UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT READY TO SIGN ELECTION LAW, PAY PENSIONS. Leonid Kuchma will sign the new election law as soon as it reaches his desk, one of his senior aides told ITAR-TASS on 1 October. The same day, the president himself told pensioners that his government will pay all pension arrears within the next few months, Ukrainian media reported.

NEARLY HALF OF ALL UKRAINIANS HAVE NO MONEY FOR FOOD. Forty-five percent of all residents of Ukraine do not have enough money to purchase basic food stuffs, according to a poll of 4,500 people carried out by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. Forty-nine percent said they have no problems buying enough food but lack the funds for clothing. Only one Ukrainian resident in 20 said his financial situation is stable, ITAR-TASS reported on 1 October