BEREZOVSKII SACKED... Russian President Boris Yeltsin, acting in his capacity as chairman of the Council of CIS Heads of State, on 4 March fired Boris Berezovskii as CIS executive secretary. Berezovskii had been appointed to that post at the suggestion of the Ukrainian and Georgian presidents during the CIS summit in Moscow last spring (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 April 1998). In a statement issued by the presidential press service, Yeltsin said Berezovskii exceeded the limits of his executive authority and failed to implement unspecified instructions by the chairman of the Council of CIS Heads of State. Yeltsin named Ivan Korotchenya, Berezovskii's predecessor, as acting CIS executive secretary. Berezovskii's dismissal must be endorsed by the presidents of the other CIS member states. LF

UKRAINIAN PRIVATE TELEVISION STATION APPEALS FOR PROTECTION. Ukraine's leading private television station, STB, has appealed to President Leonid Kuchma and Supreme Council chairman Oleksandr Tkachenko for protection against assaults and intimidation, AP reported on 4 March. Mykola Knyazhytskyy of the STB's administration council said unknown armed attackers on 3 March terrorized the STB director and his pregnant wife and searched television offices, ignoring money and valuables. Earlier, unidentified people attacked an STB cameraman and set fire to the building in which Knyazytskyy lives. According to Knyazhytskyy, attacks against STB were "part of financial and political pressure" on Ukraine's independent media in the runup to the presidential elections in October. JM

HROMADA CAUCUS SPLITS. The Hromada parliamentary group split on 4 March, as its leader and former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko remains in the U.S. seeking political asylum, dpa reported. Nineteen former members of the Hromada caucus and four other deputies have formed a left-of center caucus called "Batkivshchyna" [Fatherland]. The group is headed by 38-year-old Yuliya Tymoshenko, a former Lazarenko ally. Before the split, the Hromada caucus consisted of 42 deputies. Meanwhile, Lazarenko has announced through his lawyer that there is a "significant possibility" he will obtain political asylum in the U.S. Ukrainian Television reported on 4 March that the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Council has abolished its post of honorable chairman, which was assumed last year by Lazarenko. If extradited to Ukraine, Lazarenko faces trial on corruption charges. JM