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MOSCOW TV STATION TO EXTEND BROADCASTS TO UKRAINE, BELARUS, AND MOLDOVA. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov announced on 8 August that the regional television channel TV Tsentr, which is controlled by the Moscow city government, is planning to extend its broadcasting to the territory of Belarus, Moldova, and some areas of Ukraine, Interfax reported. Luzhkov stated that TV Tsentr head Oleg Poptsov has managed to make the station's broadcasts politically unbiased. TV Tsentr's potential audience will be about 74 million, many of whom, according to Luzhkov, will be interested in how Moscow solves its economic and social problems. In addition, TV Tsentr also intends to target the large portion of the city of Moscow's population that consists of people from these regions. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 9 August)


OFFICIAL SUBSCRIPTION STATISTICS. The state corporation Pressa reported that newspapers "Silski Visti" (Rural News), "Poradnytsa" (Advisor), and the Social Democratic Party's "Nasha Gazeta Plus" (Our Newspaper Plus) are the most-subscribed newspapers in Ukraine in the second half of 2001. The circulation of these publications is 1,372,000; 526,000; and over 430,000 respectively. "Nasha Gazeta Plus" has the largest circulation among party publications. The circulation of "Kommunist" published by the Communist Party, which was in former years the most popular newspaper, is now 68,000 (Ukrainian and Russian editions). It is followed by "Tovarishch" (Comrade), published by the Socialist Party, whose circulation is about 45,000 (Ukrainian and Russian editions), "Ukraina i Svit Syogodnya" (Ukraine and World Today), published by the People Democratic Party, 24,000 (Ukrainian and Russian editions), and "Rukh" (Movement), published by the Rukh party, with circulation over 35,000. (European Institute for the Media, July "CIS Media Newsletter")

COOPERATION IN BROADCASTING. The governments of Ukraine and Russia will sign an agreement by the end of 2001 on cooperation in the broadcasting sphere. The respective national broadcasting corporations agreed to create a working team to amend the operations of Russian broadcasters in Ukraine, and those of Ukrainian broadcasters in Russia in compliance with the respective national legislation. Boris Kholod, chairman of the National Broadcasting Corporation of Ukraine, said that as a result of such an agreement there will be "fully-fledged broadcasting for the Ukrainian-speaking audience in Russia and for the Russian-speaking audience in Ukraine." (European Institute for the Media, July "CIS Media Newsletter")

NEW MEDIA ASSOCIATIONS. The newly established Ukrainian Association of Periodical Publishers unites publishers from all over Ukraine, constituting a combined circulation of 1.2 million periodicals. A new Media Association was founded in Mariupol (Donetsk region) to promote the rights of journalists. Fedor Botsman, an employee of the press service of Mariupol Steel Plant, heads the association. Preparations for establishing the World Association of the Ukrainian Press have been completed. Pyotr Kulinets, deputy executive head of the Third World Forum of Ukrainians, said that on 21 August a founding conference for the association would be convened, to unite more than 100 Ukrainian and about 50 foreign media outlets. (European Institute for the Media, July "CIS Media Newsletter")

INTERNET DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM. The program of Internet development in Ukraine was endorsed by the relevant government bodies and within a month it will be submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers. The program was developed in accordance with the decree by President Leonid Kuchma. Once the program is adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers, it will be incorporated into the National Program of Information Processing. President Kuchma also ordered the government to create websites for national and local executive power bodies, and also for major research and educational institutions. (European Institute for the Media, July "CIS Media Newsletter")

JULY MEDIA BULLETIN ISSUED. The European Institute for Media released its July issue of its online bulletin on media developments in Ukraine in the "Ukrainian Media Bulletin." The bulletin contains information on media news, media and government, media law, media conferences, and new media technology. To receive the bulletin in Ukrainian contact Svetlana Selyutina at (European Institute for the Media, 10 August)

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKER TRIED FOR EMBEZZLEMENT IN GERMANY. Ukrainian legislator Viktor Zherdytskyy, the former head of Kyiv's Gradobank, went on trial in Hildesheim (Germany) on 16 August for embezzling German compensation money intended for Ukrainian victims of the Nazis, AP reported. Zherdytskyy is accused of diverting 4 million German marks ($1.9 million) in 1995 by transferring the money from Germany to a company he founded in London instead of to a Ukrainian reconciliation fund meant to benefit Nazi victims. Hildesheim court spokesman Jan-Michael Seidel said prosecutors cannot charge Zherdytskyy in connection with another alleged embezzlement of 82 million German marks because the statue of limitations has expired. Zherdytskyy was arrested in Hanover last October when he attempted to withdraw $50,000 from one of his accounts. JM

UKRAINIAN PROSECUTORS CHARGE FORMER BANKER WITH INFLICTING LOSSES ON BANK. Kyiv prosecutors have charged Viktor Kravets, the former head of the Ukrayina bank board, with committing illegal actions that resulted in losses of 1.23 million hryvni ($228,000) to the bank, Ukrainian Television reported on 16 August. They also confiscated 160 individual credit files from the Ukrayina bank, which went into liquidation last month. Ukrainian media reported earlier that in 1997- 2000 the bank issued virtually nonrepayable credits totaling 330 million hryvni to a number of commercial structures. JM

UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL SAYS KILLING OF JOURNALIST ALEKSANDROV NOT POLITICALLY MOTIVATED. Mykhaylo Potebenko on 16 August said there was no high-level political motivation behind last month's killing of Ihor Aleksandrov, the director of a regional television company in Slavyansk, eastern Ukraine, AP reported. Potebenko added that the attack on Aleksandrov was apparently prompted by local dissatisfaction with his journalistic activities. Potebenko visited Slavyansk with Interior Minister Yuriy Smyrnov and Security Service Deputy Chief Yuriy Vandin after President Leonid Kuchma criticized the investigation of the Aleksandrov case as inefficient and ordered top law-enforcement officials to take over the probe. "We are sure there will be a positive result [in the investigation], but I cannot say it will be tomorrow," the agency quoted Potebenko as saying. JM

MOLDOVA TO SET UP JOINT BORDER POSTS WITH UKRAINE AT TRANSDNIESTER GATES? Tarlev also said that Moldova has "initiated parleys" with Ukraine in order to set up joint Moldovan-Ukrainian border posts, Moldpres reported. He said that an "earlier understanding" reached with the Ukrainian authorities stipulates that 12 such joint border posts will be set up. The Moldovan-Ukrainian frontier is fact on territory controlled by the separatists in Tiraspol. MS