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AZERBAIJAN DEPORTS UKRAINIAN YOUTH ACTIVIST. Azerbaijani authorities expelled late on 16 September Serhiy Yevtushenko, an activist of the opposition Ukrainian youth movement Pora who was detained at Baku airport on 15 September, Turan reported. Initial reports tentatively but erroneously identified Yevtushenko as a Ukrainian Foreign Ministry official (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 September 2005). Yevtushenko and Estonian Andrei Popov were invited to Baku by the opposition election alliance Azadlyg to attend a conference. LF
RUSSIAN OLIGARCH CONFIRMS SUPPORTING YUSHCHENKO'S PRESIDENTIAL BID. Exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovskii told Reuters on 16 September that he had spoken repeatedly to Viktor Yushchenko by telephone, met his top aides, and agreed to help him become Ukraine's president. "I was really surprised that the people who are around Yushchenko, who are close to him, lie so much," Berezovskii said. "They are really lying, saying they didn't know me, they didn't visit me, they didn't do anything with me and so on." Last week former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk charged that Berezovskii financed Yushchenko's campaign. According to Kravchuk, Yushchenko's emissaries -- David Zhvaniya, Roman Bezsmertnyy, and Oleksandr Tretyakov -- visited Berezovskii in London to discuss issues connected with campaign funding (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 September 2005). "Neither Viktor Yushchenko nor Oleh Rybachuk knows or has ever known Berezovskii," Yushchenko's chief of staff, Oleh Rybachuk, said on Ukraine's Channel 5 last week. Berezovskii told Reuters that documents which emerged last week were genuine evidence of payments he had made, but he declined to comment on who had received payments or what the money was for. JM
UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT TO VOTE ON ACTING PREMIER ON 20 SEPTEMBER. Parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn told journalists on 19 September that the Verkhovna Rada is expected to vote on 20 September on Yuriy Yekhanurov, who was nominated prime minister by President Yushchenko earlier this month, Ukrainian media reported. Lytvyn said the parliament will hold a roll-call vote on Yekhanurov's approval. Lytvyn also proposed that the same day the Verkhovna Rada hear a report of the parliamentary commission investigating the murder of journalist Heorhiy Gongadze five years ago. "It is appalling that despite repeated official statements, a resolution of the [Gongadze] case remains as far away as ever," Reporters Without Borders said in a statement on 16 September, the fifth anniversary of Gongadze's disappearance. JM
UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES U.S. MEDAL. Philadelphia Mayor John Street on 17 September decorated Ukrainian President Yushchenko in Philadelphia with the city's Liberty Medal, the Ukrainian president's press office reported. "I am dedicating this award to the Ukrainian nation, all citizens of the free and democratic country," Yushchenko said in his acceptance speech. JM