Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 87

The Ukrainian Communist and Socialist parties and leftist labor groups organized well-attended rallies in Kiev, in Crimea’s capital Simferopol, and in eastern Ukraine’s russified industrial centers Donetsk and Kharkiv. Attendance ranged from 5,000 to 10,000 in these cities, with smaller figures elsewhere. The main slogans and resolutions called for an end to market reforms; Ukraine’s active participation in the CIS and accession to the planned Russia-Belarus Union; solidarity with Belarusan president Aleksandr Lukashenko; as well as an end to Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO and "colonization" by the West. The rallies condemned President Leonid Kuchma’s policies across the board and called for his resignation. The Ukrainian parliament’s Socialist chairman, Oleksandr Moroz, addressed the Communist rally in Kiev to call for a united leftist front in the parliamentary and presidential elections. (UNIAN, Interfax-Ukraine, Itar-Tass, May 1)

In Minsk, a government-organized May Day rally drew an unprecedented large attendance of leftists, some of whom carried portraits of Lenin, Stalin, and President Aleksandr Lukashenko. The opposition Social-Democrat Party Hramada and free trade union groups mounted a smaller counterdemonstration. (Interfax, May 1) The pro-Soviet authorities of Transdniester organized rallies under the slogans "We are with Russia," "Yes to the Russia-Belarus Union," and "No to NATO."

Armenia’s just-created, Communist-led Bloc of National-Patriotic Forces claimed to have drawn a 15,000-strong attendance at its first-ever rally yesterday. The demonstration attacked the government’s economic policies, but supported its foreign policy and called for Armenia’s accession to the Russia-Belarus Union. (Noyan-Tapan, Interfax, May 1) Elsewhere in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia, leftist actions drew negligible attendance.

Ukrainian Military Delegation Completes Major U.S. Visit.