©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

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS DRAFT RESOLUTIONS ON POLITICAL CRISIS. The Verkhovna Rada on 24 October failed to pass any resolution to sum up a debate the same day devoted to the current political situation (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 October 2002), UNIAN reported. The opposition's draft resolution, proposed by Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz, was supported by 200 lawmakers, while the pro-presidential majority's draft received 222 votes. Two hundred and twenty-six votes were required for passage. Later the same day, lawmakers managed to pass several other bills, including one on the introduction of a 30 percent tax on exports of scrap ferrous metals from Ukraine. JM

POLAND'S IPN ASKS UKRAINE FOR ACCESS TO UPA FILES. The National Remembrance Institute has requested that Ukrainian authorities grant access to documents of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) that may shed light on atrocities perpetrated by the UPA against Poles during World War II, primarily in the Volhynia region of northwestern Ukraine in 1943-44, PAP reported on 24 October. IPN Chairman Leon Kieres said the request concerns "the UPA's own documents" and the journals of UPA commanders that were seized by the KGB, as well as protocols of interrogations by the KGB of UPA commanders who were responsible, as Kieres put it, for "the atrocities in Volhynia." Kieres noted that the IPN would like to publish these documents. "Please do not take these activities by the IPN in political categories; the point is just getting to know the whole truth," Kieres commented on the request. According to Polish historians, as many as 80,000 Poles may have been killed by the UPA during the war. The IPN has launched an investigation into what it called "the crimes of genocide perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists on the territory of the Wolyn [Volhynia] Province of the Second [Polish] Republic in the years 1939-45" (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 8 May 2001). JM


COUNCIL OF EUROPE WANTS TO SEE FOR ITSELF ON CENSORSHIP. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) rapporteurs Hanne Severinsen and Renata Wohlwend expressed concern over reports of censorship in Ukraine. On 16 October, Severinsen proposed that the European Union can analyze Ukrainian TV programs to judge for itself the validity of journalists' claims about a list of recommended issues. PACE's monitoring committee will ask that Ukrainian authorities take into account journalists' views, she insisted. Serhiy Vasilev, head of the Information Policy Division in the presidential administration, said that his agency is willing to assist PACE in monitoring. His division monitors over 1,500 media outlets throughout Ukraine on a daily basis and collects absolutely unbiased information which can be made available to PACE experts, he said. ("Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations CIS Weekly Report," 14-20 October)

PROSECUTOR-GENERAL FAILS TO HALT CASE AGAINST KUCHMA. The Supreme Court on 22 October rejected an appeal by Prosecutor-General Svyatoslav Piskun to rule the criminal case initiated against President Leonid Kuchma earlier this month illegal, Ukrainian and international news agencies reported. On 15 October, Kyiv Court of Appeals Judge Yuriy Vasylenko opened the case against Kuchma in which the president is charged with violating 11 articles of the Criminal Code, including the murder of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze. Piskun argued that the constitution grants Kuchma prosecutorial immunity, but the Supreme Court sent his appeal to the Court of Appeals, which is expected to proceed with the case. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 23 October)

LAWMAKERS DECIDE TO DISCUSS FREEDOM OF SPEECH, CENSORSHIP. The Verkhovna Rada on 24 October decided to hold a hearing on the freedom of speech and censorship in Ukraine on 4 December, UNIAN reported. The motion was supported by 294 of the 428 deputies registered for the session. The parliamentary caucuses of Our Ukraine and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc did not participate in the voting, having announced that they will resume voting only after the parliament passes a resolution prohibiting deputies from voting for absent colleagues. The opposition has formerly charged that majority deputies resort to such tricks to ensure the minimum 226 votes needed to pass bills and most resolutions in the Verkhovna Rada. ("RFE/RL Newsline," 24 October)

TAXING CASE PAPERED OVER. The Kyiv tax police closed its criminal case against the paper "Selskie Vesti" 30 months ago, but still have not paid back most of the 3 million hryvnas ($566,000) it withdrew from the paper's bank account. The paper was accused of failing to pay taxes, but journalists believe that the tax police were following a political order "to strangle the paper by economic methods." At 525,000, the paper has the country's largest newspaper circulation. ("Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations CIS Weekly Report," 14-20 October)