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HUMANITARIAN AID POURS INTO BESLAN. Following the Beslan crisis, tons of humanitarian aid has been sent to North Ossetia from Western countries, RTR and ORT reported. France, Italy, Norway, and the United States have all flown in medical and other supplies needed to treat those injured in the siege. The aid is being distributed in coordination with the Emergency Situations Ministry. China has pledged $1.2 million in aid, according to ITAR-TASS. Israel, Italy, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Ukraine, and Greece have all offered to treat children wounded in the siege. The United States has flown in three military cargo jets filled with supplies worth some $655,000, and such efforts will continue, U.S. State Department spokesman Boucher on 7 September, according to a State Department press release. British Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly donated an unspecified "considerable amount of money" to help the victims of Beslan, according to RTR on 8 September, and the British daily "The Sun" has collected more than 250,000 pounds ($420,000). VY
OUR UKRAINE WARNS OF UPCOMING PROVOCATION BY EXTREME NATIONALISTS... Our Ukraine official Taras Stetskiv warned on 8 September of an upcoming rally by a radical nationalist group that he suggested is aimed at tainting Our Ukraine leader Viktor Yushchenko by associating his presidential bid with nationalism, Interfax reported. Stetskiv told journalists that the nationalist Ukrainian National Assembly (UNA) party plans to stage a rally and a march in Kyiv on 9 September at which UNA members are to shout anti-Russian and anti-Semitic slogans and express unsolicited support for Yushchenko. "The goal [of the UNA] is obvious -- to discredit presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko," Stetskiv said, according to Interfax. He added that Our Ukraine has notified foreign embassies in Kyiv of the UNA's purported plans. Our Ukraine lawmaker Yuriy Klyuchkovskyy on 9 September called on the Interior Ministry, the Ukrainian Security Service, and the Prosecutor-General's Office to prevent the UNA action. "This is their last chance to prove that they are law enforcement bodies, not a department in the [presidential-campaign] staff of [Prime Minister] Viktor Yanukovych for the organization of provocations," Klyuchkovskyy added. He also appealed to the Verkhovna Rada to pass a resolution on counteracting "fascist manifestations" in Ukraine. JM
...AND ACCUSES POLICE OF WORKING AGAINST OPPOSITION IN ELECTION CAMPAIGN. Stetskiv also told journalists on 8 September that the Interior Ministry has created regional groups of police officers from departments dealing with economic and organized crime to support the presidential campaign of Prime Minister Yanukovych and counteract the campaigns of opposition candidates, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website (http://www.ukrpravda.com) reported. Stetskiv alleged that such groups are coordinated by the ministry with unsigned faxes with secret directives sent to the provinces. "Only members of these groups know about the existence of such directives," Stetskiv added. He showed one such purported fax to journalists. The document included instructions to monitor election meetings in the regions, prevent opposition candidates from placing their campaign advertisements on commercial billboards, spot those officials in local power bodies who sympathize with the opposition, prevent opposition election staff members in Kyiv from sending advertising materials or money to the provinces, and thwart the printing of election campaign advertisements by opposition candidates in the provinces. JM
U.S. OFFICIAL EXPRESSES WASHINGTON'S HOPES FOR DEMOCRATIC ELECTION IN UKRAINE. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs John Tefft told journalists in Kyiv on 8 September that the Unites States hopes that the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine is democratic, Interfax reported. Tefft said Washington has received reports that not all of Ukraine's presidential candidates enjoy equal access to regional media and that there have been cases of intimidation of voters in Ukraine. Tefft added, however, that Washington does not think that the election process in Ukraine is "doomed." Tefft also expressed hope that Ukraine does not withdraw its contingent from Iraq (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 August 2004). Tefft held his conference following a meeting with President Leonid Kuchma. JM