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WEEKLY REMEMBERS ANOTHER INCIDENT FROM HISTORY OF 'NEW YORK TIMES.' Reporting about the recent departure of "The New York Times'" executive editor and the episode involving former reporter Jason Blair, "Yezhenedelnyi zhurnal," No. 73, recalled the career of "The New York Times" correspondent Walter Duranty. The weekly noted that Duranty, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his "dispassionate and objective reporting" from the Soviet Union, labeled reports about a famine in Ukraine "baseless." According to the weekly, people who knew Duranty recall that he in fact knew that 7 million people had died. The weekly speculates that Duranty was a paid agent of the Soviet secret police. It wrote that many of his articles "were clearly prepared with the assistance of the [secret police's] foreign department." Another possibility, according to the weekly, was that Duranty's work was an expression of "ideal amorality." Duranty was a close associate of satanist Alistair Crowley. At one point, Crowley reportedly wrote to Duranty suggesting that in order for the Soviet regime to be "truly modern," Stalin should proclaim a law of Satanism. The Pulitzer Prize committee is currently reviewing Duranty's award as a result of international pressure calling for its revocation, UPI and other international media reported on 2 June. JAC

UKRAINE CONSIDERS DROPPING GRAIN-IMPORT DUTIES DUE TO ANTICIPATED POOR HARVEST. Premier Viktor Yanukovych said on 14 June that Ukraine is going to import grain this year and the government has already allocated funds for grain purchases, UNIAN reported. According to Yanukovych, bad weather has damaged some 60 percent of winter-crop grain areas in Ukraine. Agricultural Minister Serhiy Ryzhuk suggested the same day that Ukraine cancel duties on imports of some 2.5 million tons of grain in order to ensure a sufficient supply of grain in the country. As reported earlier, the government expects that Ukrainian farmers will harvest 25 million-27 million tons of grain this year, compared with nearly 39 million tons in 2002 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 June 2003). JM

FORMER UKRAINIAN PREMIER RELEASED ON BAIL IN U.S.. Former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko has been released on bail pending a California court hearing scheduled for 18 August, Ukrainian and international news agencies reported on 14 June, quoting Lazarenko's lawyer. Lazarenko has been in a San Francisco jail since 1999 on charges of laundering $114 million through U.S. banks. JM

POLAND DELAYS INTRODUCING VISAS TO EASTERN NEIGHBORS. The Polish Foreign Ministry said on 13 June that the date for the introduction of visas for citizens of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine has been shifted from 1 July to 1 October, PAP reported. Foreign Ministry spokesman Boguslaw Majewski said Polish consular missions were prepared for the introduction of the visa regime for Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine on 1 July, as originally planned. He added, however, that the date was postponed due to the "interests of Polish citizens traveling to those states during the summer season and in consideration of postulates on the part of Poland's eastern neighbors." JM

SLOVAK NATIONALIST CHARGED WITH ILLEGAL ARMS TRAFFICKING. Vitazoslav Moric, a former chairman of the extremist Slovak National Party, has been charged with illegal arms trafficking, TASR reported on 13 June. Interior Minister Vladimir Palko told journalists that the case dates back to 1998, when Slovak company Armex, where Moric was general director, allegedly attempted to sell airport equipment to North Korea. Palko said Armex concluded an agreement with the Chonma Trading Corporation of Pyongyang to deliver the equipment and intended to purchase it from Ukraine without disclosing to the Ukrainian producer that the equipment's final destination was North Korea. After the equipment arrived in Slovakia, Armex allegedly declared it to be civilian equipment and attempted to re-export it to Pyongyang. Two other individuals are facing similar charges, according to TASR, including former Defense Ministry official Michal Dzimko, who allegedly issued Armex a certificate attesting that the equipment was purchased for the Slovak Air Force despite being aware of its final destination. Speaking on TV Markiza on 12 June, Moric denied the allegations. MS