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    GEORGIAN HELICOPTERS READY TO JOIN SEARCH FOR UKRAINIAN MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS IN KABARDIN-BALKARIA

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    TBILISI, March 10. (RIA Novosti) - Two Georgian Air Force Mi-8 helicopters are ready to participate in the search for a group of Ukrainian mountain climbers who disappeared in the mountains of Kabardin-Balkaria (a North Caucasian republic within Russia).

    The deputy chief of staff of Georgia's Air Force, Mikhail Tkemaladze, told the Novosti-Georgia information agency that the helicopters were put on full readiness at an air force base in Alekseyevka (near Tbilisi) and are waiting for favorable weather conditions to join the search for the lost mountain climbers.

    A group under Verkhovnaya Rada Deputy Yuri Kostenko also arrived in Tbilisi to organize a rescue mission.

    On February 29, four Ukrainian mountain climbers began their assent of Mt. Ullu-Kara. The route they planned to take was extremely difficult, 5a difficulty level. They did not reach the control point and did not contact the base.

    The search for the mountain climbers began on March 1. The Elbrus search and rescue detachment is participating in the search for the mountain climbers. At the end of last week, the search was temporarily suspended because of the great danger of avalanches and heavy snow.

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