An explosion almost certainly caused by a buildup of methane gas tore through a coal mine in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, killing at least 63 miners in what has become a deadly pattern in the mining industries of the former Soviet Union. According to The Washington Post newspaper, the president`s office released a statement charging that the Yanukovych government had made "insufficient efforts to reorganize the mining sector, particularly implementation of safe mining practices."

However, the newspaper argues, almost every month brings a new report of deaths in Ukraine`s mines, which like mines across the former Soviet Union, including Russia, are plagued by safety violations. Since the fall of communism in 1991, 4,700 Ukrainian miners have been killed in accidents, according to government statistics.