Ukraine’s President Leonid Kuchma declared on today’s press-conference in the city of Chernovtsy that he did not accept Defense Minister Alexander Kuzmuk’s resignation (the Minister had such a request to dismiss him because of the accident with the Russian plane Tu-154).
“I can not make sudden decisions. Alexander Kuzmuk is a person with high morality. I can not do that with such people,” – ForUm cited Kuchma. At the same time, in Kuchma’s words, if the commission proves that Tu-154 was downed by Ukrainian missile, then the matter will become different and “someone will have to be responsible for that.”
The Ukrainian President has already declared he was ready to agree with any conclusions of the commission. On Wednesday he said “everyone makes mistakes and this should not be turned to a tragedy.” Many observers perceived that statement as the implication of agreement with the missile version of the crash. However - there is no need to mention that – everyone makes mistakes, it is true, but the death of dozens of people does not stop to be a tragedy because of that.
The fact that the Defense Minister sent in his resignation also may be interpreted as avowal of guilt. If Kuzmuk is sure that a missile fell into the sea and did not hit the passenger plane (the Minister said that repeatedly, even in front of the Parliament), then why sending in his resignation?
By the way, the first vice-speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Viktor Medvedchuk said earlier: “Top officials, responsible for the catastrophe, will have to find courage to resign – on officer’s law of honor.”
However, the Defense Minister should have resigned in the year 2000, when a missile hit the apartment building (in the suburban town of Brovary, not far from Kiev) during the military exercise. The militaries denied that too, they even found a shell-hole in another place – as if the missile hit the needed target. And the apartment building in that town just exploded for some reason. The Minister did not have enough courage to send in his resignation at that time. Even if there had been enough of that noble feeling – the application would not have been approved, for it is a sin for the President to do that with the people of high morality. The missile should have probably hit the building of the presidential administration (which is possible in theory). Then the matter would be absolutely different.
On the whole there is an impression that the Ukrainian administration is ready to accept Ukraine’s guilt in the death of the Russian airliner. It is not excluded the authorities possessed the real information since the very beginning of the story. The attempts to deny everything may have lamentable consequences for the image of the country. If it is proved the plane was downed by Ukrainian missile, the situation in Ukraine’s armed forces will have to be acknowledged as catastrophic. And even the highest morality of the Defense Minister will be unable to cancel that disaster.
Andrei Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
AP photo: Director of Sibir Airlines Vyacheslav Filyov points at a fragment of the Tupolev 154 plane that crashed over the Black Sea, in Sochi, Russia