On January 28 Ukraine’s Information Ministry suspended — indefinitely — the legal registration and publishing authorization of the Pravda Ukrainy newspaper. This move came after the Justice Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office determined that the newspaper’s registration last August had been unlawful. At that time, the Kyiv-based Pravda Ukrainy was re-registered as a joint-stock company, with 76 percent of the stock held by a firm from Antigua. That firm, suspected of being a front, does not have, as is required by law, a branch office in Ukraine. The opposition party Hromada denounced the suspension yesterday — calling it retribution for the newspaper’s cooperation with Hromada and criticism of the government. (UNIAN, Eastern Economist Daily, January 28-30)
Pravda Ukrainy is the former mouthpiece of the Communist Party. In recent months, it has widely publicized the views of former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko and his Hromada party. This emphasis has led to suppositions that the change of ownership might entail control of the newspaper by Lazarenko. Considered a byword for official corruption in Ukraine, Lazarenko leads Hromada in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Lazarenko–whose power base lies in his position as head of the Dnipropetrovsk Region’s administration — has announced plans to run for president next year, against Leonid Kuchma.
Turkmen-Ukrainian Gas Deal Dramatizes Dependence on Russia for Transit.