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Ukrainian Analyst, Invited by Opposition, Barred at Airport

Olexander Solontay was barred entry at the Domodedovo airport in Moscow on his way to lecture activists of Solidarity’s political council on the political situation in Ukraine.

A prominent Ukrainian political scientist was barred entry to Russia when he arrived at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport at the invitation of the Solidarity opposition group.

Border guards told Oleksandr Solontay that he would not be allowed into the country, but they offered no reason, said Mikhail Shneider, a senior official with Solidarity who spoke with Solontay by phone.

“In the end, it turns out that he will use the return ticket that I bought him to fly back to Kiev at 10 p.m.,” Shneider told Interfax.

He said the border guards had refused to return Solontay’s passport and said he could get it back from the pilots when he landed in Kiev.

The authorities had no immediate comment on the detention of Solontay, 31, who describes himself on his website as a nonpartisan analyst with the Institute of Political Education.

Solontay was invited by Solidarity to speak to its leadership about the political situation in Ukraine, Shneider said.

Veteran human rights activist Lev Ponomarev has appealed to prosecutors for an explanation about Solontay’s detention.

"In our view, this is completely unmotivated and illegal," Shneider said.

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