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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINE MARKS CONSTITUTION DAY. President Leonid Kuchma said on 28 June on the occasion of Constitution Day that "the adoption of the fundamental law sealed for all time our independence and the will of the Ukrainian nation to live in their sovereign state," Interfax reported. Parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn said that since the Ukrainian Constitution was adopted on 28 June 1996, that date has come to symbolize national consensus and "the superiority of national interests over the ever-changing political situation." Lytvyn also said the constitution needs to be improved and "enriched by the experience of the creation of a state." Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych stressed that the constitution is not "an adamant dogma," and that "the decentralization of the power [in Ukraine] is necessary." The Verkhovna Rada is currently considering possible constitutional amendments (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 June 2004). AM

OUR UKRAINE LEADER TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT AS INDEPENDENT. Our Ukraine leader Viktor Yushchenko announced on 28 June he will run as an independent in this fall's presidential election, UNIAN reported. Yushchenko said he decided to run as an independent because while all the parties in the Our Ukraine Bloc supported his candidacy, his program was also supported by many organizations that are not associated with the bloc. "The main election struggle will take place not between representatives of particular parties but between the representative of the authorities and the representative of the nation," Yushchenko said. AM

CIS ANTITERROR EXERCISE BEGINS IN MOLDOVA. Special services from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries on 28 June began a joint "West Antiterror 2004" headquarters-command exercise, Infotag reported. The exercise is being held in conformity with a plan prepared by the CIS Antiterror Center. Officers from the special services of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova are participating in the exercise, which is due to end on 30 June. ZsM