A column of armored vehicles and military trucks crossed the border from Russia into Ukraine on Thursday night, in the first confirmed sighting of such an incident by Western journalists. 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 center of rebel-held Donetsk for the first time. The Telegraph witnessed a column of vehicles including both armored personal carriers and soft-skinned lorries crossing into Ukraine at an obscure border crossing near the Russian town of Donetsk shortly before 10 p.m. local time.
David Swanson, Washington's Blog: A George Will column this week, reviewing a book by Ken Hughes called Chasing Shadows, mentions almost in passing that presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon secretly sabotaged peace talks that appeared likely to end the war on Vietnam until he intervened. As a result, the war raged on and Nixon won election promising to end the war. Will treats the matter as a technicality, citing the law against private diplomacy rather than the principle that one shouldn't undermine a government's attempts to halt an episode of mass murder.
Ukraine has said it will not allow a mammoth Russian convoy reportedly carrying aid for the war-torn east to enter its territory and that any assistance should be handed over at the border.
"We will not consider the possibility of any movement of the Russian column on the territory of Ukraine," said Valeriy Chalyy, deputy head of the presidential administration, adding that any aid would have to be loaded onto transport provided by the Red Cross and that no Russian personnel would be allowed to escort it.
WASHINGTON -- President Obama is considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountaintop after death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, administration officials said on Thursday.
Nato has released satellite images of the Russian military buildup on Ukraine's eastern border: a powerful concentration of fighter planes, helicopters, artillery, infantry and special forces which officials say could be ready to move with just 12 hours notice. The images appear to undermine official suggestions from Moscow that there is nothing unusual about the troop movements, nor any reason to be alarmed. Nato Brigadier Gary Deakin said between 35,000 and 40,000 Russian troops were "at a state of advanced readiness," and could deploy "within 12 hours from a decision taken at the highest level."