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
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FIRES PROSECUTOR-GENERAL. President Leonid Kuchma dismissed Svyatoslav Piskun from the post of prosecutor-general on 29 October, Interfax reported. Earlier the same day, a motion to sack Piskun was tendered by the Coordinating Committee for Combating Organized Crime, which comprises the heads of the Security Service, the Interior Ministry, the State Tax Administration, the Justice Ministry, and other government officials. The committee charged that Piskun "has excessively politicized [the Prosecutor-General's Office] and [used it] for creating his own political image." It also accused him of misusing budget funds. "Piskun has committed a number of shameful acts while taking advantage of his position for personal gain," Olha Kolinko, the committee's chairwoman, alleged to journalists. JM
EXPERT SAYS TUZLA ROW AIMED AT STOPPING UKRAINE'S EURO-ATLANTIC INTEGRATION. Anatoliy Halchynskyy, director of Ukraine's National Institute of Strategic Studies and President Kuchma's adviser, told Interfax on 29 October that the questioning by Russia of Ukraine's ownership of Tuzla Island in the Kerch Strait (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 29 October 2003) is intended to hamper Ukraine's integration into Europe. "Under NATO's statutory documents, the political demands of the countries striving for membership in the alliance include, among other things, the settlement of external territorial controversies," Halchynskyy said, adding that the "artificial problem of sovereignty" over Tuzla "will most probably be fueled by the Russian side over a long period of time." Halchynskyy noted that the construction of the controversial dam in the Kerch Strait, which he called "the Tuzla provocation," was started by Russia a week after the Ukraine-EU summit in Yalta, which in his opinion "clearly and unequivocally confirmed the invariability" of Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic course. JM
ETHNIC HUNGARIANS LEAVING NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES. Approximately 500,000 ethnic Hungarians from neighboring countries have emigrated to Hungary or Western Europe in the past 13 years, "Nepszabadsag" reported on 30 October. The daily called its figure a conservative estimate, and reported that the trend appears to be unstoppable despite efforts by Hungarian governments since 1989 to encourage ethnic Hungarians to remain in their homelands. The paper reported that the trend did not abate after the approval of the Status Law in 2001. The total figure was 15,250 in 1990, rising to 40,754 in 1993, according to Hungarian Interior Ministry. The greatest number of Hungarian immigrants reportedly left Romania. Last year, when the Status Law took effect, 37,996 Romanian citizens emigrated to Hungary -- most of them ethnic Hungarians. Between 1993 and 2002, 54,100 emigres from Romania, 12,149 from Serbia, 962 from Slovakia, and 6,950 from Ukraine received Hungarian citizenship. MS
MOLDOVAN ECOLOGISTS WORRIED ABOUT RADIATION LEVELS IN TRANSDNIESTER TOWN. The Environment, Construction, and Territorial Development Ministry has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to test the level of radioactivity at the Ribnita metallurgic plant in Transdniester, BASA-press and Infotag reported on 28 and 29 October. Minister Gheorghe Duca told journalists on 27 October that the IAEA was contacted after the Organization of the Moldovan Ecological Movement (OTCMEM) two weeks ago discovered high radioactivity levels around the plant. The ministry has also asked the OSCE to facilitate IAEA experts' access to Transdniester, where Moldovan environmentalists are denied entry. OTCMEM Chairman Vladimir Garaba told BASA-press that according to investigations carried out by his organization, residues of metal brought to Ribnita from Chernobyl are buried within the metallurgic plant and that ecologists have data indicating that Ribnita has the highest rate of cancer in Moldova. Infotag cited ministry Counselor Ion Virtan as saying the Ribnita plant has imported radioactive wire scraps from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area, refined it, and exported the product to Russia. Virtan said the Russian buyer detected higher-than-normal radiation levels and returned the product to Ribnita. MS