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RFE/RL Review August 12, 2005

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The Best of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Reporting
July 30-August 12, 2005

RADIO FREE IRAQ FOCUSES ON DEBATE OVER NEW CONSTITUTION... Radio Free Iraq correspondents in Baghdad focused their coverage on the negotiations underway to complete the draft of Iraq's first post-Saddam constitution, which must be submitted to the National Assembly for approval by the August 15 deadline. Coverage included the broadcast of official statements and press conferences presenting the views of the drafters, as well as interviews with members of different communities on the two major issues of controversy -- the Shiite demand for Islamic law and the dispute between Kurds and Shiites on one side and Sunnis on the other over autonomy. A Radio Free Iraq correspondent will also be at the Iraqi parliament on August 15, reporting on a scheduled special session to review the new charter.
To review RFE/RL coverage of events in Iraq, including the debate over the country's new constitution, please visit our English-language site "The New Iraq," located at or the Arabic-language Radio Free Iraq website, at

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Iraq, Sergey Danilochkin, may be reached by email at <>.

...COVERS BAGHDAD POWER STRUGGLE Another major story involved a power struggle over the rule of Baghdad, between mayor Ala' al-Tamimi and Baghdad governor Husayn al-Tahhan.
In an exclusive interview on August 9 with RFI correspondent Ahmad al-Zubaydi (, al-Tamimi confirmed that "armed men had occupied the offices of the Baghdad mayor and beat a number of municipal employees." Al-Tamimi said Baghdad governor Husayn al-Tahhan and Baghdad governorate council president Mazin Makkiya were with the attackers. According to al-Tamimi, "Baghdad governor Husayn al-Tahhan entered the Municipality [building], accompanied by governorate council president Mazin Makkiya and some 120 armed men. He summoned an assembly in my office, where he announced that he was now assuming the post of acting mayor... [When] asked with what authority, since the mayor answers to the Council of Ministers, al-Tahhan did not answer and his men began beating some of the employees." Al-Tamimi was not in the office when it was stormed.
Asked about the reason for Governor al-Tahhan's action, al-Tamimi noted that, one week earlier, the Baghdad Council had appointed al- Tahhan to the post of acting Baghdad governor and that he himself had resigned as mayor on June 21. Al-Tamimi said in the RFI interview that, while he was on vacation outside Iraq, "a campaign to denigrate my image was launched here. I was apprehended in the airport and remained in detention for one day. All that was based on unfounded allegations. "
Al-Tamimi, who visited RFE/RL's broadcast operations center in Prague in 2004, said he is withdrawing from any power struggle and not taking sides in any dispute, stating, "I had already resigned. I am a man of work, not a man of conflict. I do not get involved in conflicts; I do not belong to any political party. I do not have any militia and no political party supports me." Iraqi cabinet spokesman Laith Kubba confirmed to Radio Free Iraq that the Council of Ministers has accepted al-Tamimi's resignation and that the Council of Ministers would, in its next session, discuss the names of three candidates for this post.

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Iraq, Sergey Danilochkin, may be reached by email at <>.

RFE/RL REMEMBERS HIROSHIMA Most RFE/RL services observed, as part of their programming on August 5 and 6, the 60th anniversary of the day the US dropped an atomic bomb over Hiroshima.
The Ukrainian Service aired a program tailored to its audience that featured an interview with Oksana Gudzij, a Ukrainian survivor of the Chernobyl atomic disaster who now lives in Tokyo ( Ukrainian Service broadcaster Ludmilla Litovtchenko spoke to Gudzij by phone and learned that Gudzij was in Chernobyl on April 26, 1986 and later evacuated with her family to Kyiv. While in Kyiv, she studied Ukrainian music and joined a children's choir. The choir was invited to Tokyo to give concerts of Ukrainian songs, with the proceeds going to help the sick children of Chernobyl. Over the next few years, Gudzij went back to Japan several times to give concerts in support of Chernobyl children. Six years ago, she settled there for good, moving from Kyiv to Tokyo, where she got married and started a new life. Gudzij said that she still helps Ukrainian children -- second generation victims of the Chernobyl disaster.
Other services drew on an RFE/RL's Central News report about a Hiroshima survivor, Koko Tanimoto-Kondo, and her "journey from hate to reconciliation" ( She told RFE/RL correspondent Kathleen Moore about her experience as a baby trapped with her mother in the rubble of their house after the bomb exploded on August 6, 1945. Her early memories were of the many people who were disfigured by terrible burns -- including young women who came to be known as the "Hiroshima Maidens." Tanimoto-Kondo recalled that "some of them, their eyes could not close, or the mouth could not close because the lips were together with the chin," and that as a child she was filled with hate and swore revenge -- "I said to myself when I grow up I am really going to give a big punch to whoever was on the B-29 Enola Gay, to [take] revenge." But in 1955, when she accompanied with her parents a group of young women to the United States for plastic surgery, Kondo said she had a change of heart. Her father was invited on a popular television show, "This Is Your Life," with people who had played an important role in his life, including Captain Robert Lewis, co-pilot of the Enola Gay. For 10-year-old Tanimoto-Kondo, this was a traumatic encounter. She listened as Lewis described how it felt to have dropped the bomb. "Captain Lewis said from the airplane he saw the city of Hiroshima had disappeared and he said, 'My God, what have we done?' I thought he was the enemy, that man," Tanimoto-Kondo said. "But after he said the words 'My God, what have we done?' I looked at his eyes and saw his tears come out and I felt so sorry, and I prayed to God: 'I'm sorry, please forgive me, God, I hated this guy, but if I hate, I should hate war itself, not this guy and please forgive me.'"

** The Director of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Olga Buriak, may be reached by email at <>. The Director of RFE/RL's Central News department, Kestutis Girnius, may be reached by email at <>.

RUSSIAN SERVICE COVERS SUBMARINE RESCUE RFE/RL's Russian Service was on the air with minute-by-minute live reports on developments in the international rescue of the stranded Russian submarine the weekend of August 5 (;; Russian Service correspondents filed stories from Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka and Vladivostok, the headquarters of the Russian Navy in the Pacific. Programming included comments and observations by military marine experts from the Russian Far East, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, where the service contacted the All-Russian Club of Submarine Veterans.
The Russian Service's London correspondent gained an exclusive interview with Roger Chapman, General Director of James Fisher Rumic, whose company provided the remote-controlled underwater vehicle that played a large part in the rescue ( In response to Russia's appeal for outside help, a British vessel sailed to the scene and the vehicle spent six hours cutting the cables that had trapped the boat at the bottom of the ocean.
After the rescue of all seven Russian seamen in the submarine, the service aired a roundtable discussion on August 8, about the lessons learned since the Kursk disaster, the causes of this accident and consequences for the Russian Navy. Coverage continued on August 9 with reports on the progress of the criminal investigation into the accident, quoting Russian prosecutors who said their initial finding places much of the fault on negligence by officials overseeing the AS- 28 submarine's mission.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Russian Service, Maria Klein, may be reached by email at <>.

UKRAINE: RFE/RL INTERVIEWS PRIME MINISTER YULIYA TYMOSHENKO Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko gave a lengthy interview to RFE/RL Ukrainian Service Kyiv correspondent Maryna Pyrozhuk on August 7, at the six-month milestone of the new government of President Viktor Yushchenko (Audio and transcript in Ukrainian at; transcript in English at Aired in several parts in the second week of August, Tymoshenko spoke about economic problems and goals, as well as the way the political coalition is working. Asked about internal conflicts in the government, Tymoshenko said "the majority of people who came to power are public politicians. They are ambitious... and these clashes of ambition are what stand in the way of working together." She also noted that some officials in power are pursuing their own business interests, using power "as a trampoline to do big business, to straddle sources of finance. The other part of the (government) team, the other half of the government, is there to build Ukraine -- that Ukraine which was entrusted to us during the elections, those very difficult presidential elections."

** The Director of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Olga Buriak, may be reached by email at <>.

RFE/RL PROGRAMS ON UKRAINIAN NASHE RADIO NETWORK The new partnership of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service with Ukraine's Nashe Radio FM network is growing in popularity and getting good response from listeners. Launched July 18, Nashe Radio carries unique RFE/RL programming prepared by RFE/RL's regional network of correspondents in Ukraine and aired daily nationwide (
The program, called "Sounds of Life," airs four times a day in five-minute segments of a developing story on a single theme. The first "Sounds of Life" broadcast focused on the so-called "sugar war" -- a political controversy over rising prices of sugar and allegations of corruption that raged in Ukraine in June and July. Other stories have included the media controversy over the extravagant lifestyle of President Viktor Yushchenko's 19-year-old son Andriy and the president's defense of his son. A report that got a lot of listener feedback addressed the difficulties of buying train tickets and the booming business of scalpers (Audio archives of "Sounds of Life" can be found on the Nashe Radio website at
The RFE/RL "Sounds of Life" program is designed to appeal to an audience between 20 and 46 years old and fits into the Nashe Radio entertainment-oriented format, which focuses on Ukrainian and Russian- language pop music with a significant news component in the Ukrainian language. "Sounds of Life" is rebroadcast twice daily on RFE/RL Ukrainian Service broadcasts and posted to the Ukrainian Service website.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, Olga Buriak, may be reached by email at <>.

BELARUSIAN SERVICE FIRST TO INTERVIEW RELEASED SCIENTIST... RFE/RL's Belarusian Service was the first to contact leading scientist and prisoner of conscience Yury Bandazhewski, when he was unexpectedly released early from prison on the night of August 5 ( Bandazhewski, former rector of the Homyel State Medical Institute, spoke to RFE/RL's Minsk correspondent in an exclusive interview aired in two parts August 7 and 8 ( He spoke about his health, how he had coped with six years of incarceration, and his plans to continue with scientific research.
Bandazhewski was sentenced to eight years in prison in June 2001 on trumped-up charges of bribery. Amnesty International declared Bandazhewski to be a prisoner of conscience, imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of expression. He had alarmed Belarusian authorities by drawing attention to the effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, publishing findings on the impact of small radiation doses on people's health that differed widely from official assessments. In 2001, the European Parliament awarded Bandazhewski the Passport of Freedom, in support of his work promoting democracy and human rights.

** The Acting Director of RFE/RL's Belarus Service, Bohdan Andrusyshyn, may be reached by email at <>.

...COVERS CONTROVERSY OVER BROADCAST LANGUAGE... Belarusian language advocates spoke with RFE/RL's Belarusian Service about their opposition to a European Union-sponsored new broadcast to Belarus in Russian and their strong objections to the award of a 138,000 Euro-per-year contract by the European Commission to Germany's Deutsche Welle for the launch of a daily 30-minute radio program for Belarus in Russian.
RFE/RL's Belarusian Service interviewed DW Russian Service Director Claudia Rabitz, who said Deutsche Welle doesn't have money to broadcast in an additional language. Former Minsk OSCE Mission Chief Hans-Georg Wieck, contacted for his view, also said the choice of language was dictated by finances (
In an August 5 program, opposition leaders in Belarus and in diaspora told RFE/RL that they were uniformly opposed to broadcasting in Russian prepared by the DW Russian Service. RFE/RL also interviewed Belarusian members of parliament who expressed concerns about the objectivity and content of such a broadcast. In the August 5 broadcast, Vintsuk Viachorka, leader of the Belarusian Popular Front, and political analyst Vital Silitski quoted from their joint statement that: "The Belarusians and Belarusian-speaking persons have the right to listen to news in their own language. Minsk infringes on this right every day and has in fact removed Belarusian from state television and radio broadcasting. Today the EU has joined this policy... The recovery of national identity is a key factor in the democratization of any nation" (
The RFE/RL program and quotes from four of its interviews were published in an August 8 report by the Belarusian news agency Belapan.

** The Acting Director of RFE/RL's Belarus Service, Bohdan Andrusyshyn, may be reached by email at <>.

...ONGOING ROW WITH POLAND The escalating quarrel between Belarus and Poland is a major story for the Belarusian Service and dominated daily news headlines. It started with a brutal Belarusian police raid July 27 on the offices of the Union of Poles in Belarus (SPB) in Grodno in western Belarus and arrest of a dozen people. An RFE/RL correspondent was on the scene and reported live in the 10 PM newscast that SPB leader Anzhelika Borys had also been taken into custody. Released the next day, she said in an RFE/RL interview that "the SPB has been cynically humiliated... and will appeal to the international community."
The SPB, representing some 400,000 Poles living in Belarus, is the largest non-governmental organization in the country and receives financing from Warsaw. It has been at the center of worsening relations between Minsk and Warsaw since it elected a new leadership in March that is not recognized by the Belarusian government of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
On the diplomatic side, Lukashenka has expelled a Polish diplomat, Poland recalled its ambassador after the raid, and Belarus denied entry on August 8 to an EU delegation led by Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, vice president of the European Parliament and Polish deputy foreign minister. RFE/RL's Belarusian Service interviewed Wolski, as well as another member of the delegation, Polish parliamentarian Bogdan Klich who noted that denying entry to European parliamentarians "means that the administration of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has chosen to enter into a conflict with this institution of the European Union." Klich said that he would raise the issue of the Polish minority in Belarus at the next session of the European Parliament in September ( RFE/RL's Belarusian Service also covered protests at the Polish embassy in Minsk by Lukashenka supporters and opponents and aired roundtable discussions with analysts and experts on all sides of the issue.
SPB chairwoman Anzhelika Borys was the featured guest in an RFE/RL on-line conference August 8 ( Links to other stories on Belarus-Poland dispute can be found at

** The Acting Director of RFE/RL's Belarus Service, Bohdan Andrusyshyn, may be reached by email at <>.

U.S. OFFICERS ON RADIO FREE AFGHANISTAN RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan dedicated its August 11 weekly call-in program "On the Waves of Freedom" to a discussion of training for army, police and security units in Afghanistan. The show featured two US officers stationed in Afghanistan as guests in the Kabul studio -- Col. Edwin Passmore, acting chairman of the US Army Security Cooperation Office and Lt. Frederic Rice, head of the Information Bureau of the US Training Center. They were joined by Afghan Defense Ministry Spokesman Gen. Muhammad Zahir Azimi, who discussed the training of Afghan Army and Police recruits and also cooperation between Afghan and foreign security forces. The program is moderated from Prague by broadcasters Zarif Nazar and Jan Alekozai; audio is available from the Radio Free Afghanistan website,

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Afghanistan, Alexander Lukashuk, may be reached by email at <>.

RADIO FREE AFGHANISTAN WITNESSES TALIBAN SURRENDER RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported August 3 from Zabul province that Taliban commander Mula Seed Mir with 35 armed men had surrendered to the Afghan authority in the Shahr-I-Safa district, 80 km west of Kalat, the center of Zabul province. The RFA correspondent was present at the official handover and spoke to the Taliban commander who told him that other Taliban members plan to lay down arms and surrender to the Afghan government.

** The Acting Director of Radio Free Afghanistan, Alexander Lukashuk, may be reached by email at <>.

SPECIAL PROGRAM FOR BALKANS ON CHILD ABUSE RFE/RL's South Slavic & Albanian Languages Service (SSALS) shocked listeners July 30 with a special program that investigated the sexual abuse of children in Serbia ( The focus of the RFE/RL program was on the social environment that fosters such crimes and allows them to go unpunished.
One case examined in the report involved a mother who helped her partner rape her three year-old daughter, who later died of injuries sustained in the attack. RFE/RL's correspondent spoke to the mother's father, who lives in a village close to Belgrade. In another recent case, a former member of a Serbian special police unit that committed terrible crimes in Bosnia during the 1990s war -- including the large- scale, systematic rape of Bosnian women -- was the found to be the attacker. The members of this unit were never punished for their wartime violations, but rather were treated as heroes under the regime of Slobodan Milosevic, now on trial in The Hague. Commenting the case to RFE/RL, a human rights activist said, "Who raped in Bosnia will also rape in Serbia". In another case reported on the program, a stepfather beat his wife's two-year-old son to death, stuffed the child's body into a plastic bag and buried it at a local cemetery.
Experts who participated in the program said most cases of child abuse in Serbia go unreported and are kept secret within the family. Similarly, the Serbian Orthodox Church does not admit to wrongdoing in its own ranks, even though such cases exist -- including one reported in the program of a Serbian Orthodox bishop who abused young ministrants in his charge. Despite strong evidence of wrongdoing, the Church continues to protect the bishop and criticize media covering the case.

** The Director of RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service, Omer Karabeg, may be reached by email at <>.

RFE/RL SERVICES COOPERATE ON UZBEK REFUGEE STORY Several RFE/RL services -- including those broadcasting in the Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Romanian, Russian and Tajik languages -- have been cooperating on coverage of the plight of refugees who fled to Kyrgyzstan following the massacre in Andijon and are now in Romania, and UN efforts to find them host countries.
An RFE/RL Romania-Moldova Service correspondent interviewed UN officials at the camp in Timisoara in southwestern Romania where more than 400 Uzbek refugees are currently being housed. RFE/RL was the first media to interview the refugees there, in a broadcast to Uzbekistan on August 5.
The Kyrgyz Service took the lead on covering the continuing detention of 15 Uzbek refugees in the Kyrgyz southern city of Osh who were still under investigation and had yet to be granted asylum status. Even thought the UN has now granted asylum to 12 of these detainees, all 15 remain in detention. In Bishkek, RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service correspondents secured several exclusive interviews with senior officials, including Kyrgyz general prosecutor Azimbek Beknazarov ( Beknazarov disclosed to RFE/RL, for the first time in an exclusive interview aired August 4, that he would be willing to release the 15 if a third country were willing to take them, saying "if there will be a country which says, 'we are giving them refugee status' and if it produces a document saying 'This is our decision,' then I will transfer them to that country." Reuters picked up the story the next day and it was widely quoted in western media.
In exclusive interviews aired August 8, Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Talalai Kydyrov and Kyrgyz Security Council deputy secretary Vyacheslav Khan confirmed to RFE/RL that a number of European countries expressed a willingness to take the Uzbeks, among them Finland, Holland and Sweden ( Both the Kyrgyz and Uzbek Services, as well as other RFE/RL broadcast services, aired programs analyzing the Kyrgyz position and pressure being exerted on it by the Uzbek government -- a major gas supplier to Kyrgyzstan.
RFE/RL Uzbek Service broadcaster Farruh Yusupov also interviewed Rachel Denber, Deputy Director of the Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch in New York. Denber spoke in the August 1 telephone interview about continued pressure by the Uzbek government to get the refugees back. According to Denber, "Threats to their safety include continued requests by the government of Uzbekistan for information about them, for information that was clearly going to be used in order to build criminal cases against them," and that "We have documented pressure by local (Uzbek) government officials on families to go to the camps in (Kyrgyzstan) in order to persuade their family members to come back. And I think that there is reason to fear that once these people got back to Uzbekistan that they would face persecution, detention and possibly torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment in custody if they were detained" (

** The Director of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev, may be reached by email at <>; the Acting Director of RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, Sojida Djakhfarova, may be reached by email at <>; the Director of RFE/RL's Romania/Moldova Service, Oana Serafim, may be reached by email at <>.

KAZAKH SERVICE DOCUMENTS PROTEST, ARRESTS An RFE/RL Kazakh Service Almaty bureau correspondent covered a demonstration by mothers and children, who gathered in front of the Almaty City Administration building on August 2 to protest the city's housing policy. The protesters said they are about to lose their houses and rooms in dormitories because of tightened housing regulations. The correspondent captured the sights and sounds of the demonstration, which can be seen on the Kazakh Service's website at
One woman holding the Constitution of Kazakhstan in her hands quoted from it to RFE/RL's correspondent that "The Constitution of Kazakhstan says -- 'The people shall be the only source of state power'. So we demand that City Mayor Akim comes to people and answers our questions." The mayor instead sent police, who tried to break up the gathering and urged people to disperse. RFE/RL's correspondent took photographs of the event and of city interior department head Nazar Balgymbayev telling protesters the mayor's deputies were ready to meet them in their offices during regular visiting hours. Police blocked the protesters' way into the administration building and tried to arrest opposition politician and leader of the "We Will Protect Our Houses" movement, Marzhan Aspandiarova, but the women protesters formed a protective ring around her and initially fought the police off. After several attempts, police succeeded in arresting Aspandiarova and 11 other protesters, who were forced into a police van and taken to the Bostandyq district police station of Almaty City.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Merhat Sharipzhan, may be reached by email at <>.

SERIES ON ECONOMY BROADCAST TO TAJIKS RFE/RL's Tajik Service launched a new series August 3 on the economy of Tajikistan ( Broadcast twice a week, the 8-minute programs look at reform legislation, aspects of agriculture in key provinces, sources of investment, changes in the banking system, fledgling industries in the provinces, who owns cotton and aluminum productions, imports and exports, the customs and tax systems, and other issues of interest to Tajik listeners. Transcripts and audio of the program, produced by broadcaster and editor Mirzo Salimov with input from the Dushanbe bureau and the service's network of correspondents throughout Tajikistan's major provinces, are being posted on the service's website; at least one newspaper in Tajikistan has expressed interest in re-printing the series transcripts on its pages.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Tajik Service, Massoumeh Torfeh, may be reached by email at <>.

RFE/RL in the News

HONORS FOR KYRGYZ SERVICE CORRESPONDENTS Three RFE/RL Kyrgyz Service correspondents have received official life- long honors in recognition of their work from the Kyrgyz government. The presidential decree, signed by president-elect Kurmanbek Bakiev on August 11, awarded them the title of "Honorary Worker of Kyrgyzstan Culture" for their contributions to the country's cultural development as correspondents of the Kyrgyz Service.
Jarkyn Temirbaeva reports on human rights and social issues. She was editor-in-chief of the Ozgon nuru (Light of Ozgon) local newspaper in the Osh region and was a well-known human rights activist before she joined Radio Azattyk as a regional correspondent in 1994. Temirbaeva was the first journalist to interview in jail Feliks Kulov, now acting first deputy prime minister, and often aired programs critical of prison conditions. She is also known for her coverage of protesters from southern Kyrgyzstan who were forcibly removed and driven back to their home districts by Kyrgyz police under the old regime.
Bubukan Dosalieva is a program moderator in Radio Azattyk's Bishkek Bureau and joined the Kyrgyz Service in 1995, after attending the Journalism faculty at Kyrgyz State University and working as a television announcer. She is the recipient of the Kyrgyz 2003 Gold Pen Award and is currently completing her doctoral thesis.
Kyias Moldokasymov headed up the Kyrgyz Service's Bishkek bureau for seven years before leaving in March 2005 to become the multimedia manager for Azattyk Media. He joined the service in 1996, working to reform RFE/RL programming and strengthen the Kyrgyz Service's multimedia strategy in Kyrgyzstan. He quickly gained a following by spearheading such interactive programs as "Peoples' Voice." Moldokasymov is currently working on the pilot of a joint television project with the Kyrgyz Service called "Inconvenient Questions," to be broadcast weekly on Kyrgyz television.
The title of honorary worker carries certain lifelong privileges and benefits in Kyrgyzstan. Moldokasymov, Dosalieva and Temirbaeva will officially receive the title at a public awards ceremony later this month.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, Tyntchtykbek Tchoroev, may be reached by email at <>.

RFE/RL CORRESPONDENT WINS PRIZE IN MOLDOVA Elena Cioina, a correspondent in the Chisinau bureau of RFE/RL's Romania-Moldova Service was awarded a prize by a local newspaper for her reporting from the troubled Transdniester region. The Chisinau daily "Timpul" announced the winners of three awards in August for the previous year's best reporting on Transdniester. It said, in the citation presented to Cioina, that she was being recognized for the quality of her broadcasts and described her as "the tireless Elena Cioina from Radio Free Europe who has gained fame as 'the little bulldog' for her tenacity and persistence as a reporter."
Cioina, a graduate of the Chisinau University School of Journalism, joined RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau in 2004. She reports daily news from Chisinau for RFE/RL and travels to the Transdniester region regularly. Last year, she filed series on the media in Transdniester and on the education crisis when the Latin alphabet was banned and replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet in Transdniester schools.

** The Director of RFE/RL's Romania/Moldova Service, Oana Serafim, may be reached by email at <>.

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Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved. "RFE/RL Review" is a weekly compilation of the best programming produced by the 19 services of the RFE/RL broadcast network. RFE/RL broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of programming a week in 28 languages to 20 countries in Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and Southwestern Asia.

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