The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. - Thomas Paine
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 7, 10 January 1991



BALTIC


BALTIC STATES


AIRBORNE TROOPS TO LITHUANIA ONLY? The Head of the USSR Defense
Ministry's Information Administration told Radio Moscow last
night that the Ministry order regarding deployment of additional
paratrooper units to enforce the draft applied to Lithuania only.
For details, see the "USSR--All-Union" section below. (Stephen
Foye)

MILITARY ACTIONS IN LITHUANIA. The Washington Post's correspondent
Michael Dobbs, reporting today from Vilnius, says that six light
armored tanks and truckloads of Soviet MVD troops surrounded
the Vilnius television tower yesterday afternoon, but left peacefully
several hours later after Lithuanians gathered at the tower in
response to a broadcast appeal by the government. Dobbs cited
Lithuania's National Defense Department as announcing that a
military plane with about 50 paratroopers had landed at Vilnius
airport and that "a column of about 50 trucks filled with Soviet
soldiers was also reported moving toward the Lithuanian capital
from the direction of Latvia." (Saulius Girnius)

YAZOV CALLS OFF PARATROOPERS. Soviet Defense Minister Dmitrii
Yazov reportedly told Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar
yesterday in Moscow that no more paratroopers would be sent to
Estonia, Estonian Radio and TV reported last night. The two leaders
have agreed to create a joint commission to discuss the military's
concerns in Estonia, including draft compliance, Estonia's alternative
service program, and the well-being of military dependents in
the republic. The commission is set to begin working on January
14, one day after Yazov's deadline to Estonia to round up youths
accused of avoiding the draft. (Riina Kionka)

DEMONSTRATIONS IN LITHUANIA. A telephone report to the RFE Lithuanian
Service on January 9 said demonstrations for and against Lithuanian
independence were held yesterday outside the Lithuanian parliament
building. The anti-independence rally had about 5,000 participants
and the pro-independence about three times more. Reuter reported
that "three ranks of police separated the two groups" and that
the demonstrators dispersed peacefully by nightfall. (Saulius
Girnius)

BALTIC STATEMENT ON SOVIET TROOPS. On January 8 the Presidents
and Prime Ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania issued
a statement in the name of the Council of the Baltic States protesting
the announcement by the Commander of the Baltic Military District
that additional Soviet troops would be brought into their republics
to enforce the draft. The statement said the Baltic states would
not help conscript their youths into the Soviet army because
that would contradict laws their parliaments had adopted. They
called on the governments and parliaments of all nations "to
take a stand against the actions of the Soviet Union." (Saulius
Girnius)

REACTION IN THE US... Official criticism of Moscow's troop deployments
in the Baltic states continued in the US yesterday. Deputy Secretary
of State Lawrence Eagleburger summoned Soviet Ambassador Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh to express US concern about developments in the
Baltics. Eagleburger was acting as Secretary of State while James
Baker held talks with his Iraqi counterpart in Geneva yesterday.
(NCA/Riina Kionka)

...ON CAPITAL HILL... Senator Donald Riegle (D-Michigan) drafted
a letter yesterday--being circulated for signatures--to President
Bush saying the US must make it clear to Moscow that "our involvement
in the Gulf does not in any way diminish our commitment to Baltic
freedom." Chairman of the US CSCE Commission Senator Dennis DeConcini
(D-Arizona) told reporters yesterday that the Bush Administration
should back up its support for Baltic self-determination "by
taking a tough stand." Congressman Jim Leach (R-Iowa), member
of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the House yesterday
Soviet troops have no business in the Baltics and Congress should
leave no doubt that US-Soviet relations are jeopardized by Moscow's
"coercion in the Baltics." (NCA/Riina Kionka)

...IN WESTERN EUROPE... French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas
yesterday called for negotiations, not force, to determine the
future of the Baltic states, saying Moscow should open talks
"in the spirit of the principles upheld by all the CSCE countries
during the Paris summit last November." In Brussels, NATO allies
said they were "very seriously concerned" by the USSR's show
of force, and discussed how a crackdown might affect East-West
relations. In Stockholm, Swedish Foreign Minister Sten Andersson
met with Soviet Ambassador Nikolai Uspensky yesterday, saying
that pressure, violence and the threat of violence could not
be accepted. (NCA/Riina Kionka)

...AND IN THE EAST. In Prague, Czechoslovak Deputy Foreign Minister
Zdenek Matejka told Soviet Ambassador Boris Pankin yesterday
that the use of force could hamper efforts for a peaceful solution
of problems between Moscow and the republics. In London, Polish
Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski said yesterday that the
Soviet crisis could have Borldwide repercussions if it is not
contained. He called on EBropean countries to form ties to individual
republics. In Moscow, chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Boris
Yeltsin was asked by reporters for his reaction to paratrooper
deBloyment: "I am against such a decision. Violence leads to
greBter violence. We must, therefore, negotiate." (NCA/Riina
Kionka) 

B BANDSBERGIS READS FOREIGN GREETINGS. At the session
of the Lithuanian Supreme Council on January 9 broadcast live
by Radio Vilnius, President Vytautas Landsbergis noted that Lithuania
had received a message from Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel:
"Truth and love should prevail over lies and hatred. I wish this
were indeed so." Polish President Lech Walesa sent a telegram
expressing his conviction that the 10 years of Solidarity's struggle
"will help us find a common path." (Saulius Girnius) 

B NEW LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT? 
The Lithuanian parliament yesterday did not deal
with the question of the appointment of a new prime minister
and government, but the question is being actively discussed.
In an interview with RFE's Lithuanian Service January 9, Deputy
Prime Minister Romualdas Ozolas said that he has no desire to
become prime minister or to assume any other post in the government.
Radio Moscow today cited Izvestia, which quoted unofficial sources
to the effect that Virgilijus Cepaitis, Chairman of the Lithuanian
Independence Party, is the leading candidate for prime minister.
(Saulius Girnius)

LATVIAN OFFICIALS DISCUSSING MILITARY SERVICE. Radio Riga reported
on January 9 that Chairman of the Supreme Council Anatolijs Gorbunovs,
General Procurator Janis Skrastins, and Col. V. Teimers of the
War Commissariat have begun discussions on how to react to Yazov's
orders to enforce conscription in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

FIGURES ON THE DRAFT IN LATVIA. According to Teimers (AFP of
JanuaryOB, citing TASS), the fall draft quota was fulfilled only
by 25.3%, while some 8,000 of the 10,000 draftees who did not
answer the callup opted instead for alternative service. Teimers
said Latvia's 189 deserters would be allowed to finish their
military service in the Baltic region if they surrendered voluntarily.
Radio Riga on January 9 also said that 1,500 youths (or 25% of
the draft) had answered the fall 1990 callup, adding that 25%
ignored it entirely. But that same evening, Women's League representBtives,
who act as voluntary coordinators for alternative service, told
Radio Riga there were about 4,500 youths performing alternative
service and under 500 deserters in Latvia. It may be that there
are only about 4,500 alternative servicemen registered with the
League and that its number of deserters include servicemen of
various nationalities. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIOB CONSCRIPTS TO SERVE AT HOME? According to an RFE Latvian
Service interview of January 7, Latvia's Minister of Internal
Affairs Aloizs Vaznis was told that day by Colonel General Fedor
Kuz'min that 30% of the conscripts from Latvia would serve in
the Baltic district. (Dzintra Bungs)



USSR

USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



AIRBORNE TROOPS TO LITHUANIA ONLY? The Head of the USSR Defense
Ministry's Information Administration told Radio Moscow last
night that the Ministry order regarding deployment of additional
paratrooper units to enforce the draft applied to Lithuania only.
Major General Valerii Malinov was responding to White House charges
that Soviet authorities were escalating internal tensions in
the Soviet Union by deploying airborne troops to a number of
republics. He claimed that Tuesday's Defense Ministry order,
in fact, instructed military district commanders in the relevant
republics to aid local military commissariats enforce draft regulations
by contributing troops to the effort; additional airborne "units"
(podrazdeleniya) were to be sent to Lithuania only. (Stephen
Foye)

GENERAL STAFFER COMMENTS. Lieutenant General Franz Markovsky
told Vremya last night that airborne units dispatched to aid
with draft enforcement would not perform "gendarme" functions.
The General Staff First Deputy Chief said airborne units would
be used to insure that regional commissariats were not blockaded
and to protect military personnel conducting draftees to their
units. Markovsky denied that armed forces leaders were planning
a military coup in any of the republics seeking independence,
and said the Defense Ministry actions should in no way interfere
with plans for the upcoming US-Soviet summit. (Stephen Foye)


WILL THE ARMY FOLLOW? The Defense Ministry order to use military
units to enforce the draft raises the issue of potential opposition
by progressive-minded officers. While reports have appeared in
the Soviet press over the past year in which officers claim they
would not shoot on civilians, little or no such sentiment has
been reported over the past two months. So long as draft enforcement
does not burst into a shooting war, moreover, officers are unlikely
to manifest active opposition. Finally, the central authorities
can be expected to rely on elite troops--including those of the
KGB and MVD--for the most onerous operations, again mitigating
opposition within the officer corps at large. (Stephen Foye)


IS COMPROMISE POSSIBLE? The latest Defense Ministry actions could
be part of an effort by Gorbachev at forcing a compromise on
independence-minded groups. Statements by army spokesmen yesterday
indicated that fewer troops may be involved than was first thought,
and the possibility exists that the original order--particularly
as it was relayed by the Baltic Commander to Baltic leaders--was
deliberately worded to sound as intimidating as possible. An
arrangement may ultimately be fashioned whereby the relatively
small number of draft-age youths in the most defiant republics
are forcibly enlisted in the Red Army, but are then stationed
near home in the hope of quieting the restive republics while
allowing the Defense Ministry to save face. (Stephen Foye)

TASS DENOUNCES FITZWATER STATEMENT. TASS commentator Dmitrii
Yakubov said yesterday White House Spokesman Marlin Fitzwater's
comments on the Baltic situation "can only be interpreted as
an open attempt to interfere in the international affairs of
the Soviet Union." Yakubov described Fitzwater's statement as
a "manifestation of old-style thinking which members of the world
community have already begun moving away from," TASS reported
yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)

CHURKIN ON SUMMIT, BALTIC. Soviet Foreign Ministery spokesman
Vitalii Churkin told AP yesterday US-Soviet relations are not
chilling. Concerning the Baltic situation, Churkin said: "The
leadership must take some decisions that will be unpopular...
If we want to go ahead with the political and economic changes
in this country, we must have discipline and observance of law."
Churkin's defense of the crackdown in the Baltic comes as a surprise.
He is considered one of the closest political allies of Eduard
Shevardnadze, who parted company with Gorbachev in anticipation
of a military crackdown. (Suzanne Crow)

SHIFT OF WEAPONS ADMITTED. Sovetskaya Rossiya admitted yesterday
that the military had shifted weapons east of the Urals to remove
them from cuts mandated by the recent CFE agreement. V. Litvov,
identified as an economist, was quoted by Reuter yesterday as
saying that "the military, trying somehow to repair the errors
of diplomacy, organized the transfer beyond the Urals in the
shortest possible time of thousands of tanks, weapons and other
equipment--there at least they would not be destroyed." He accused
the Foreign Ministry of hustling the military into an early treaty
deadline, and said that the military might not have resented
the cuts had the treaty signing been delayed. (Stephen Foye)


BOBKOV ON GORBACHEV AND THE KGB. "The KGB understood very well,
back in 1985, that the USSR would not be able to make further
progress without perestroika," First Deputy KGB Chairman Philipp
Bobkov told Nesavisimaya gazeta, (No. 2, 1991). The KGB supported
Gorbachev then and it continues to support him now, added Bobkov.
Bobkov (who may, by virtue of the fact that he was until 1985
head of the Fifth Main Administration [Ideological Subversion],
be termed "the chief ideologue of the KGB") said live television
coverage of the proceedings of the USSR Supreme Soviet had harmed
Gorbachev's public image. (Victor Yasmann)

YELTSIN HINTS AT RSFSR DEAL ON KURILES. Speaking in Moscow yesterday,
Yeltsin said he would like the RSFSR to sign a peace treaty formally
ending World War II with Japan without waiting for the USSR as
a whole to do so. Yeltsin noted that the dispute over the Kurile
Islands, part of the Russian Federation, is the main obstacle
to signing such a peace treaty. He said an RSFSR-Japanese settlement
would add dynamism to relations: "I don't think it would affect
the authority of [Gorbachev] because now the sovereignty process
is developing rapidly and leading to considerable growth in the
role of the republics," Reuters reported. (Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV WRITES HUSSEIN. Soviet ambassador to Baghdad Viktor
Posuvalyuk met January 8 with Saddam Hussein and delivered a
message from the Soviet leadership. TASS said yesterday the message
was "in keeping with the USSR's ongoing efforts toward ensuring
a peaceful outcome to the crisis based on UN Security Council
resolutions." Gorbachev's spokesman Vitalii Ignatenko said at
a briefing on January 8 that the chances for a peaceful solution
to the Gulf crisis are "growing smaller and smaller," Reuters
reported January 8. (Suzanne Crow)

AEROFLOT SUSPENDS FLIGHTS TO BAGHDAD. An Aeroflot spokesman said
yesterday the company was suspending its scheduled flights to
Baghdad. Aeroflot was one of the last airlines to fly into the
Iraqi capital, AFP said yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)

AMBASSADORS EXCHANGED WITH GUATEMALA. The Soviet Union and Guatemala
re-activated diplomatic relations on January 4 with the exchange
of ambassadors. Diplomatic relations between the two countries
were established in 1945 but were never activated through an
exchange of missions, TASS reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



STUDENT STRIKE LEADER IN UKRAINE ARRESTED. The head of the Kiev
organization of the Ukrainian Students' Union, Oles' Donii, one
of the central figures in the October students' hunger strike
that brought down the head of the Ukrainian government Vitalii
Masol, was arrested on January 8, Radio Kiev reported yesterday.
Donii has been charged with instigating the takeover of three
Kiev State University buildings during the strike, according
to AP. At a press conference yesterday, the Ukrainian Students'
Union read a statement charging the Kiev prosecutor's office
with launching a campaign against the students. (Roman Solchanyk)


GEORGIAN SUPREME SOVIET REJECTS GORBACHEV DECREE. An extraordinary
session of the Georgian Supreme Soviet yesterday unanimously
rejected Gorbachev's decree of January 7 calling for the removal
from South Ossetia of all armed units other than USSR interior
ministry troops, TASS and Reuters reported. According to Georgian
journalists, cited by Reuters, the resolution said any attempt
to remove Georgian militia by force would be regarded as an "act
of war" against Georgia. Georgian Supreme Soviet chairman Zviad
Gamsakhurdia denied reports he had agreed to withdraw militia
units from South Ossetia. Izvestia said mass meetings were held
in Tbilisi and Gori protesting the Gorbachev decree. (Ann Sheehy)


SITUATION IN SOUTH OSSETIA. According to TASS some units of the
Georgian militia have been leaving the South Ossetian capital
Tskhinvali but their departure has been resisted by illegal armed
formations. Radio Moscow reported that unofficial talks had taken
place in Tskhinvali between representatives of the Ossetian population
and leaders of the Georgian interior ministry. But there had
been more shooting and the Ossetian population was refusing to
give up its arms until the Georgian militia units were withdrawn.
(Ann Sheehy)

REACTIONS IN NORTH OSSETIA TO SOUTH OSSETIAN EVENTS. The lack
of any links with South Ossetia where many North Ossetians have
relatives, rumors of casualties in Tskhinvali, the intention
of some young North Ossetians to go to South Ossetia to help
their fellow-countrymen, and the need to provide constant food
assistance to South Ossetia have greatly heightened tension in
North Ossetia, TASS reported yesterday. Meetings took place yesterday
in North Ossetia demanding unconditional implementation of Gorbachev's
decree. (Ann Sheehy)

MAGADAN OPENED TO TRAVELERS. Soviet and foreign citizens will
no longer need special permits to visit the city of Magadan and
most districts in the surrounding region (oblast), including
Kolyma and Chukotka. The region, in the RSFSR's Far North-East,
has been closed to visitors for decades. Under Stalin it was
the site of several labor camps and sensitive military facilities.
Radio Moscow said January 7 that the decision to open the region
was made by the government of the RSFSR. (NCA)

PROTESTS IN BARNAUL AGAINST PRICE HIKES. "Radio Rossiya" reported
yesterday that a protest was held in Barnaul, the administrative
center of Altai krai. Protestors demanded the resignation of
the krai leadership and the recall of people's deputies elected
from the region to soviets at all levels. On January 3, price
increases for meat and some dairy products were introduced in
Altai krai; the decision was taken by the presidium of the krai
soviet. (Dawn Mann)

MAKHKAMOV MEETS MUSLIM LEADERS. TASS reported yesterday that
Tajik president Kakhar Makhkamov had met with a group of Muslim
religious figures, including Tajikistan's highest-ranking Islamic
clergyman, Imam-Khatib Akbar Turadzhonzoda, to discuss the needs
of the faithful. Agreement was reached on declaring the two most
important Muslim holidays to be days of rest, and on making possible
the slaughtering of animals in accord with religious law. Makhkamov
contrasted the "constructive" attitude of the delegation, which
probably included only members of the official Muslim establishment,
with the "confrontational" approach adopted by other groups--presumably
those who consider themselves Wahhabis. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIAN PREMIER IN WASHINGTON. Moldavian Prime Minister Mircea
Druc, on a private visit to the US, was received by National
Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft yesterday at the White House.
RFE/RL correspondents reported yesterday that Druc's meeting
with Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger (see yesterday's
Daily Report) was unusually long (90 minutes) and covered political
developments in the USSR and Moldavia and possible US agricultural
cooperation with Moldavia and other Soviet republics. Druc said
the main purpose of his visit to the US was to establish contact
with American businessmen. (Vladimir Socor)

GAGAUZ TAKE CANDID STAND ON IMPERIAL SUCCESSION. The Supreme
Soviet of the would-be Gagauz SSR appealed yesterday to the "USSR
as the legal successor of the Russian state" to "defend the legal
interests of the Gagauz under contemporary conditions." The appeal,
carried by TASS, pointed out that the Gagauz were settled in
their present territory by the Russian empire, chastised Moldavia
for not complying with Gorbachev's demand that it rescind its
condemnation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the Soviet annexation
of Bessarabia, and asked Ukraine--the only Soviet republic contiguous
to the Gagauz area of Moldavia--to cooperate economically with
the would-be republic. (Vladimir Socor)

LIGACHEV DENIES SUPERSTAR ROLE. In an angry interview with Argumenty
i fakty (No. 52, 1990), former Politburo member Egor Ligachev
denies a story that appeared in Moskovskie novosti (No. 51, 1990).
Moskovskie novosti alleged that the screen rights to Ligachev's
memoirs had been acquired by a Hollywood film studio, and that
Sylvester Stallone was tipped to play the leading role. Ligachev
told Argumenty i fakty he is indeed hard at work on his memoirs,
due to appear in the spring, but denied there are any plans to
turn them into a Hollywood movie. (Elizabeth Teague)


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole