©2006 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

GERMANY WARY OF RUSSIAN AMBITIONS... German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Paris after meeting with President Jacques Chirac on October 12 that she told Russian President Vladimir Putin in Dresden recently that she opposes a greater role for Russia in EADS, German media reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," October 11 and 12, 2006). She added that she made it clear to Putin that "an institutional stake [for Russia in the aerospace company] is not on the agenda." The Kremlin reportedly aspires to a board seat with blocking rights at a time when it is increasingly denying foreign firms a role in developing Russian "strategic" energy resources and has effectively gone back on some major agreements already in force. The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" wrote on October 13 that the Kremlin's recent behavior toward Georgia and Ukraine, along with negative trends in Russia regarding democracy, press freedom, and racial equality, show that Russia is not yet qualified to become a "strategic partner" for Germany and the West. PM

SUSPECTS REPORTEDLY HELD FOR MURDER OF BANKER. The daily "Vremya novostei" reported on October 12 that police are holding three Ukrainian citizens as suspects in the September slaying of Central Bank executive Andrei Kozlov (see "RFE/RL Newsline," September 14, 15, and 18, 2006). The three allegedly turned themselves in, saying that they fear that those who hired them to kill Kozlov might now seek to have them eliminated, too. The suspects added that they had been approached by strangers who offered them $20,000 to kill "a crook who cheats good people" but decided to turn themselves in once they realized whom they had killed and who his enemies might be. Kozlov was known for seeking to clean up the banking system and rid it of criminals and money-laundering. Viktor Patapov, a spokesman for the Prosecutor-General's Office, declined to comment on the report because of the ongoing investigation. As part of that effort, police have staged a live mock-up of the killing where it took place in an effort to clarify what might have happened, reported. PM

SLAIN JOURNALIST'S UNFINISHED ARTICLE PUBLISHED. "Novaya gazeta" published in its October 12 edition an incomplete article that journalist Anna Politkovskaya was working on before she was shot dead in the elevator of her Moscow apartment building on October 7 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," October 10, 2006). The article quotes from a first-hand account by a young Chechen man, Beslan Gadayev, of how he was extradited from Ukraine to Grozny on suspicion of "banditry" and subjected to torture to extract a confession to murder. "Novaya gazeta" also published a purported transcript of video footage showing Chechen security officials torturing two young men. Politkovskaya told RFE/RL's Russian Service on October 5 she was writing an article about the participation of security forces loyal to Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov in the abduction, torture, and murder of Chechen civilians. Kadyrov has personally denied ordering her murder, affirming that "Chechens don't fight with women and Politkovskaya did not pose any threat to me," according to on October 11. LF

BELARUS TO RECEIVE LESS RUSSIAN OIL IN THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 2006. Russia's Transneft has reduced pressure at the Belarusian section of the Druzhba (Friendship) oil pipeline to examine some 600 defects it detected there, Belapan reported on October 12, quoting Transneft Vice President Sergei Grigorev. "[The pressure reduction] will of course reduce the pipeline's capacity and slightly lower the amount of oil supplies, but the company plans to deliver oil to customers on their request," Grigorev said. Meanwhile, "Kommersant" wrote the same day that Transneft will reduce oil supplies to Belarus in the fourth quarter of 2006 by 30 percent, or some 1 million tons. The newspaper cited unidentified experts as saying that in this way Russia intends to pressurize Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the ongoing negotiations on gas prices for Belarus in 2007. The Druzhba pipeline begins in Samara in Russia, where it collects oil from western Siberia, the Urals, and the Caspian Sea. It subsequently runs to Mazyr in Belarus, where it splits into a northern and southern branch. The southern branch runs to Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. The northern branch crosses the remainder of Belarus to reach Poland and Germany. JM

'OUR UKRAINE' PLEDGES TO STAY WITH PRESIDENT. Roman Bezsmertnyy, head of the parliamentary caucus of the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc of six parties, said on October 12 that Our Ukraine will continue to support President Viktor Yushchenko and will press for the execution of the program with which Yushchenko won the presidential election in 2004, Interfax-Ukraine reported. Bezsmertnyy reiterated that his caucus' decision to join the opposition and recall its four ministers from Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's cabinet was irreversible (see "RFE/RL's Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova Report," October 12, 2007). JM

TRANSDNIESTER LAWMAKERS SEEK INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF INDEPENDENCE. In a unanimous vote, the Transdniester parliament on October 11 appealed to legislatures in Russia, Ukraine, and other former Soviet republics to recognize its independence, Reuters reported the same day. In a referendum last month, voters in Transdniester supported independence and eventual unification with Russia by more than 97 percent (see "RFE/RL Newsline," September 18, 2006). "Deputies voted unanimously in favor of the appeal, which asks for the view of the Transdniestrian people, as expressed in the referendum, to be taken into consideration," the parliament's press secretary, Natalya Butko, told Reuters. BW