This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joy, and cutteth griefs in half. - Francis Bacon
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 18, 25 January 1991





BALTIC STATES



SOVIET TROOPS OPEN FIRE ON CARS IN LITHUANIA. Deputy Chairman
of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Ceslovas Stankevicius told
reporters on January 24 that troops in a Soviet armed column
on the road from Vilnius to Kaunas had fired at a Lithuanian
police car and a parliament car, wounding the driver. Reuter
reported on January 25 that when three British reporters arrived
at the scene, soldiers fired shots over their heads and placed
them and their two Lithuanian drivers in a military truck already
containing three other Lithuanians. The soldiers claimed they
had fired in response to pistol shots from one of the cars. The
truck drove to the main military camp where the reporters were
treated politely, but the soldiers beat and kicked the Lithuanians.
The reporters were released without much of their money; there
is no word on the fate of a total 8 Lithuanians now detained.
(Saulius Girnius)

KUZMICKAS IN CANADA. Lithuanian Vice President Bronius Kuzmickas
met on January 24 with Canadian officials in Ottawa, AFP reported
on January 25. They discussed Canadian support for Lithuanian
independence and humanitarian aid that Canada could sent directly
to Lithuania. Canada has suspended some aid to the USSR because
of the military crackdown in Lithuania and Latvia. (Saulius Girnius)


MEMBER OF LITHUANIAN NATIONAL SALVATION COMMITTEE INTERVIEWED.
A member of the National Salvation Committee of interview to
the press agency Novosti yesterday. Claiming aggressively that
the committee had no intention of surrendering, he claimed that
Lithuania is "a Polish and Russian land, which has been colonized
by the Lithuanians." (Vera Tolz)

GORBACHEV AND NATIONAL SALVATION COMMITTEE. Latvia's arch-conservative
"Black Colonel," Colonel Viktor Alksnis, said in today's Die
Zeit that he had been in contact with Lithuania's notorious National
Salvation Committee. Committee spokesmen allegedly explained
to Alksnis that "we did everything that Gorbachev had asked us
to. Then, presidential rule should have imposed. But he betrayed
us." In an earlier interview (see Daily Report for January 22),
Alksnis claimed that Gorbachev had planned the destabilization
of the Baltic, but then lost his nerve and tried to blame events
there on the army. (Stephen Foye)

SWEDISH VISITS TO LITHUANIA. On January 23 a delegation of three
Swedish parliamentarians arrived in Lithuania for a one day visit.
Its head, deputy chairman of the Swedish Parliament Ingegerd
Troedsson, spoke at the afternoon session of the Lithuanian Supreme
Council, broadcast live by Radio Kaunas. She expressed outrage
at the Soviet military attacks in Vilnius and announced that
the Swedish government had assigned funds to begin radio broadcasts
from Sweden in Lithuanian. Sweden's Undersecretary of State for
Foreign Affairs Pierre Schori announced in Stockholm that he
would arrive in Lithuania yesterday for a visit of several days,
AP reported on January 23. (Saulius Girnius)

FOREIGN AID AND SUPPORT FOR LITHUANIA. Radio Kaunas on January
24 announced that it has received many letters and telegrams
of sympathy after the military assault on the Vilnius television
tower. It said that Oslo and Krakow are planning to sign sister
city agreements with Vilnius. The city president of Luebeck arrived
in Klaipeda the same day with a shipment of medicines and medical
supplies worth DM 100,000 and about 1,000 eleven-kilogram packets
of food and clothes. He said that the people of Luebeck had donated
an additional DM 200,000 and he would determine the best way
to spend these funds. Vice-chairman of the Lithuanian American
Community Rimantas Dirvonis also spoke briefly at the parliament's
session noting that the Lithuanian-American community has collected
funds for Lithuania. (Saulius Girnius)

BLACK BERETS REPORTED IN ESTONIA. Soviet Interior Ministry troops
stopped a bus yesterday and checked identity cards of passengers,
ETA reported yesterday. An unspecified number of the "Black Berets"
stopped a bus traveling from Viljandi to Tartu, both in southern
Estonia. No one was detained or harmed in the incident. This
is the first report that Black Berets--who were involved in attacks
in Vilnius and Riga in the last two weeks--are present in Estonia.
(Riina Kionka)

TWO SWEDES FOUND DEAD IN ESTONIA. Two Swedish trade union officials
were found dead yesterday in Tallinn, agencies reported. Bertil
Whinberg, chairman of the Swedish Construction Workers' Union,
and Ove Frederiksson, chairman of the Woodworkers' Union, were
found robbed and murdered. The two had planned to meet with Estonian
trade union leaders. (NCA/Riina Kionka)

KGB HOLDS FIVE LATVIANS SEIZED BY BLACK BERETS. On January 20,
around 4 AM a group of Black Berets seized 5 unarmed volunteer
guards (Aigars Teteris, Agris Kreismanis, Gatis Jurkans, Kaspars
Grinbergs, and Haralds Steinbergs) in Riga. They were taken to
the Berets' camp, beaten up, filmed with the Black Berets' weapons,
and forced to sign confessions of illegal possession of weapons
and hooliganism. Two guards, unable to withstand the strain,
signed the papers. That evening they were interrogated at the
Latvian SSR Procuracy (not the Latvian Procuracy) when the Black
Berets attacked the nearby Ministry of Internal Affairs. Now
they are detained in KGB isolation cells, reported Radio Riga
on January 24. (Dzintra Bungs)

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS "AGGRESSION" IN BALTIC. The EC parliament
yesterday passed a resolution condemning the USSR's recent military
"aggression" in the Baltic States and urging the renewal of peaceful
dialogue between Moscow and Baltic governments. The resolution
said that the parliament was "shocked by the virtual siege of
elected parliaments" in the Baltic States, and called for "the
immediate cessation of all use of force." It stated that Lithuania,
Estonia and Latvia are "democratic states" whose "democratically
elected institutions must be respected." (NCA/Sallie Wise)

RSFSR SUPSOV IN DEADLOCK OVER LITHUANIA. Yesterday, the RSFSR
Supreme Soviet again failed to approve a resolution condemning
the Baltic crackdown. Although the majority of those present
voted for the resolution, it got the same 47.6% of all the deputies
as was the case on Monday. The draft condemned the setting up
of unconstitutional "committees" aimed to replace the elected
parliaments, the use of the army in the conflict between nationalities,
and called for support of the rights of Russian-speaking people
in Latvia and Lithuania. It was opposed by the minority "Communists
of Russia" bloc of RSFSR deputies, (who seem to have in mind
setting a "salvation committee" in Russia as well). Deputy chairman
of the Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Khasbulatov, termed the failure
to approve this resolution a "defeat" for the legislature. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

MOLDAVIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS FOR PROSECUTION IN VILNIUS SHOOTING
CASE. Interviewed by the Moldavian and Romanian news agencies
yesterday, Moldavian Minister of External Relations Nicolae Tsyu
called for the prosecution of those who "allowed" the Soviet
military to use arms against Lithuanians in Vilnius. Punishing
those responsible is a prerequisite to easing tensions in Lithuania,
Tsyu said. Concerning relations between "us, the republics who
declared our sovereignty" and Moscow, Tsyu urged compromise "except
of course when principles are at stake". (Vladimir Socor).

ARMY DENIES USING "DUM-DUM" BULLETS. A Defense Ministry spokesman
quoted in Krasnaya zvezda yesterday denied allegations that the
Soviet army sometimes uses "dum-dum" bullets--bullets specially
engineered to cause maximum damage to a human body upon impact.
The Soviet armed forces comply with international norms banning
the use of such bullets, the spokesman claimed, according to
a TASS account of the interview. There have been charges that
ammunition of this type was used by Soviet forces in the Baltic.
(Stephen Foye)





USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



CURRENCY REFORM TRAGEDY. During the second day allotted for the
exchange of banknotes, Western agencies reported several deaths
and injuries among the crowds jostling outside post offices and
banks. It was not clear whether the alleged deaths resulted from
crushing or heart attacks. According to reports received in Munich,
the Russian, Uzbek, Kazakh, Georgian, Lithuanian, and Armenian
republics plus Tatarstan have granted extensions to the official
deadline or have announced their intentions to do so, and some
republics have altered the quantity of banknotes that may be
exchanged. However, Gosbank on Friday morning declared any such
extension or changes in rates to be "unlawful." (Keith Bush)


SOVIET PREMIER OPTIMISTIC. The new Soviet Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov, in an interview with the newsmagazine Glasnost' (no.
3), compared the present Soviet economic situation with the crisis
of Western economies in the 1970s. He said the Soviet economic
crisis, like the previous one in capitalist countries, is a normal
process caused by the change in the structure of industrial production.
He denounced Western analyses of the Soviet economy as that of
a developing country. In the interview, Pavlov cautioned of "superradical
and extrarevolutionary means of curing the economy" because they
lead to social injustice. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN ON QUADRILATERAL UNION. Yeltsin said in a TV interview
for ABC's '20/20' news show scheduled to be broadcast tonight
that the RSFSR, Ukraine, Belorussia, and Kazakhstan would unite
as a new Union if moves towards democratization failed. Yeltsin
said the leadership of such a Union would rotate among the four
republics' leaders. In an interview with Novosti on December
26, Yeltsin had said that the four republics were hoping to sign
a quadrilateral agreement on cooperation during the Congress
of People's Deputies. On Monday he spoke of the need to accelerate
the signing of such an agreement. (Ann Sheehy)

REPUBLICAN LEADERS ON UNION REFERENDUM. Brief interviews with
the presidents, chairmen, or deputy chairmen of the supreme soviets
of thirteen union republics carried in Literaturnaya gazeta of
January 16 confirm that most have reservations about the referendum
on preserving the USSR scheduled for March 17. Some see no call
for a referendum in their republics, since the population is
clearly in favor or the republican supreme soviet has already
opted for independence. Others think it would be better to wait,
that the final decision should lie with the republic, or that
assurances are needed first on amendments to the draft Union
treaty. Only Levon Ter-Petrosyan, chairman of the Armenian Supreme
Soviet, expressed wholehearted support. (Ann Sheehy)

ARE SOVIET ADVISERS IN IRAQ? BBC radio and British Defense Minister
Tom King alleged yesterday that some Soviet military advisers
are in Iraq, Reuters reported. King said in a news conference
yesterday, however, that he does not believe that they are helping
Iraq's war effort in any significant way. (Suzanne Crow)

SOVIETS UNCLEAR ABOUT ADVISERS. The Soviet foreign and defense
ministries rejected claims that military advisers have been in
Iraq, and noted that all military specialists (as distinct from
advisers) have been out of Iraq since January 9, TASS said today.
(Suzanne Crow)

INTERFAX SAYS SADDAM SHOT AIR FORCE COMMANDERS. The independent
Soviet news agency Interfax, citing a source in the Soviet defense
ministry, said today on orders of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
the commanders of the Iraqi air force and air-defense have been
executed. An Interfax editor said the incident took place a few
days ago and that the agency received its information from several
excellent sources, Reuters reports today. (Suzanne Crow)

SINO-SOVIET CONTACTS ON GULF WAR. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman
Li Zhaoxing said yesterday China and the Soviet Union have been
in constant contact since the start of the Gulf crisis and "continue
making their efforts...to settle the conflict in a peaceful way,"
Reuters said yesterday. Both China and the USSR have close ties
with Iraq. China, unlike the USSR, abstained from voting on the
UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of "all necessary
means" to oust Iraq from Kuwait. (Suzanne Crow)

BELONOGOV MEETS PLO OFFICIALS. Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister
Aleksandr Belonogov had talks yesterday with two leading PLO
members, Mahmud Abbas and Yasir Abd Rabbuh, to discuss the Gulf
war, Reuter reported yesterday. The report cited a TASS statement
on the meeting to the effect that both sides "expressed their
firm adherence to a speedy ending of military operations and
the search for political solutions to the conflict." (Sallie
Wise)

HUSSEIN FIGHTING SOVIET STYLE? Discussing Saddam Hussein's passive
conduct in the Gulf War, a Soviet defector earlier this week
attributed the strategy to Iraq's assimilation of basic Soviet
military doctrine, The New York Times reported yesterday. Vladimir
N. Sakharov, a former Soviet military attache in Iraq, said that
the principle of conserving one's strength in the face of an
attack by a superior enemy with the intention later of launching
a surprise counterattack using massed forces is a principle of
Soviet warfighting theory. The Soviets envision strong air support
for counterattacking operations, however, a capability the Iraqis
are unlikely to possess. (Stephen Foye)

BESSMERTNYKH TO MEET BUSH. TASS said yesterday Soviet Foreign
Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh will go to Washington at the
end of this week for discussions at the US's initiative. TASS
reports that Bessmertnykh will meet with George Bush as well
as James Baker; however, the White House has not confirmed the
Bush meeting. Press reports speculate the meeting with Baker
will take place tomorrow. The holding of a US-Soviet summit is
likely to be decided this weekend. White House Spokesman Marlin
Fitzwater yesterday noted the meeting might be held in a neutral
country. Press reports also note that George Bush is coming under
pressure, in light of US Congressional condemnation of crackdowns
in the Baltics, to put off the summit or cancel it altogether.
(Suzanne Crow)

MAJOR THREATENS AID CUT OFF. British Prime Minister John Major
said yesterday he would consider suspending all assistance except
food aid to the USSR if violence against independence activists
continues. Major's comments to a meeting of parliamentarians
from his Conservative party were quoted by Reuters yesterday.
(Suzanne Crow)

MORE ON KAL 007. The fourth in an Izvestia series on the KAL
shootdown yesterday featured an interview with Gennadii Osipovich,
the pilot of the Sukhoi-15 that shot down the Korean airliner.
Osipovich said he still believes that KAL 007 was a spy plane,
but admits that his government lied about details of the incident
afterwards. "We were justified in shooting it down," he said,
"but then they started lying about details: the plane, supposedly,
was flying without lights, that there were warning shots with
tracers, that I carried on radio contract with it or tried to
do it." None of that was true, said Osipovich. He did fire warning
shots, but not with tracers, AP reported yesterday. (Suzanne
Crow)

RENEWED SOVIET AID TO AFGHANISTAN. The Independent reported yesterday
that the USSR has assured Afghan President Najibullah of continued
military and economic aid through this year. According to the
paper's Islamabad correspondent, Pakistani diplomats and Afghan
mujahedin believe the Soviet army has no intention of cutting
off support for Najibullah. Consequently, chances of a Soviet-US
peace settlement on Afghanistan may be in jeopardy. (Sallie Wise)


CHINESE PARTY CHIEF TO VISIT USSR IN MAY. Chinese CP leader Jiang
Zemin is expected to go to Moscow in May at Gorbachev's invitation,
Reuter reports today, citing diplomatic sources. Jiang will be
the most senior Party official to visit Moscow since Mao Zedong
went there in 1957. Sino-Soviet party-to-party ties have lagged
behind governmental and economic contacts, and are still described
as cool. (Sallie Wise)

WEAPONS SALE IN MOSCOW. The Soviet army opened an auction in
Moscow yesterday in an attempt to sell off tanks, armored vehicles,
and other equipment, TASS reported. According to Rear Services
Chief Army General Vladimir Arkhipov, the hardware has been converted
for civilian use and profits will be used for housing construction.
Prices for tanks will range from 65,000 to 120,000 rubles. Arkhipov
reportedly believes that the equipment will sell fast. (NCA/Stephen
Foye)

CULTURAL FIGURES CRITICIZE CENTRAL TV POLICY. About sixty leading
Soviet cultural figures said in a letter published in Komsomol'skaya
pravda yesterday that they will boycott Soviet central TV until
censorship imposed on it by Gosteleradio head Leonid Kravchenko
is lifted. The letter said political censorship has been revived,
and so viewers receive an incomplete and distorted picture of
events. (Vera Tolz)

MORE PROTESTS AGAINST KRAVCHENKO'S LINE. There were other protests
against Kravchenko's policies on central TV. The line of the
Gosteleradio chief was condemned at this week's session of the
RSFSR Supreme Soviet; by the producers of the popular "Vzglyad"
show in yesterday's Izvestia; and by a group of Leningrad cultural
figures and people's deputies in an open letter to the Leningrad
newspaper, Smena (quoted in Izvestia on January 11). (Vera Tolz)


LENINGRAD TV SEEKING INDEPENDENCE. Leningrad's Radio and TV Commitee
said it plans to leave the Soviet state broadcasting system and
become an independent republic-level company, TASS reported yesterday.
Leningrad TV is currently run jointly by Gosteleradio and local
authorities. Leningrad TV, generally liberal, already has had
a series of conflicts with Gosteleradio over broadcasting policy.
Earlier this month a leading Leningrad TV moderator, Bella Kurkova,
signed an open letter by Leningrad intellectuals criticizing
the policy of Gosteleradio. (Vera Tolz)

NEW REGULATIONS ON DIRECT SATELLITE BROADCASTING. Direct satellite
broadcasting, (DBS) will be subject to licensing by Gosteleradio
and other state organs, said USSR First Deputy Minister of Communications,
G. Kudryavtsev, to Pravitel'stvennyi Vestnik, No. 3, 1991. He
said it would be unrealistic to expect the spread of individual
parabolic antennae in Soviet cities, because signals from Western
satellites will be available mainly through cable networks. He
added that the high price of parabolic antennae (from 8000 to
13,000 rubles) and their negligible domestic production will
also be constraints for individual DBS users. Kudryavtsev advocated
joint ventures between Soviet state-controlled or licensed cable
operators and Western partners. If that comes to pass, however,
the Soviet authorities will preserve the right to choose what
kind of satellite channels television viewers can watch. (Victor
Yasmann)

LITGAZETA DISCUSSES THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Sergei Averintsev,
USSR People's Deputy and chairman of the Bible Society of the
Soviet Union, announced in Literaturnaya gazeta No. 2 that the
newspaper has started a new column called "Tablet", where writers
will discuss one of the commandments and comment about the effects
that ignorance of the Ten Commandments has upon "our life". Averintsev
himself began with discussion of the First Commandment. (Oxana
Antic)

USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



AZERBAIJANI LEADERS APOLOGIZE FOR NAGORNO-KARABAKH INCIDENT.
Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov and Supreme Soviet chairwoman
Elmira Kafarova have apologized to the members of an RSFSR parliamentary
delegation who on January 22 were detained at Stepanakert airport
on their arrival to investigate inter-ethnic relations in Nagorno-Karabakh,
Radio Liberty's Russian BD learned yesterday. The Azerbaijani
leaders argued that the planned visit might have had a destabilizing
effect on the local population. (NCA/Russian BD)

KGB COOPERATES WITH RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. TASS reported on
January 24 that the KGB has handed over to the Russian Orthodox
Church documents from the KGB archives about the life and activities
of Tikhon, the late Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. The KGB
public relations center announced that among these documents
are unique manuscripts written by the Patriarch and other religious
and political leaders at the beginning of the century. The KGB
maintains that the return of these documents is further proof
of the restitution of justice toward the Russian Orthodox Church.
(Oxana Antic)

DEMONSTRATION ORGANIZERS PROSECUTED IN KYRGYZSTAN. Novosti reported
on January 23 that activists of the "Democratic Kyrgyzstan" movement
are being prosecuted for staging an unsanctioned demonstration.
Movement co-chairman Topchubek Turgunaliev told the news agency
that proponents of totalitarianism are gaining ground in the
republic and the organizers of the demonstration had no chance
to give the required ten day notice to the city soviet. When
the republican Supreme Soviet resumed work on January 23, picketers
in front of the building called for the prevention of any military
action like that in the Baltics and of confrontation between
ethnic groups in Kyrgyzstan. (Bess Brown)

POSSIBLE RECALL OF PETRUSHENKO? In an interview appearing in
the December 23 issue of Kazakhstanskaya pravda, the chairman
of the Committee on Ecology of Kazakhstan's Supreme Soviet, M.
Nurtazin, stated that voters in many parts of the republic are
disenchanted with Colonel Nikolai Petrushenko, a USSR People's
Deputy from East Kazakhstan Oblast who is a leading member of
the conservative Soyuz group. People in Kazakhstan are apparently
angered that Petrushenko has reversed his stand on closing the
Semipalatinsk nuclear test site--during his election campaign
he had promised to seek its closure. Nurtazin noted that voters
in Petrushenko's district could recall him on the environmental
issue. (Bess Brown)

UKRAINIAN STUDENT LEADER FREED. Oles' Donii, the head of the
Kiev branch of the Ukrainian Students' Union, and one of the
leading figures in the student hunger strike in Kiev last October,
has been released from detention, Literaturna Ukraina reports
in its recent issue (January 17). Donii was detained by the authorities
on charges of organizing the takeover of one of the Kiev State
University buildings on October 15. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN CP POLITBURO DISCUSSES NEW REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION.
A session of the Politburo of the Ukrainian Communist Party met
on January 23 to discuss the concept of a new republican constitution,
Radio Kiev reported yesterday. At a press conference held the
same day, Party second secretary Hryhorii Kharchenko explained
that Ukrainian Communists were not entirely satisfied with the
draft now being prepared by a working group of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet's Constitutional Commission. (Roman Solchanyk)


YAMAL NENETS OKRUG CONFIRMS ITS DECISION TO SECEDE FROM TYUMEN
OBLAST. A session of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous okrug soviet
has confirmed its decision of October 18, 1990, to secede from
Tyumen oblast, Moscow radio reported January 18. The statement
adopted by the soviet said the territory was an independent subject
of the federation i.e. RSFSR, but would remain part of Tyumen
oblast until the existence of the Yamal Nenets republic was constitutionally
recognized. (Ann Sheehy)



[As of 1300 CET]

Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise


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

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