PUTIN GOES SKIING. President-elect Vladimir Putin and his family went skiing on 2 May, Interfax reported. Putin is scheduled to go to Prokhorovka, the site of a tank battle during World War II, on 3 May to meet with Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, and Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksii II before returning to Sochi. PG

UKRAINE FIRES TOP OFFICERS OVER STRAY MISSILE. Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk has dismissed Missile Forces and Artillery Commander Lieutenant General Volodymyr Tereshchenko and Colonel Heorhiy Korneyev, head of the control group for the missile forces, Reuters reported on 30 April. Kuzmuk said they were responsible for the accident in which a missile fired from a training ground in Chernihiv Oblast hit an apartment block in Kyiv and killed three people (see "RFE/RL's Newsline," 25 April 2000). Kuzmuk also demoted the first deputy commander of Ukraine's Northern Operational Command, Lieutenant General Valeriy Pashynskyy, for "the poor organization of the exercises and for deceiving the Defense Ministry." The missile forces initially reported that the missile had hit its target, located at another training ground near Kyiv. JM

UKRAINE, SLOVAKIA IMPOSE MUTUAL VISA REQUIREMENTS. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has notified Slovakia that as of 28 June, Slovaks entering Ukraine will need visas, TASR reported on 2 May. Kyiv's decision is in response to last week's announcement by Bratislava that it will demand visas from Ukrainians beginning 28 June. Slovakia is coordinating its visa policy with the Czech Republic, which is to cancel its visa-free arrangement with Russia and Belarus at the end of this month. JM