UKRAINE SIGNS NUCLEAR COOPERATION ACCORD WITH U.S. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer signed in Kyiv on 6 May a cooperation agreement on atomic energy, ITAR-TASS reported. Under the agreement, the United States will allot $30 million for working out technical documentation regarding the creation of a nuclear fuel cycle for VVER-1000 reactors in Ukraine. The United States has stipulated that Ukraine should not supply nuclear turbines for the construction of the Bushehr nuclear plant in Iran. "This accord will allow the development of the strategic partnership between the United States and Ukraine," AFP quoted Tarasyuk as saying. JM

LEONID KUCHMA TO REPLACE 90 PERCENT OF REGIONAL LEADERS... The Ukrainian president said at a meeting with administration chiefs of Chernihiv Oblast on 6 May that he intends to replace 90 percent of Ukraine's regional leaders, Interfax reported. "The governors' promises have nothing to do with what they actually do," Kuchma commented. JM

STRIKING MINERS THREATEN TO LAUNCH RIOTS. Striking coal miners in Ukraine threatened on 6 May to take to the streets. "Miners from the Luhansk region say they are ready to seize trains and move to Kyiv to beat people who do not want to pay their wages," Mykhaylo Volynets, head of the Ukrainian Independent Miners Trade Union, told Reuters. Volynets also said the strike over wage arrears has involved 130,000 miners from 57 mines on its fourth day. JM

COMMUNISTS TO HAVE LARGEST PARLIAMENTARY FACTION. The Communist Party will have the largest faction in the Ukrainian Supreme Council with 125 members, Ukrainian Television reported on 6 May. The Communists are followed by factions of the Popular Democratic Party (77 deputies), the Popular Rukh (51), and the Hromada party (41). JM