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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINE, ISRAEL AGREE ON COMPENSATION FOR DOWNED AIRLINER. Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Yosef Lapid signed an agreement in Kyiv on 20 November whereby Ukraine will pay financial compensation to the families of Israeli passengers who died on 4 October 2001 when a stray Ukrainian rocket shot down the civilian passenger jet in which they were flying, Ukrainian and international news agencies reported. The missile, launched during a military exercise, hit the Russian Tu-154 over the Black Sea, killing all 78 people onboard, most of whom were Israeli and Russian citizens (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 9 and 16 October 2001). Lapid told the Kyiv-based "Segodnya" newspaper that relatives of the 40 Israelis killed in the tragedy will receive a total of $7.5 million. Azarov told journalists that a similar agreement on compensation is expected between Ukraine and the Russian Federation "shortly." JM

UKRAINIAN JOURNALIST ATTACKED IN ODESA. Oleksandr Levit, a correspondent for the Kyiv-based "Fakty I kommentarii" newspaper, was attacked in Odesa on 19 November by five unidentified people, Interfax reported on 20 November, quoting a police source. The attackers reportedly beat the journalist and told him that he will be killed if he continues to write "critical materials." JM

RUSSIAN 'GODFATHER' OF MOLDOVAN FEDERALIZATION PLAN OPTIMISTIC... Dmitrii Kozak, who is widely believed to have drafted the recent Russian plan for Moldova's federalization, said in Chisinau on 20 November that the plan is a compromise bridging Moldova's and Tiraspol's positions, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau and ITAR-TASS reported. Kozak, who is deputy head of President Vladimir Putin's administration, said that the two sides are still attempting to introduce changes in the plan that would favor their own position but he is hopeful that the parliaments in Chisinau and Tiraspol will end up approving the document. Kozak said he wishes to remind everyone that Russia drafted the plan at the urging of Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin. He also said that the plan will not affect the current five-sided negotiations framework, in which the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia, and Ukraine participate as mediators together with Moldova and Transdniester. MS