Thousands of workers rallied Saturday in Kiev, Ukraine, to protest a sharp rise in prices for basic goods and services under a government free-market program to cut subsidies.

In the capital, the price of bread jumped almost six times to 35 Ukrainian rubles - about five cents at the official exchange rate. A ticket on the city's subway system increased tenfold to five rubles.Other increases were announced for meat, milk and rent and utilities at state-owned apartments.

In a televised speech, Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma said the government had no choice.