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Ukrainian President Orders Social Reforms

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (left) speaks during a televised cabinet meeting in Kyiv on March 7.
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych has ordered the government to work on a series of new reforms that he says are aimed at improving social welfare and public trust in government.

At a televised cabinet meeting March 7, Yanukovych said the government needed to reestablish the trust of the Ukrainian people in the capabilities of the authorities to improve the lives of citizens.

Yanukovych said he supported changes such as increases in the minimum wage and improved labor standards, higher wages for government workers, modernization of state-provided health services, and reductions in the cost of education.

Yanukovych has come under criticism from Ukrainians over his failure to fulfill pledges he delivered during his presidential campaign two years ago to improve social welfare and the country's average standard of living.

With Interfax and dpa reporting