I've been reading about layoffs on blogs, etc., but now a dear friend in Kyiv has written me a little bit about the situation: about 60 percent of the admin staff - marketing people, mainly - have lost their jobs at a major dairy company she used to work for; 70 percent of production staff are out of their jobs, too; production of certain crucial products has stopped, they are now selling what's left in their storage facilities. At another company, people were not getting paid for three months, then were forced to write resignation letters and sign papers that said they'd received all the money - otherwise, the employer refused to release their trudovye knizhki. That's totally illegal, but some people obviously don't mind being treated like this, perhaps hoping till the very last moment that this might help them keep their jobs. Trips to the unemployment center several times a week - with no results whatsoever. On a positive note, the unemployment center is offering English classes. I went there a few years ago, to get a paper certifying that I'm not registered with them - the place looked orderly and neat and reminded me of the States a little - the office in Iowa City where I went to get my driver's license.