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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN ELECTION LOSER FILES LAST-DITCH APPEAL... Presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych on 14 January filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against the officially announced victory of Viktor Yushchenko in the 26 December presidential vote (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January 2005), Ukrainian and international news agencies reported. The appeal, which is Yanukovych's final attempt at challenging the election results, is reportedly accompanied by 621 volumes of printed materials and some 233 audio and videocassettes. "We are requesting that the Supreme Court consider the possibility of holding a repeat election," Yanukovych campaign manager Taras Chornovil said. The appeal is widely expected to be rejected by the court, thus opening the way for Yushchenko's inauguration next week. JM

...AS HIS SUPPORTERS RALLY IN DONETSK, LUHANSK. Some 6,000 people took part in a rally in support of former Prime Minister Yanukovych in Donetsk on 13 January, Interfax reported. Speakers at the rally, which was organized by the Progressive Socialist Party of Natalya Vitrenko, called for autonomy for the Donbas coal-mining region and for annulling the official results of the 26 December presidential vote awarding victory to Yushchenko. Yanukovych's supporters have pitched 30 tents on Donetsk's central square for several days now. Also on 13 January, 1,000 Yanukovych supporters held a rally in Luhansk, another large city in eastern Ukraine. They adopted a resolution calling for the annulment of the official results of the presidential election. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDERS REPORT ON ELECTION EXPENSES. President-elect Yushchenko spent 16.8 million hryvnyas ($3.2 million) for his election campaign while his rival Yanukovych spent 14.4 million hryvnyas ($2.7 million), Interfax reported, citing their official financial reports published in the 14 January issues of "Holos Ukrayiny" and "Uryadovyy Kuryer." JM

EU VOTE KINDLES UKRAINE'S MEMBERSHIP HOPES. The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly on 13 January to pass a nonbinding resolution calling on the EU authorities to give Ukraine "a clear European perspective, possibly leading to EU membership," the "Financial Times" reported. The vote reflected "the great sympathy among the populations and governments of democratic countries towards the 'Orange Revolution,'" commented Borys Tarasyuk, President-elect Yushchenko's top foreign-policy adviser. The daily reported that the European Commission is expected next month to designate Ukraine a "market economy," a move that would help Ukrainian exporters avoid stiff EU anti-dumping duties on such commodities as steel and fertilizers. JM