Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 33

Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma has removed Col. General Anatoly Lopata, chief of staff of the armed forces and also first deputy defense minister, from his posts and transferred him to other, as yet unspecified duties. Deputy Defense Minister Col. General Ivan Bizhan has been named acting chief of staff. Kuchma acted to resolve differences between Lopata and civilian Defense Minister Valery Shmarov over the size and reorganization of Ukraine’s armed forces. Lopata considered the plan to reduce the country’s military manpower from its current level of 470,000 to 350,000 by the year 2000 too extreme. He also objected to existing plans to reorganize the country’s military districts. National Security Council Secretary Volodymyr Horbulin criticized Lopata for going public with his views and for revealing confidential information in the process. (12) Ukraine inherited three military districts — Odessa, Kiev, and Carpathia — and a 600,000-man army from the former USSR. The downsized army planned for the year 2000 would still leave Ukraine with the largest army in Europe west of Russia.

Horbulin announced yesterday that Kuchma had also removed the first deputy director of the Ukrainian State Security Service, Lt. General Ondrii Homich, from his post. Homich, along with the regional security chief of Dnepropetrovsk, was made responsible for the recent expulsion of three Chinese citizens on charges of having illegally obtained blueprints for rocket engines from the Pivdenmash plant. That plant was formerly the USSR’s largest ICBM plant. The Ukrainian government, which has a cooperative space navigation program with China, has retracted the espionage charges against the three Chinese. (13)

Ukraine to Seek U.S., G-7 Help on Nuclear Issues.