SOME 200,000 MARK LABOR DAY IN UKRAINE. A total of some 200,000 people took part in Labor Day rallies and demonstrations, primarily in eastern Ukraine (100,000 in Donetsk Oblast) and Crimea, Ukrainian Television reported on 1 May. In a 4,000-strong demonstration in Kyiv, Communists carried flags of the former USSR and Ukrainian SSR as well as Joseph Stalin's portraits, calling on President Leonid Kuchma to step down. "The authorities are leaving our children with no future whatsoever," Communist leader Petro Symonenko told the rally. AP quoted parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko as saying that "the fight for the good of the people must determine the outcome of [presidential] elections." Ukrainian Television reported that at the rally, Tkachenko "hinted for the first time" at his willingness to run in the presidential elections. JM

UKRAINIAN CABINET RAISES PAYMENTS FOR PUBLIC UTILITIES. The government has increased tariffs for public utilities by an average of 20-30 percent in "most Ukrainian regions," Ukrainian Television reported on 1 May. The same resolution canceled all subsidies for public utilities, except those to housing. Lifting the parliamentary ban on increasing public utilities tariffs is one of the IMF's requirements for resuming the fund's cooperation with Ukraine. An IMF mission is currently in Kyiv to discuss with government officials boosting financial aid to the country. Kuchma's aide Valeriy Lytvytskyy said last week that Ukraine is requesting a new $300 million loan from the fund and will also ask it to "double or even triple" the monthly installments of the resumed $2.2 billion loan. Those installments currently average $70 million, AP reported on 30 April. JM

UKRAINIAN PATRIARCH ATTACKED BY RIVAL CHURCH BELIEVERS. Patriarch Filaret, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, was physically attacked on 30 April by a group of members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The Interior Ministry reported that some 80 followers of the Moscow-subordinated Church attacked Filaret and his retinue while the former was consecrating the site where a cathedral in Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, is to be constructed. Five of Filaret's supporters and four of his opponents were injured, but none was hospitalized, according to the ministry. The scuffle highlighted the continued conflict between the larger Moscow-affiliated Church and the one led by Filaret. Filaret's Church split from Moscow in 1992. JM