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Ukrainian Crew Returns Home After Piracy Ordeal

Crew members of a Ukrainian ship held captive for months by Somali pirates have returned home.

Twenty sailors from the MV Faina arrived Friday at Kiev's international airport, where they were met by family members and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. The crew included 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and a Latvian.

Mr. Yushchenko told the gathering Ukraine has decided to join an international initiative to fight piracy. He said talks on Ukraine's participation are ongoing.

In one of the highest-profile seizures of recent times, Somali pirates captured the Faina in September with its crew and a cargo of weapons, including 33 Soviet-era T-72 tanks.

The pirates released the ship last week after receiving a ransom payment of $3.2 million.

The ship docked in Kenya on Thursday with its crew and cargo.

The Kenyan government says the weapons were destined for Kenyan military bases. They insist the shipment was a transparent military transaction between their government and Ukraine.

But since the ship was seized, international officials have reported the weapons were destined for the government of Sudan. Kenyan maritime official Andrew Mwangura was jailed briefly for reporting the information.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.