On Sunday Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said that the most probable reason of the Russian Tu-154 plane crash was a missile that hit the plane during the military exercise in the Crimea. The Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported the president did not want to make any “hasty conclusions." The final word on the score should be said by the joint Russian-Ukrainian and by the Ukrainian interdepartmental commission, which was set up on the instructions from Kuchma. The specialists will have to answer the question as towhy the missile did not self-destruct.
Kuchma expressed his gratitude to Russia for the “objective and unbiased investigation of the crash.” The President said “We were trying to work as transparent as possible from the very beginning and did everything to provide for efficient investigation and comprehensive data.”
Now, the Ukrainian military asserts that they did not want to deceive the public, denying even a possibility that a missile could down the passenger airliner. They said they were sure it was impossible taking the objective control as a basis. However, there is a question coming up - to what extent that “objective control” was objective and what was the commanders worth if they did not know the targets of their battle missiles. At first, it was said that the missile could not fly so far, then it was said that it was flying in another direction; after that, it was said that it fell into the sea. If it was “from the bottom of the heart," then the Ukrainians would be better to stop shooting at all.
Anyway, it is hard to imagine that Ukraine’s top military officials did not know their own situation. Will the Defense Minister resign? There are many people trying to find out the answer to that question. However, Kuchma did not accept that resignation. The results of the numerous opinion polls show Ukraine’s Defense Minister has to resign. May be the words pertaining to “hasty conclusions” referred to that matter?
Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
AP photo: Ukraine's Defense Minister Alexander Kuzmuk speaks at a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine Saturday, Oct.13, 2001