UKRAINE'S RUKH SPLITS IN STRUGGLE OVER LEADERSHIP. An extraordinary congress of the Popular Rukh of Ukraine elected 47-year-old Yuriy Kostenko, former environment minister, as chairman to replace 61-year-old Vyacheslav Chornovil, dpa reported on 28 February. Chornovil said at the congress that the vote to replace him lacked the necessary two-thirds majority, and he called on the party to hold another meeting on 6 March. Earlier Chornovil had been removed as chairman of the Rukh caucus in the Supreme Council (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 February 1999). Former Foreign Minister Hennadiy Udovenko, Rukh's presidential candidate in the 1999 elections, had called the congress "illegitimate" and pledged his support for Chornovil, Ukrainian Television reported on 27 February. Kostenko, who was also elected head of the Rukh parliamentary caucus, has accused Chornovil of "selling Rukh to the authorities." JM

UKRAINE DESTROYS LAST SS-19 MISSILE. Ukraine has destroyed the last of its 111 Soviet-era SS-19 interballistic missiles. The last IBM was destroyed on 26 February in Dnepropetrovsk under a U.S. program, launched in 1991 by Senators Richard Lugar and Sam Nunn, aimed at helping former Soviet republics get rid of their weapons of mass destruction. Ukraine has received some $500 million under the program. In 1996, Ukraine surrendered all its nuclear warheads to Russia and pledged to remain nuclear-free. The elimination of Ukraine's remaining strategic bombers and SS-24 missiles is scheduled to be completed by December 2001. JM

OTECHESTVO CONTEMPLATES BRANCHING INTO TV BROADCASTING. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov told reporters on 26 February that his Otechestvo [Fatherland] political movement will announce its candidate for presidential elections in 2000 at its second congress, to be held on 24 April. The same day, Luzhkov told members of Otechestvo's Central Council that the movement will have to establish its own printing facilities and "consider the possibility of entering TV broadcasting" because Russian Public Television and Russian Television have received instructions not to "shed any light on the purposes or tasks of the movement," "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 27 February. According to the newspaper, the upcoming congress will be held outside Moscow. Members suggested the cities of Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, and Nizhnii Novogorod. One participant even jokingly suggested Sevastopol, the city in Crimea, the loss of which prompted Luzhkov to oppose the Russian-Ukrainian friendship treaty. In response, Luzhkov quipped, "Perhaps even Kiev...." JAC