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ukraine-related news stories from RFE

EUROPEAN COURT FINES UKRAINE OVER MURDERED JOURNALIST. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on 8 November ruled in favor of Myroslava Gongadze, the widow of Ukrainian journalist Heorhiy Gongadze who was slain in 2000, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported. Myroslava Gongadze filed a suit in 2002, accusing the Ukrainian authorities of failing to protect her husband and subsequently to investigate the case in a coherent and effective manner (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 April and 2 June 2005). The court ruled that the Ukrainian authorities failed to protect Heorhiy Gongadze's life, failed to investigate his death, treated Myroslava Gongadze in an inhuman and degrading manner, and in the absence of an effective criminal investigation, prevented her from receiving compensation. The court awarded Myroslava Gongadze, who fled to the United States after her husband's death, 100,000 euros ($118,000) in damages. Ukraine has three months to appeal the decision. "This is...a precedent for other people like myself, who have suffered from the Ukrainian authorities, to file such complaints. And this shows that we can win and this will teach the Ukrainian authorities to really respect their citizens," Myroslava Gongadze told RFE/RL. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT SACKS TWO GOVERNORS. President Viktor Yushchenko on 8 November dismissed Zaporizhzhya Oblast Governor Yuriy Artemenko and Luhansk Oblast Governor Oleksiy Danilov, Interfax-Ukraine reported. "Mr. Artemenko and Mr. Danilov will be offered other positions in the government," presidential spokeswoman Iryna Herashchenko commented on the dismissals. "The dismissals in Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya Oblasts should be viewed in the context of the [upcoming] parliamentary elections," opposition Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych said. "The governing party needs its own people in the regions, and if somebody fails to understand that, he has to leave." JM

EU HELPS UKRAINE FIGHT ILLEGAL MIGRATION. The European Union has allocated $3.8 million euros ($4.5 million) to help Kyiv fight illegal migration and create an efficient system of managing migratory movement through the country, Ukrainian media reported on 8 November, quoting Deputy Interior Minister Hennadiy Moskal. In particular, the money will be spent on the establishment of two detention centers for illegal migrants, one in Volyn Oblast and the other in Chernihiv Oblast. Moskal explained that Ukraine has no such centers at present, and detained migrants are kept jointly with vagrants and homeless persons, which is against international law. JM