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Ukrainians Begin Self-Financed Polar Expedition

KYIV -- A group of Ukrainian polar explorers have left Kyiv for Antartica, where they will launch a self-financed scientific expedition, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Group member Oleksandr Lyashchuk told RFE/RL that despite the global economic downturn and absence of state money for the trip, the 14th polar expedition by Ukrainian scientists will go ahead as planned.

He said that the 13 members of the team will cover all the expenses for the expedition themselves. The team is expected to stay one year in the Ukrainian-run Vernadsky polar station in Antartica, which was given to them by Britain.