The crew of a Ukrainian ship captured by Somali pirates arrived home at Kiev airport on Friday following a 19-week hijacking ordeal.

Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushchenko was at the airport to meet the crew made up of 17 Ukrainians, two Russians and one Latvian.

The MV Faina, freed by Somali pirates last week, docked on Thursday in Mombasa with its exhausted crew and controversial cargo of tanks and munitions.

Ukraine is now set to join the join EU anti-piracy operations in the waters off Somalia.