The Ukrainian parliament is expected to debate the candidacy of Pavel Lazarenko as the new prime minister of Ukraine tomorrow, July 10. As required by the new legislation, the prime minister and cabinet tendered their resignation following the adoption of Ukraine’s first post-Soviet constitution on June 28. In what Ukrainian analysts see as a related move, President Leonid Kuchma yesterday dismissed defense minister Valery Shmarov, Ukraine’s first civilian defense minister who had held the post since October 1994. Shmarov had come under sharp criticism from nationalist parties and the media are therefore speculating that Kuchma sacrificed him as a gesture to the nationalist wing of the Ukrainian parliament, hoping in return to secure its approval of his nomination of Lazarenko as prime minister. (Interfax-Ukraine, July 8)
Duma Holds Military Reform Hearings.