Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 118

On the eve of his departure for the United States and South America, President Leonid Kuchma told a group regional officials that the "difficult times" in Ukraine will last for another year. Kuchma cautioned against making populist decisions that could lead to more inflation. (10)

As Kuchma was speaking, the First Congress of Ukrainian Miners, which opened in Kiev on Friday, made his point. Delegates passed a resolution calling for Kuchma’s resignation if his government fails to maintain state subsidies for the coal industry and resolve social issues of concern to miners. (11) Since the Gorbachev era, miners’ unions throughout the former Soviet Union have had an important impact on political events and decision-making by virtue of their strong organization and sense of solidarity. In Ukraine, they took much of the credit for the downfall of former president Leonid Kravchuk. Kuchma, though, has a stronger grip on the economic reins than his predecessor, and it does not seem likely he will meet the same fate.

Ukrainian Orthodox Synod Elects Filaret.