LAZARENKO SAYS DEPORTATION TO UKRAINE MEANS TORTURE. Former Ukrainian Premier Pavlo Lazarenko told a U.S. immigration court in San Francisco that he could be tortured if he is deported to Ukraine to face charges of corruption, AP reported on 14 April. Lazarenko issued a statement saying that his bid for U.S. political asylum is based on the International Convention Against Torture. Lazarenko cited reports by international organizations which stated that "torture and violence committed by Ukrainian officials cause suffering, bodily injury and, in a number of cases, death." Lazarenko added that his political opposition to President Leonid Kuchma may expose him to "intense physical and psychological coercion" in Ukraine. JM

UKRAINIAN JEWS UNITE FOR A SECOND TIME. Following the recent creation of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 7 April 1999), three Jewish breakaway groups have organized another congress and on 14 April created another umbrella organization--a Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, AP reported. "It is a historic moment for Ukrainian Jews as practically all of them are now represented [in the confederation]," the agency quoted Kyiv chief rabbi Dov Bleich as saying. JM