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Ukrainian President Yushenko personally overseeing return of Faina crew

10.02.2009 Source: en.rian.ru
Translation: RusNavy.com

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushenko is personally overseeing the return of the Ukrainian crewmembers of the Faina, Irina Vanikova, the president's press secretary, said in a briefing on Monday.

The dry cargo ship Faina was captured by pirates on September 25, 2008, off the coast of Somali. Seventeen Ukrainian citizens, 3 Russians from St.Petersburg, and one Latvian were aboard the Faina when it was seized. The captain, a Russian citizen named Vladimir Kolobkov, died of a heart attack in the attack.

The Somali pirates received $3.2 million in ransom and abandoned the ship. The Faina then sailed to the Kenyan port of Mombasa escorted by a U.S. Navy ship. The Faina has a cargo of 33 T-72 tanks, grenade launchers, air defense systems, and ammunition.

"All measures to ensure the safe completion of the mission in Kenya have been taken, including the provision of the necessary conditions for the crewmembers," Vanikova said.

Vanikova added that the president has ordered a plane readied to fly to Kenya a substitute crew, doctors, the families of the previous crew, and Ukrainian manufacturers of equipment.

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