We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 23, 01 February 1991



BALTIC STATES



SOVIET ARMY TO PATROL LITHUANIA. Lithuanian Minister of Internal
Affairs Marijonas Misiukonis said on Lithuanian television January
31 that Soviet officials had told him that 8 foot patrols of
5 men each, as well as at least 18 armed cars would patrol Vilnius,
Kaunas, and Klaipeda overnight and set up checkpoints on the
main roads, AP reported February 1. During the day the patrols
would be stationed at train stations, bus stations, city centers,
and airports. Radio Kaunas reported on February 1 that there
were no incidents with the military during the night. (Saulius
Girnius)

LITHUANIAN PROSECUTOR'S REPORT. At the Lithuanian Supreme Council
session on January 31, broadcast live over Radio Kaunas, Lithuanian
prosecutor general Arturas Paulauskas delivered a report on the
events in Lithuania on January 13. He noted that two people were
still missing and that 580 people had been reported wounded or
injured, although the number may be higher. Twelve of the 14
people killed that day had been shot or run over by tanks. The
circumstances of the deaths of the other two, a Lithuanian youth
and a Soviet military man, have not yet been determined. Difficulties
arose in the investigations due to the "nonexistent or, at best,
very poor" cooperation with the USSR procuracy, which wanted
to carry out its investigation without the Lithuanian authorities.
(Saulius Girnius)

KUZMICKAS IN COPENHAGEN. Lithuanian Vice President Bronius Kuzmickas
told a press conference in Copenhagen on January 31 that the
world must keep a close watch on events in the Baltic to prevent
new Soviet aggression. Kuzmickas, who is on a two-day visit to
talk with Danish officials, said: "World political opinion, which
stopped the aggression, must be vigilant and see if the Soviet
special troops really withdraw." He noted that although some
Soviet troops had been withdrawn from Vilnius, military patrols
were still active there, illegally stopping traffic and checking
documents. (Saulius Girnius)

RSFSR AND LITHUANIA AGREE ON DRAFT BILATERAL TREATY. Deputy Chairman
of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Ceslovas Stankevicius said
over Radio Kaunas on January 31 that Lithuania and the RSFSR
had agreed on a draft bilateral treaty on January 30. The treaty
should be signed in the near future although no definite date
has been established. (Saulius Girnius)

BULGARIAN DEPUTIES BACK FROM VILNIUS A six-member parliamentary
delegation returned from Lithuania to Bulgaria on January 30,
according to Radio Sofia and BTA of that day. They described
the events in Lithuania as "the work of a new dictatorship,"
and pointed out that "it is one thing to watch on television
and another to see a man dying at the hands of Soviet soldiers."
They noted that "beaten and molested people, including Russians,"
could be seen everywhere, and that the killings are a "monstrosity
at the end of the 20th century." They characterized what is happening
in Lithuania as "a life-and-death struggle." (George Slavov)


ESTONIA CONDEMNS PATROLS. On January 31, the Estonian Supreme
Council Presidium condemned the planned use of Soviet troops
to patrol major cities to begin on February 1, Estonian TV reported.
The presidium statement calls the plan unlawful, provocative
and aimed against the republic. (Riina Kionka)

REFERENDUM SET IN ESTONIA. As expected, on January 31 the Estonian
Supreme Council voted 61 to 2, with 10 abstentions, to hold a
non-binding referendum in Estonia. The referendum, set for March
3, will ask: "Do you want the independence of the Republic of
Estonia to be restored?" Although the Soviet troops stationed
in the country will not be able to participate in the polling,
the four officers who were elected Supreme Council deputies by
the military population will take part. (Riina Kionka)

PARTIES AGAINST THE PRE-REFERENDUM. Five Estonian political parties
have come out against the pre-referendum, Rahva Haal reported
on January 31. The Christian-Democratic Union, the Conservative
People's Party, the Christian-Democratic Party, the Republican
Party, and the Estonian National Independence Party issued a
joint statement saying that holding a referendum on Estonia's
state status is unacceptable under conditions of occupation and
without foreign observers. After the news was released that the
Supreme Council voted on January 31 to conduct voting after all,
the last named party called for a boycott of the polling, Estonian
Radio reported that day. (Riina Kionka)

SUSPECTS APPREHENDED, GENDER UNCERTAIN. Two suspects were arrested
in Tallinn on January 31 in connection with last week's killing
of two Swedish trade union leaders in Tallinn, AP reported. Police
authorities refused to disclose the suspects' ethnicity. AP,
quoting the Swedish News Agency TT, said the two suspects were
men, but later quoted Swedish National Radio as saying the two
were women. According to AP, Estonian officials quoted by the
Swedish news organizations gave no indication of the sex of the
arrestees. In the Estonian language, singular personal pronouns
are not gender-specific. (Riina Kionka)

NO SOVIET TROOPS WITHDRAWN FROM LATVIA? Despite reports in the
Soviet and Western media concerning the withdrawal of Soviet
troops from the Baltics, it appears that such OBthdrawals may
not have taken place in Latvia. According to a statement by Lieutenant
General Petr Chauss, Chief of Staff of the USSR Baltic Military
District, published in Diena of JaBuary 31, there are no plans
to withdraw troops from the Baltic Military District. (Dzintra
Bungs)

SUPREME COUNCIL ON REFERENDUM, PATROLS, AND DEPARTURE OF MILITARY.
Radio Riga reported on January 31 three decisions madOBthe Latvian
legislators that day: they declared the Pugo-Yazov decree of
December 29 on joint military-police patroBs, to become effective
on February 1, as "illegal in the tBrritory of Latvia"; they
rejected the referendum proposed by Gorbachev and stated that
Latvia can only hold a referenBum that the Supreme Council proposes
and endorses; and they called on the USSR to remove all its military
forces and other armed forces from Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

NORDIC INFORMATION CENTER TO OPEN IN RIGA. On January 31 Nordic
Council chairman Thor Pedersen and Deputy Foreign Minister of
Latvia Sandra Kalniete signed an accord on the opening of a Nordic
Council Information in Riga, reported Radio Riga that day. The
information center will be located in a house at 13 Lacplesa
Street that the Council leased. The four-member Nordic Council
delegation talked with Latvian government and Supreme Council
leaders before leaving for Vilnius that evening. (Dzintra Bungs)




USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



COUNCIL OF THE FEDERATION MEETING TODAY. The USSR Federation
Council is meeting today (February 1) to discuss three major
issues, TASS reported January 31. The issues are: the delimitation
of powers between the center and the republics, the composition
of the USSR cabinet of ministers, and price reform. TASS commentator
Andrei Orlov sees the significance of the session not only in
the importance of the topics being discussed, but also in whether
or not the council, in its revamped form, can demonstrate its
viability as a decision-making body. Orlov recalls that the previous
session decided that only political methods should be used in
Lithuania, a decision that was being undermined at the very time
it was being made. (Ann Sheehy)

ONE-DAY PLENUM OF CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE HELD. The CPSU Central
Committee met yesterday to discuss the Party's continuing internal
crisis. In accordance with new legislation, the CPSU still has
to register itself and its Rules, and this topic was high on
yesterday's agenda. So too was discussion of the squabbles inside
the Estonian Communist Party, which is split in two. A commission
was set up to examine this matter. (Elizabeth Teague)

CHANGES IN THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE. Playwright Aleksandr Gelman
was dismissed from the CPSU Central Committee since he has "severed
links with the Party." More ominous was the criticism leveled
at another Central Committee member: hospitalized economist Stanislav
Shatalin. Recent press statements by Shatalin were described
as "incompatible with membership in the CPSU and especially in
its Central Committee." The Party's Central Control Committee
was instructed to investigate Shatalin's actions "after his recovery."
(Elizabeth Teague)

CHANGES IN THE POLITBURO. Gennadii Yanaev, recently appointed
USSR Vice-President, stood down from the CPSU Politburo and Secretariat.
So too did former Georgian Communist Party leader Givi Gumbaridze.
Lembit Annus, leader of the Moscow-loyalist Estonian Communist
Party, was elected to the Politburo. Moldavian Party leader Petr
Luchinsky was elected to the Secretariat. (Elizabeth Teague)


COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBERSHIP DROPS. TASS revealed on January 30
that membership of the CPSU has fallen from 19.2 million on January
1, 1990, to 16.9 million today. Of this total, 1.2 million Communists
are said formally to have resigned; the rest of the drop is presumably
attributable to deaths and to a continuing decline in the number
of new entrants. (Elizabeth Teague)

PUGO SAYS REPUBLICS HAVE FINAL WORD IN USE OF PATROLS. In a front-page
interview published January 30 in Rabochaya tribuna, Interior
Minister Boriss Pugo indicated that responsibility for the army-military
patrols ordered by his ministry and the Ministry of Defense rests
with the republics, which are free to abolish the patrols if
they wish. Pugo is quoted as saying that "it is in the hands
of the republican leaderships, good luck to them, it is their
business." These remarks seem to indicate a significant concession
from Pugo in the face of widespread condemnation of the order,
but so far there has been no official clarification to that effect.
(NCA/Kathy Mihalisko)

MORE ON IZVESTIA DISPUTE. The staffs of Izvestia and its weekly
supplements, Soyuz and Nedelya, according to Radio Rossiya January
31, voted unanimously to reject the replacement of Izvestia's
first deputy chief editor, Igor' Golembiovsky. The staffs stated
that they will go on strike if Golembiovsky is made a correspondent
in Spain, as was suggested by chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet,
Anatolii Luk'yanov. Apparently Luk'yanov misinformed members
of the Supreme Soviet's Presidium when he asked them to approve
the editor's replacement, saying that Golembiovsky had agreed
to go to Madrid voluntarily. The journalists urgently demanded
a meeting with Luk'yanov and Gorbachev, adding that the public
will view Golembiovsky's replacement as persecution of the independent
media by the president. (Julia Wishnevsky)

BESSMERTNYKH ON US-SOVIET RELATIONS. In a TASS interview published
January 31, Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh was
highly critical of the US response to the crackdown in the Baltics.
Bessmertnykh said the "period between the end of the 'Cold War'
and the current new stage of relations has been very short."
He said "there are dangers, especially if the other side is locked
into a purely emotional response...". Bessmertnykh's remarks
add to the impression that the USSR has gone on the offensive
to justify its Baltic policy to the United States. (Suzanne Crow)


MOSCOW HAS NOT GIVEN MIDEAST TO US. A January 30 Pravda commentary
by Tomas Kolesnichenko said it would be "naive to suppose that
all Moscow and Washington's interests converge," and it would
be "even more naive to believe that the Soviet Union...has conceded
the near and Middle East to the 'sole remaining superpower,'
America." He went on to say, "forces ready to pull Moscow and
Washington apart again are developing," AFP reported January
30. Koslesnichenko's warnings flesh out official Soviet cautions
to Washington on taking a hard line against crackdowns against
the Baltics. (Suzanne Crow)

SOVETSKAYA ROSSIYA CONDEMNS "GENOCIDE" IN IRAQ. The RSFSR CP
newspaper on January 31 condemned what it termed "the real massacre,
the veritable genocide of the Iraqi people" and charged that
the US is using the Gulf war to set up a pro-American regime
in Iraq. According to an AFP summary of the article, Sovetskaya
Rossiya said that "every bomb that falls on the peaceful population
of Iraq destroys the myth of the just nature of this war." The
article reflects conservative Soviet differences with official
Kremlin policies on the war. (Sallie Wise)

SOVIET COMMENT ON US-SOVIET RELATIONS. Soviet readings of US-Soviet
relations in the wake of the summit cancellation are varied.
A Radio Moscow World Service commentary in English on January
30 said the fact that the meeting will be held this year outweighs
its cancellation. Novosti commentator Vladimir Simonov, however,
said on January 31 that by cancelling the summit, Bush is "pulling
the carpet from under Gorbachev's feet, the carpet of Gorbachev's
foreign policy successes." Simonov argued that by "slamming doors
in our [Soviet] face" and rushing to conclude that the USSR is
an evil empire again, hardliners can exclaim with satisfaction
that Gorbachev's foreign policy reforms have achieved nothing.
(Suzanne Crow)

MORE ON KAL SHOOTDOWN. Izvestia offered two more articles in
its series on the KAL shootdown this week. On January 26 the
paper discussed how divers were instructed to bring up everything
except bodies from the sunken plane's wreckage in search of evidence
that the craft was spying. Quoting Soviet experts, Izvestia said
the small number of bodies found would indicate that the flight
had been stage-managed and that far fewer than 269 people had
been on board. Three black boxes were found but the defense ministry
will not reveal their contents. (Suzanne Crow)

WAS IT SPYING? In its final installment of this ten-part series
(January 31), Izvestia said Washington needs to answer some serious
questions, namely, what the plane was doing at Andrews AFB (Maryland,
USA) three weeks before the September 1, 1983 crash, as Soviet
experts allege. The paper said that from August 11 to 14, the
plane was spotted in a hangar of a firm that "handles the delivery
of special electronic equipment." The report also claimed that
then-Secretary of State George Shultz called back a group of
inspectors who had left for Alaska to investigate the incident
and asked for an explanation. (Suzanne Crow)

REORGANIZATION OF STATE COMMITTEE ON PRESS PLANNED. The State
Committee on the Press (Goskompechat') is planning a reorganization
of its work, its chief Mikhail Nenashev told TASS January 31.
Nenashev did not disclose details of the reorganization, but
he made clear that his committee was concerned about the decrease
in its power since the introduction of the press law aimed at
making the Soviet media free from the CPSU and state control.
Nenashev stressed that his committee won't be satisfied with
one simple task assigned to it by the press law, -- namely the
registration of media organs. (Vera Tolz)

JANUARY OIL OUTPUT PLUMMETS. According to Reuter's account of
a Goskomstat report in Izvestia of January 31, Soviet oil production
was off 8% to 9% in January 1991 compared to January 1990. Coal
production fell by the same amount. Oil output in the last quarter
of 1990 was the lowest in 10 years. The Soviet state budget for
1991 is based in part on estimates that hard-currency earnings
from oil exports will decline by 50% in 1991 to about 60-62 million
tons. Gorbachev recently met with government and oil and gas
industry officials and instructed them to devise both immediate
and longer-term plans to arrest the decline and turn the industry
around. Earlier this week he had a similar meeting with coal
industry officials. (John Tedstrom)

NEW RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION. The "All-Church Orthodox Youth Movement"
is a new public organization founded at the first All-Church
Congress of Orthodox Youth, which ended on January 27. The bishop
of Kostroma and Galich Alexander, who was elected chairman of
the movement, told TASS on January 28 that "the organization
has as its goal to educate young people as children faithful
to the Orthodox Church and to pool their efforts in religious-educational
and charity activity." The congress sent telegrams to the ruling
bishops of the Ivano-Frankovsk and Ternopol dioceses in connection
with the situation of church life in Ukraine. (Oxana Antic)

INDEPENDENT CHRISTIAN TV CHANNEL ASKS FOR SUPPORT. Russkaya mysl'
(a Paris-based Russian emigre newspaper) published on January
29 an appeal by Victor Aksyuchits, chairman of the Russian Christian-Democratic
Movement and the chief editor of the Independent Christian TV
channel "Raduga". The appeal states the principles according
to which the TV channel is organizing its activities, and asks
Christian charity foundations, Christian businessmen, and "all
those who want to see Russia as a civilized Christian country"
for suggestions concerning joint enterprises, credits, and other
support. (Oxana Antic)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


RSFSR LAWMAKERS REJECT ARMED PATROLS. Leningrad MVD official
Vasilii Travnikov and Afghan war hero Colonel Aleksandr Rutskoi
on January 31 convinced the RSFSR Supreme Soviet to reject the
order on armed patrols without prior approval of the local soviets.
The two argued that such patrols would not help combat crime
and could be used only to suppress public demonstrations. They
also noted that untrained 18-year-old conscripts could shoot
at innocent citizens by mistake. The SupSov asked the USSR Committee
on Constitutional Oversight to review whether this order corresponds
to provisions of the Soviet Constitution. It also appealed to
Gorbachev to postpone the order until the Constitutional Committee
makes its ruling. The SupSov session was aired by the second
channel of Central TV. (Julia Wishnevsky)

DEPUTY QUESTIONS ACTIVITIES OF RSFSR CP. During the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet debates on January 31, deputy Sergei Yushenkov suggested
urging the USSR Constitutional Oversight Committee to review
the activities of the RSFSR Communist Party, which "directly
promote anti-constitutional methods of political struggle" in
its newspaper, Sovetskaya Rossiya. On January 30, Sovetskaya
Rossiya published an article by emigre writer Eduard Limonov
calling for the replacement of President Gorbachev by a "National
Salvation Committee," which would appeal to the military to save
the Soviet Union from disintegration. (Julia Wishnevsky)

GENERALS URGE OPPOSITION TO YELTSIN. Sovetskaya Rossiya of January
31, as summarized by TASS, carried an appeal by a group of marshals,
generals, and admirals to the USSR and RSFSR parliaments to take
unspecified action against Boris Yeltsin's "extremely dangerous
positions." The officials expressed concern over Yeltsin's stand
on the situation in the Baltic States and his call for the creation
of a Russian army. They said the latter position was an invitation
to violate the Soviet constitution. (NCA/Sallie Wise)

YELTSIN'S REPLY. In response to the article in Sovetskaya Rossiya,
Yeltsin told the RSFSR Supreme Soviet yesterday (January 31)
that some Soviet generals and "Party structures" are conducting
a "dirty campaign" to discredit him and the RSFSR parliament.
As reported by TASS on January 31, Yeltsin said the public is
not getting enough information about his and the legislature's
activities. He was quoted as saying, "we must make our policy
and our standpoint clear and say that we favor the Union, we
favor the existence of the Army." (NCA/Sallie Wise)

YELTSIN APPOINTS GENERALS. Konstantin Kobets, a deputy of Chief
of the General Staff Mikhail Moiseev, has been appointed chairman
of the newly created RSFSR State Committee for Defense and Security,
Vremya reported on January 31. The 52-year-old Colonel General
has been Chief of Communications of the USSR Armed Forces and
Deputy Chief of General Staff since 1988. Yeltsin said that he
nominated another general, Dmitrii Volkogonov, as his adviser
on defense and security issues. (Alexander Rahr)

DOSAAF NEWSPAPER SUPPORTS SEPARATE UKRAINIAN ARMY. The January
26 issue of Patriot bat'kivshchiny [Patriot of the Fatherland],
a Ukrainian-language organ of the Voluntary Society for Cooperation
with the Army, Aviation and Fleet [DOSAAF], contains a number
of surprises, beginning with an editorial describing Eduard Shevardnadze's
warning of impending dictatorship as "prophetic" and condemning
the military violence in the Baltic states. Of equal interest
is an article by a member of Rukh's collegium in support of the
formation of a Ukrainian national army. Has Ukrainian patriotism
penetrated DOSAAF? (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINE AND THE REFERENDUM. At a press conference in Kiev on
the eve of the opening of the third session of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet, first deputy chairman of the republican parliament
Ivan Plyushch discussed, inter alia, the March 17 referendum,
reported Radio Kiev on January 31. Plyushch told journalists
that the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet had agreed that the
referendum should be held, because "objectively we are in the
[Soviet] Union." He also noted, however, that each republic is
different and, therefore, the contents of the ballot would be
discussed by the Supreme Soviet. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY ON UNION TREATY. Representatives
of the parliamentary majority in the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet,
who claim to total about 280 Party members, held a press conference
in Kiev yesterday, Radio Kiev reported on January 31. Responding
to a question about the Union treaty, Mykola Shul'ha, a member
of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, argued that the decision
taken last October not to sign the Union treaty before adoption
of a new republican constitution was a mistake. According to
Shul'ha, active participation in preparatory work would have
resulted in a specific Ukrainian approach to the treaty. (Roman
Solchanyk)

INDEPENDENT PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION IN UKRAINE. Radio Kiev reported
on January 30 that Ukrainian psychiatrists formed an independent
association to strengthen humanitarian and moral values in psychiatric
work. The group will seek to protect the social interests of
psychiatrists and other medical specialists, as well as establish
contacts with colleagues in other Soviet republics and abroad.
(NCA/Sallie Wise)

BELORUSSIAN ARMY DEFECTORS. Krasnaya zvezda of January 23 accused
the Belorussian Popular Front of encouraging Belorussian troops
to leave their military units and return home. The newspaper
said that three privates went AWOL on October 14 after a leaflet
signed by the BPF was circulated among a military construction
unit in Ukraine. When they returned to Belorussia, the BPF sought
to protect them. (Kathy Mihalisko)

ARMENIA REJECTS REFERENDUM ON FUTURE OF USSR. TASS reported on
January 31 that the Armenian parliament has ruled not to participate
in the planned March 31 referendum on whether the USSR should
be preserved as an integral state, arguing that the referendum
has not been properly prepared and that it is therefore unacceptable
to hold it as planned. The Georgian parliament has also ruled
to boycott the referendum. (NCA/Liz Fuller)

PROTEST IN KARAGANDA. Central television reported on January
23 that the Karaganda Oblast trade union council had organized
a demonstration to protest meager ration limits and the high
prices of food that must be purchased to supplement rationed
items. Demonstrators reportedly demanded immediate compensation
for the higher food prices, along with a price freeze at January
1, 1991, levels, and proposed that since the state system cannot
provide the population with food, anyone who asks should be granted
a plot of land to grow his own. (Bess Brown)

MUSLIM CLERGY ORGANIZE TRADE UNION COMMITTEE. TASS, quoting Trud,
reported on January 29 that employees of the Muslim Religious
Board for Central Asia and employees of its publications have
joined students and teachers of the Islamic institute to form
their own trade union committee as part of the union of cultural
workers of Uzbekistan. The new committee is to gain for its members
the social benefits provided by trade unions and formerly inaccessible
to the clergy. (Bess Brown)

KYRGYZSTAN TO KEEP NEW NAME. The Supreme Soviet of Kyrgyzstan
has rejected Kirgiz Communist Party chief Absamat Masaliev's
attempt to restore "Soviet" and "Socialist" to the republic's
official name. Radio Moscow reported on January 31 that the Supreme
Soviet had confirmed the new name, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, and
voted to alter the republic's constitution accordingly. (Bess
Brown)

PRESS WAR IN KAZAKHSTAN. Chief editors of Kazakhstan's republican
press media have warned Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev
that their publications may have to shut down, since the republican
ministry of communications has sharply raised the price of paper
and of postal deliveries. Publishers can no longer make ends
meet, according to an item in Izvestia of January 26, and want
Nazarbaev to intervene with the ministry. (Bess Brown)

KABARDINO-BALKARIA DECLARES ITS SOVEREIGNTY. After sharp discussions
the supreme soviet of the Kabardino-Balkar ASSR adopted a declaration
of sovereignty, raising the status of the republic to that of
an SSR within the RSFSR. As reported by TASS on January 31, the
declaration proclaims the sovereignty of republican laws on its
territory, and grants equal rights to the Kabardian, Balkar,
and Russian languages. The only autonomous republics that have
not yet adopted some form of declaration of state sovereignty
are Dagestan, Tuva, Adzharia, and Nakhichevan', but the latter
two are special cases, the "titular" nationality being the same
as that of the parent republic. (Ann Sheehy)

[as of 1300 CET]


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

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