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Ukrainian Sailors Return Home After Somalia Ordeal

The crew of the Faina celebrate their release before their departure for Ukraine
KYIV -- Sailors from the Ukrainian cargo ship Faina have arrived at Kyiv's Borispil airport, nine days after being released by Somali pirates who had held them captive, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The released crew comprises 17 Ukrainians, two Russians, and one Latvian.

The crew's captain, Russian national Vladimir Kolobkov, died of a heart attack when Somali pirates captured the vessel on September 25 last year. Deputy Chief of the Ukrainian Presidential Office Andry Honcharuk told journalists that after an autopsy on Kolobkov's body in Kenya, it would be transferred to his relatives in St. Petersburg.

Somali pirates released the Faina on February 4 after a multimillion-dollar ransom was paid.

The ship was carrying tanks, ammunition, and other armaments that were reportedly bound for Kenya.