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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

MOSCOW POLICE PREVENT SALE OF CHILD TO GYPSIES. Moscow city police told Interfax-Moscow on 10 June that they have prevented an attempt by a Ukrainian to sell a child to gypsies for $5,000. PG

SOVIET EFFORT AGAINST UKRAINIAN NATIONALISTS A MODEL IN CHECHNYA. According to an article in "Nezavisimoe voennoe obozrenie" on 8 June, Russian officials are now drawing on the experience of Soviet campaigns against Ukrainian nationalists in western Ukraine in the period after World War II as a model for how to fight armed bands and a nationalist underground in Chechnya. PG

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MAKES MORE CABINET APPOINTMENTS... Leonid Kuchma has appointed Leonid Kozachenko as deputy premier in charge of agricultural reform, Serhiy Kurykin as ecology minister, and former Premier Valeriy Pustovoytenko as transport minister in Premier Anatoliy Kinakh's cabinet, Ukrainian media reported on 10 June. Prior to his appointment, Kozachenko headed the Ukrainian Agrarian Confederation and was also Kinakh's aide in the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Pustovoytenko, who heads the pro-presidential Popular Democratic Party, served as premier in 1997-99 and was subsequently replaced by Viktor Yushchenko. Kurykin is a lawmaker and activist of the Green Party. JM

...ATTENDS MEETING OF CENTRAL EUROPEAN PRESIDENTS. On 8 June in Verbania, Italy, Kuchma attended a meeting of presidents from 13 Central European countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia. Interfax reported that Kuchma called on the other heads of state to take into account "the specificity of domestic situations" in newly independent states before they choose to criticize the rate of economic and democratic transformations in those states. JM

UKRAINE'S TWO RUKHS AGREE ON ELECTION BLOC, PLEDGE TO REUNITE. The Ukrainian Popular Rukh led by Yuriy Kostenko held a congress in Kyiv on 9 June, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website reported. Kostenko and Hennadiy Udovenko, the leader of the Popular Rukh of Ukraine, signed a declaration on joining "a single bloc of national democratic forces" for next year's parliamentary elections. The two Rukh factions also pledged to merge into a single organization following those elections. Rukh split in February 1999 in a struggle over leadership between Kostenko and Vyacheslav Chornovil. Chornovil died in an automobile accident the next month, and Udovenko replaced him as the leader of the Rukh faction. "This is the first step toward the unification of our parties, toward the creation of a powerful national democratic party of state-building orientation," Udovenko commented on the accord. The congress was also addressed by former Premier Yushchenko, who noted that the two Rukh factions' declaration to reunite is "an argument in favor of the consolidation of democratic forces of Ukraine." JM