The mayor of Ukraine's capital, Kiev, has ordered the creation of a lottery that will have hugs and kisses from the mayor among the prizes, the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper reported on Tuesday.

As part of a range of unconventional ways to raise money for the city budget, Leonid Chernovetsky instructed his deputy, Oleksandr Lutsk, to set up the lottery and report daily on how it and other efforts are going.

The battle to squeeze money out of the capital's residents is an ongoing struggle as the mayor wrestles with a $1.2 billion gap between projected 2009 city income and expenditures, according to a Fokus Ukraine news agency report.

The lottery prizes will include rides around the city in the mayor's Rolls Royce and his armored Mercedes, as well as trips in his helicopter and airplane, where the winners can hug, kiss and take pictures with the mayor.

It is Chernovetsky's wish that not only Ukrainian media reports on the event, but media throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The mayor wants the winners "to receive presents from [me] in front of the Ukrainian and CIS press, like books, tickets on mass transit, including the underground, everything possible, even on parking, absolutely everything," according to the order.

Another municipal directive signed by the mayor is the creation of a monitoring group that will have control over telephone calls from around the country for consultations on taking care of household pets. Under this program, codenamed Kitty, the mayor plans to raise some 1 billion hryvnia [$111 million].

Chernovetsky also introduced in January a $6 entry fee to the city's cemeteries.


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