UKRAINE TOUGHENS BORDER ZONE REGIME FOR FOREIGNERS. In a bid to clamp down on illegal immigration via Ukraine, the government has introduced new restrictions on foreigners staying in Ukraine's border zone, Ukrainian Television reported on 6 August. In addition to valid passports and visas, foreigners there must now have a document from the Interior Ministry confirming "the necessity of their stay on that territory." Pavlo Shysholin, chief of staff of the Ukrainian Border Troops, told journalists on 6 August that 11,000 border violators were detained in Ukraine in the first half of this year, including 5,000 illegal immigrants who were seeking to reach the West. Two-third of the illegal immigrants from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa arrive in Ukraine via Russia. JM

UKRAINE TO CUT CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION STAFF. Oleksandr Yakovenko, head of the personnel policy department in the presidential administration, has announced that the government administration will be cut by 100 people to a total of 600, Ukrainian Television reported on 6 August. He added that the Ukrainian president's administration will be cut by 20 percent. He provided no figures for that reduction because, according to the television station, "it is unknown how many people are working in the [presidential] administration by now." The reductions are part of an ongoing administrative reform that is to be completed in 2010. JM

UKRAINIAN PLANT THREATENS TO POISON RIVER. Workers of a chemical plant in Stebnik in Lviv Oblast have threatened to release poisonous waste into the River Dniester unless they are paid their wages for the past six months, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 August. The river passes through Lviv, Ternopil, Chernivtsi, and Odessa Oblasts, as well as neighboring Moldova. The plant's management has sent a delegation to Kyiv to obtain funds to repay wage arrears totaling 8.5 million hryvni ($4.1 million). JM