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    Families of Tu-154 crash victims to get $3,700 each

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    The Russian government decided Thursday to pay 100,000 rubles, or $3,700, to families of the victims of a Tu-154 crash in Ukraine.

    MOSCOW, August 31 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government decided Thursday to pay 100,000 rubles, or $3,700, to families of the victims of a Tu-154 crash in Ukraine.

    The Pulkovo Airlines Tu-154 crashed August 22 in eastern Ukraine en route from a Russian Black Sea resort to St. Petersburg, killing 170 passengers and crew on board.

    Transportation Minister Igor Levitin said at a Cabinet meeting that the Russian government has allocated 17 million rubles (over $630,000) from its reserve fund to provide assistance to victims' families.

    He said the authorities in regions where crash victims lived will also pay compensation.

    Russia's Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov directed that Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov take charge of developing stringent measures to ensure flight safety on Russian airliners.

    Russia recently saw an increase in the number of plane accidents, including the S-7 Airbus 310 tragedy at the Irkutsk airport July 9, which claimed 124 lives and left another 70 injured.

    The prime minister instructed Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, to hold a coordination meeting with relevant ministries and to submit a report on flight safety September 1.

    "Your approach to this work should be decisive and severe," Fradkov told the defense minister. "If the conclusions lead to structural changes or cadre reshuffle, I am willing to consider them and make these decisions if necessary."

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