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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINE DENIES TALKS WITH ISRAEL ON RETURN OF CRUISE MISSILES FROM IRAN. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry on 1 August denied talking with Israel about a possible reversal of the controversial sale of cruise missiles to Iran, Ukrainian news agencies reported. According to the Israeli newspaper "Ha'aretz," the issue was discussed during the visit of Ukrainian Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko to Israel on 24-26 July. "All reports of alleged discussions by Anatoliy Hrytsenko in Israel of the issue of returning missiles from Iran are of a provocational character and are aimed at worsening relations between Ukraine and the countries of the Middle East," the ministry said in a press release. In March, Kyiv confirmed that 12 cruise missiles known as Kh-55s were smuggled from Ukraine to Iran in 2001 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 and 21 March 2005). The Kh-55s, with a range of 3,000 kilometers, mobility, and ability to carry nuclear warheads, could constitute a potential threat to Israel. JM

KYIV WANTS EXTRADITION OF UKRAINIAN SUSPECTS FROM RUSSIA. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry is planning to hold talks with the Russian Interior Ministry on the extradition from Russia of former Ukrainian officials who are suspected of committing crimes in Ukraine, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported on 1 August, citing Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko. "There is a [Ukrainian] government-in-exile staying in Russia today," Lutsenko told journalists. "There are many former Ukrainian governors and high-ranking officials there. They are hiding from accountability." Kyiv has recently asked Moscow to help find the whereabouts of former Central Election Commission head Serhiy Kivalov, former Interior Minister Mykola Bilokon, former Sumy Oblast Governor Volodymyr Shcherban, and former Odesa Mayor Ruslan Bodelan. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT'S SON SAID TO OWN COPYRIGHTS TO ORANGE-REVOLUTION TRADEMARKS. State Tax Administration deputy head Mykola Katerynchuk has told Ukrainian media that Andriy Yushchenko, President Viktor Yushchenko's son, owns the copyrights to symbols and logos of the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, Ukrainian news agencies reported on 2 August. "I passed [these copyrights] to [Andriy Yushchenko] personally, after the [Yushchenko] victory in the third round," Katerynchuk said in an interview with "Kommersant-Ukrayina" on 2 August. "During an election campaign our symbols should be protected from being misused by someone else," he added. Katerynchuk was Viktor Yushchenko's representative in the Central Election Commission in the presidential campaign. According to experts quoted by "Kommersant-Ukrayina," the symbols and logos associated with the Orange Revolution could be worth "millions of dollars." Katerynchuk's statement came in the wake of reports alleging that Andriy Yushchenko, a university student in Kyiv, lives a lavish lifestyle on funds of unknown origin (see "RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova Report," 2 August 2005). JM

TIRASPOL URGES MEDIATORS TO SEND OBSERVERS FOR LEGISLATIVE POLLS. The authorities of Moldova's separatist region of Transdniester have called on mediators in the settlement of the Tiraspol-Chisinau conflict -- Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) -- to send monitors to the parliamentary elections in December, ITAR-TASS reported on 2 August. A plan put forward by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in April proposed that Tiraspol hold democratic elections under international monitoring this year. However, Chisinau wants the elections to be held only after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Transdniester and under Moldova's legislation, a demand which is opposed by Tiraspol. Council of Europe Secretary-General Terry Davis said in Chisinau last month that free and democratic elections in Transdniester are unlikely to be held this year. JM