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RUSSIAN INTERIOR MINISTRY SAYS TAJIKS LEAD FOREIGNERS IN CRIME. Tajik citizens committed more crimes in Russia in 2005 than the citizens of any other CIS country, a Russian Interior Ministry official told Interfax on April 19. According to the Interior Ministry, Tajik citizens committed 7,717 crimes in Russia in 2005, a 9.7 percent increase on 2004 statistics. Ukrainians committed the second-largest number of crimes -- 6,680, a year-on-year decrease of about 1,500. The Interior Ministry also detailed crimes committed in Russia in 2005 by Uzbek citizens (6,679), Azerbaijani citizens (4,893), Moldovan citizens (3,334), and Armenian citizens (2,564). DK
BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES PERMIT CHORNOBYL ANNIVERSARY MARCH. The Minsk City Executive Committee has granted permission for opposition political parties and nongovernmental organizations to stage a march in Minsk on April 26 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Belapan reported. The march, called the Chornobyl Way, has traditionally been an opposition forum of protest against the policies of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. Some 1,000 people participated in the unauthorized Chernobyl march in 2004, 3,000 people in 2003, 4,000 in 2002, 5,000 in 2001, and more than 20,000 in 2000. A crowd of up to 50,000 took part in the march on the 10th anniversary, during which demonstrators overturned cars and clashed with police. Dozens were hurt in clashes and more than 200 were arrested in Minsk in 1996. This year city officials insisted that marchers take a route away from the city center. JM
OUR UKRAINE OPPOSES TYMOSHENKO AS PRIME MINISTER. The Our Ukraine bloc on April 19 basically approved the protocol on the creation of a democratic coalition that the leaders of the Our Ukraine People's Union, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, and the Socialists Party signed last week (see "RFE/RL Newsline," April 18, 2006), Ukrainian media reported. However, Our Ukraine did not okay the last provision of this protocol, which effectively stipulates that the party that garnered the largest number of votes in the March 26 parliamentary elections will nominate its representative for prime minister. Yuliya Tymoshenko, whose bloc came in second after the Party of Yanukovych, has publicly announced that she will seek the post of prime minister in a renewed Orange Revolution coalition. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said on April 19 that talks on a future coalition should be based on programmatic issues rather than "personal interests." "I think that the time of kings and princesses is long gone in Ukraine," Yekhanurov said in an apparent reference to Tymoshenko, who was known as the "gas princess" in the 1990s when she headed a gas-trading company. JM