UKRAINIAN BANK CHIEF TO BE FIRED? Following President Leonid Kuchma's criticism of National Bank policies (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 October 1998), some Ukrainian newspapers have suggested that National Bank Chairman Viktor Yushchenko may be dismissed as a scapegoat for the current financial crisis. Those rumors appear to be corroborated by Supreme Council Chairman Oleksandr Tkachenko's proposal that Yushchenko explain to the parliament "why the hryvnya exchange rate is still changing with regard to that damned dollar," "Segodnya" reported on 10 October. "I think it is enough for the National Bank to work without supervision," Tkachenko added. "Den" suggested on 10 October that if Yushchenko were dismissed, the parliament would likely order the printing presses switched on to deal with the current lack of cash in Ukraine. JM

UNICEF HEAD URGES UKRAINE TO ADDRESS AIDS ISSUE. Carol Bellamy has said Ukraine must pay urgent attention to the growing AIDS problem before it gets out of control, Reuters reported on 10 October. The Ukrainian government reports that the number of HIV cases grew from less than 500 in 1994 to 36,000 by mid-1998. Bellamy also added that UNICEF is concerned about the fate of Ukraine's estimated 160,000 children in state orphanages. UNICEF pledges to raise $500,000 to improve conditions for children in institutional care and another $500,000 for children and mothers affected by the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster. JM