MINERS' STRIKE WIDENS IN UKRAINE. The independent trade union of coal miners says that a strike launched by coal miners on 4 May has expanded to 39 sites, Ukrainian Television reported on 5 May. The miners demand to be paid back wages, and also reinstatement of wages and pensions to the level of 1990, when the coal mining was the second bestpaid industry in Ukraine. Coal mining since has dropped to 17th place. JM

KUCHMA SAYS CHORNOBYL MAY NOT CLOSE IN 2000. The Ukrainian president said on 5 May that the Chornobyl power plant will not be closed in 2000 unless Ukraine finds funds for completing two reactors currently under construction at the Rivne and Khmelnytskyy nuclear power plants to compensate for the power supply loss, AFP reported. Ukraine committed itself in 1995 to shut down the Chornobyl plant in 2000 in return for financial aid promised by the G-7, but recently has accused the group of failing to honor the pledge. JM