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No. 12, 17 January 1991
BALTIC STATES HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MOURN VICTIMS. Yesterday the 13 Lithuanian victims of the military assault on the Vilnius television tower were buried. Funeral services for the nine victims from Vilnius were conducted at the Vilnius Archcathedral by Vilnius Archbishop Julijonas Steponavicius, at which the Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Lithuania Khrisostom condemned the authorities in Moscow for permitting violence against blameless civilians. The Lithuanian authorities were represented by vice president Kazimieras Motieka since President Vytautas Landsbergis, a Protestant, decided not to attend for security reasons. The victims were then taken to the cemetery in Antakalnis for burial. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to express their sympathy. The ceremonies were broadcast live over Lithuania Radio. Church bells were rung and special masses were held in all the churches of Lithuania. The remaining four victims were buried in their home towns of Kaunas, Marijampole, Rokiskis and Kedainiai. (Saulius Girnius) TELEVISION TOWER INSPECTED. TASS reported on January 16 that a large group of Soviet and foreign journalists visited the television tower in Vilnius. They were said to have inspected all 23 floors of the tower and found no strangers there. The military denied Lithuanian claims that soldiers had removed "dead bodies in sacks", saying that the bags were only filled with garbage. (Saulius Girnius) LATVIAN SOLIDARITY WITH LITHUANIA. January 16 was a day of mourning throughout Latvia for the Lithuanians killed by Soviet troops last weekend. Latvia sent an official delegation, led by Supreme Council secretary Imants Daudiss, to the funeral ceremonies in Vilnius. Deputy Alfreds Cepanis told Radio Riga January 17 that he was tremendously moved by the events in Vilnius and impressed by the Lithuanians' determination to achieve their goal of independence. Since the weekend, Radio Riga has been intermittently broadcasting news in Lithuanian, to help provide Lithuanian listeners with reliable information. (Dzintra Bungs) NEVZOROV SIDES WITH ARMY ON LITHUANIA. Yesterday the USSR Supreme Soviet voted for television to broadcast a program by a prominent Russian nationalist, Aleksandr Nevzorov. On January 15, Nevzorov's account of the siege of the Vilnius television center was broadcast by Leningrad TV, which is also seen in Moscow. Yesterday, it was shown twice in prime time by both channels of Central Television. Accompanied by music of the German composer Richard Wagner, it depicted soldiers saying that the Lithuanians had thrown themselves under tanks, and claiming that they had been under constant Lithuanian sniper fire. Radio Riga yesterday condemned the broadcast as "totally staged terrorist propaganda." (Julia Wishnevsky) ...WHILE A PRO-LITHUANIAN RULING IS INGNORED. Later yesterday, the Supreme Soviet also approved a resolution suggested by the liberal Interregional Group of deputies that urged the TV to screen films available in the Lithuanian consulate in Moscow and providing the Baltic point of view. This resolution has not been carried out thus far. (Julia Wishnevsky) PRIEST CONDUCTS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR VICTIMS IN LITHUANIA. Radio Rossiya reported on January 16 that on the day before, a memorial service for those who died in Lithuania was conducted on the Lyubyanskaya Place next to the memorial for victims of Stalin's repressions. Russian Orthodox priest Fr. Gleb Yakunin, who conducted the service, said in his short sermon that the recent bloodshed is a continuation of the tragedy of Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Fr. Gleb declared that "we will demand a law against our Russian boys being sent to suppress...". (Oxana Antic) MOSCOW, LENINGRAD SUPPORT LITHUANIA. Yesterday's "Vremya" listed a number of Leningrad plants that did not take part in the strike organized by the city's soviet in protest against the violence in Lithuania. "Vremya's" moderator, however, acknowledged that many enterprises in Leningrad did strike. "Vremya" did not mention protests in other cities. Meanwhile, about 40 research institutes went on strike in Moscow alone. The Democratic Russia movement plans to hold a mass rally in Moscow next Sunday. Leaflets, signed by several popular deputies, including chairman of the Moscow City Soviet Gavriil Popov, called on everyone who opposes the replacement of the Yeltsin leadership by a "Russian Committee for National Salvation" to attend the rally. (Russian BD/Radio Rossiya/Julia Wishnevsky) ...AS DO THE NORTH CAUCASIAN MUSLIMS. On January 15, a meeting supporting the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet was held in the North Caucasian city Makhachkala. The meeting was organized by the local Islamic Democratic Party and was addressed by the head of the Dagestani Muslim congregation, Isaev, as well as by other representatives of clergy. (Russian BD/Julia Wishnevsky) MOLDAVIAN SUPREME SOVIET REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR LITHUANIA. Convening yesterday for a new parliamentary session, the Moldavian Supreme Soviet adopted overwhelmingly--with most Russian deputies opposed--the text of the resolution voted by its Presidium on January 14, denouncing the Soviet military crackdown in Lithuania (see Daily Report, January 15). The republic's president Mircea Snegur took the floor to oppose an alternative draft presented by Russian deputies from the left bank of the Dniester supporting repression in Lithuania. Bn addition, the Supreme Soviet voted an appeal to Gorbachev aBd the USSR Supreme Soviet to stop the use of force in the Baltic "and other" republics, and condemning "the campaign against democracy". (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIA'S RUSSIAN LEADERS ENDORSE MILITARY ACTION IN LITHUANIA. In an interview with Le Figaro yesterday in TiBaspol, Igor Smirnov, the president of the would-be DniBster SSR, said that he "supported the intervention of the Soviet troops in Vilnius". Also yesterday, the presidium of the Bainly Russian movement Edinstvo released in Kishinev a statement of support for the "National Salvation Committee" in Lithuania, reported by TASS on January 16. Moldavia's Edinstvo blamed the violence in Vilnius on "the separatist policy of the Sajudis regime, its attack on the interests of the people, its preparations for mass political terror", and charged that Lithuania saw "state sovereignty" as a license to "oppress ethnic minorities". (Vladimir Socor) BLACK BERETS SHOOT UNARMED CIVILIANS IN LATVIA. Yesterday at around 11:30 AM and 5PM local time, members of the MVD special units opened fire on vehicles and unarmed civilians guarding strategic points in the Riga suburb of Vecmilgravis. In the late afternoon incident, Roberts Murnieks, 39, was shot in the back of the head at the Brasa bridge; he was part of the team guarding the bridge. Murnieks, who died about two hoursOBater in the hospital, was the first person killed in the current Kremlin campaign against Latvia's independence. According to Radio Riga and Reuter of January 16, the Black Berets shot at vehicles and set fire to them also in other parts of Riga; several people were injured, one seriously. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIANS WARNED OF FURTHER VIOLENCE. Latvia's Minister of Internal Affairs Aloizs Vaznis said that he had sent a telegram of protest against the violent actions of the Black Berets in Latvia to the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), since the Black Berets are under its jurisdiction, Radio Riga reported yesterday. Vaznis also asked the people of Latvia to be particularly watchful and restrained, since he had received threats that more explosions can be expected throughout Latvia, especially in Daugavpils. The New York Times of January 17 reported yet another explosion in Riga the night before. (Dzintra Bungs) SALVATION COMMITTEE CLAIMS TO BE FORMING A NEW LATVIAN GOVERNMENT. The All-Latvia Public Salvation Committee claimed to be forming "new bodies of state power," reported Radio Moscow on January 16. Led by Latvian Communist Party First Secretary Alfreds Rubiks and former member of the USSR Presidential Council Alberts Kauls, the committee wants Latvia Bo remain an integral part of the USSR. Therefore, it aims to OOBrthrow the government of Latvia, dissolve the Supreme Council, and hold new elections in Latvia. Committee member Alexei Litvinenko issued a statement calling on Soviet authorities to rescue Latvia's Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians form becoming "hostages of a nationalist, bourgeois dictatorship." The committee was formed last November. (Bzintra Bungs) GORBUNOVS DENIES THAT TROOPS ARE NEED TO MAINTAIN ORDER. Chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council Anatolijs Gorbunovs denied assertions of the Salvation Committee that troops are needed to keep order in Latvia. He told the press yesterday, according to Reuter of January 16, that "the violence of the Black Berets is the most destabilizing factor in Latvia at the moment." He said that the barricades, erected around key buildings and sites in and around Riga to provide protection in case of an attack by Soviet forces, would be maintained until "full security" was guaranteed. (Dzintra Bungs) JURKANS AUTHORIZED TO REPRESENT LATVIAN GOVERNMENT ABROAD. Radio Riga reported on January 14 that Foreign Minister Janis Jurkans had been empowered to represent the Latvian government abroad, in case of emergency. The same authority was accorded earlier to Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council Dainis Ivans. They plan to visit European and North American capitals with other Baltic representatives to win Western support for Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian independence. (Dzintra Bungs) ESTONIA CALLS ON PARATROOPERS. The Estonian government yesterday called on reservist paratroopers to offer their "help." In an announcement read over Estonian Radio and reported later that day by ETA, the Department of State Defense and Economic Borders said that reservists who have served in Soviet paratroop units have "gained experience that may be needed now." The announcement urged the reservists to make their whereabouts known to the Estonian government "in connection with defending Estonia from Soviet military intervention." (Riina Kionka) LAURISTIN TO REPRESENT ESTONIA? The Estonian Supreme Council yesterday appointed deputy speaker Marju Lauristin to be its representative abroad, Estonian Radio reported yesterday. The move augments the Supreme Council Presidium's decision on January 13 to name a three-member emergency defense commission to act in its stead in case developments do not allow that body to function. All three Baltic states have named representatives abroad during the last week in response to ongoing Soviet pressure. (Riina Kionka) USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS USSR REACTION TO GULF WAR. As the multinational force began bombing early this morning in Iraq and Kuwait, TASS issued a steady flow of information taken from Western and Middle Eastern news agencies and television networks. Soviet UN Ambassador Yulii Vorontsov said in New York: "The United States has created a force to liberate Kuwait by military means after certain conditions have not been met by Saddam Hussein and who are we to tell them how to do it?" But, he added, the "object was still to liberate Kuwait and not to destroy Iraq," Reuters reported today. (Suzanne Crow) USSR STRESSES DIPLOMACY. Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Belonogov stressed before the Supreme Soviet yesterday that diplomacy still had a chance to work if Iraq began withdrawing from Kuwait. Belonogov, who has been involved in the Soviet Union's diplomatic effort in the Middle East, said: "We get the impression the Iraqi leadership still does not really believe in the decisive mood of the American administration... We told Saddam Hussein we have no doubts about the full war-readiness of the Americans...," TASS and Reuters reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow) GULF WAR: SOVIET FORCES ON ALERT. The Chief of the General Staff told TASS yesterday that all forces in the south of the Soviet Union have been put in a state of high military alert as a result of the Gulf War, Reuter reported. Army General Mikhail Moiseev called the war "a tragedy for the people of Iraq and the entire Arab East," and said that the Soviet army is closely monitoring developments in the Gulf. Moiseev reportedly placed blame for the conflict on Iraq and its occupation of Kuwait. (Stephen Foye) GORBACHEV PLEADS TO REINSTATE CENSORSHIP. At the closed session of the USSR Supreme Soviet yesterday, Gorbachev suggested that the USSR Press Law abolishing censorship be suspended "for the time being." Gorbachev specifically cited yesterday's Moscow News blaming Gorbachev for "the grave crime" committed in Lithuania. (This edition of the weekly seems to have been confiscated by the authorities, which is itself illegal.) This suggestion was rebuffed by liberal deputies. Philosopher Yurii Karyakin recalled that the Soviet leadership had "temporarily" suspended the free press in 1918, but this "time being" lasted for the next 72 years. Thereupon, an overwhelming majority of deputies voted for a milder measure instructing the SupSov Glasnost Committee to ensure the "objectivity" of news coverage in the media. (Julia Wishnevsky) PROPOSAL TO REINSTATE CENSORSHIP CENSORED. Neither yesterday's "Vremya" newscast nor the second channel of Soviet TV's report on the last day of the USSR Supreme Soviet mentioned Gorbachev's proposal to suspend the new law on the press. The reports merely said that parliament had agreed to charge its Glasnost Committee with monitoring the media's objectivity. Also unreported were attacks by many deputies on the performance of Soviet television under its new chief, Leonid Kravchenko. In the course of the debates, the Armenian artist Genrikh Igityan said that Kravchenko had turned state television "into a bad kolkhoz." Some details of the debates were revealed, however, in Aleksandr Ruvinsky's "Parliamentary Diary" that was broadcast at 7.30 PM by the first channel of the Moscow Radio. (Julia Wishnevsky) CABINET APPOINTMENTS. On January 14, the USSR SupSov approved Gorbachev's nomination of four deputies to serve under USSR prime minister Valentin Pavlov. These include two first deputy premiers: Vitalii Doguzhiev (55), who held the post of deputy premier under the outgoing government of Nikolai Ryzhkov; and Vladimir Velichko (53), minister of heavy-machine building. As deputy premiers, Gorbachev nominated Yurii Maslyukov (53), chairman of USSR Gosplan; and Nikolai Lavyorov (60), who held the rank of deputy premier under Ryzhkov. Gorbachev said he had considered nominating former minister of internal affairs Vadim Bakatin as first deputy premier, but the Federation Council had preferred the candidacy of Doguzhiev, who is an Adygei. (Elizabeth Teague) MORE CABINET APPOINTMENTS TO COME. Gorbachev told the SupSov on January 14 that, on the recommendation of the Federation Council, he would be appointing two more deputy prime ministers: one from Kazakhstan or a Central Asian republic, the other from Belorussia or Ukraine; the latter would have the agriculture portfolio. On January 15, the SupSov approved Gorbachev's nomination of Boris Pugo as minister of internal affairs. (Elizabeth Teague) GORBACHEV DENIES KNOWLEDGE OF COMMITTEES FOR NATIONAL SALVATION. According to Radio Moscow's "Parliamentary Diary" last evening, during yesterday's session of the USSR Supreme Soviet deputy Ella Pamfilova asked Gorbachev for information about the "committees for national salvation" set up in Lithaunia, Latvia, and possibly other places. Indirectly citing an interview by fellow deputy Viktor Alksnis, Panfilova noted the rumors concerning an all-Union "committee for national salvation," aimed at replacing all existing governmental bodies, including President Gorbachev himself. Gorbachev replied that he knew very little of the network of the committees with this name that have suddenly been born in various parts of his country. (Julia Wishnevsky) YANAEV CONTROVERSY STILL UNRESOLVED. "Parliamentary Diary" also reported that a leader of the Interregional Group of Deputies , Arkadii Murashov, asked the chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Anatolii Luk'yanov about the results of the investigation of alleged fraud during the elections of Soviet Vice-President Gennadii Yanaev at the fourth session of the USSR Congress of People's Deputies last month. Luk'yanov replied that the results of the inquiry were not available. Earlier that day the USSR Supreme Soviet voted to finance the vice-president's salary and bodyguards (Julia Wishnevsky) ANOTHER TV PROGRAM BANNED. Yesterday's edition of the late-night news, TSN, whose coverage of Baltic events has been notably more objective than "Vremya's", was cancelled. On January 15, the program showed the corpses of people shot during the violence on Sunday, and tanks on the streets of Vilnius. At that point its moderator, Tat'yana Mitkova hinted that the next edition of the news might not appear. Another edition of TSN scheduled to be broadcast today, at 12:00 Moscow time, was not aired either. Yesterday after midnight, a TV speaker announcing today's program schedule promised three editions of this newscast: at noon, 3 PM, and 12:40 AM (all Moscow time.) (Julia Wishnevsky) REFERENDUM ON FUTURE OF SOVIET UNION ON MARCH 17. The USSR Supreme Soviet decided yesterday that the referendum on the preservation of the Soviet Union as an integral state, demanded by Gorbachev, should take place on March 17. The vote was 306 in favor and 44 against with 36 abstentions. The question to which voters will have to answer "yes" or "no" is: "Do you think necessary the preservation of the USSR as a renewed federation of equal-righted sovereign states in which the rights and freedoms of an individual of any nationality are fully guaranteed?" (Ann Sheehy) SHEVARDNADZE COMMENTS ON BESSMERTNYKH... Eduard Shevardnadze said yesterday his successor is a man of independent thinking, a good colleague, and an excellent diplomat. In an article in yesterday's Izvestia (quoted by TASS), Shevardnadze said it was he and Bessmertnykh who initiated and carried through a change in US-Soviet relations. Shevardnadze reiterated that he plans to set up an independent foreign policy organization that will propagate theories in "new thinking." (NCA/Suzanne Crow) ...SO DOES PETRUSHENKO. Bessmertnykh did not get high marks from People's Deputy Lt. Col. Nikolai Petrushenko, a leading critic of Shevardnadze and member of the "Soyuz" group. Petrushenko said he was "disappointed" by the appointment of Bessmertnykh. He added, "I had hoped for someone with a more pro-Arab, pro-Third World orientation." Petrushenko called Bessmertnykh's appointment a sign of "continued weakness and vacillation on the part of Gorbachev," USA Today reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow) DEFENSE MINISTRY ACCUSES PAPERS OF SLANDER. In a statement read on "Vremya" last night, the Soviet Defense Ministry accused three newspapers of publishing allegedly slanderous reports. The papers involved were Nezavisimaya gazeta of Moscow, Moskovsky komsomolets, and Komsomolskaya pravda. One of the papers had claimed there was a mutiny in a Soviet troop unit, another said that a Soviet paratrooper had been shot dead by his comrades, and a third claimed that tanks had crushed people. The Defense Ministry has been conducting a rear-guard action to cover up actions by Soviet forces in Vilnius witnessed by onlookers and foreign correspondents. (NCA/Stephen Foye) TASS SCORES LOPATIN. Commentator Vladimir Chernyshev yesterday criticized remarks made by Vladimir Lopatin during a trip to the US last October. Lopatin, Deputy Chairman of the RSFSR State Security Committee, allegedly called for nuclear weapons to be given to the various republics following a "transition period." Coming months after Lopatin made the statements, Chernyshev's comments are likely part of a central media campaign to discredit Boris Yeltsin at home, where he has asked Russian soldiers not to fire on civilians, and overseas, where fears of nuclear destabilization are widespread. No republican government has requested nuclear weapons. (Stephen Foye) SOBCHAK HITS PARTY CONTROL OVER ARMY. Leningrad city soviet chairman Anatolii Sobchak told Radio Rossiya yesterday that attacks by the armed forces against civilians can only be prevented if Communist Party control over the army is ended. Arguing that the army should be a state and not a Party institution, he said that the Communist Party cannot give orders to anyone. Sobchak's comments indicate the extent to which the Communist Party is still perceived as controlling defense affairs. (Stephen Foye) FOREIGN AID SUPPLIES UNDELIVERED OR STOLEN. A KGB press release, quoted yesterday by TASS, says that more than 7 tons of food aid has been sitting at Moscow's international airport for 3 weeks. The press release also reported that aid has been stolen and diverted to the black market in Leningrad, Pskov, Zhitomir, Vladimir, and Yerevan. The KGB, which is responsible for seeing that incoming aid is properly distributed, said a number of criminal proceedings have begun. (Dawn Mann) USSR-HONDURAS RELATIONS. The Soviet Union and Honduras announced at the UN on January 15 that they have established diplomatic relations. (NCA/Suzanne Crow) USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER BLAMES GORBACHEV FOR LITHUANIAN CRACKDOWN. Speaking in Vienna yesterday, Georgian Foreign Minister Giorgi Khoshtaria argued that it was impossible for Gorbachev not to have known in advance of the Soviet military action in Vilnius. Khoshtaria further stated that Georgia would resist efforts by the Soviet military to round up draft evaders, would form its own republican military force, and that Georgia would not comply with Gorbachev's demand to withdraw its forces from South Ossetia. TASS reported yesterday that several thousand Armenians demonstrated in Tbilisi the previous day in support of Georgian independence and the Georgian government's policy on Ossetia. (Liz Fuller) KHASBULATOV DISMISSES LITHUANIAN SCENARIO FOR RUSSIA. Ruslan Khasbulatov, first deputy chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, told Soviet television January 15 that he does not expect the Lithuanian crackdown to be repeated in Russia. Khasbulatov answered persistent rumors that there will be an attempt to replace the democratically-elected RSFSR parliament with a local "committee for national salvation," since the RSFSR Communist Party urged setting up a body with this name during the last RCP plenum a few months ago. Kasbulatov said that a repetition of the Lithuanian scenario on Russian soil would cause imminent "political suicide" for President Gorbachev. (Julia Wishnevsky) OIL AND GAS LEASES TO BE AUCTIONED. The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that petroleum and gas leases on more than 90,000 square kilometers of land in Turkmenistan are to be auctioned in Houston on January 29. Representatives of Turkmenistan are to attend the auction as members of the Soviet delegation, to be headed by the USSR minister of geology. Reportedly some 40 US and foreign firms have signed up to attend the auction. An unidentified oil company executive was quoted as saying that in recent weeks the Soviet government has reasserted central control over petroleum matters. If true, this could cause serious resentment in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, both of which have claimed control over their own resources. (Bess Brown) UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY RESTORED. Pope John Paul II yesterday officially confirmed clandestine bishops or appointed new bishops for the Catholic Byzantine and Latin rites in Ukraine, thereby restoring the formal Catholic hierarchy there. The Pope confirmed 83-year-old Archbishop Volodymyr Sterniuk as "locum tenens" of Rome-based Cardinal Archbishop Major Ivan Lubachivs'ky of Lvov for Byzantine-rite Catholics. Rome church sources say Soviet and Ukrainian state authorities consented to the sweeping episcopal reorganization announced by the Vatican. In addition, Cardinal Lubachivs'ky will be shifting his "primary" office from Rome to Lvov. (NCA) COMPLETE STATISTICS ON THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. Religion in USSR /Novosti Press Agency monthly bulletin/, No. 10, 1990, pp. 53-60, published detailed statistics on the situation of the Russian Orthodox Church. It listed all diocesan bishops with addresses. However, it mentioned only four major monasteries out of 56 which now exist in the Soviet Union. (Oxana Antic) PROTEST OF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRIEST. Russian Orthodox priest Fr. Valerii Lapkovksy, a city soviet deputy from Feodosiya, published a strong protest in Pobeda (Nov. 6, 199O), the organ of Feodosiya City Soviet of Peoples' Deputies of Crimean oblast'. In his article Fr. Valerii attacked the First Secretary of the City Committee. The latter had recommended an intensification of work against religion, though he added that this should be without force. The priest, in his turn, warned that such an attitude is counterproductive. He also demanded the return of a building next to the Cathedral confiscated during Stalin's rule. (Oxana Antic) LACK OF COUPONS STOPS SALES OF FOOD. Since the beginning of the year, shops in Kuibyshev--a major space and defense industry center--have been well-stocked with meat, eggs, macaroni, cooking oil, and a choice of cigarettes, but because the local authorities have not yet printed the necessary ration coupons, consumers cannot buy these goods. Sovetskaya Rossiya reported January 8 that local soviet officials blame the regional Party committee, on whose printing presses the coupons are to be printed; Party officials say they haven't any paper. Food has been in short supply in Kuibyshev for several months; in November, only bread and milk were freely available. (Dawn Mann) BURYAT PARLIAMENT REJECTS CENTER'S NOMINEE. The Buryat Supreme Soviet has refused to endorse as chairman of the republican KGB Colonel Veniamin Dolin, the candidate named two months ago by the chairman of the USSR KGB, TASS reported yesterday. At the same time, the republican minister of internal affairs, Sergei Ivanov, who was nominated for the KGB chairmanship by the chairman of the Buryat council of ministers, also failed to get the required number of votes. (Ann Sheehy) ISLAMIC REBIRTH PARTY. Vadiakhmed Sadur, a member of the Ulema council of the Islamic Rebirth Party founded in 1990, said in an interview with Izvestia of January 8 that the party has over 10,000 members, mainly in Central Asia and the North Caucasus. The Central Asian organization consists primarily of Tajiks (the party has been banned in Tajikistan), the North Caucasian of Dagestanis, Chechen and Ingush, and the European and Siberian almost entirely of Tatars. The party does not aim to create an Islamic state but to promote knowledge of Islam and defend the interests of believers, which, in its view, the official Islamic clergy is unable to do. (Ann Sheehy) As of 1300 CET Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise
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