Yesterday evening, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on the “development of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine”. The statement calls to “mobilise the international community to provide immediate aid to the population of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where the situation is bordering on a humanitarian catastrophe” and states that Russia will “with determination promote the initiative to form a humanitarian mission for this region of Ukraine.” In subsequent developments, the UN Security Council convened on Russia’s request to hear the matter, however, it only revealed the predictable watershed on positions, with the US, UK and Lithuania siding with Ukraine’s response that the humanitarian crisis was not severe and that Russia’s actions were a significant contributing factor. Meanwhile, UN officials warned of the risks to humanitarian conditions posed by the approaching winter. The official UN SC press release is available here.
Western governments (in particular Poland) have expressed renewed concern about the deployment of Russian military forces on Ukraine’s border, where a large-scale air force exercise is under way 4-8 August.
In separate news, Interfax reported citing Ukraine Brussels mission, that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen could visit Ukraine on 7 August.