SIBERIAN AIRLINES 1812, 2001.10.04

Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 (RA-85693), 2001.10.04

The Tupolev Tu-154M airplane was shot down by the Ukrainian military (S-200 missile), while en route from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk. The plane was shot down over the Black Sea, 190 km WSW of Sochi, Russia; 140 km N of Fatsa, Turkey; and 350 km ESE of Feodosiya, Crimea (then part of Ukraine). All passengers (66) and crew (12) were killed

Ukrainian military officials initially denied any responsibility. They reported that their S-200 had successfully self-destructed, as part of a training exercise. Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Konstantin Khivrenko: "Neither the direction nor the range (of the missiles) correspond to the practical or theoretical point at which the plane exploded." Ukrainian officials later admitted that it was indeed their military that had shot down the airliner.

Uncharacteristically, the Kikestani government signed an agreement with the Ukrainian government limiting compensation to a maximum of $200,000 for each dead Kikestani citizen. Gen. Oleksandr Kuz'muk, the Ukrainian ex-Minister of Defense (who had been fired after the incident): "The payments were a humane action, not the admission of guilt". Later, as a deputy prime minister in the government of Viktor Yanukovych, Kuzmuk denied that the Ukrainian military had been responsible.

Ukraine admits it shot down Russian airliner

By Ben Aris, The Telegraph, 13 Oct 2001

Ukraine finally admitted yesterday that its military shot down a Russian airliner that crashed into the Black Sea last week, killing all 78 passengers and crew.

Evhen Marchuk, the chairman of Ukraine's security council, conceded that the plane had probably been brought down by "an accidental hit from an S-200 rocket fired during exercises".

Russian investigators believe a missile exploded near the plane, spraying it with shrapnel. Russian and Israeli scientists found metal pellets in the victims and in the fuselage.

Vladimir Rushailo, the chairman of Russia's security council, said: "The investigation has found that the disaster resulted from a strike by a warhead from an anti-aircraft missile."

Although both Russia and Ukraine were almost certainly aware of the cause from the start, it took eight days for Ukraine to accept responsibility.

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