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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 March, 2003, 15:19 GMT
Ukraine's deadly coal mines
Ukraine has the world's highest coal industry death rate

BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 13 March, 2003 at 1102 GMT.

Hundreds of coal miners are dying in industrial accidents in Ukraine every year.

Since independence, the pride of Ukraine's heavy industry has been working in appalling conditions, in mines that have become death-traps.

The number of miners killed in the past 10 years has been put at more than 3,700.

But why do these men continue to be sent to their deaths, when most of the nation's mines are not profitable?

George Arney put that question to miners, ministers and experts across a country where mining is little better than a game of Russian roulette.

Open in new window : Dangerous mines
Picture gallery of Ukraine's hazardous coal mines

The programme will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, 17 March, 2003 at 2030 GMT.

Reporter: George Arney
Producer: Tanya Datta
Editor: Hugh Levinson


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SEE ALSO:
Ukraine miners break law to survive
03 Nov 02  |  Media reports
Desperate Ukrainians brave deathtrap mines
12 Mar 03  |  Crossing Continents
A hazardous life in the mines
02 Aug 02  |  Europe
Ukraine's troubled mines
12 Mar 00  |  Europe
Country profile: Ukraine
15 Dec 02  |  Country profiles
George Arney biography
09 Apr 03  |  Crossing Continents


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