lanes near the frontier.

While the force did not seem to be a substantial invasion force, it confirms that military supplies are moving across the border. While the APCs carried no visible markings the fuel tankers and soft-skinned trucks in the convoy bore black Russian military number plates.

The vehicles do not appear to be associated with the Russian aid convoy that is camped 20 miles further down the same road.

Full article: Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross border into Ukraine (The Telegraph)

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