Russian assures Hagel on Ukrainian relief

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has been "guaranteed" by his Russian counterpart that no Russian military personnel were involved in a humanitarian convoy that approached Ukraine's eastern border.

A Hagel spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says Hagel spoke by phone Friday to the Russian defense minister to clarify the situation. The Russian official told Hagel that the convoy was not a pretext for further Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Kirby's description of the conversation does not mention whether the two officials discussed the Ukrainian government's claim that it had attacked and destroyed portions of a convoy of Russian armored personnel carriers that crossed into Ukrainian territory. That vehicle column apparently was separate from the humanitarian truck convoy.

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