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UKRAINE EXPELS RUSSIAN CIS EXPERT. Ukrainian border guards deported Russian political scientist Kiryll Frolov, a section head in Russia's Institute of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), from Simferopol in Crimea on 27 January, Ukrainian and Russian news agencies reported. Frolov was detained at a local airport in Simferopol earlier the same day after making remarks that Ukraine has allegedly compiled "black lists" of Russians who are not wanted in that country. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Filipchuk said banning foreign citizens from entering Ukraine is a prerogative of law-enforcement and judicial bodies. "According to Ukrainian legislation, the Foreign Ministry is not empowered to impose entry bans on citizens of other countries, and there are no endorsed black lists of Russian citizens initiated by the Foreign Ministry," Filipchuk added. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Frolov's deportation was "not consistent with the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation between our countries." JM

UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH GROUP TO BACK COMMUNISTS IN ELECTIONS. Orthodox Choice, an organization formed by the Society of Orthodox Brotherhoods of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), will support the Communist Party in the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 27 January, quoting Society of Orthodox Brotherhoods head Valentyn Lukiyanyk. Lukiyanyk reportedly said the Communist Party's principles are close to Orthodoxy in spirit. Lukiyanyk noted that such political organizations as Our Ukraine, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, the Socialist Party, and the People's Rukh are "anti-Orthodox." Orthodox Choice head Yuriy Yehorov claimed the Communist Party consistently defends Orthodox values and is "closer to the people." According to Yehorov, Orthodox Choice's cooperation with the Communists is based on their similar sociopolitical agendas: combating illegal enrichment, seeking the unification of Slavic peoples, supporting the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, and opposing Ukraine's potential NATO membership. JM