There is no love sincerer than the love of food. - George Bernard Shaw
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 13, 18 January 1991





BALTIC STATES



LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT TODAY. At today's session broadcast live
over Kaunas Radio President Vytautas Landsbergis told the Lithuanian
Supreme Council that deputy Vladislav Shved was in Paris, although
the Lithuanian prosecutor is investigating charges of slander
against him. Landsbergis suggested that parliament should suspend
Shved's rights as a deputy. He also noted that the imposition
of martial law in Lithuania without the agreement of the Lithuanian
authorities would be illegal. Deputy chairman of parliament Ceslovas
Stankevicius reported on his talks the previous day with representatives
of the RSFSR on the signing of a treaty between Lithuania and
the RSFSR. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT YESTERDAY. One of the more important decisions
made by the Lithuanian parliament was to conduct a universal
poll among all citizens of Lithuania or persons having rights
to citizenship. The poll would ask: "Do you agree with the assertion
in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania that is being
prepared that the Lithuanian state is an independent democratic
republic?" This proposition is an apparent attempt to reach a
compromise with Gorbachev's demand that Lithuania should hold
a referendum on withdrawing from the USSR. The parliament also
issued a statement condemning the campaign of disinformation
in the Soviet media about events in Lithuania. (Saulius Girnius)


TARAZEVICH AT LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT. Radio Kaunas broadcast live
the speech of USSR SupSov envoy Georgii Tarazevich at the Lithuanian
Supreme Council on January 17. He said: "The tragedy of people's
deaths is a crime, a crime which needs investigating. The guilty
must be found and conclusions must be drawn so as to insure that
in the future such crimes will not be repeated." The most important
part of his mission was "to help the lawful leadership of the
Republic of Lithuania and the parliament" to restore normalcy.
He said that his mission would "also be in some way to find means
for constructive cooperation" for the benefit of Lithuania and
its neighbors. (Saulius Girnius)

SOVIET GENERAL REFUSES TO GUARANTEE NO ATTACK ON PARLIAMENT.
On January 17 Major General Yurii Nauman, a member of a Soviet
Defense Ministry team sent to Lithuania after the assault on
the Vilnius television tower, told a press conference that the
parliament building was now "so well fortified that the soldiers
do not want to attack it," AFP reported. The building had been
turned into a fortress with double tank traps dug along one side
of the building as well as walls and sand bags. Nauman, nevertheless,
refused to give an absolute guarantee that the army would not
attack the building. (Saulius Girnius)

SOVIET OFFICER REBUTS "VREMYA" REPORT. An army officer appeared
before the Lithuanian Supreme Council yesterday to affirm that
he had indeed urged Soviet soldiers not to fight against the
Lithuanian civilian population, Radio Kaunas reported. A Soviet
"Vremya" broadcast earlier denied that Lieutenant Vladimir Tarkhanov
had made such a statement, claiming that there was no such person
serving in the Vilnius garrison. The Colonel displayed his military
identification card to prove that he did exist. He also said
urged soldiers to fulfill their military oath, which calls for
them "to defend the motherland," but "not to fight against the
civilian population." (Stephen Foye)

DEATH OF PARATROOPER DENIED. Airborne Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant
General Evgenii Podkolzin, told Izvestia today that no paratroopers
were killed during the assault in Vilnius last Sunday. The Baltic
Military Prosecutors had indicated the death of one paratrooper.
Izvestia reported that the Soviet Interior Ministry has also
denied any deaths among its troops, and says the KGB could not
definitely say whether the casualty was one of its troops. The
newspaper says that the military prosecutor originally provided
the wrong name for the dead soldier, and that the second name
they have given also cannot be found on the lists of army and
Interior Ministry troops. (NCA/Stephen Foye)

BESSMERTNYKH: LITHUANIAN VIOLENCE NOT REFLECTION OF POLICY. The
new Soviet foreign minister, Aleksandr Bessmertnykh, said in
an interview carried on Radio Moscow January 16 that the crackdown
in Vilnius is not a reflection of how the the leadership "intends
to act in relations with its own people and republics." Bessmertnykh
expressed "most profound regret" about the violence, and noted
that it had caused public "indignation and protest" against the
Soviet leadership. Still, he appealed to people's "understanding,
balance and coolness" in assessing the situation so that the
USSR can maintain the level of mutual understanding it has attained
with many foreign countries. (NCA/Sallie Wise)

PARATROOPERS BALK? Soldiers and officers of the 103rd Vitebsk
Guard Division of the Airborne Troops have refused to carry out
further punitive actions in the Baltic States. The division consequently
was withdrawn from the Baltic region, according to a statement
to RFE/RL by a representative of the soldiers' union "Shchit",
Sergei Kudimov, on January 17. Early reports said that at least
one unit of the division took part in storming the Lithuanian
Radio and Television Center, while the rest of the division was
stationed in the Latvian capital, Riga. After the events in Vilnius,
several OBficers of the Vitebsk Division told independent Latvian
radio that they refused to shoot people. These reports, however,
might be deceptive: during the military action in BaBu in January
1990, rumors about disobedience among the troBps later proved
to be unfounded. (Victor Yasmann)

RALLB FOR LITHUANIA PLANNED IN KIEV. Rukh is calling for a mass
Bally in support of Lithuania to take place January 20 in Kiev.
A Rukh official told Radio Kiev yesterday that the demonstration
is expected to adopt several resolutions condemning the military
intervention in Lithuania and supporBing the Lithuanian people
and parliament. (NCA/Kathy MihalisBo)

MINSK CONDEMNS MILITARY ACTION IN VILNIUS. TASS reported that
the Belorussian Supreme Soviet yesterday adopted a declaration
condemning the use of armed force in Lithuania. The declaration
followed a debate during which deputies heard reports by SupSov
chairman Nikolai Dementei [Dzyamentsei], who returned from his
mission to Lithuania as part of USSR Federation Council's investigative
team. (NCA/Kathy Mihalisko)

LATVIANS PROTEST AGAINST SALVATION COMMITTEE. On January 16 the
Ministry of Agriculture and the Farmers' Association, together
representing over 300,000 persons, sent a joint telegram to USSR
President Gorbachev. The authors affirmed their loyalty to the
government and Supreme Council of Latvia and condBmned the attempts
of the All-Latvia Public Salvation Committee to take over the
functions of governing Latvia. The telegram said that the committee
is causing tension and spreading hatred. According to Radio Riga
of January 18, similar statements have been made by many other
institutions and organizations in Latvia, including the city
council of Limbazi. (Dzintra Bungs)

USSR DEPUTIES INVESTIGATE SITUATION IN LATVIA. Designated to
represent Latvia in talks with the six-member USSR Supreme Soviet
delegation looking at the situation in Latvia are, according
to Radio Riga of January 17: Anatolijs Gorbunovs, Vladlen Dozortsev,
Mikhail Stepichev, Imants Ziedonis, Albers Bels, Ilma Brinke,
and Juris Bojars. Radio Riga reported on January 18 also that
the Soviet delegation's leader Denisov had met that day with
Anatolijs Gorbunovs, Chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council,
and other officials. Asked by the press if military intervention
was not needed to stabilize the situation in Latvia Denisov replied
with an emphatic "no." (Dzintra Bungs)

BOMB SCARE IN DAUGAVPILS. Radio Riga reported on January 17 that
the evening before an anonymous call had been made to a theater
in downtown Daugavpils to say that a bomb had been placed there.
At the time, People's Front members were there and they decided
to continue their meeting. Two hours later the militia ordered
them to leave the building. The militia cordoned off not only
the theater but surrounding buildings. Radio Tallinn reported
on January 17 about an explosion in Daugavpils; this has not
been confirmed by other sources. These events tend to confirm
earlier warnings of Latvia's Ministry Bf Internal Affairs about
efforts to destabilize the situation in Latvia's second largest
city, whose inhabitants are predomBnatly Russians and other Slavs.
(Dzintra Bungs)

SOVIET MILITARY IN LIEPAJA REJECT USE OF ARMS AGAINST INHABITANTS.
On January 16 the Liepaja city council and mayor Imants Vismins
met with leaders and representatives of the Soviet Barrison stationed
in the port city to discuss mutual concerns. Similar meetings
took place earlier between municipal leaders of the Liepaja rayon
and representatives of local SovietBmilitary bases. The Soviet
military announced that they wouBd not use arms against the local
population and would not interfere in the resolution of internal
policy questions of Latvia, reported Radio Riga on January 17.
(Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN INFORMATION CENTER OPENED IN SWEDEN. On January 15 a
Latvian Information Center was inaugurated in downtown Stockholm.
(Similar Estonian and Lithuanian centers are expected to open
soon in the same building). The principal speakers were Swedish
Foreign Minister Sten Andersson and Latvian Foreign Minister
Janis Jurkans, who stressed the importance of greater Swedish-Baltic
cooperation. Latvians consider the information center as a step
toward the establishment of an embassy in Sweden. Later, commenting
the situation in Latvia, Jurkans told Reuters on January 15 that
"Things have taken a very bad turn, not only for the Balts. This
is a situation when democracy is at stake, not only in the Baltic
states, not only in the Soviet Union, but also in Europe." (Dzintra
Bungs)

STRIKE IN ESTONIA. A strike at one of Estonia's largest defense
plants, "Dvigatel," continues for the second day today, Estonian
Radio reports. "Dvigatel" has been at the forefront of resistance
to Estonia's independence drive. Its director, Vladimir Yarovoi,
is the leader of the virulently anti-independence Joint Council
of Work Collectives, and its work force is made up overwhelmingly
of pro-Soviet ethnic Russians. When an Estonian Radio reporter
asked some workers walking out of the plant yesterday why they
were striking, they answered, "We don't know." (Riina Kionka)


ESCALATION ON THE AIRWAVES. The Soviet Navy-Intermovement radio
station "Nadezhda" (Hope) yesterday called on listeners to form
paramilitary units in opposition to Estonian independence, Estonian
Radio reported. The pro-Moscow station's appeals, broadcast in
both Estonian and Russian, said "now or never, the moment for
the final battle has arrived." The broadcasts are most likely
a response to Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar's January 16 radio
appeal to reservist paratroopers to help defend Estonia. (Riina
Kionka)

DESPERATELY SEEKING GORBACHEV. The Estonian Supreme Council yesterday
instructed President Arnold Ruutel to seek an immediate meeting
with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to discuss the situation
in Estonia, Estonian Radio reported. The parliament reportedly
gave Ruutel a set of guidelines for the proposed meeting. (Riina
Kionka)

USSR REJECTS CSCE PROPOSAL. The Soviet Union yesterday blocked
an attempt to call an extraordinary meeting of the CSCE conference
to deal with the recent Soviet action in the Baltic states. According
to AP, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland
called for the conference yesterday at a meeting of security
experts in Vienna. All delegations except the Soviet Union supported
the proposal. But because CSCE rules require a consensus, the
Soviet Union was able to block the move, saying that such a meeting
would constitute interference in internal Soviet affairs. (Riina
Kionka)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



GORBACHEV TELEVISION ADDRESS ON GULF. In a four-minute television
address yesterday afternoon, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
both defended and criticized the allied war effort against Iraq.
In defense of military action, Gorbachev said: "this tragic turn
of events was provoked by the Iraqi leadership's refusal to fulfill
the demands of the world community and to withdraw its troops
from Kuwait." Implying criticism, however, Gorbachev said he
immediately proposed to US President George Bush, upon learning
that bombing would begin, that further diplomatic steps be taken
through direct contact with Saddam. Gorbachev noted that such
an effort might have made it possible to halt the war and "spare
Iraq gross losses and destruction." (Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV TRIED TO WARN SADDAM, SENT MESSAGE. Addressing the
Supreme Soviet yesterday, Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh
said Gorbachev tried unsuccessfully to warn Saddam of the allied
attack. Bessmertnykh said Gorbachev wanted to warn Saddam that
if he did not withdraw from Kuwait, "Iraq will be hit because
we have information to this effect from absolutely trustworthy
sources." Unable to reach Saddam before the attack, Gorbachev
sent a message, hand-delivered by the Soviet ambassador to the
Iraqi leader in his bunker. The message reportedly contained
a "firm and unequivocal" message to get out of Kuwait, Reuter
reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)

BESSMERTNYKH TALKS ABOUT SOVIET-BUILT WEAPONS... Speaking to
the Supreme Soviet yesterday, Bessmertnykh said the USSR would
be investigating why Iraq's air defense systems had been "neutralized."
"I think that the fact that certain installations in Iraq were
hit is not a reflection of a weakness of combat equipment, since
ultimately equipment is good when it is in good hands," Bessmertnykh
said, implying Iraqi incompetence. He also claimed no Soviet
specialists were involved in Iraq's air-defense network as attacks
were underway, Reuter said today. (Suzanne Crow)

..."ASSISTANCE FOR IRAQI PEOPLE." Bessmertnykh expressed sympathy
for the Iraqis suffering under allied missions and said "the
government, all of us together, will be able to adopt necessary,
adequate measures to render assistance to the Iraqi people. I
think this is a question which we will now study closely since
this is indeed a possible consequence of what is taking place
here." Bessmertnykh was careful to add that he does not include
Saddam Hussein in "Iraqi people." (Suzanne Crow)

OBUKHOV AND MATLOCK MEET. Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksei
Obukhov met with US ambassador Jack Matlock yesterday to talk
about the Gulf crisis and "pressing bilateral issues," TASS said.
The meeting suggests that despite the United States' attention
being focused on the Gulf crisis, Washington is still pressing
Moscow to take a different approach to the Baltic crisis. (Suzanne
Crow)

SOVIET EXPERT ON SADDAM. Viktor Kremenyuk, Deputy Director of
the USA-Canada Institute, said yesterday "Iraq will probably
do all it can to draw Israel into the conflict." Kremenyuk also
described a potential "spasmodic reaction" from Saddam Hussein:
realizing the difficulty of his domestic political and military
situation, Saddam could resort to irrational measures such as
using chemical weapons or destroying oil facilities in Kuwait,
TASS reported yesterday. (Suzanne Crow)

SUPSOV RESOLUTION ON GULF CRISIS. The USSR Supreme Soviet yesterday
appealed to its Presidium and all countries to call on the United
Nations to arrange a halt in the military action against Iraq.
(Suzanne Crow)

USSR CONCERNED OVER ATTACK ON ISRAEL. TASS said today the Soviet
Union is concerned at this "new development" in the Gulf war,
saying it marked a "dangerous turn" of events. Prior to the Iraqi
attack on Israel, Soviet officials yesterday hailed Israel for
staying out of the conflict. (Suzanne Crow)

CHERNYSHEV ON GULF WAR. TASS's military correspondent yesterday
wrote that the main lesson to be drawn from the initial attack
on Iraq was that aviation had supplanted the ground forces in
importance. Vladimir Chernyshev called the attack well-planned
and said that it had disrupted the aggressor's (Iraq's) material
base. He also praised the use of air power because it kept down
allied casualties. Chernyshev's comments are aimed at the domestic
debate over military reform, where some have argued that the
USSR should de-emphasize ground warfare and reliance on tanks.
In fact, Soviet military planning also calls for the application
of airpower in the opening stages of conflict. (Stephen Foye)


TASS COMMENTATOR CRITICIZES GORBACHEV. Andrei Orlov, parliamentary
correspondent for TASS, yesterday published a commentary denouncing
Gorbachev's role in the Lithuanian crackdown. Orlov has his ear
to the ground and his commentaries repay attention. In this one,
he said the use of force against Lithuanian citizens was illegal.
The attempt of Gorbachev--himself, as Orlov scathingly pointed
out, a lawyer--to justify it brings the USSR and its president
into disrepute. (Elizabeth Teague)

ORLOV ON PAVLOV'S WEAKNESSES. On January 15, Orlov published
another critical commentary, this one on Gorbachev's new prime
minister, Valentin Pavlov. Orlov stated that, no matter how hard
Pavlov tries to dissociate himself from the failures of the Ryzhkov
government, he was a leading player in it and bears "personal
responsibility" for the current "complete disruption" of the
Soviet financial system. Hinting that what Gorbachev values in
Pavlov is his "obedience to instructions from above," Orlov criticized
Pavlov for his "lack of consistency" as finance minister. Orlov
pointed to the "hasty introduction and likewise hasty rescinding
of higher transport tariffs and diesel fuel prices" when, as
Orlov noted, the Ryzhkov government caved in to pressure from
the official trade unions. Orlov also noted Pavlov's opposition
to the granting of greater financial independence to the republics.
(Elizabeth Teague)

NAZARBAEV THE KINGMAKER? It was Orlov who, in a TASS commentary
on December 28, 1990, first drew attention to an emergent entente
between the RSFSR's Yeltsin, Kazakhstan's Nazarbaev, and Ukraine's
Kravchuk, calling it "a union within the Union." Discussing this
alliance on December 30, The Sunday Times noted that Nazarbaev's
ability to manoeuvre between Gorbachev to Yeltsin could give
the Kazakh president the role of "broker" within the Federation
Council. The Lithuanian events seem to have made up Nazarbaev's
mind: according to Kravchuk, he and Yeltsin were the strongest
critics at the Federation Council on January 12 of the use of
force in Vilnius (AFP, January 12). The Financial Times on January
5 pointed out that, with the addition of Belorussia, the triple
entente was growing into a "Big Four," and Yeltsin confirmed
this when he told journalists earlier this week that those four
republics intend to sign a "quadrilateral treaty." (TASS, January
14). To indicate the strength of an alliance between the USSR's
four largest republics, Yeltsin said they account for 85 percent
of GNP. (Elizabeth Teague)

RYZHKOV GRANTED PENSION, COUNTRY HOUSE. The USSR Supreme Soviet
has approved a monthly retirement pension of 1,200 rubles, a
country house, and top health care for former prime minister
Nikolai Ryzhkov, Reuters reported on January 16. (NCA)

DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA MOVEMENT TO STAGE MASS DEMONSTRATION. The Secretary
of the Interregional Group, Arkadii Murashov, told RL that the
Democratic Russia movement is planning to stage a mass demonstration
in Moscow next week to demand the resignation of President Mikhail
Gorbachev. He said that the Coordinating Council of the Interregional
Group is meeting frequently to assess the situation in the Baltic
States. He noted that leaders of the democratic opposition, such
as Gavriil Popov, Yurii Afanas'ev or Sergei Stankevich, have
now understood the necessity of a firmer consolidation of the
Democratic Russia movement. (Alexander Rahr)

CONTINUING REFERENCES TO PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL. Novosti, reporting
on January 16 on Vadim Bakatin's interview in Komsomol'skaya
pravda, described Bakatin as a member of the Presidential Council,
although the Presidential Council was abolished as part of the
constitutional amendments adopted by the USSR Congress of People's
Deputies on December 26. Aleksandr Yakovlev has also been referred
to at least once as a member of the Presidential Council since
that body was abolished. Do some of the Soviet media really not
know that the council is no more? (Ann Sheehy)

COMMUNISTS SEARCH FOR OPPOSITION ROLE. Vyacheslav Sekretaryuk,
first secretary of the L'vov regional Party committee, told a
news conference in Moscow on January 16 that Communists in L'vov
have attempted to cooperate with other political forces in the
region but "face a negative attitude," TASS reported. In the
wake of their defeat in elections to the soviets last year, many
Party officials opted not to work with the newly-elected soviets
and their leaders. Now, however, the CPSU is encouraging members
to work in conjunction with other political parties, but CPSU
members--and officials in particular--are finding that other
parties often want nothing to do with them. (Dawn Mann)

TASS CORRESPONDENTS REPORTED DISMISSED. Radio Rossiya yesterday
reported yet another move against the Soviet press: a mass termination
of correspondents in TASS's Leningrad department. The radio said
the journalists are charged with gross distortion of information,
and, in some cases, will be replaced by former regional CP committee
workers. (NCA/Sallie Wise)

WIRING DEFECT CAUSED TANK EXPLOSION. Czechoslovak and Soviet
commissions investigating last week's explosion of a Soviet tank
agree that the most probable cause was a wiring defect, the Czechoslovak
news agency CTK said yesterday. The agency reported that 17 Soviet
soldiers died in the January 9 explosion at Bohosudov, near Teplice
and the German border. A spokesman for the Czechoslovak commission
says the explosion has prompted the Soviet military to remove
live ammunition from all military vehicles withdrawing from Czechoslovakia.
(NCA/Stephen Foye)

GERMANY, USSR SIGN HOUSING AGREEMENT FOR SOLDIERS. Bonn's state
credit agency signed a contract with the Soviet Defense Ministry
in Moscow yesterday that calls for building at least 36,000 apartments
in the USSR for troops withdrawing from former East Germany,
AFP reported. The contract is part of an earlier bilateral agreement
on the withdrawal of all Soviet forces from Germany by the end
of 1994. (NCA/Stephen Foye)

INTERREPUBLICAN AGREEMENT ON ECOLOGY. A two-day meeting of the
chairmen of the standing commissions for ecology of the parliaments
of 22 union and autonomous republics in Minsk ended on January
16 with the signing of an interrepublican ecological agreement,
TASS reported. The agreement was reached to counteract any tendencies
for republics to act without thought of the possible ecological
consequences for their neighbors following their declarations
of sovereignty. The document will now be discussed by republican
parliaments as the basis for laws regulating disputes between
the republics. TASS added that the document would also occupy
a place in the draft Union treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

USSR PUBLISHES STATISTICS ON DEATH SENTENCES. According to TASS
(January 16), the USSR ministry of justice has reported the number
of death sentences for the first time. Justice minister Sergei
Lushchikov told a press conference in Moscow that day that, in
1989, 276 people were sentenced to death; of those, 23 were subsequently
pardoned. Lushchikov said numbers were tending to decline. In
1985, he said, the number of sentences was 770 in 1985, of whom
20 were pardoned; in 1986 there were 526 and 41, respectively;
in 1987, 344 and 47; and, in 1988, 271 and 72. Lushchikov said
the majority were for premeditated murder in aggravating circumstances;
and rape in aggravating circumstances. (Elizabeth Teague)

NEW CATHOLIC BISHOPS FOR THE SOVIET UNION. TASS reported from
Rome yesterday that Pope John Paul II on January 16 named five
Roman Catholic bishops and ten Greek Catholic bishops for the
Soviet Union. The Soviet ambassador to the Vatican, Yurii Karlov,
told TASS that "the appointment of 15 Roman and Greek Catholic
church leaders reflects the serious changes in relations between
the state and Soviet Catholics, which took place after Gorbachev
met Pope John Paul II on December 1, 1990." He added that "based
on the solid legal ground created by the Law on Freedom of Conscience
and Religious Organizations, a number of other questions concerning
the activities of the Catholic Church in the Soviet Union have
to be regulated, especially the question of making the present
borders of Church eparchies on Soviet territory correspond to
the state borders of the Soviet Union." (Oxana Antic)

USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



DONBASS MINERS CALL FOR POLITICAL STRIKE. Radio Kiev announced
that miners of the Donbass coal region of Ukraine yesterday endorsed
calls for a political strike (see DR of January 16). At a meeting
yesterday in Donetsk, the miners' representatives adopted an
appeal to all Ukrainians to support eight demands, including
the resignation of Gorbachev and his cabinet, the withdrawal
of troops from Lithuania, the disbanding of the USSR Supreme
Soviet and Congress of People's Deputies, the nationalization
of CPSU property, a ban on the use of the army against civilians
and lawfully elected governments, and the inclusion on the March
17 all-Union referendum of a question on the status of the CPSU.
Miners in the Kuzbass and Vorkuta regions support the strike
action. Kuzbass miner committees also have called for a strike
today. (NCA/Kathy Mihalisko)

CRIMEAN REFERENDUM SLATED. On January 20, the population of Crimea
will take part in a referendum to decide the future status of
the southern Ukrainian oblast. Residents are to vote on whether
Crimea should become an autonomous republic. The move is being
pushed by officials representative of the Russian-speaking majority
and has been widely criticized by Crimean Tatar activists, who
would rather see the restoration of the peninsula's pre-1945
status. (Kathy Mihalisko)

CONSERVATIVE GROUP RETREATS IN KAZAKHSTAN. The conservative pro-Russian
Edinstvo (Unity) movement in Kazakhstan has announced its intent
to withdraw from political activity, according to Izvestia of
January 8. The group calls for the Russian language to be granted
the status of state language of the republic, along with Kazakh,
and supports the conservative Soyuz group in the USSR Supreme
Soviet and its counterpart, "Democratic Kazakhstan," in the republican
Supreme Soviet. It has complained that Kazakh political groups
want to chase Russians out of Kazakhstan, and has accused the
largely Kazakh moderate-democratic Azat movement of extremism.
Its retreat from the political scene, if real, could reduce interethnic
tensions somewhat. (Bess Brown)

Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise [END]


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

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