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Ukrainian Small Business Owners To March On Kyiv

More signs of strain in Ukraine. Small business owners in the city of Dnipropetrovsk say they will march to Kyiv (a 400 kilometer trek) next month to protest the government's economic policies.

The protesters' major demand is for the government to stabilize the national currency, the hryvnia, by making one dollar equal to at least six hryvnias.

Vitaliy Kupriy, an organizer of the campaign called "Course to 6.0," told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service that local owners of small- and medium-sized businesses received bank loans in dollars based on the economic predictions of the government.

But he says the current situation is far removed from the government's prognosis, and that the rights of local business owners have been abused as a result.

One dollar currently buys 8.1 hryvnias, whereas last year the rate was 5 hryvnias for $1. Dnipropetrovsk is about 400 kilometers away from Kyiv.

(Our Ukrainian Service interviewed Deputy Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria last week, where he talked, among other things, about the bad relations between the country's prime minister and president.)

-- Ukrainian Service

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