A local resident holds a Russian national flag as lorries, part of a Russian humanitarian convoy cross the Ukrainian border at the Izvarino custom control checkpoint, on Aug. 22, 2014.
Hours after a convoy of Russian military trucks crossed the border without approval from Ukrainian authorities, the move was slammed by key international organizations.
Leaders have criticized the breach in international law and called for Russia to halt the movement of the convoy, which is allegedly carrying humanitarian aid.
“This is a blatant breach of Russia’s international commitments, including those made recently in Berlin and Geneva, and a further violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty by Russia,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “Instead of de-escalating the situation, Russia continues to escalate it.”
Rasmussen’s statement, however, fell short of calling the sending of the convoy into Ukraine an act of aggression, which would imply a military response.
The European Union has also begun to criticize the move while praising Ukraine for showing restraint in its own response.
“The EU deplores Russia’s decision to enter humanitarian consignment into Ukrainian territory without an ICRC escort or consent of the Ukrainian government,” said European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton via her spokesperson on Twitter.
Neither announcement contained a call for further action against Russia or aid for Ukraine.
By mid-afternoon Andrew Roth of the New York Times, reporting from the border crossing in Izvaryne, said via Twitter that all of the convoy trucks had crossed over from Russia into Ukraine.
Photos and video circulating on social media later showed the convoy splitting up and arriving in the separatist held cities of Krasnodon and Luhansk.
Follow Ian Bateson on Twitter @ianbateson