Coalmine workers’ strike committees in several eastern Ukrainian cities yesterday announced plans to block rail and other inter-city transport as of today, until they receive overdue wages. A rail blockade would have wreak far greater economic damage on Ukraine than the road traffic blockades which the protesters have used since the strike’s outbreak July 3. Moderate union leaders appear to be overtaken by more radical protesters. Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, confirmed by the Ukrainian parliament yesterday, told the chamber that the coal industry crisis is the country’s most urgent problem and that he will go to the strike area next week. President Leonid Kuchma announced that he has urgently appealed to U.S. president Bill Clinton and German chancellor Helmut Kohl for support in obtaining soft-term credits which would enable Ukraine to pay the overdue wages and rehabilitate the coal industry. (Interfax-Ukraine, Western agencies, July 10)
Azerbaijani Opposition Figure Amnestied.