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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINE MARKS VICTORY DAY. A parade of veterans and a solemn rally were held in Kyiv on 9 May to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, Ukrainian media reported. Addressing the rally, President Leonid Kuchma said Europe should not forget that Ukraine paid a price of 8 million lives for liberating Europe from fascism, Interfax reported. Traditionally on Victory Day, Kuchma visits the grave of his father in Novgorod Oblast, Russia. His father died there as a Soviet soldier in 1942. Similar gatherings also took place in other Ukrainian cities, including a 130,000-strong rally in Dnipropetrovsk. JM

SHELLS CONTINUE EXPLODING AT UKRAINIAN AMMUNITION DEPOT. Shells continue to explode -- at a rate of one per hour -- for the fourth consecutive day at an artillery ammunition depot in the village of Novobohdanivka, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, which was the site of a powerful blast on 6 May (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 May 2004), UNIAN reported on 10 May, quoting official sources. A heavy rain on 8 May has reportedly helped rescuers localize the fire at the depot and reduced the threat of another major blast. Meanwhile, the Prosecutor-General's Office has instituted criminal proceedings against unidentified Defense Ministry officials, charging them with professional negligence that led to the blast in Novobohdanivka. Defense Minister Yevhen Marchuk said on 8 May that explosions are possible at Ukraine's other depots of artillery ammunition, as they are overflowing, Interfax reported. JM