MOSCOW, March 14 -- Moscow has sent humanitarian aid to the Crimean city of Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based, a senior official said Friday.
The consignment was made up of 60 heavy trucks loaded with 20 buses, 12 utilities vehicles and ambulances, as well as schooling equipment, 20 tons of medicine and 500 units of medical equipment, Moscow city mayor Sergei Sobyanin told reporters.
In addition, 10 trolley buses have been sent by rail.
The cargo was accompanied by Russian Emergency Ministry workers on its 1,700-km trip, which will bypass Ukraine and enter Crimea by ferry across the Kerch strait.
Recently, many Russian regions have offered their financial assistance to Crimean authorities after the Upper House of the Russian Parliament, the Federation Council, recommended support for the would-be breakaway region of Ukraine, which is populated mostly by ethnic Russians.
Crimea, a Ukrainian autonomous republic, will hold a referendum Sunday over its future status. Russia has said it will respect the decision, while the seven major Western countries say they will reject it.