UKRAINE CELEBRATES VICTORY DAY WITH VETERANS' PROTEST MARCHES. Veterans and Communist hard-liners across Ukraine marked the 54th anniversary on 9 May of Nazi Germany's defeat with parades and protest marches, AP and dpa reported. Some 5,000 people took part in a demonstration in Kyiv, carrying old Red Army banners and red flags of the former Soviet Union. The demonstrators denounced NATO for its strikes in Yugoslavia and protested the policies of President Leonid Kuchma's government. JM

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SAYS TALKS WITH IMF SUCCESSFUL. "We once again discussed the issue of extra financing with the IMF and I think we'll be able to meet all our obligations [to the fund]," AP quoted Premier Valeriy Pustovoytenko as saying on 8 May after a meeting with the visiting IMF team in Kyiv. The government is asking for some $300 million in addition to the $2.2 billion loan approved by the IMF for Ukraine last year. The IMF mission chief, Mohammed Shadman-Valavi, said Ukraine is currently complying with IMF requirements much better than in previous months and can count on further loans. Kuchma's spokesman Oleksandr Martynenko said the IMF will decide on disbursing loans for Ukraine in late May. JM