Russian aid convoy crosses border into Ukraine: Reports

MOSCOW (AFP) - The first 35 vehicles in a second Russian aid convoy heading for rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine have crossed the border, Russian news agencies reported late Friday.

"Russian customs officers and border guards completed processing the first group of trucks... Now all 35 trucks have left the border crossing point towards Ukraine," Rayan Farukshin, spokesman for the southern customs office, told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Rossiya 24 television reported from the Rostov region of southern Russia that the latest convoy of trucks is carrying a total of 2,000 tonnes of goods including cereals, pasta, sugar, medicines, diesel, electricity generators and blankets.

Rossiya 24 television reported that the whole convoy of more than 300 trucks was due to reach the border by Saturday morning.

Russia first sent an aid convoy of more than 200 trucks in August without the final agreement of Ukraine and Red Cross monitors.

The Minsk accord signed a week ago specified the provision of humanitarian aid to east Ukraine where hundreds of thousands of residents are suffering from shortages of basic supplies as well as a lack of running water and power amid widespread destruction from heavy shelling.