UKRAINIAN PREMIER GETS ENCOURAGEMENT BUT NO LOAN PLEDGES FROM WASHINGTON. Viktor Yushchenko held several meetings with top U.S. officials as well as the IMF and World Bank heads in Washington over the past two days in a bid to repair his country's image after an audit had revealed irregularities in dealings with the IMF (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 May 2000). U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Yushchenko that Washington will use a "constructive policy" to help restore cooperation between the IMF and Ukraine, including the resumption of a frozen $2.6 billion loan. U.S. President Bill Clinton praised "Ukraine's progress" and encouraged "efforts to integrate Ukraine more fully into the rest of Europe," according to AP. Yushchenko discussed Ukraine-IMF relations with the fund's new head, Horst Koehler, but an official statement did not mention when and if the fund will resume lending. JM

UKRAINIAN VETERANS, LEFTISTS MARCH ON VE DAY. Some 2,000 war veterans marched in downtown Kyiv on 9 May in an official ceremony to mark VE Day, Interfax reported. Later, 2,500 representatives of leftist parties staged another march, carrying red flags and portraits of Lenin and Stalin. Also on 9 May, President Leonid Kuchma visited his father's grave in Russia's Novgorod Oblast, where the latter died at the front in 1942. Meanwhile, parliamentary speaker Ivan Plyushch called for reconciliation between Soviet veterans and those of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). The UPA was a 40,000- strong nationalist force that fought German troops as well as Polish and Soviet guerrillas in Nazi-occupied Ukraine in a bid to establish an independent Ukrainian state. UPA veterans have not been officially recognized by the government and do not have the right to social benefits, unlike their Soviet counterparts. JM

BALTIC COUNTRIES MARK VE DAY. Leftist organizations and Soviet war veterans commemorated the end of World War II in Europe in all three Baltic countries, BNS reported 9 May. In Estonia, Red Army veterans met at a memorial to the fallen in central Tallinn, where some 1,000 people, mostly pensioners, assembled peacefully. In Riga, Latvia more than 1,000 people, mostly war veterans, gathered near the Victory Monument, carrying red flags and distributing leaflets with a picture of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The Russian ambassador and a Belarusian diplomat participated in wreath-laying ceremonies. Latvian parliamentary deputy Janis Jurkans and leftist leader Alfreds Rubiks also attended. In Vilnius, some 3,000 Soviet veterans gathered at the Antakalnis cemetery near the graves of their comrades and lit an eternal flame. The Russian and Belarusian ambassadors and the Charge d'Affaires of Ukraine joined Democratic Labor Party leader and MP Ceslovas Jursenas and Socialist Party leader Mindaugas Stakvilevicius in wreath-laying ceremonies. ELTA reported that 10 pro-Chechen demonstrators scuffled with the veterans in a parking lot adjacent to the cemetery. AB