RUSSIA TO SEND OBSERVERS TO U.S.-UKRAINIAN MANEUVERS. Russia has decided to send observers to a U.S.-Ukrainian military exercise that it earlier described as a threat to its security and to that of the Crimean peninsula, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported. Ukrainian Chief of Staff and First Deputy Defense Minister Olexandr Zatynajko said that Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev has approved the participation of Russian observers in the "Sea Breeze '97" exercise, although Moscow continues to oppose the maneuvers. Naval forces from Turkey and Bulgaria will also participate in the exercises, which are taking place in August in the western part of the Black Sea. Greece, Georgia, Romania, and Italy are also sending observers.
MILITARY PLANE CRASHES IN UKRAINE. A Ukrainian L-39 military aircraft crashed during a test flight near a military airfield at Uman, some 200 kilometers south of Kyiv on 14 August, Reuters reported. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said the two pilots were killed. An investigation commission has been set up to examine the cause of the crash.
MOLDOVA, UKRAINE BOOST MILITARY COOPERATION. Moldovan officers will be trained at Ukrainian military academies as of the 1997-98 academic year, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 August. The agreement was reached at the end of a two-day visit to Kyiv by Moldovan Chief of Staff Gen. Vladimir Dontul. At a press conference, Dontul and his Ukrainian counterpart, Gen. Olexandr Zatynajko, announced that military cooperation in general will be expanded. The two sides also agreed that Moldova will supply Ukraine with electronic equipment for artillery systems and that joint artillery exercises will take place on Ukrainian territory. Kyiv will also allow Chisinau to test air defense missiles at Ukrainian testing facilities.