140812061928-ripley-ukraine-russian-convoy-00000920-story-topSomewhere in southern Russia, a convoy of 280 white-painted trucks snaked its way Tuesday toward the Ukrainian border. Depending on whom you ask, what’s inside may either be a treasure trove of relief goods for war-weary civilians, or the vanguard of a Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine. With thousands of Russian troops still posted near the Ukrainian border and Ukraine’s military putting increasing pressure on pro-Russian fighters around the city of Donetsk, many in Ukraine and elsewhere feared the latter. “Russia keeps inventing new excuses for their policy,” Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danylo Lubkivsky, told reporters Tuesday in Kiev. “In Georgia, it was defending pro-Russian minorities. In Ukraine’s Crimea, preventing NATO invasion.”

“In Donbas,” he said referring to the war-torn eastern region of Ukraine that includes the contested cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, “they are trying to use the pretext of humanitarian aid and assistance.” Without offering proof, Ukrainian officials have even accused Russia of repainting military vehicles white to disguise their efforts. In Kiev, where many loyalties lie with the Ukrainian government, skepticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s motive was rampant among ordinary residents. “Normal people do not send guns to kill people and food for them to eat in the same cars,” said IT specialist Igor Vlasenko. “I think most Ukrainians want him to leave Ukraine alone. We can help ourselves.” And it’s not just the Ukrainians raising concerns about a possible Russian Trojan horse. More