UK & World News
Russian Trucks 'Nearing Rebel-Held Ukraine'
A Russian convoy sent by Moscow towards eastern Ukraine as part of a supposedly humanitarian mission is heading for rebel-held territory, say Sky sources.
It is understood that the line of 262 white trucks is on its way towards Krasnodon, which is within the area controlled by pro-Russia separatists.
Ukraine has spoken of its concerns that the convoy will be used as a 'Trojan horse', allowing Russia to establish a permanent presence in the east of the country.
Russia had initially said it would be taking the convoy into eastern Ukraine with the co-operation of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
But by sending the convoy south, it appeared that trucks would not go into Ukraine through a government-controlled border checkpoint in the Kharkiv region, where it could be inspected by the Red Cross.
The Red Cross said it could not confirm what its involvement would be until it was known where the convoy would enter.
Fighting has continued in and around rebel held areas in eastern Ukraine.
The Ukraine military announced it had completely surrounded the rebel held city of Luhansk, cutting it off from the Russian border.
Shortly afterwards, Russia's RIA news agency said that one of the principle architects of the eastern Ukrainian rebellion, Igor Strelkov, had resigned.
His resignation was the third change in the separatists' leadership in the past week.
Earlier, Valery Bolotov, head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, announced he was standing down and on August 7, Aleksander Borodai, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic's leader, said he was stepping aside.
The 'Donetsk People's Republic' said on its website that Vladimir Kononov would replace Mr Strelkov.
Meanwhile, the centre of†Donetsk†has been heavily shelled, according to witnesses.
The rebel-held city has been surrounded for several weeks by Ukrainian forces.
At least two people were killed when a town centre avenue and upmarket housing complex were hit by shellfire
As well as the shelling in Donetsk, fighting has killed at least 22 residents in the besieged rebel-held bastion of Luhansk over the past 24 hours.
Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he wanted to stop the bloodshed in Ukraine.
During a visit to Crimea, Mr Putin also said that Russia should not "fence itself off from the outside world" despite a plunge in East-West relations.
Fighting in eastern Ukraine has intensified in recent weeks, with UN officials saying there has been a spike in the number of deaths.
Some 2,086 people have died since the conflict began in mid-April, and more than half of them in the past fortnight, the UN said.