IMF TO REVIEW UKRAINE'S ECONOMIC SITUATION BEFORE DECIDING ON LOAN. The IMF on 25 August announced that it may need more time to assess the effects on Ukraine of Russia's financial crisis and change of government before setting a date to approve a $2.2 billion loan to Ukraine, AP reported. The IMF Executive Board was expected to meet by the end of August to approve the first installment of the loan, totaling $200-250 million. Ukrainian officials have said the loan will be used primarily to replenish the National Bank's reserves. In the wake of the Russian ruble plunge, the Ukrainian hryvnya slid to 2.249 to $1 on 25 August, only slightly below the upper limit of 2.250 to $1 set by the government. JM

PROTESTING MINERS IN LUHANSK UNDER INVESTIGATION. The Luhansk Oblast Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into a clash between riot police and 150 miners who were protesting wage arrears, Ukrainian Radio and Television reported on 25 August. The clash took place in a Luhansk city park the previous day, Ukraine's Independence Day, when the miners gathered to burn a straw effigy. Police troops arrived at the scene after receiving an anonymous telephone call saying that the effigy contained an explosive device. The miners refused to let policemen examine the effigy and fought back. Twelve policemen and eight miners were hospitalized after the skirmish. JM

ODESSA ELECTS MAYOR. Ruslan Bodelan, former governor of Odessa Oblast, was elected Odessa mayor on 23 August, Ukrainian Television reported on 25 August. Bodelan, who was supported by the government in his mayoral bid, received some 100,000 votes (36 percent) in the ballot. More than 30 candidates ran in the election, and turnout was 36 percent. The previous mayoral elections in Odessa in March were declared invalid when the victor, former Odessa Mayor Eduard Hurvits, was found guilty of breaking the law. Hurvits was banned from running again. JM