Ukraine is planning to fire rockets to break up rain clouds if bad weather threatens to upset football matches during next month's Euro 2012 tournament, a government official said.
"Our [missile] batteries are being prepared for dispersing rain clouds," said the official, who declined to be identified.
On May 9, when Ukraine celebrated Victory Day, the air force sent up an An-30 cargo transporter to disperse a buildup of rain clouds by spraying them with chemicals, although no rockets were fired. Moscow also sprays rain clouds during Victory Day celebrations, but dark clouds filled the sky during the Red Square parade this year and rain showers fell in the afternoon.
For the moment, though, Ukrainian weather forecasters are predicting only dry, warm weather for at least the first two European Championship games to be played in Ukraine.
"We expect there will be no rain in Ukraine on June 9. The temperature is likely to be between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius," said Anatoly Prokopenko, deputy head of Ukraine's federal weather bureau.