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WORLD BANK LIKELY TO RELEASE FIRST TRANCHE TO UKRAINE. Luca Barbone, the World Bank's top official in Ukraine and Belarus, said on 27 July in Kyiv that the bank is likely to approve a $250 million tranche of a loan to Ukraine this year once the IMF resumes its assistance, AP reported. Barbone said that "[the IMF approval] is expected to take place very soon, so I'm pretty confident that we should not have a problem." Barbone arrived in Ukraine on 22 July and ended his talks with Ukrainian officials on 27 July. He said the bank is likely to provide a $150 million disbursement in October and $100 million the following month. This tranche is part of a $750 million loan program to Ukraine announced last year. PB

UKRAINE AGREES TO MOTHER'S WISH NOT TO BURY GONGADZE. The Ukrainian government said on 27 July that it will not bury the decapitated body of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze until his mother agrees to do so, Reuters reported. Although independent DNA tests have shown a greater-than 99 percent chance that the body belongs to Gongadze, his mother Lesya Gongadze is not absolutely certain it is her son. The Prosecutor-General's Office had given a Kyiv morgue permission last month to bury the body. Deputy Health Minister Antoliy Kartysh said the ministry is prepared to help conduct a new DNA test with foreign experts to help convince Mrs. Gongadze that the corpse is indeed her son's. PB

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VISITS SEVASTOPOL FOR NAVY DAY REVIEW. Vladimir Putin joined Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Sevastopol on 29 July to review a joint naval parade of Russia's Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian navy (see Part I), ITAR-TASS reported. Putin also took part in dedication ceremonies of Sevastopol's St. Vladimir Cathedral, reported. Putin said at that ceremony that Russia and Ukraine have "entered into a new phase in the development of their relations -- creation, restoration, and reconstruction." VY

NATO-SPONSORED EXERCISES IN UKRAINE CONCLUDE. More than 1,100 troops from 20 countries participated in NATO's Peace Shield 2001 military exercises that took place at the Yavoriv training grounds near Lviv from 16-27 July, AP reported. The program included computer training and field maneuvers for two multinational brigades, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported. Along with Ukraine, troops from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, the U.K., Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, the U.S., Turkey, and Sweden took part. PB