Names Of UN Officers Killed In Abkhazia Helicopter Crash Released

Press secretary of the Abkhazia representation in Moscow Tatyana Guliya told RIA Novosti on Tuesday that the UN officers killed in a helicopter crash in the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia, as well as the names of the crew members, had been established. The UN mission members were deputy head of the mission for observing Georgia, Lieutenant-Colonel Laszlo Torok from Hungary, UN officers Ancun Cavet Akbar from Turkey, Marc Hofer from Switzerland, Dieter Aischink also from Hungary and Pole Andrzeij Abrasz Kiewicz. Their Abkhazia translator from the Galsky region, Lali Khichia also lost her life. The Ukrainian crew were identified as pilot Belogrivov, co-pilot Shergin and flight engineer Polezhai. Tatyana Guliya said that the UN had rented the helicopter from Ukrainian airlines. The transport Mi-8 helicopter was downed by Georgian and Chechen fighters on Monday morning in a pasture on a mountain in the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia, 22 km east of Sukhumi. All the nine people on board were killed. Russian peacekeepers in an APC were sent to the crash site on Monday evening. Units of the Abkhazian army also took part in the search operation. According to Tatyana Guliya, UN observers had asked the Russian peacekeeping force for help. "We know where the crashed helicopter is, but it is very hard to get to, as there are gunmen in the region," she said. RIA Novosti earlier learnt from the Russian peacekeepers' command that Russian military specialists and medical personnel had been dispatched to the site.

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