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EU TO IMPOSE TRAVEL BAN ON BELARUSIAN OFFICIALS OVER RIGGED POLLS. Brussels has prepared a draft document providing for a travel ban on Belarusian officials who were "directly responsible" for what the EU deems to have been fraudulent general elections and a presidential referendum on 17 October, Reuters reported on 19 November (see "RFE/RL Belarus and Ukraine Report," 20 October 2004). A tentative list of Belarusian candidates for the ban, which is to be completed within the next two weeks, includes the head of the Central Election Commission, the KGB chief, and the presidential-administration chief of staff. The EU is also planning to freeze bilateral contacts at the ministerial level between member states and Belarus, allowing Minsk to communicate only with the bloc's rotating presidency. JM

UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION CANDIDATE ALLEGES PRESIDENTIAL-VOTE FRAUD, URGES POPULAR RESISTANCE... Opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko appealed to Ukrainians at a rally in central Kyiv on 22 November to organize popular resistance against what he believes to have been blatant fraud by the Central Election Commission (TsVK) in the counting of votes in the previous day's presidential runoff, Ukrainian and international news agencies reported. With 99.14 percent of the vote counted, the TsVK reported that Yanukovych won 49.42 percent of the vote to Yushchenko's 46.69 percent. Exit polls organized by two separate groups of Ukrainians pollsters had suggested that Yushchenko beat Yanukovych by 54 percent to 43 percent and by 49.7 percent to 46.7 percent, respectively. Yushchenko called on Ukrainians to pitch tent camps in Ukrainian cities to protest the alleged electoral fraud peacefully and defend what he described as his election victory. Reuters estimated that 60,000 people attended the opposition demonstration on Independence Square in Kyiv. JM

...AS ALLY CALLS FOR NATIONWIDE STRIKE. Yuliya Tymoshenko, head of an eponymous opposition bloc that has supported Yushchenko's presidential bid, urged Kyiv residents at the 22 November rally to begin a nationwide strike to protest the alleged falsification of the 21 November presidential vote, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website ( reported. "Now is not the time to work," Tymoshenko said, "it is time to defend the country. I do not believe [President Leonid] Kuchma, who says that no Ukrainian nation has been born during the past 13 years of independence. We are [a nation]! And we will win!" she added. JM

NGO ALLEGES MASSIVE IRREGULARITIES IN UKRAINIAN VOTE. The Committee of Voters of Ukraine (KVU), a nongovernmental electoral watchdog, reported on 21 November that illegal voting by absentee ballot was the biggest problem in the second round of the presidential election on 21 November, UNIAN reported. "Our observers have registered more than 100 buses carrying these people, and one can gather that tens of thousands [of people] have voted in this way," KVU head Ihor Popov told journalists. The KVU also reported numerous incidents of assaults on observers and journalists, and even kidnappings. "Up to a dozen people have been kidnapped today by criminal-looking individuals," Popov claimed. "Several observers and members of election commissions have disappeared. They were shoved into cars and taken away from the polling stations." Other alleged irregularities included preventing observers, both domestic and international, and journalists from entering polling stations, the use of counterfeit ballots, and the failure to sign or stamp ballot papers by some commission members. JM

OUTGOING PRESIDENT RULES OUT 'REVOLUTION' IN UKRAINE. President Leonid Kuchma told Ukrainians on national television on 20 November that there will be no "revolution' in Ukraine following the 21 November presidential runoff between Yanukovych and Yushchenko. "The authorities will never allow an aggressive minority to dictate political logic," Kuchma said. "We all know that revolutions are planned by dreamers and carried out by fanatics. And it is scoundrels who reap the benefits. There will be no revolutions," Kuchma said. JM

RUSSIAN OBSERVERS COMMENT ON UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Federation Council Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Torshin said in Kyiv on 22 November that he is concerned about the vote count in the second round of Ukraine's 21 November presidential election between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko, RTR and RosBalt reported (see today's Ukraine items, "RFE/RL Newsline Part 2"). "The situation with ballots in Ukraine is worse than in Chechnya," said Torshin, who was part of a delegation of election observers from the CIS. Meanwhile, Effective Politics Foundation head Gleb Pavlovskii said in Kyiv on 21 November that "there are elements of a revolutionary situation in the air," Ekho Moskvy reported. Noted journalist and publisher Vitalii Tretyakov told the radio station that the West and Russia are waging "a political war" for influence over Ukraine and the "geopolitical orientation it will take after the election." The delegation Russia sent to monitor the election included politicians and public figures, and was headed by Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov. Russia also provided transportation for 200,000 Ukrainian citizens living in Russia to travel to Ukraine to vote. Most Ukrainian citizens in Russia are believed to support Prime Minister Yanukovych. VY