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Ukrainian President Visits Hostile Donetsk Region

Donetsk supported Yanukovych in last year's elections (file photo) 28 August 2005 -- Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko today visited the Donetsk region of the country to commemorate victims of mine accidents.

Yushchenko told miners at a meeting that every Donetsk family should be sure that their father will come home safe.

The president announced last week that he plans to reshape the coal industry, which is plagued by lack of funds and widespread accidents.

Nearly 4,300 workers have died in Ukraine's mines since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
The reform-oriented Yushchenko was making a one-day visit to Donetsk, a Russian-speaking region that overwhelmingly supported his rival Viktor Yanukovych in last year's bitter election battle.