©2005 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

With the kind permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, InfoUkes Inc. has been given rights to electronically re-print these articles on our web site. Visit the RFE/RL Ukrainian Service page for more information. Also visit the RFE/RL home page for news stories on other Eastern European and FSU countries.

Return to Main RFE News Page
InfoUkes Home Page

ukraine-related news stories from RFE

TRANSPORTATION MINISTER SAYS RUSSIA, ASIAN POWERS CAN REBUILD 'SILK ROAD.' Transportation Minister Igor Levitin said in Petrozavodsk on 23 June that Russia and the CIS plan to rebuild a "new Silk Road" to transport goods from China to Europe, "Vedomosti" reported on 23 June. Trucks would travel from China to Europe via Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine to Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Speaking in the State Duma on 22 June, Levitin said that Russia could collect up to $2 billion in haulier fees alone from the project. VY

TURKMEN LEADER APPOINTS NEW OIL-AND-GAS COMPANY HEAD FOLLOWING GAS ROW WITH UKRAINE. Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has signed a decree appointing Geldy Mukhammedov chairman of national oil and gas company Turkmenneftegaz, a position with ministerial status, reported on 23 June. Mukhammedov gave up the post of deputy defense minister in connection with the move. Ilyas Charyev, who had headed Turkmenneftegaz since November 2000, was removed from the post "for serious deficiencies in his work." The shakeup follows a dispute with Ukraine over what Turkmenistan has said are nearly $600 million in equipment arrears for gas shipments in 2004 and 2005 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 June 2005). Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko sent an official delegation to Ashgabat on 23 June to resolve the issue, ITAR-TASS reported. DK

UKRAINIAN, POLISH PRESIDENTS OPEN CONTROVERSIAL CEMETERY... Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his Polish counterpart Aleksander Kwasniewski opened the renovated Lychakivskyy Cemetery in Lviv on 24 June, Ukrainian and Polish media reported. The necropolis, known in Poland as the Cemetery of Lwow Eaglets, contains the graves of mainly young Polish cadets who died in 1918 during fighting with Ukrainian units for the city. The fallen Ukrainians are buried in a separate part of the cemetery. The cemetery was built by the Poles before World War II, when Lwow was in Poland, and wrecked during the war as the city changed hands. The opening of the cemetery has been a sticking point in Ukrainian-Polish relations for nearly a decade. Its opening was officially announced several times in the past, but the Lviv City Council repeatedly objected to the inscription that was to be placed on a Polish memorial. Eventually, both sides agreed to the wording: "Here lie the Polish soldiers who fell for the Fatherland." On 23 June, 247 deputies of the Verkhovna Rada adopted a nonbinding resolution calling on the Lviv City Council to annul its earlier decision to open the controversial cemetery, but Lviv councilors did not heed it. JM

...AND CALL FOR MUTUAL RAPPROCHEMENT. Speaking at the Lychakivskyy Cemetery opening ceremony on 24 June, President Yushchenko hailed reconciliation between Ukraine and Poland, Ukrainian Television reported. "We have enough pride not to rewrite the tragic pages of history and enough wisdom to draw the right conclusions from this story. The main one being that there is no free Poland without a free Ukraine, and there is no free Ukraine without a free Poland," Yushchenko said. For his part, Kwasniewski said that Ukrainians and Poles "can now better understand the history of our peoples as we turn over the pages of our history books." He added that the casualties of the 1918 Ukrainian-Polish fighting are calling on the youth of the two countries to get to know each other better "in a spirit of peace, partnership, and unity." JM

FOUR UKRAINIAN OFFICERS IMPRISONED FOR 2002 AIR-SHOW TRAGEDY. A military court has sentenced four officers to prison terms ranging from six to 14 years for what was reported to be the world's worst air-show tragedy, Interfax reported on 23 June. An Su-27 fighter jet crashed into a crowd of spectators during an air show in Lviv on 27 July 2002, killing 77 and injuring nearly 300 people (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 July 2002). The jet's two pilots managed to eject before the aircraft hit the ground. First pilot Volodymyr Toponar was handed 14 years, second pilot Yuriy Yehorov eight years, and two commanders of the pilots' army unit to six years each. One more officer was given a four-year suspended sentence. All four were found guilty of "violating regulations pertaining to performing or preparing flights, as well as to servicing aircraft," according to the "Ukrayinska pravda" website ( JM

POLL SAYS FORMER UKRAINIAN PREMIER IS TOP OPPOSITIONIST. According to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Center among more than 2,000 Ukrainians from 27 May to 2 June, 56 percent of respondents said former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the opposition Party of regions, is the country's main opposition politician, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 23 June. The other oppositionists identified by the poll include Progressive Socialist Party leader Natalya Vitrenko (20 percent of respondents), Social Democratic Party-united leader Viktor Medvedchuk (14 percent), and Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko (12 percent). JM