Sunday, June 24, 2018
News Roundup

Ukraine-bound Russian convoy stuck amid bickering

VORONEZH, Russia — Hundreds of Russian trucks carrying aid intended for rebel-held eastern Ukraine remained parked Wednesday in the southern city of Voronezh, their fate shrouded in mystery as Ukraine accused Moscow of plotting to use them as a cover for invasion.

Fighting between government troops and pro-Russian separatists increased as the U.N.'s human rights office released figures showing the number of people killed in eastern Ukraine appears to have doubled in the last two weeks to more than 2,000.

Other than a few local supply runs, the roughly 260 vehicles in the convoy lay idle at a military base in the southern city of Voronezh well into the afternoon, one day after making the 400-mile drive from outside Moscow.

Ukraine and Russia tentatively agreed Tuesday that the aid would be delivered to a government-controlled crossing in Ukraine's Kharkiv region, which hasn't been hit by the months of fighting that have wracked neighboring regions. The cargo would then have to be inspected by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

But accord has soured into acrimony, with the spokesman for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accusing Moscow on Wednesday of possibly planning a "direct invasion of Ukrainian territory under the guise of delivering humanitarian aid."

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said "nobody knows" where the convoy is going but he had information it won't go through Kharkiv.

If the convoy goes farther south across a border region under the control of the pro-Russian separatists the government has been battling for four months, that would certainly not involve the Red Cross and will be viewed with profound hostility by the Ukrainian government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, insisted the aid convoy was on the move inside Russia, but declined to comment on the route. He said the operation was proceeding in full cooperation with the Red Cross.

But Red Cross officials in Ukraine said they have been left in the dark about the whereabouts of the Russian aid.

Russia says the 1,800 metric tons of aid includes goods ranging from baby food and canned meat to portable generators and sleeping bags. It's intended for civilians in the Luhansk region, the scene of some of the fiercest fighting. The regional capital of Luhansk has had no electricity for 11 days and only the most essential goods are available, city authorities say.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Strangers are coming together to honor two killed in Bayshore crash

TAMPA — John Reisinger has seen miracles since his niece and 21-month-old grand-niece were killed while trying to cross Bayshore Boulevard 30 days ago. Some, he says, are too painful to talk about. Others he’s still trying to make sense of, such as h...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 5 hours ago