(CNN) -- The captain of a Ukrainian vessel loaded with tanks and weapons that was seized off the African coast says one crew member has died.
Viktor Nikolsky spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday one day after pirates who seized the Faina demanded a $5 million.
Nikolsky said via a satellite phone that a Russian sailor died Sunday due to hypertension. Other crew members were fine though, he said, adding that he could see three ships about a mile away, including one carrying an American flag.
The pirates initially demanded $35 million and no military action, said Andrew Mwangura of the Kenya Seafarers Association. They decreased their demands for several reasons, Mwangura said.
Those reasons include that the crew is from eastern Europe and not the United States, the weapons the ship carries are secondhand, and there is no way to unload the tanks without coming onto land, he said.
The vessel Faina, flying a Belize flag, was headed to the Kenyan port of Mombasa after departing Nikolayev, Ukraine, according to Lt. Col. Konstantin Sadilov, spokesman for the Ukrainian defense ministry. He said it was seized by pirates Thursday not far from its destination.
According to the defense ministry, the ship was carrying 33 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, tank artillery shells, grenade launchers and small arms.
The weapons were sold to Kenya by the Ukraine, said Ukraine Defense Minister Yuri Yekhanurov, according to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency. He said that the entire shipment was contracted and carried out by Ukrspetzexport, Ukraine's state arms exports monopoly, and that it would know better exactly what was on board.---
This will later be turned into a a Disney movie with no historical reference. Somalians will be bad (and not HUNGRY) and the Ukranians will be...heroes? I BET YOU!!!
Sad no matter what for both side because people have and will die (over a tanker).
Article on CNN