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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

UKRAINIAN LEFTISTS COMMEMORATE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION WITH ANTIGOVERNMENT RALLIES. Up to 10,000 people participated in a rally and a picket in front of the government headquarters organized by the Communist Party and other leftist groups in Kyiv on 7 November to observe the 88th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution, Ukrainian news agencies reported. The events were held under antigovernment slogans, including "Away With Yushchenko!"; "The True Revolution Is Still To Come"; and "Ukraine Is Not for Sale." Other antigovernment, leftist rallies with slogans condemning Ukraine's official goals to join the World Trade Organization, NATO, and the EU were held in Mykolayiv (5,000 people), Kirovohrad (1,000), Simferopol (1,000), Odesa (1,000), and other Ukrainian cities. Demonstrators in Kyiv demanded that the government restore Revolution Day as an official holiday. The 7 November holiday was abolished in 2000. JM

UKRAINE CONCERNED ABOUR RUSSIAN STORES OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has urged Russia to make sure that it observes environmental security standards in storing chemical weapons near the Ukrainian border, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 8 November. According to Kyiv, some 6,000 tons of chemical weapons are being stored in dangerous conditions in the town of Pochep in Bryansk Oblast, which is just 70 kilometers away from Sumy and Chernihiv Oblasts of Ukraine. Kyiv asserts that the time for which the storage facilities in Pochep were designed to be safely used has almost expired. The Moscow-based "Komsomolskaya pravda" charged last month that Kyiv uses abandoned mines in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts to store spent nuclear fuel and chemicals, thus reportedly threatening the environmental security of six Russian regions. JM

EU SET TO GRANT UKRAINE MARKET ECONOMY STATUS. The "Financial Times" on 8 November quoted a European Commission document as saying that Brussels has decided to grant Ukraine market-economy status by the end of this year or early next year. The move, sought by Kyiv as one of its main political objectives this year, would reduce the EU's scope for imposing antidumping duties on Ukrainian imports. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said last week that Ukraine's losses in trade because of antidumping investigations amount to some $8 billion annually (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 November 2005). The EU is Ukraine's largest trading partner, with annual trade turnover standing at $22 billion. JM