Plans to increase aid to Ukrainian refugees are set to go ahead, after Russia's Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimir Stepanov said on Tuesday that his government regarded them as its priority task.
"The number one task at this moment is to help Ukrainian citizens on Russia's territory, to deliver them to the temporary settlements, to provide medical and psychological help, to feed them," Stepanov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
"[The work] has been ongoing for more than half a year, and its intensity grows day by day. And that is the top issue on the agenda.
"Russia is a leader in providing humanitarian aid worldwide."
About 58,000 Ukrainian refugees are hosted in temporary facilities across Russia and the number has risen an extra 6,000 units over the past week because of the raging conflict in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army.
Earlier last week, Russia sent a humanitarian convoy, carrying 2,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid, 69 mobile power generators and 54 tonnes of medicines among other things, to Eastern Ukraine.
The convoy, which according to Moscow was intended simply to alleviate the worsening situation in Ukraine, came under intense scrutiny from both Kiev and United Nations officials, who claimed Russia were only using it as a pretext to an invasion.
Moscow insisted the convoy had been organised under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) but the humanitarian organisation distanced itself from it, saying it was missing "important pieces of the puzzle" surrounding the Russia's humanitarian expedition.
Meanwhile, 15 bodies have been recovered from the site where a convoy of buses and refugees carrying Ukrainian civilians was hit by a rocket on Monday.
The vehicles were struck near the city of Luhansk, one of the rebels' strongholds along the border with Russia, and the Ukrainian army accused the pro-Russian separatists of being responsible for the attack.
"By 19:00 last night we retrieved 15 bodies [...] The search continued into the night and is continuing today," Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian army, told Reuters on Tuesday.
According to reports released by Ukrainian forces, the majority of those who perished had been burned beyond recognition.
Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, said Washington strongly condemned the attack but it could not determine who was responsible.
"We strongly condemn the shelling and rocketing of a convoy that was bearing internally displaced persons in Luhansk [...] sadly, they were trying to get away from the fighting and instead became victims of it," Harf said in a statement.