Ukraine Agrees That Ukrainian Missile Strike May Have Caused Tu-154 Crash

Ukraine has agreed with the preliminary conclusion that a strike of an S-200 missile during the Ukrainian air defense exercises might have caused the crash of the Tu-154 airplane. Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Yevgeny Marchuk told journalists that "based on the conclusions delivered by experts of the Ukrainian Air Force, who took part in the work of the Russian state commission, expert evaluations, the technical expert commission, and the Interstate Aviation Committee, we are making a preliminary conclusion that undeliberate hitting of the plane by a S-200 missile during exercises of the Ukrainian air defense might have caused its crash." Mr. Marchuk stressed that the materials allow him to conclude that this tragic accident "could have happened as a result of a failure of surface-to-air missile control systems." Mr. Marchuk said that final conclusions "would be made after a number of research undertakings has been carried out on territories of both Russia and Ukraine." On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said that he would agree with the results of the investigation into the causes of the Russian Tu-154 a! ! irliner crash in the Black Sea, "whatever they might be."

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