©2002 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With the kind permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, InfoUkes Inc. has been given rights to electronically re-print these articles on our web site. Visit the RFE/RL Ukrainian Service page for more information. Also visit the RFE/RL home page for news stories on other Eastern European and FSU countries.

Return to Main RFE News Page
InfoUkes Home Page

ukraine-related news stories from RFE

...DISCUSS REGIONAL CONFLICTS. Sezer held separate talks with Aliev to discuss the Karabakh conflict, reaffirming Ankara's support of Azerbaijan and that it will not open its border with Armenia until the conflict is solved, according to Azerbaijan's ANS TV on 30 April, as cited by Groong. At a press conference at the end of the summit, Aliev announced that on Turkey's initiative, Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Vilayat Guliev will participate in the meeting between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey, Vartan Oskanian and Ismail Cem, that is to take place on the sidelines of the NATO Cooperation Council meeting in Reykjavik on 14-15 May, AFP reported. Sezer similarly discussed Abkhazia with Shevardnadze, who suggested that Turkey should host talks on resolving the conflict. The three presidents plan to meet again in Tbilisi in one month's time to discuss gas exports, according to Caucasus Press on 30 April. Georgian International Oil Corporation President Giorgi Chanturia said the presidents of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Armenia could also be invited to that meeting. LF

UKRAINE CELEBRATES MAY DAY WITH MASS RALLIES. This year, the largest May Day rally in Ukraine took place in Kharkiv, where pro-presidential parties from the For a United Ukraine bloc drew some 100,000 people, according to police reports. Some 1,000 leftists at a separate rally in Kharkiv called for "toppling the existing regime," Interfax reported. The Communist Party and the Progressive Socialist Party attracted several thousand people to two separate May Day rallies in Kyiv under antigovernment slogans. In Dnipropetrovsk, a pro-government rally gathered some 20,000 people, while the Communists were able to mobilize only 2,000 supporters for a separate meeting. Some 4,000 people celebrated May Day in Simferopol and some 1,000 in Luhansk. There were no May Day rallies in Lviv or Ivano-Frankivsk. JM

UKRAINIAN COMMUNIST LEADER CALLS FOR LEFTIST UNITY AGAINST KUCHMA... Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko on 1 May called on all leftist forces in Ukraine to unite in order to fight the "Kuchma regime," UNIAN reported. According to Symonenko, President Leonid Kuchma's "antipopular" and "pro-Western" policies will be implemented in the parliament by both For a United Ukraine and Our Ukraine. JM

...WHILE OTHER LEFTISTS ORGANIZE 'POPULAR OPPOSITION.' The Progressive Socialist Party of Nataliya Vitrenko, the Russian Bloc, and a number of minor leftist and pro-Russian parties signed an accord on 1 May for the creation of a bloc to be known as Popular Opposition, UNIAN reported. The accord slams President Kuchma and his predecessor Leonid Kravchuk for implementing the policies of the IMF and the U.S. in Ukraine, and accuses both officials as well as the country's former legislatures of "destroying the unity of Slavic states." Vitrenko, who was presented as the Popular Opposition leader during the Progressive Socialist Party's May Day rally, said Ukrainian President Kuchma and U.S. President George W. Bush combined efforts in order to have "America's favorites -- Viktor Yushchenko, Yuliya Tymoshenko, and Oleksandr Moroz" elected to the new Verkhovna Rada. Vitrenko's party failed to overcome the 4 percent voting hurdle to qualify for parliamentary representation. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL STAFF CHIEF GOES TO PARLIAMENT. Ukrainian President Kuchma on 29 April signed a decree relieving Volodymyr Lytvyn of his duties as the head of the presidential administration in connection with Lytvyn's transfer to the Verkhovna Rada, UNIAN reported on 30 April, quoting Central Election Commission Secretary Yaroslav Davydovych. JM

FORMER CRIMEAN SPEAKER TO WORK IN KYIV. Following his defeat in the election for the post of speaker of the Crimean Supreme Council (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 April 2002), Leonid Hrach announced on 30 April that he will give up his deputy mandate in Crimea and take a parliamentary seat in the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv, UNIAN and Interfax reported. Speaking at a May Day rally in Simferopol the following day, Hrach accused "the entire state in its political sense" and President Kuchma in particular of obstructing his election bid in Crimea. "Now I will fight against them," Hrach added, referring to his future work in the Verkhovna Rada. He also hinted that he is going to run in the 2004 presidential election, saying, "Today the presidential march is actually beginning." JM

U.S. DIPLOMAT REPORTEDLY EXPELLED FROM UKRAINE FOR ESPIONAGE. Quoting unidentified sources, the Kyiv-based weekly "Zerkalo nedeli/Dzerkalo tyzhnya" reported on 27 April that a U.S. diplomat was expelled from Ukraine on 20 March for spying, after which a security officer at the Ukrainian Consulate in New York was asked to leave the United States in a tit-for-tat expulsion. The weekly reported that the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv refused comment on this development. JM

ON CHORNOBYL ANNIVERSARY, RUSSIAN REGIONS CHALLENGE PLANS TO IMPORT SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL... On the 16th anniversary of the disaster at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April, environmental activists organized protests in Russian cities against plans to import spent nuclear fuel into Russia, RFE/RL regional correspondents reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 April 2002). In Obninsk, the public organization Union of Chornobyl together with the local branch of Yabloko organized a picket and gathered signatures to send to the State Duma. In Sochi in Krasnodar Krai, protestors carried signs saying, "We don't need a new Chornobyl, we need a clean country." Last year, the krai's legislature expressed its opposition to plans by the Atomic Energy Ministry (Minatom) to use Novorossiisk as a transit port for nuclear waste from Bulgaria. And in Vladivostok, about 100 people gathered in the city's main square, despite not having received permission for the demonstration from the mayoral administration. Local environmental activist Boris Preobrazhenskii declared that in Primorskii Krai, several potential Chornobyls exist: Some 100 kilometers from Vladivostok there are dozens of nuclear submarines, and this year Minatom plans to construct two special terminals for receiving radioactive waste from Japan. JAC