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EXPERT PREDICTS SOME CIS REGIMES WILL USE FORCE AGAINST UNREST. CIS Institute Director Konstantin Zatulin said on 31 March that although there are many causes of potential social unrest in practically all the CIS countries, that does not mean that revolutions will occur there, reported. "For instance, in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan there are no fewer social problems than there are in Kyrgyzstan, but Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov and Uzbek President Islam Karimov will not hesitate for a moment if they need to use force," Zatulin said. He added that the revolution in Kyrgyzstan came as a surprise to both Moscow and Washington and that therefore it will not have serious consequences for the CIS. Zatulin added that "Ukraine is not lost for Russia, as the struggle there is not yet finished." As for Georgia, he said "we cannot lose Georgia because we never had it." "[In that country] one pro-Western force is struggling with another, even more pro-Western force," he said. Echoing comments by President Putin in Yerevan on 25 March, he concluded by saying that the CIS was never designed to be "an integrator," but rather was a product of "divorce." Therefore, it can exist indefinitely as long as it doesn't disturb anyone, he said. VY

ANOTHER YOUTH MOVEMENT EMERGES? Members of the youth branches of Yabloko and the Union of Rightist Forces and a new movement called Oborona (Defense) held a rally in central Moscow on 3 April, REN-TV and reported. About 150 people marched along Tverskoi Boulevard carrying signs saying "Enough Dictatorship," "Enough Censorship," and "Russia Without Putin and Oligarchs." "Novye izvestiya" on 4 April reported that Oborona is an umbrella group for a number of youth organizations that includes Yabloko's youth movement, the student organization I Think, and other groups (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 March 2005). According to the daily, Oborona is "trying to extend 'orange' technology to Russia." The group's website published instructions on how demonstrators should conduct themselves. It also announced a competition for the best photograph of the protest. According to REN-TV, rally organizers told police the protest was authorized by Moscow city authorities. On 31 March, "Kommersant-Daily" reported it could find no evidence of the existence of another new youth organization called Golos (Voice), which Interfax reported earlier, citing an unidentified law-enforcement official. The official said that organization has not been registered anywhere as yet, but it maintains close links with activists from Georgia's Kmara! and Ukraine's Pora. JAC

BELARUSIAN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENTS MEET ON BLACK SEA COAST. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 4 April in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Belapan reported. The meeting focused on the situation in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the results of economic, security, and cultural cooperation between the two countries in 2004. The two men also discussed preparations for celebrations on the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany on 9 May and an international conference on the Chornobyl nuclear disaster scheduled to take place in Minsk in 2006. RK

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT LEAVES FOR UNITED STATES. Viktor Yushchenko left for a five-day working visit to the United States on 3 April accompanied by his wife Kateryna, State Secretary Oleksandr Zinchenko, National Security and Defense Council Secretary Petro Poroshenko, Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Economy Minister Serhiy Teryokhin, and Transport Minister Yevhen Chervonenko. Yushchenko is scheduled to meet with President George W. Bush on 4 April. On 5 April, Yushchenko is to receive the John F. Kennedy Freedom Award in Boston and on 6 April he will address a joint session of Congress. RK

UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION PARTY HOLDS CONGRESS. The Social Democratic Party (united) held its 19th congress in Kyiv on 2 April and elected the head of former President Leonid Kuchma's presidential administration, Viktor Medvedchuk, as chairman and parliament deputy Nestor Shufrych as his first deputy, Interfax reported. The party declared itself in opposition to the Yushchenko government and intends to use the same tactics of mass protests that Yushchenko's supporters used during the presidential elections in November-December 2004. Medvedchuk told delegates that 16,000 members have left the party in the last five months and that in January-February 3,000 new people joined. The party presently has 395,000 members. The party intends to oppose Ukraine's entry into NATO and work towards strengthening Ukrainian-Russian relations and Ukraine's membership in the Single Economic Space. RK

MOLDOVAN OPPOSITION LEADER REAFFIRMS DEMANDS ON RUSSIAN TROOPS, CIS... BMD leader Urechean reaffirmed his demand that President Vladimir Voronin withdraw Moldova from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and expel Russian peacekeepers from Transdniester, Infotag reported on 1 April. "There is nothing extraordinary in that," Urechean said. "During the election campaign, some forces tried to portray us as a pro-Russia organization. But we are not. Nobody wished to notice that our electoral platform was targeted at secession from the CIS and at integration into Europe," he said. "For Moldova, it is much more important to get integrated with the European Union than to remain in the CIS -- a dead organization," he added. "We see that nothing has happened to Ukraine, although that country has not till now ratified documents on its CIS membership." The demands were part of a 22-point list of conditions the BMD made for supporting Voronin in the 4 April presidential elections in parliament (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 April 2005). BW