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Yearbook 1996

Ukraine. According to, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma dismissed his Prime Minister Yevgeny Martyuk in awe-inspiring manner in May. The official reason was that the prime minister could not be head of government because he was at the same time a member of parliament, Verochna Rada. Such a law actually existed, but had rarely been applied. The president also considered that the prime minister misunderstood the country's economy, but it was also whispered that Kuchma feared Martjuk in the fight for the presidential post. Still others claimed that Martjuk was given the silk cord for his Prorean politics. 43-year-old Pavel Lazarenko was appointed new Prime Minister. A few months after the appointment, he was bombed; that he escaped undamaged seems to have been due to chance. President Kuchma decided to proclaim "partial state of emergency" after the failed act. A power struggle is underway within the highest political leadership. Both the President and the Prime Minister come from the Dnipropetrovsk region. Many in the political leadership believe that the Dnipropetrovskians have conquered an overly strong position.

1996 Ukraine

Hopefully, six years after independence, Ukraine has the worst in terms of declining industrial production, high unemployment and inflation. One sign of stabilization is the introduction of a new currency, or rather denominated (ie, erased inflationary zeros in) the national currency, the carbovan. Prior to the reform, about 30,000 carbovanets were received for a Swedish krona.

In foreign policy, Ukraine has come to a conflict of interest between the West and the Russian Federation. Relations with the Russian Federation are strained because of the Crimean conflict, where a division of the Black Sea Fleet still seems to be in sight. The strained relations between Kiev and Moscow are also due to Ukraine's refusal to join the Slavic community (union or defense-political cooperation) proposed by the Russian Federation. Unlike most post-communist countries, Ukraine does not seek NATO membership either; obviously trying to go their own way. During the year, Ukraine became a nuclear-free country, an astonishing development considering that only a few years ago, it was the world's third largest nuclear power.

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