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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION PLANS ANTI-PRESIDENTIAL 'HUMAN CHAIN.' Ukrainian opposition leaders plan to continue their anti-presidential protests in May, Yuliya Tymoshenko, the leader of the eponymous opposition bloc in Verkhovna Rada, told UNIAN on 12 March (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 11 March 2003). She said the 9 March rally was a first step in ongoing protests. According to Tymoshenko, the efforts will include a human chain across Ukraine. AM

UKRAINE'S OLDEST LAWMAKER DIES. The oldest member of the Verkhovna Rada, Our Ukraine caucus member Slava Stetsko, died at the age of 83 in Munich, Interfax reported on 12 March. After World War II, Stetsko lived and worked as a journalist in Germany. She returned to Ukraine in 1991 and, until 2000, was a leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (KUN). In 1992, Stetsko became a leader of the party Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists. She was elected to the Ukrainian parliament in each of its last two terms. AM

EU BACKS MOLDOVA'S FEDERALIZATION PLAN. Council of Europe rapporteur on Moldova Josette Durrieu said in Chisinau on 12 March that the council backs the OSCE plan for Moldova's federalization, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. She called President Vladimir Voronin's proposal to work out a new constitution in cooperation with Transdniester representatives "a courageous initiative." Durrieu also expressed support for Moldova's efforts to secure its border with Ukraine in order to prevent smuggling from Transdniester. Durrieu said that she and her fellow rapporteur on Moldova, Lauri Vahtre, noted during their recent visit to Chisinau an improvement both in regard to respect for democratic norms and in the country's social and economic development. MS