CRIMEAN TATARS TO CONVERGE ON SIMFEROPOL. Thousands of Crimean Tatars are marching toward Crimea's capital, Simferopol, in marches that began in seven towns throughout the peninsula earlier this month. The Tatars are demanding that they receive more rights. They also want to mark the 55th anniversary of the deportation of Tatars to Central Asia on 18 May 1944. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had accused them of collaboration with Nazi Germany. According to estimates, there are some 270,000 Tatars among Crimea's 2.5 million population, including tens of thousands who do not have Ukrainian citizenship. Crimean Tatars demand proportional representation in the Crimean parliament, the recognition of their language as one of the official languages on the peninsula, and the legalization of their traditional self-governing bodies, the Kurultay and Mejlis. JM

UKRAINE'S FOREIGN TRADE SHRINKS. Ukraine's exports from January-March decreased to $2.43 billion, down by 11.4 percent from the same period last year, Ukrainian News reported, citing official data. Imports in the first quarter of 1999 fell to $2.89 billion, down 18.9 percent compared with 1998. JM