COUNCIL OF EUROPE MAY SUSPEND UKRAINE OVER EXECUTIONS. A Council of Europe statement on 17 December said that Ukrainian membership in the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly would be suspended next month unless Kyiv officially declares a moratorium on executions, Ukrainian media reported. The assembly's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights said in a report that the Ukrainian authorities can "no longer be trusted" over the issue of executions, RFE/RL reported. It urges that an earlier assembly resolution threatening suspension if a moratorium is not imposed be carried out. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has not yet declared a moratorium, and the national parliament has refused to approve such a repeal. PG

UKRAINIAN PLANE CRASHES IN GREECE. An Aeroswift Yak-42 with 71 people abroad crashed near Salonika, ITARTASS reported on 18 December, citing Greek television. The plane had come from Kyiv via Odessa. Greek search crews have not yet located any wreckage. PG

CITIES. Several thousand most elderly hardliners marched in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities on 17 December to protest Kyiv's austerity program and to demand the ouster of the government, Ukrainian television and Interfax reported. The communist organizers of the protests said that extreme cold weather limited the number of participants. In Kharkiv, the organizers canceled the demonstration owing to the cold. PG