Ukraine sets up a workgroup to investigate the incident around the Israeli airliner allegedly shot at while over Dnepropetrovsk. According to the news portal www.jewish.ru, a statement to this effect was made today by Vladimir Shkidchenko, Ukraine's Minister of Defence. The minister called allegations as to a Ukrainian missile having exploded next to an Israeli airplane ungrounded.
'No missiles have been launched in Ukraine in the year 2002', the minister said. Leonid Kuchma, the President of Ukraine, banned any such missile launches, beginning October 4 last year, after a Ukrainian missile downed Russia's Tu-154 with Israeli citizens aboard.
Last night, while flying over the Ukrainian city of Dnepropetrovsk, the pilot of Israeli EL Al airliner suddenly saw the trace of a missile launched from the ground. Seconds later, it detonated close to the airplane, which later safely landed in Moscow.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969