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UKRAINIAN TV CHANNEL JOURNALISTS GO ON HUNGER STRIKE OVER OFFICIAL PRESSURE. A group of Channel 5 journalists went on a hunger strike in Kyiv on 25 October, protesting what they claim to be official pressure on their station in the ongoing presidential election campaign, Ukrainian news agencies reported, quoting Channel 5. The journalists demand the reversal of a court's recent ruling freezing the channel's bank account, a move widely believed to herald the imminent closing of the channel which supports the presidential bid of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 October 2004). The journalists also demand that the National Council for Radio and Television allow Channel 5 to broadcast in Ukraine's regional cable network in accordance with terms stipulated in its license. JM

OPPOSITION CAMPAIGNER IN UKRAINE ATTACKED WITH INFLAMMABLE LIQUID. Two unidentified men threw bottles with some combustible substance at the car of lawmaker Volodymyr Bondarenko, chief of Yushchenko's presidential election staff in Kyiv, in a Kyiv suburb on 25 October, the Our Ukraine website ( reported. Bondarenko escaped the attack unscathed, his driver obtained a slight burn, while the car was completely burned out. JM

UKRAINIAN YOUTH GROUP ANNOUNCES WEEK OF PROTESTS. The youth organization Pora on 25 October announced at its website ( a "wave of student strikes and actions" from 25-30 October to protest what it calls the official repression of the youth movement in Ukraine. "The repression by the authorities has acquired a nationwide character," Pora says. "Explosives, military cartridges, forged money, and stolen things are surreptitiously placed with the youth activists whose views do not coincide with official ones, and criminal cases are being opened against them. This can't go on any longer!" JM

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT TO VISIT UKRAINE. Vladimir Putin is due to start a visit to Ukraine on 26 October, five days ahead of the presidential ballot on 31 October, Ukrainian media reported. At 8 p.m. local time Putin is scheduled to take part in a question-and-answer session that will be broadcast live on Ukraine's three television channels, UT-1, 1+1, and Inter. Putin and other CIS leaders are expected on 28 October to participate in official celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Ukraine from Nazism (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 October 2004). JM

RUSSIAN ENVOYS VISIT MOLDOVA. Valerii Nesterushkin, who is Russian special representative for Transdniester negotiations, and Igor Savolskii, special envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, met in Chisinau on 25 October with President Vladimir Voronin, Reintegration Minister Vasilii Sova, and other officials, Flux reported. They discussed bilateral relations and the Transdniester conflict, including the framework of negotiations for settling the conflict. Moldova has recently called into question the five-sided framework, which includes the two belligerents alongside Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as mediators. It has also suspended participation in negotiations. The two Russian envoys are to visit Tiraspol as well. Sova said after the meeting that "negotiations for the sake of negotiating are a thing of the past.... solutions must be sought to render positive results." According to Infotag, a visit to Moldova by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this month was cancelled as "unexpedient due to the continuing confrontation between Chisinau and Tiraspol." MS