The beginning of the military operation in Afghanistan seems to have taken the Ukrainian politicians aback. There has been no official comments made yet. However, only the chairman of the National Council for Security and Defense, Yevgeny Marchuk, who was in Moscow (journalists contacted him on the phone), calmed his compatriots down. He said that everything, what was happening was far away from Ukraine and all the people of Ukraine (especially the politicians) would better go to sleep in order to make the adequate decisions in the morning. The head of the Council also claimed one should not pay attention to the military constituent of the operation only, for it has many other aspects as well.
Ukraine’s President Leonid Kuchma stated on Monday that Ukraine would not be aside from the struggle with terrorism, although “there will be no military participation no matter the circumstances.” If it is really needed, the Ukrainians will help to deliver military hardware to Uzbekistan. Kuchma said: “If someone thinks that the problem of terrorism does not concern Ukraine, then you think it wrong.”
Experts say that in connection with the beginning of the warfare in Afghanistan Ukraine may face several serious problems. First and foremost, there will be the new wave of the Afghan refugees, which may reach the Ukrainian frontier in about 2 weeks. By the way, there were several groups of Afghani people (17 people) detained in 3 districts of the Zakarpatsk region as well as 10 people from Angola. The frontier guard is full alert. The fact that terrorists can penetrate on Ukraine’s territory is not excluded, therefore the possibility for the acts of terrorism to happen in Ukraine grows.
So far there has not been any incidents noticed on the territory of the country. The Defense Ministry has taken all measures to provide Ukraine’s air space for the American military aircrafts, if there is a need in that in the future. Like the press service of the Ministry informed, in case of the force majeure the American planes may land on Ukrainian airdromes. However, it is not known if the States are going to use the Ukraine’s air corridor.
AP photo: Pakistanis and Afghans wait at Torkham border crossing to cross into Afghanistan from Pakistan, Monday Oct. 8, 2001
Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine