On the 26 January, the ship named "Pamyat Merkuriya", coming from Istanbul, has sustained damage and has sunk.
Some private company boats responded the distress signal and started rescue the crew.
According to preliminary data there were 51 people on board the overloaded boat : 25 crew members and 26 passengers. 14 of them died, their dead bodies were taken back to Sevastopol. 32 persons are alive; they were rescued during rescue operations; the only live raft can convey 10 men.
Vladimir Pasyakin, "Krymskaya gazeta" ("The Crimean newspaper"), #18 (16119), January 30, 2001, p.1.
"Pamyat Merkuriya" boat has sailed "violating all navigational rules". The ageing and low-tonnage ship was supposed to hug the western coast of the Black Sea. However, it chooses the shortest way across the sea. The searches of 5 persons still lost at sea carry on by planes.
"Krymskaya gazeta" ("The Crimean newspaper"), #19 (16120), January 31, 2001, p.1
Our information: MES stands for the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
According to recent information, the sinking of the "Pamyat Merkuriya" the Black Sea, 160 kilometers far from Sevastopol, induces the death of 14 persons; 32 persons have been rescued and 5 persons are still lost at sea.
On the 28 January, at 4.00 p.m. "Pamyat Merkuriya" (home port - Sevastopol) ship was reported not to have reached its destination point. The ship, operating between Yevpatoriya and Istanbul, have left Istanbul on Friday.
At 7.00 p.m. on Sunday, motor ship "Victor Lebedev" discovered a raft and a motor boat with 14 crew members and passengers aboard, among whom were 8 perished.
At 22.42 p.m. motor ship "Geroi Sevastopolya" discovered 2 rafts with 23 alive crew members and passengers aboard.
At 6.00 a.m. on Monday, motor ship "Omega" discovered a boat with 3 injured who reported the death of 6 persons, who were aboard.
Preliminary analysis states that the sinking is due to overloading. An expert's have said that the shipment was not properly attached on the deck and that the ship changed its position during its travel, which cause damages.
The survivors have all suffered from cold.
Interfax-Ukraine, "Krymskiye izvestiya" ("The Crimean news"), #20 (2269), January 31, 2001, p.5.
"Pamyat Merkuriya" ship completely sinks in 7-10 minutes, from what the third captain assistant, Vitaliy Bondar, says.
The tragedy happened at about 8.00 p, the 26 January, he said. He states that, "there was a jolt at first and then the ship suddenly heeled over", and after the jolt, the ship completely sank.
The crew managed to send a distress signal.
People were compelled to dive into cold water as they were unable to reach the rafts because of the storm. They can board the rafts only after diving into the water.
Searches of lost at sea remains unsuccessful.
Interfax-Ukraine, "Krymskiye izvestiya" ("The Crimean news"), #20 (2269), January 31, 2001, p.5.
Rescuers refuse to stop the searches of lost at sea. They will continue as long as it is rational and as long as a little hope to find people alive remains .
In Crimea, the funeral of the victims has started.
The Commission, arrived in Sevastopol to examine the causes of the sinking is working hard. The accident was due to overloading and to bad location of the freight on the deck. Ship's total capacity is 260 tones, though they have loaded 329,6 tones in the Istanbul port. 60 more tones were left on the shore. Captain's second assistant objected to such a loading. The shipment was incorrectly placed: the light one was placed down rows and the heavy one - up rows, which cause a imbalance.
The ship have leaved straight the Istanbul port to his home port, but not in a littoral zone; therefore the searches are so difficult.
Captain of the ship "Pamyat Merkuriya", Leonid Ponomarenko, have been put under surveillance at the hospital.
In the opinion of the ship owner, the boat was not overloaded at all. Distress buoy worked properly. The Novorossiysk rescue center heard its signal has it was broadcasted on the 26January.
The damage was due to overloading and ship loading’s violation of rules. The captain is also legally responsible for that. He may be sentenced to 3-15 years in prison according to the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Vladimir, Pasyakin, "Krymskaya gazeta" ("The Crimean newspaper"), #21 (16122), February 2, 2001, p.1.
On the 25 January, a sitting of Collegiums of Supreme Court took place in the Supreme Court of Crimea. Together with criminal cases, sitting participants were to hear the Court of Cassation of public protection of convicts on case about blocking railways in Dzhankoy on June 12, 2000.*
The 8 December 2000, the tribunal of Dzhankoy convicts the participants in railways blocking of political action. We should remind that these actions were a response to a full inactivity of district and state administration in solving the Crimean Tatars' problems in Dzhankoy district. Our compatriots are been found guilty and were sentenced to 2 years in prison. The sentence don’t mention the motives and reasons for what the Crimean Tatars have taken such extreme measures. Arguments provided by public protection weren't considered as a justification document either. This was the reason for people to appeal to the Supreme Court with a Cassation Appeal and notice in the official report. The consideration in Causational institution was postponed as it was necessary to study remarks to the minutes.
F.Tarsinova, "Golos Kryma" ("The Voice of Crimea"), #6 (377), February 2, 2001, p.1.
Our information: *See "Crimean news 83, 86, 88, 89" about this case.
New "Regulation on the elections of the delegates to Kurultay IV of Crimean Tatar people" was ratified at the last session of Kurultay III. There is staying for short while before the elections. We put several questions to the chairman of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people, M.Dzhemilev concerning up-coming elections.
-…Do you intend to take part in the elections?
-…I will participate in elections because it's a great honor to be the delegate of a higher representative organ of the nation. In accordance with our new rules, the same person can be a candidate on majority system, can be registered on the list of an organization, or can join a block as well…
-…Don't you think that a war of compromise mat be generated by such a way of electing delegates?
-…It is possible. But it all depends on moral qualities of those who will participate in elections… There will be some compromise documents to some extent. I have doubts about the possibility to avoid compromises.
-… Mass Media means that the proportional system will generated agitation in the CMI. Is it possible that an opposition appears among those who recognize Kurultay ?
-…That is why I mean that the most appropriate variant is that those who recognize Kurultay join one block. I don’t mean that every organization must have its own list… The most important is the person, a specific men expected to be useful no matter what organization he belongs to.
-…Do you think of creating a block and heading it?
-…No, I don't. My position doesn't allow me to, I head the representative organ of a whole nation. I'll still join a block or list.
-…What is your opinion about not joining any block but just observing it from aside?
-…There is something else I'm worried about. Block formed under support of Mejlis may be the only to collect 10 thousand signatures, which means that there will be no competition. I am interested in creating another block, able to collect necessary amount of signatures and I am extremely interested in people's working in accordance with our principals. Otherwise, if people who want to sabotage Mejlis join it, we will express our viewpoint. I can't rule out that people working for spoiling Mejlis's aspirations will create their own block. In this case of competition my authority will be necessary. So will Refat Chubarov's and other famous people's authority.
Leylya Alyadinova, "Golos Kryma" ("The Voice of Crimea"), #6 (377), February 2, 2001, p.1.
On the 25 January, session of Central electoral commission on the elections of Kurultay delegates took place. Projects of documents concerning the participation in the electoral campaign of Kurultay IV delegates were elaborated. They also examined and ratified the criteria for determining Crimean Tatar political, social organizations and their blocks which were allowed to participate in delegates' election on proportional system. They also confirmed the models of statements for getting signing papers, lists of candidates of the delegates from organizations and electoral blocks, candidates' statements about their willingness to be elected according to this list.
They ratified compositions of regional electoral committees and an approximate estimate of expenses as well.
Leylya Alyadinova,"Golos Kryma" ("The Voice of Crimea"), #6 (377), February 2, 2001, p.1.
A group of five forgers of money was detained in Sevastopol. They forged grivnas and US dollars using highly-advanced copying and computer technologies.
A student of Sevastopol university was in league with them: he takes care about the false money. Members of the criminal group have stolen the equipment they used to produce false money. To give the false money to the money pushers, the forgers have made a hiding-place under the threshold of house of culture .
The group was arrested when these members try to dispose 150 baknote. The equipment of the forger group, 164 false banknotes of national and foreign currency, loan receipts, and also 12 bullets of Makarov pistol were confiscated.
Interfax-Ukraine, "Krymskiye izvestiya" ("The Crimean news"), #19 (2268), January 30, 2001, p.7.