|Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Dostoevsky|
No. 9, 14 January 1991
BALTIC STATES EVENTS IN LITHUANIA TODAY. After a peaceful night, the Lithuanian Supreme Council held a brief morning session to discuss the burial on January 16 of those killed during the television tower assault on January 13. The next three days have been declared to be "days of mourning." Kaunas television has taken over national broadcasting since Vilnius workers have refused to cooperate with the military. Landsbergis spoke with Gorbachev this morning, Reuters reports. Gorbachev said that the Federation Council delegation in Vilnius is authorized to negotiate in his name and agreed to a Lithuanian request to allow the republic's health ministry officials into buildings under Soviet army control to check for additional dead and wounded. (Saulius Girnius) ATTACK ON LITHUANIAN TELEVISION TOWER. Early in the morning of January 13 Soviet army troops and tanks stormed the Vilnius television and radio tower, resulting in 14 fatalities and more than 140 people injured. Ten of the dead were from Vilnius, 3 were from other Lithuanian cities, and one was a soldier from Pskov, said to have been killed by automatic weapons fire. All but one of the dead, who was crushed by a tank, died of bullet wounds. Graphic film of the assault, broadcast throughout the world, clearly contradicted Soviet media claims that the army was reacting to shots from the television tower. (Saulius Girnius) UNEASY DAY IN LITHUANIA. January 13 was an uneasy day in Lithuania as it was unclear whether the Soviet military would make any more assaults. Radio Vilnius was silenced but Radio Kaunas continued broadcasting as did a temporary transmitter at the Lithuanian parliament. Soviets troops continued to intimidate the people; tanks and other armored vehicles patrolled the streets of Vilnius; a road block was set up on the highway to Vilnius from Kaunas; and a curfew was announced by the military. (Saulius Girnius) FEDERATION COUNCIL DELEGATION IN LITHUANIA. A delegation of the USSR Federation Council consisting of Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, Belorussian President Nikolai Dementei, and Ukrainian poet and parliamentarian Boris Oleinik, arrived in Vilnius January 13. Ignoring the pro-Moscow "National Salvation Committee" that claims to have taken over power in Lithuania, they went to the Lithuanian parliament. They also visited the television tower and other sites where the military had been active. They expressed shock when they viewed films of the military attack. (Saulius Girnius) PARLIAMENT REMAINS IN SESSION. The Lithuanian parliament remained in session. The building was surrounded by more than 100,000 people, who assembled to protect it from the possible military attack. The delegation from the USSR Federation Council recommended a meeting with the military which resulted in an agreement that the military would stop its patrols through the streets if the crowd assembled outside the parliament building dispersed. Many people obeyed President Vytautas Landsbergis' call to disperse. (Saulius Girnius) NEW LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER. When Lithuanian Prime Minister Albertas Simenas did not appear at the emergency meeting of the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet and there were reports that he and his family had been seized by the Soviet military, parliament elected Gediminas Vagnorius as the new prime minister with Zigmas Vaisvila as his deputy. Parliament confirmed its decision to retain the eleven ministers it approved on January 11 and to reappoint the other former ministers. Simenas later reappeared, but his disappearance has not yet been explained and Vagnorius remains the prime minister. (Saulius Girnius) HEAD OF LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT IN EXILE APPOINTED. The Lithuanian parliament decided to appoint Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas (who was in Warsaw) to head a Lithuanian government in exile and gave him the right to appoint other members. He would assume this post if the Lithuanian parliament was no longer able to function normally. (Saulius Girnius) EVENTS IN LITHUANIA ON JANUARY 11. A group of unnamed pro-Moscow Communist Party supporters announced the creation of a National Salvation Committee which would, they said, assume power in the republic. Soviet television announced that strikes had been called at 23 institutions and that workers at the Ignalina atomic power plant had declared they would close the plant down on January 15 if the government did not comply with Gorbachev's appeal to restore the USSR Constitution. (Saulius Girnius) EVENTS IN LITHUANIA ON JANUARY 12. Early in the morning Soviet paratroopers seized one of the two Lithuania's Police Academy buildings and a villa used by the Lithuanian National OBard. The situation in Lithuania, however, eased after the Federation Council meeting in Moscow and Gorbachev's declaration that no more army actions would be undertaken in Lithuania. (Saulius Girnius) LATVIAN SUPREME COUNCIL ON LITHUANIA. The Latvian Supreme CoBncil's Presidium viewed "with alarm and indignation" the Soviet military action in Lithuania. In their statement of January 12, the Latvian leaders said "the events in Lithuania are aimed not just at the Baltic peoples, but also against all those who believe in the overall rebirth of the peoples of the USSR." (Dzintra Bungs) SITUATION TENSE BUT QUIET IN RIGA. Despite numerous rumors of imBinent Soviet troop intervention in Riga, the Latvian capitaB was still quiet this morning. Troop movements have bBen reported in and around Riga over the weekend and miBitary helicopters were used to disseminate leaflets over the demonstrators who had gathered on the banks of the Daugava on January 13 to show their solidarity with the government and Supreme Council. (Dzintra Bungs) BARRICADES IN RIGA. In response to an appeal by the People's Front of Latvia, concerned Latvians erected barricades around the Supreme Council, Council of Ministers, Radio and Television buildings last night. Thousands of Latvians have been standing watch at those sites. They are afraid that Soviet forces may try to take over those buildings. Their vigil has been eased by musicians and by coffee and food being provided by nearby churches and cafes. Today people also started to guard the main telephone and communications building in Riga, according to Radio Riga of January 13 and 14. (Dzintra Bungs) SCHOOLS CLOSED IN RIGA. Radio Riga announced on January 13 that all educational institutions, from kindergartens to the university, would be closed as of January 14 and would remain closed until further notice from the Ministry of Education. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIAN SUPREME COUNCIL APPEALS TO GORBACHEV. Radio Riga reported on January 11 that elected representatives from all over Latvia had appealed that morning to USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, urging him to seek democratic and peaceful solutions to the existing problems between Latvia and the USSR. They noted that at least 70% of all elected representatives in Latvia support the policies of the government and stand behind Chairman of the Supreme Council Anatolijs Gorbunovs and Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis. (Dzintra Bungs) HUGE DEMONSTRATION FOR A DEMOCRATIC, INDEPENDENT LATVIA. HundredOBof thousands of Latvia's residents responded to the call to the People's Front and converged on the banks of the Daugava RBver to show their commitment to a democratic and independenB Latvia and their confidence in the government of Premier Ivars Godmanis and in the work of the Supreme Council. RBmualdas Razukas, PFL chairman, called on Latvians to show that they are behind their government and elected representatives. After the speeches and patriotic songs, the throngs procBeded peacefully to place flowers at the Monument of Liberty, Radio Riga reported January 13. (Dzintra Bungs) OOB LATVIAN SUPREME COUNCIL APPEALS TO UN. In session intermittently throughout the weekend, the Latvian Supreme Council adopted several documents, including an appeal to the United Nations, reported Radio Riga on January 14. One document, dated January 13, is addressed to UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar. It urges the UN to form an international commission to analyze the situation in the Baltic States anOBto examine all documents and other evidence about "the military aggression against the people of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia." The legislators also appealed to Soviet soldiers in Latvia not to carry out any orders by their commanders to use weapons against unarmed civilians. (Dzintra Bungs) ESTONIA CALM. In the aftermath of the military crackdown in Lithuania, Estonia is calm but anxious, sources in Tallinn report. News organizations have made contingency plans for transmitting information in case a similar crackdown comes in Estonia, and public figures have urged the population to be prepared. Yesterday, the Tallinn city council announced a three-day mourning period for those killed in Vilnius over the weekend, Estonian Radio reported. During the three days, flags will be floBn at half-mast and all films, concerts and sporting events have been cancelled. Retail alcohol sales will be banned during the mourning period, and bars will have shortened hours. (Riina Kionka) ESTONIANS CREATE EMERGENCY COUNCIL. The presidium of the Estonian Supreme Council yesterday set up an emergency defense council to take over its duties in case developments make it impossible for the presidium to meet, Estonian TV reported yesterday.B The three-member council consists of President Arnold Ruutel, Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar and Parliament Speaker Ulo Nugis. The presidium also voted to give emergency council members the authority to pass their seat on the council to another person, should developments make it impossible for them to serve in person. (Riina Kionka) OB PARLIAMENT, GOVERNMENT APPEAL. Estonia's government and the Supreme Council's presidium yesterday issued a joint appeal to the parliaments and governments of all states, Estonian TV reported. The appealBcalls on them "to help in stopping the aggression against the Republic of Lithuania, and to use all measures at their disOBsal to arrest the escalation of military violence in the Baltic states." (Riina Kionka) YELTSIN AND BALTIC APPEAB. Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Boris Yeltsin yesterday flew to Estonia to confer with Baltic leaders, Estonian TB reported. Yeltsin and his three Baltic counterparts--Estonia's Arnold Ruutel, Latvia's Anatolijs Gorbunovs and Lithuania's Landsbergis--issued a joint condemnation of the Soviet military action in Lithuania. The four--with Landsbergis participating by telephone from Vilnius--called for an emergency international conference to help stop moves against the Baltic republics. The four also issued a joint statement respecting each other's democratically elected parliaments and governments, and rejecting any attempt at setting up parallel organizations. Yeltsin also issued a separate appeal to all "soldiers, sergeant and officers" not to fire on civilians in the Baltic. (Riina Kionka) YELTSIN ON MILITARY ACTION. During his Tallinn press conference broadcast yesterday on Estonian TV, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin said he had spoken that day to both President Mikhail Gorbachev and Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov. Yeltsin said that both men reiterated their earlier statements that they had had no prior knowledge of the Soviet military crackdown in Lithuania. (Riina Kionka) REPUBLICAN LEADERS OPPOSE USE OF FORCE IN LITHUANIA. Officials who attended Saturday's meeting of the Council of the Federation in Moscow said republic leaders from across the country had expressed strong objections to the action of Soviet troops in Lithuania, Reuters and AP reported on January 12. The Council sent a delegation to Lithuania in hopes of resolving the situation by peaceful means. Latvian president Anatolijs Gorbunovs was cited as saying "Everyone spoke out against events in Lithuania. I cannot recall anyone approving this." (NCA) PUGO'S REPORT CRITICIZED. Estonian prime minister Edgar Savisaar was quoted by wire services as saying republic leaders criticized a report on the Lithuanian situation delivered to the Council of the Federation in Moscow on January 12 by interior minister Boris Pugo. He said they felt it was biased. Savisaar said Mikhail Gorbachev appeared satisfied with Pugo's report, and seemed "stunned" by the criticism from republic leaders. Savisaar quoted the Soviet president as saying he needed more information on the situation in Lithuania. (NCA) DEMONSTRATIONS IN MOSCOW, LENINGRAD. Demonstrations were organized by "Democratic Russia" in Moscow and Leningrad yesterday to protest the military action in Lithuania. Similar demonstrations were reported from the Moldavian capital Kishinev, and from Kiev and Lvov in Ukraine. Soviet Television showed the Moscow demonstration on its "Vremya" evening newscast. "Vremya's" coverage put only the official position on the military action, but a more nuanced approach was adopted by the late night newscast "TSN," which expressed its regret that it could report only the official interpretation and which gave not only the official death toll of two, but also the calculation of the Lithuanian ministry of health, which at that time stood at 13 dead. (NCA) SOBCHAK OPPOSED LENINGRAD DEMONSTRATION. Chairman of the Leningrad City Soviet Anatolii Sobchak was a lone voice opposing the organization in Leningrad of a demonstration against military intervention in Lithuania, Radio Liberty's Russian Service was told by a correspondent in Leningrad Sunday. The majority of the members of the City Soviet voted for it. The demonstration was said to have been attended by about 13,000. (Victor Yasmann) MOLDAVIANS DENOUNCE MOSCOW'S ACTION IN LITHUANIA. At a mass rally yesterday in Kishinev, the National Alliance for the Independence of Moldavia, which consists of the Moldavian Popular Front and a dozen other organizations, condemned "the aggression of the Soviet armed forces and the anti-national imperial organizations against the Lithuanian people." The resolution also proclaimed support for "Lithuania's legitimate state institutions" and "total solidarity with the Lithuanian people's just struggle for freedom and independence." Placards and chants called for "Soviet hands off Lithuania" and equated Gorbachev with Saddam Hussein. (Vladimir Socor) "RUKH" DECLARES SOLIDARITY WITH LITHUANIANS. The Popular Movement of Ukraine, or "Rukh," has declared its solidarity with "the freedom-loving Lithuanian people" in a statement addressed to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, Lithuanian radio reported yesterday. The statement is signed by "Rukh" chairman Ivan Drach. Reports reaching Munich this morning say there have been demonstrations against the military actions in Lithuania in several Ukrainian cities, including Kiev, Lvov, and Ternopol. (Roman Solchanyk) KGB TROOPS INVOLVED? The paratroopers who stormed the Vilnius Radio and Television Center on Saturday were from the Vitebsk Airborne Division, according to a report to Radio Liberty's Russian Service from a correspondent in Vilnius. Last summer the Vitebsk division, together with several other elite units, was transferred to the command of the KGB. (This was revealed in the USSR Supreme Soviet in September, 1990, in the wake of rumors about a possible coup d'etat.) The Vitebsk division played an active role in Afghanistan as well as in Tbilisi in April 1989 and in Baku in January 1990. (Victor Yasmann) SHEVARDNADZE DENIES COMMENTS ON LITHUANIA. Speaking in Moscow yesterday, Shevardnadze told BALTFAX that he had made no comments in the last two days on the situation in Lithuania. He also said he had not spoken with foreign reporters about the situation. According to ADN's report yesterday, there have been foreign media reports that Shevardnadze described Lithuania as a testing ground for a military putsch in the USSR. Shevardnadze apparently does not deny telling Christian Science Monitor television last week that the deployments in the Baltic states represent "a simple desire to introduce order." (See Daily Report January 11, 1991.) (Suzanne Crow) USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS MEETING OF FEDERATION COUNCIL AND ECONOMIC AGREEMENT. Saturday's meeting of the Federation Council was attended by the presidents, chairmen of the parliaments, and heads of the governments of the all the Union republics except Georgia, and also Lithuania which was represented by its permanent representative in Moscow, TASS reported. Leaders of the autonomous republics were also present. The economic agreement between the center and republics for 1991 was adopted but not finalized or signed, according to "Vremya." The chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council Anatolijs Gorbunovs said Latvia would not sign the agreement but had agreed on its contribution to the all-Union budget. (Ann Sheehy) UNION TREATY TO BE CONCLUDED MID-1991? Commenting on Saturday's session of the Federation Council, which discussed progress on the Union treaty, Kirgiz president Askar Akaev said that the treaty could be signed in April or May, TASS reported January 12. CPSU Secretary Andrei Girenko said in Kishinev on January 11 that, if everything proceeded normally, the signing of the treaty could take place in mid-1991, TASS reported January 11. (Ann Sheehy) WHO IS IN CHARGE IN MOSCOW? There is speculation in the Western press today as to the whereabouts of Mikhail Gorbachev. Soviet media reported Saturday evening that he chaired a session of the revamped Federation Council that day, and presented to it a range of potential nominees for the post of prime minister. But there was no report of his activities on Sunday. Lithuanian president Landsbergis said Saturday that he had tried to reach Gorbachev twice by telephone but was told Gorbachev was either at lunch or unavailable. On Sunday morning, RFE's Lithuanian Service was told by a contributor in Vilnius, Lithuanian officials who tried to telephone Gorbachev were told he was not present. (Elizabeth Teague) SUPREME SOVIET PASSES BUDGET. On Friday, the Supreme Soviet passed the 1991 budget, with government incomes totalling some 250,157 billion rubles and expenditures totalling 276,820 billion, according to TASS. Important new items include: a 5 percent sales tax projected to total 36 billion rubles (note: the text of the decree on the new tax indicates that it will be a sales tax, not a value added tax as some have interpreted it), transfers from republican budgets of 41.6 billion rubles, and an increase in defense spending to 96.6 billion (though that is said to represent a decrease in spending from last year in real terms). (John Tedstrom) ...BUT CAN IT BE ACHIEVED? If achieved, the budget deficit of about 26 billion rubles will represent a significant reduction in relative terms from about 9-11 percent of Soviet GNP in 1989-90 to about 3-4 percent of GNP in 1991. There is room for doubt, however, as to whether the budget represents a realistic view of the country's fiscal activities in 1991. First, the leadership may have overestimated revenues from the profit tax. If output falls more than the planned 2-4 percent (which is likely), profit tax revenue will fall sharply as well. On the other hand, the leadership may have underestimated expenditures on social services (for example for unemployment). That could likewise broaden the gap between income and expenditures. (John Tedstrom) BAN ON "VZGLYAD" TO BE EXPLAINED TO LAWMAKERS. Anatolii Luk'yanov told the USSR Supreme Soviet on Saturday that the chairman of Gosteleradio, Leonid Kravchenko, would provide a written explanation of the censoring of the popular show, "Vzglyad." Kravchenko's response, Luk'yanov said, will be distributed to deputies on Monday morning. Luk'yanov was answering a question from a liberal Ukrainian deputy, Vladimir Chernyak. Kravchenko was nominated to head Soviet radio and television by Gorbachev in late November; his appointment has yet to be approved by the Supreme Soviet. (Julia Wishnevsky) RESTRICTIONS ON CENTRAL TELEVISION. Radio "Rossiya" complained Thursday that, having gotten "Vzglyad" banned from the airwaves, Gosteleradio chief Leonid Kravchenko was continuing his crackdown on Central Soviet Television. Apart from "Vzglyad," the popular "Authors' Television" (avtorskoe televidenie) has also been banned. Several other programs are also scheduled for cancellation, Radio "Rossiya" said, noting that the closures will affect 72 employees of Central TV, the radio said. (Vera Tolz) "THE THAW IS OVER," SAYS "VZGLYAD" MODERATOR. The closure of the most popular Soviet TV show was announced by presenter Igor Kirillov on Friday. "The thaw is over," Kirillov added, employing the word commonly used to describe the short period of liberalization under Nikita Khrushchev. (Julia Wishnevsky) TV JOURNALIST FIRED. Another "Vzglyad" moderator, Aleksandr Politkovsky, told RL's Russian Service Friday that the censoring of "Vzglyad" is only part of a broader campaign launched by Kravchenko against independent-minded television journalists. Politkovsky revealed that Vladimir Lomakin, a moderator of the official TV newscast "Vremya," was banned by Kravchenko from appearing on the screen when he refused to read a biased TASS dispatch on the situation in Lithuania. (Julia Wishnevsky) YELTSIN OFFERS TO HELP. Yeltsin has offered a haven both to "Vzglyad" and to the independent news agency, Interfax, which Kravchenko tried to close down. "Vzglyad" may be taken under the wing of the RSFSR State radio and television if the latter starts operation in the late March as has been promised. Interviewed in Izvestia December 30, a high-ranking TV official, Vladimir Bogdanov, announced that RSFSR television will be independent of Kravchenko's Gosteleradio. Yeltsin's offer to "Vzglyad" makes sense in that given that three of its moderators--Aleksandr Politkovsky, Aleksandr Lyubimov and Vladimir Mukusev--are members of the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies. (Julia Wishnevsky) PRIMAKOV ON SADDAM HUSSEIN. Soviet Middle East expert Yevgenii Primakov said in a CNN interview over the weekend that Saddam Hussein is convinced there is a conspiracy to surround Iraq as a result of what he characterizes as his defeat of Iran. Primakov says he has known Saddam for 21 years and believes that "if [Saddam] is sure that the only choice is either to die, or to stand on his knees only to die afterward, he would prefer war, where everybody loses," Reuters reported yesterday. Primakov has repeatedly called on the West to offer Saddam a way of saving face and to provide guarantees that Iraq will not be attacked in case of its withdrawal. (Suzanne Crow) SUPSOV RESOLUTION ON GULF CRISIS. Supreme Soviet deputies on January 12 backed a resolution recommending that Gorbachev "carry out additional steps with the Iraqi leadership, the United States and other parties involved" to reach a peaceful solution in the Persian Gulf. The resolution passed with 312 votes for, 27 against, and 36 abstentions. The deputies did not specify what the additional steps might entail, Reuters reported. According to Supreme Soviet foreign affairs committee chairman Aleksandr Dzasokhov, Soviet deputies believe the Gulf crisis affects the Soviet Union's supreme national interests. Dzasokhov is one of those tipped as Gorbachev's choice for foreign minister. (Suzanne Crow) BESSMERTNYKH AS FOREIGN MINISTER? Interfax quotes Soviet foreign ministry sources as saying Gorbachev will name Aleksandr Bessmertnykh, currently ambassador to the US, to take over for Shevardnadze, Reuter says today. Interfax said it was not certain if other candidates would be named. Bessmertnykh, whose thinking is closely associated with that of Shevardnadze, would likely be opposed by conservatives. On the other hand, his appointment would help calm Western worries that the USSR is abandoning its reform course. Another candidate lately rumored to be in the running--Politburo member Aleksander Dzasokhov--is for the most part unknown in the West and would likely be welcomed by Soviet conservatives. (Suzanne Crow) IGNATENKO ON DRAFT ENFORCEMENT. In January 13 Argumenty i fakty, Presidential press aide Vitalii Ignatenko skirted a question over whether Gorbachev himself ordered airborne troops into the republics, claiming only that it was decided to assist military commissariats in combatting "catastrophic" levels of draft evasion. He rejected suggestions that draft shortfalls in the Baltic could easily be made up in the RSFSR and said a draft shortfall of 5,000 men in Moscow was not analogous to the situation in the Baltic. He also denied that a widely reported assembly of Baltic military leaders took place in Riga several weeks ago, and warned that the army would continue to enforce draft regulations. (Stephen Foye) SOVIETS SUSPEND NUCLEAR TESTING. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Belousov announced to the USSR Supreme Soviet on January 12 that, in response to domestic protests, Moscow will suspend all underground nuclear tests for the first four months of this year, TASS reported. On January 10, the US rejected a proposed amendment that would have extended a 1963 ban on atmospheric testing to underground testing as well. There have been protests against nuclear tests around the Semipalatinsk site in Kazakhstan, and residents in the northern USSR have decried testing on the island of Novaya Zemlya. (NCA/Stephen Foye) MILITARY-POLITICAL ORGANS RECREATED. On January 11 Gorbachev issued a decree on the creation of "military-political organs" (voenno-politicheskie organy) within the Armed Forces, the KGB and MVD troops, and the Railroad troops. In practical terms, this means that political organs formerly controlled by the CPSU Central Committee will now fall under the jurisdiction of the USSR Council of Ministers. This another step in the "etatization" of powers previously exercised by the CPSU. (Victor Yasmann) USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS MORE DEATHS IN SOUTH OSSETIA. Radio Moscow reported on January 11 that a tank subunit was being dispatched to South Ossetia to guard army depots and prevent arms thefts. TASS reported on January 12 that three Georgian police officers and one Ossetian were killed in an attack on the MVD building in Tskhinvali the previous night. USSR Minister of Internal Affairs Boris Pugo told the USSR Supreme Soviet on January 12 that the dispatch of Georgian militia to the area had caused the violence there to escalate, and that the situation would improve only when Gorbachev's order to withdraw Georgian militia from South Ossetia is put into force. (Liz Fuller) DRUC ON RELATIONS WITH MOSCOW. Iterviewed January 11 by RFE in Washington, Moldavian Prime Minister Mircea Druc reiterated Moldavia's stand that the union treaty proposed by Moscow was "unacceptable". A possible Soviet military action against Moldavia would be resisted by the people with nonviolent means, he said; he would advocate the use of "Gandhian methods". (Vladimir Socor) SOVIET SOLDIERS ROUNDING UP MOLDAVIAN RECRUITS. Last week Soviet soldiers stationed in Moldavia began systematically rounding up young Moldavians who had failed to report for military service or had left their military units. Some of those apprehended are reportedly being beaten. The republican government has thus far failed to openly protest the violation of Moldavia's declaration of sovereignty and of its laws which suspended the obligation of military service. Moldavian First Vice-Premier Constantin Oboroc said on Moldavian television January 11, as cited by TASS, that Moldavia and the USSR Ministry of Defense had negotiated a compromise under which Moldavian conscripts would serve only in Moldavia and immediately adjacent areas. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIANS BRACE FOR MOSCOW ACTION IN THEIR REPUBLIC. Prominent Moldavian political and cultural figures addressing a rally in Kishinev yesterday's, and the resolution adopted at the rally, warned that Moldavia may also face Soviet military action aimed at nullifying Moldavia's declaration of sovereignty and forcing it to sign "an imperial treaty of union." The resolution urged the Moldavian people to show "unity, dignity, and courage in resisting possible aggression" and to "be prepared to come to the defense of the republic's vital institutions if necessary." A separate appeal to Moldavian paramilitary volunteers, who were officially disbanded in November, urged them to be ready for possible mobilization. (Vladimir Socor) TURKMENISTAN OBSERVES MEMORIAL DAY. TASS reported on January 12 that the first memorial day has been observed in Turkmenistan. The institution of a memorial day was announced last month by republican president Saparmurad Niyazov. The TASS report says that Niyazov, People's Deputies and members of the clergy attended commemorative ceremonies at Geok-tepe, the site of the last major Central Asian resistance to the Russian conquest, but neglects to note that the date of Turkmenistan's memorial day (January 12) was chosen because it is the day on which the fortress of Geok-Tepe fell in 1881. (Bess Brown) DNEPROPETROVSK JOURNALISTS FORM SELF-DEFENSE GROUP. An association of newspaper editors has been formed in the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast organization of the Ukrainian Union of Journalists to counter pressure from conservative forces, Ukrinform and TASS reported on January 11. Several local journalists have already been sacked for press articles that Party conservatives find unfavorable. (Roman Solchanyk)
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