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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN FM BROADCASTER TAKEN OFF THE AIR. Ukrainian authorities raided the offices of Radio Kontynent on 3 March, confiscating the FM broadcaster's transmission equipment, sealing the office, and briefly detaining three people, RFE/RL and Ukrainian news agencies reported. The seizure was carried out on the basis of an order issued to local law enforcement officials by the Ukrainian State Center for Radio Frequencies (Ukrchastotnahlyad). Ukrchastotnahlyad deputy head Pavlo Slobodyanyuk told Interfax that Radio Kontynent has no license to broadcast on the 100.9 MHz frequency over which it has retransmitted programs by Voice of America, the BBC, Deutsche Welle, and two hours of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service programming since 27 February. "We at RFE/RL are angry and outraged by this blatant act in suppressing factual news and information from a variety of high-quality journalists," RFE/RL President Thomas Dine said of the authorities' move. "In fact, after what happened today to Radio Kontynent, one can reasonably ask, 'Who's next?'" JM

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO APPROVE TERMS OF WORLD BANK LOAN. The Verkhovna Rada on 3 March fell 24 votes short of endorsing an agreement on a World Bank loan to assist the issuance of deeds to land and the development of a land registry in Ukraine, Interfax reported. The agreement envisages that the World Bank lend $195 million to Ukraine until 2012. JM