Under the cover of darkness, eight cargo trucks from Russia rumbled down a dirt road just inside the Ukrainian border. A breeze cooled the early August night, drifting over the Russian countryside into this swath of coal-mining country in Donetsk, before being caught in the swells of the Black Sea.
It was clear. A perfect night for a drone from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which has been monitoring a shaky cease-fire in eastern Ukraine for the past four years, to record video of the convoys of KamAZ-4310s, the green army trucks once called the “workhorse of the Soviet military,” crossing back and forth over the Russian-Ukrainian border.
For the first time last month, the drone footage added further evidence to what everyone already knew: Russia continues to supply the mines, rifles and other weaponry that keeps the rogue “republics” of eastern Ukraine fighting the government in Kiev. “There has not been a single day since the beginning of the cease-fire in 2014 that the use of weapons has not been breached,” said Alexander Hug, the deputy chief of the OSCE’s monitoring mission.