Kuchma appoints government officials

KYIV - President Leonid Kuchma visited Moscow to meet with Russian President Boris Yeltsin on his inauguration day. Back home, President Kuchma appointed Volodymyr Yevtukh as chairman of the new State Commission on Nationalities and Migration. He reappointed Pavlo Mysnyk to head the State Committee on State Secrets and the Technical Protection of Information, Ukrainian TV and radio reported on August 7. He continued to form his government the next day with the re-appointment of Mykhailo Zhurovsky as education minister, the appointment of Oleksander Osaulenko as statistics minister; Bohdan Babiy as chairman of the State Committee on Oil, Gas and Oil Processing Industry; Stanislav Syvokin as head of the State Committee for the Protection of Consumer Rights and five oblast governors. He later appointed Mykola Biloblotsky as labor minister, Dmytro Khudolii as minister of communications, and Oleksander Omelchenko as mayor of Kyiv. (OMRI Daily Digest)

IMF to review Ukraine's creditworthiness

KYIV - An IMF mission arrived in Kyiv to review whether Ukraine is meeting the requirements for the disbursement of a stand-by credit. The mission will dicuss a $1.5 billion stabilization fund for Ukraine to introduce its national currency by the end of the year and may begin negotiations that could lead to credits worth $2.5 billion. (OMRI Daily Digest)

Electricity cut off to delinquent businesses

KYIV - About 15,000 businesses are without power due to unpaid bills. The Energy Ministry cut off their electricity after being faced with $1.1 billion in unpaid bills from more than 50,000 businesses. Among those with no power is the aviation squadron of the Black Sea Fleet. It owes Krymenergo 25 billion karbovantsi ($140,000). The fleet owes the city of Sevastopil 2 trillion kbv ($11 million) for utilities and 5 trillion kbv ($27.7 million) for damages to the city. In addition, 500 servicemen have not been paid since January, ITAR-TASS and Ukrainian radio reported. (OMRI Daily Digest)

Corruption uncovered in industries

KYIV - Evidence of large-scale corruption among officials and managers of various government-financed sectors has been found, Ukraine's Procurator General, Oleksander Khrystenko, announced. He said his office had discovered dozens of cases of embezzlement of government funds intended as wages in the coal mining, education, health care and other sectors, especially by the managers of 10 coal mines in eastern Ukraine. This greatly aggravated the wage debt crisis there. He also said ministry officials did not monitor the funds' use. (OMRI Daily Digest)

Mining strike problems continue

KYIV - Leaders of the Independent Union of Miners of Ukraine protested the August 1 arrest of strike leader Mykhailo Krylov, earlier arrests of two strike organizers in Luhanske, and a police search of a union office in Krasnoarmiyske on August 6. They said the police tried to intimidate them by ransacking the office and confiscating documents on the July coal miners' strikes, Ukrainian and Western agencies reported on August 6-7. Meanwhile, a government commission on the July miners' strike concluded that the total loss of output was 4 million tons of coal and 25 trillion karbovantsi ($66 million). Fifty mines were left inactive, and the current coal output is half of the previous month's, Ukrainian radio reported on August 12. (OMRI Daily Digest)

President awarded medal for services

KYIV - President Leonid Kuchma was awarded the medal of St. Volodymyr the Great by the World Congress of Ukrainians, it was reported on August 13. He was awarded this highest honor for his "tireless performance in strengthening Ukrainian statehood" and "efforts in the adoption of Ukraine's Constitution." The St. Volodymyr medal was founded in 1988 to be awarded for remarkable services performed on behalf of the Ukrainian people wordwide, or the Ukrainian state. (Interfax-Ukraine)

Crimean legislators seek more autonomy

SYMFEROPIL - Thirty five pro-Moscow Crimean legislators requested a special parliamentary session to discuss Crimean autonomy provisions in the Ukrainian Constitution of which they disapprove, Ukrainian radio reported on August 10. The lawmakers hope the session will call a region-wide referendum on the provisions contained in the Constitution of Ukraine, as well as on provisions in the Crimean constitution that they believe do not sufficiently guarantee the region's autonomy. (Radio Ukraine)

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, August 18, 1996, No. 33, Vol. LXIV

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