RUSSIA'S NEIGHBORS MOURN STAROVOITOVA... In Belarus, opposition politicians, such as Lyavon Barshchevski, deputy chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front, said the murder of State Duma deputy Galina Starovoitova marked the end of a romantic period of hopes for Russian democracy. Anatol Lyabedzka, a member of Belarus's 13th Supreme Soviet, suggested that "Russia is seriously ill, "much more seriously than we have been thinking," adding that Belarus should keep away from "the sick." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk expressed shock "at the irreparable loss," while Lithuania's parliament adopted a statement characterizing the death as a "blow to Russia's democracy and a sign showing that violent and terrorist forces are becoming active" in Russia. Estonian Parliament member Igor Grazin said the bullet aimed at Starovoitova also hit Estonia, since she was a friend of all small nations. And the Armenian parliament observed a one-minute silence on 23 November in memory of Starovoitova, who had supported the 1988 movement for Karabakh's unification with Armenia. JAC

UKRAINIAN LEFTISTS DEMAND KUCHMA'S RESIGNATION. Communists, Socialists, and other leftists held rallies across Ukraine on 24 November to protest President Leonid Kuchma's policies and demand his resignation, AP reported. Some 700 people turned out in Kyiv and some 2,700 in Kharkiv. "Ukraine is prepared for a peaceful revolution and is ready to oust this antipeople president through elections," the agency quoted a Socialist leader as saying. JM