©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


PROSECUTOR-GENERAL WANTS MELNYCHENKO TAPES VERIFIED ABROAD. Svyatoslav Pyskun, Ukraine's newly appointed prosecutor-general, has ordered a test abroad of secret recordings reportedly made by former presidential bodyguard Mykola Melnychenko in President Leonid Kuchma's office that seem to link the Ukrainian president to the murder of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, Reuters reported on 19 July. "The prosecutor-general has announced a full authentication in a third country, which has a high level of modern electronic technology and has not before taken part in the investigation of the tape," Pyskun said in a statement. He also ordered new genetic tests on a headless body believed to be that of Gongadze. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 22 July)

BRITISH GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES MEDIA INITIATIVE. The British government has launched a media-reform project aimed at boosting support for free speech and independent media in Ukraine, the Internews-Ukraine website reported on 2 July. The project will focus on "occupational groups immediately connected with the media, namely journalists, politicians, businessmen, government administrators, lawyers, judges, and leaders of NGOs," the site added. Backed by a number of educational and media institutions in Ukraine and England, plans include the establishment of a Media Reform Center at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (journalism school) of the National University and a Media Reform Club. For more, see (IJ Net, 22 July)

UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION REPORTEDLY AGREES ON PROTEST ACTION TO DEMAND EARLY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Socialist Party lawmaker Yosyp Vinskyy told UNIAN on 25 July that the opposition has agreed to hold a nationwide protest action on 16 September to demand early presidential elections. According to Vinskyy, the protest will involve activists of the Socialist Party, the Communist Party, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, and Our Ukraine. The action was scheduled to coincide with the second anniversary of the disappearance of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze. JM

UKRAINIAN SUPREME COURT REOPENS CASES OF SLAIN JOURNALIST. The Supreme Court on 25 July upheld the acquittal of Yuriy Veredyuk -- who was accused of killing television journalist Ihor Aleksandrov in Slavyansk (eastern Ukraine) in July 2001 -- and called for a new investigation into the slaying. AP reported. Veredyuk was convicted last year for beating Aleksandrov to death but an appeals court overturned the conviction in May after the judge said the evidence presented was groundless. Veredyuk died from heart failure last week. His death is seen as a major setback for Alexandrov's family and for the Institute for Mass Information, which in Ukraine represents the international human rights group Reporters Without Borders. They believe Veredyuk was bribed to take responsibility for the killing and hoped that he would provide evidence incriminating someone else. JM

U.S. CONGRESSMAN PROPOSES ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE FOR UKRAINE. U.S. Congressman Bob Schaffer (Rep., Colorado), co-chairman of the House of Representatives Ukrainian Caucus, has sent a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill urging him to implement in Ukraine a pilot program of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), which was announced by U.S. President George W. Bush in March, Schaffer's website ( reported on 25 July. In his letter Schaffer called Ukraine a "premier candidate" for the president's MCA program. "Ukraine's potential for wealth creation is underdeveloped, but it will respond very positively to significant western interest and investment," Schaffer wrote. "Ukraine's agricultural sector, having once supplied one-quarter of the entire Soviet Union's demand, is now floundering and is in desperate need of western financial and technical investment," the congressman added. JM

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DISCUSSES EU. Laszlo Kovacs said in an interview to "The Washington Post" on 25 July that he hopes Hungary will join the European Union by 1 January 2004 and take part in the subsequent European parliamentary elections. Kovacs said some 80 percent of Hungarians support EU accession, one of the highest rates of support for EU membership among candidate countries. He added that Hungary supports Ukraine's aspirations to join NATO, saying the country can contribute to stability in Europe. In his interview, Kovacs admitted that manifestations of anti-Semitism occur in Hungary at times. Whether such instances continue, he added, will depend on the government's plans to adopt measures this fall that will expressly punish discrimination. MSZ

UN POLICE INVESTIGATING BOSNIAN KIDNAPPING INCIDENT. The UN police (IPTF) is investigating a recent incident in Kiseljak in which six women were kidnapped from a "night club" by a group of about 15 armed men believed to be involved in human trafficking, Hina reported on 26 July. Five of the women -- who are from Moldova, Romania, or Ukraine -- have since been found but the sixth is still missing. UN spokesman Fred Eckhard called "unacceptable" the treatment of the five women at a local hospital where they were taken for medical care but "treated without dignity or respect," Reuters reported. The five had been beaten, tortured, and raped by the kidnappers. In Britain, a former UN policewoman testified recently that she lost her job and was blacklisted for other employment after she accused her colleagues of turning a blind eye to the sex trade or being involved in it themselves. PM

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT SAYS TRANSDNIESTER TALKS NEED NEW FORMAT. President Vladimir Voronin said in a press release issued on 25 July that the negotiations with Tiraspol on settling the Transdniester conflict need "a new mechanism" because the current one "no longer reflects the needs of the times." According to the press release cited by Flux, Voronin said occasional meetings between the negotiating sides produce no results and that what is needed is "a new, dynamic form of an active and permanent dialogue." Voronin called the outcome of the Kyiv meeting earlier this month "a real breakthrough on the road to reestablishing the effective unity of the Moldovan Republic," but refrained from mentioning his position regarding the OSCE's proposal on Moldova's federalization presented in Kyiv. MS