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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

VETERANS IN KYIV MARCH TO COMMEMORATE V-DAY... Some 3,000 veterans, led by Kyiv Mayor Oleksandr Omelchenko and Verkhovna Rada speaker Ivan Plyushch, marched in downtown Kyiv on 9 May to celebrate Victory Day, Interfax reported. According to official data, Ukraine has 4.57 million World War II veterans. President Leonid Kuchma, who laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the morning, subsequently visited the grave of his father in Novgorod Oblast, Russia, where he died as a Soviet soldier in 1944. JM

KYIV, WASHINGTON REPORTEDLY INVESTIGATING SALE OF UKRAINIAN RADARS TO ETHIOPIA. Yevhen Marchuk, the secretary of Ukraine's Council of National Security and Defense, told UNIAN on 9 May that the Ukrainian and U.S. sides have begun independent checks of the contract whereby Kyiv sold three Kolchuga air-defense radar systems to Ethiopia. Last month, media reports alleged that in 2000 President Kuchma approved a sale of $100 million worth of air-defense radar systems to Iraq in contravention of UN sanctions. Kyiv officially dismissed these allegations, asserting that the only country Ukraine has ever sold Kolchugas was Ethiopia (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 23 April 2002). Last month, the Israeli newspaper "Ha'aretz" suggested that Ethiopia could have been only an intermediary link in the delivery of the Ukrainian radars to Iraq. JM