|The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. - Thomas Paine|
No. 25, 05 February 1991
BALTIC STATES USSR DELEGATION TO LITHUANIA. On February 1, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev appointed delegations to the three Baltic republics. The delegation to Lithuania consists of First Deputy USSR Prime Minister Vitalii Doguzhiev; Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Maslyukov; Chief of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces Mikhail Moiseev; USSR Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Nikolai Demidov; Chairman of the Committee of the USSR Supreme Soviet for Legislation Yurii Kalmykov; USSR Minister of Justice Sergei Lushchinov; Acting Chairman of the Commission of the Council of Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Soviet for the Development of Culture, Language, National and Internationalist Traditions and the Protection of the Historical Heritage Sergei Shuvalov; and USSR Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Viktor Komplektov. (Saulius Girnius) LANDSBERGIS COMMENTS ON DELEGATION. Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis regretted that the decree on the delegations referred to the no longer existing Lithuanian SSR and said that the move is "not the sign of good will from the Kremlin that we expected, but it seems that some talks and discussions will take place. Maybe there will be better prospects," The Los Angeles Times reported on February 2. (Saulius Girnius) LANDSBERGIS INTERVIEWS WITH REUTER AND DER SPIEGEL. In a Reuter interview on February 4, Landsbergis said that reaction in the West to the deaths in Lithuania and Latvia was for the first time concrete "because for the first time they linked their attitude to the Soviet Union with Moscow's actions. This extended even to political and economic sanctions. For the first time, they woke up. They understood." In another interview in Der Spiegel of February 4, Landsbergis noted that there might be another attack in Lithuania and that the republic must be prepared for more violent acts. He expressed hope that RSFSR leader Boris Yeltsin would continue to maintain his own position with the Kremlin. (Saulius Girnius) POLL ON LITHUANIAN INDEPENDENCE BEGUN. On February 4 Lithuanians unable to vote on February 9 were allowed to answer the question: "Do you support the idea that Lithuania must be an independent, democratic republic?", AP reported on February 5. Nineteen groups in Lithuania issued a statement calling on all residents "to declare for an independent Lithuania." The pro-Moscow Lithuanian Civil Committee has urged a boycott of the vote on the grounds that the question is deceptive: "there can be different kinds of independent democratic republics, presidential, parliamentarian, people's, Soviet, and so forth," Krasnaya Zvezda reported on February 5. The Lithuanian CP also urged a boycott because Lithuania's citizenship law would not allow many Soviet soldiers to vote. (Saulius Girnius) LITHUANIA-RSFSR TREATY. Excerpts of the treaty between Lithuania and the RSFSR were released on February 4, agencies reported that day. The treaty, not yet officially signed, stipulates that both parties "guarantee equal rights to their citizens regardless of nationality or other differences." Russians who were permanent residents of Lithuania prior to the passage of the Lithuanian citizenship law on November 3, 1989 were given the right to "retain or acquire Lithuanian citizenship without any knowledge of the Lithuanian language." People arriving in Lithuania after that date could become citizens by following "procedures established by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania" that require five years residence and knowledge of Lithuanian. (Saulius Girnius) CIVILIANS BEATEN BY ARMED PATROLS. Radio Kaunas reported on February 2 and 3 incidents of violence against civilians in Lithuania. On February 2, 22-year-old Valdas Puzonas was hit by a rifle butt at a military checkpoint when stopped for an identity check. On February 3 the Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that soldiers beat up 3 people in separate incidents in Klaipeda and Kazlu Ruda. In another incident that day an intoxicated military unit ensign fired two shots into the wall of a building in Vilnius. (Saulius Girnius) NORWEGIAN DELEGATION IN LITHUANIA. On February 1, 3 Norwegian parliamentarians visited the session of the Lithuanian Supreme Council that was being broadcast live over Kaunas Radio. Ingvar Godol said: "To be invited to speak in this parliament is the greatest honor of my life. Your parliament is the most exclusive parliament in the world. It looks today more like a fortress than a parliament and a fortress is exactly what it is." He also added that there cannot be peace in Europe until all Europe is free, and noted that it had been proposed that the three presidents of the Baltic republics be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (Saulius Girnius) NORDIC COUNCIL CHAIRMAN IN LITHUANIA. Nordic Council Chairman Thor Pedersen also spoke at the session. He said that the principal purpose of his visit was the opening of a Nordic Council information bureau in Vilnius. He also explained that Danish policy toward the Baltic states could be summarized in one sentence: "We want to establish normal relations with our neighbors." (Saulius Girnius) USSR DELEGATION TO LATVIA. Appointed to hold talks "with representatives of the Latvian SSR" on "political, social, and economic issues" were First Deputy USSR Prime Minister Vladimir Velichko; Deputy Chairman of USSR Gosplan Valentin Ogorok; USSR Deputy Defense Minister Valentin Varennikov; USSR Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Nikiforov; USSR Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Yurii Kukushkin; Deputy Chairman of USSR Supreme Court of Arbitration Venyamin Yakovlev; Georgii Tarazevich, Chairman of the Commission for Nationalities Policy and Relations Between Nationalities of the USSR Supreme Soviet's Council of Nationalities; and Yurii Komarov, Chairman of USSR Supreme Soviet's Construction and Architecture Committee. (Dzintra Bungs) ARRIVAL OF USSR DELEGATION IN LATVIA NOT KNOWN. Radio Riga reported on February 5 that although the USSR delegation for talks with Latvia was expected to arrive in Riga on February 4, it has not yet come to Latvia. It is not know when the delegation can be expected. (Dzintra Bungs) FIVE BLACK BERETS VICTIMS STILL NOT BACK IN LATVIA. Radio Riga reported on February 4 that relatives of the five Latvian guards seized by the Black Berets on January 20 in Riga appealed to the international Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations for help in extending medical care for the detainees and in obtaining their release. Agris Kreismanis, has been on a hunger strike since January 20. Their families, including 12 children, were worried that, despite promises of a prompt return to Riga made by the Latvian SSR Procuracy, the five men have still not been returned from Belorussia to Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs) RUSSIANS SUPPORT LATVIAN GOVERNMENT. On February 3, Russians, taking part in a meeting called by the Russian Cultural Society of Latvia, adopted a resolution supporting the Latvian government and Supreme Council. Radio Riga reported on February 4 that the participants also issued a statement "dispelling the myth that there is discrimination against the non-Latvian population in Latvia." (Dzintra Bungs) BLACK BERETS INVOLVED IN ANOTHER SHOOTING IN RIGA. Around 2 AM on February 3 unknown assailants fired upon a Volga carrying Leningrad TV journalist Aleksandr Nevzorov and 3 Black Berets. The car was burned, but no one was injured. Nevzorov, known for his anti-Baltic independence reporting, was able to film the entire incident. TASS of January 3 said that Latvian Customs officials were suspected of involvement in the shooting. Radio Riga reported on February 4 that the incident was being investigated and that the possibility that it was staged cannot be ruled out. (Dzintra Bungs) STOCK EXCHANGE TO OPEN IN RIGA. After Latvia's Supreme Council adopted a law on stock markets on January 29, concrete steps were taken to reopen the Riga Stock Exchange that was built about 150 years ago. Trading in goods and securities is expected to start in April, reported Radio Riga on January 30 and Radio Moscow on February 2. The stock exchange is a private, joint-stock enterprise. (Dzintra Bungs) USSR DELEGATION TO ESTONIA. The eight-member delegation appointed by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on February 1 to hold discussions with Estonia includes the following: USSR Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Chaplin; USSR Deputy Interior Minister Vasiliy Trushin; USSR Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Laverov; Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Commission for Labor, Prices and Social Policy Nikolai Grichenko; Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission Aleksandr Troshin; First Deputy Commander in Chief of the Soviet Navy Ivan Kapitanets; Director of the USSR Academy of Sciences Institute of the State and Law Boris Topornin; Chairman of the Council of Nationalities Commission for the Social and Economic Development of Union and Autonomous Republics, Oblasts and Okrugs Yuri Sharipov. (Riina Kionka) MORE ON MURDERED SWEDES. The two Swedish trade union leaders murdered on January 24 had been drugged, according to AP (February 4), quoting a Finnish tabloid. A woman helping Tallinn police with the investigation reportedly told Ilta Lehti that "we mixed a whole bottle of clophelin into their drinks." Clophelin is an eye medication that can have lethal effects if taken orally, Ilta Lehti said. AP also reported that local police have now arrested all six members of the gang suspected in the murders. Paevaleht of February 3 added that one of the male suspects was arrested after police found him wearing the trousers matching the suit of the victims was wearing when found. (Riina Kionka) FOOD POISONING IN ESTONIA. Seventy-seven children are suffering from salmonella in the northeastern Estonian city of Kohtla-Jarve, according to TASS on February 4. Local health authorities blame poor hygiene for the outbreak, which is being investigated by the city's prosecutor. (Riina Kionka) USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS NEW ANTI-CRIME DECREE. On February 4 Gorbachev issued a decree ordering the creation of a new main directorate within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, TASS reported. Ostensibly a response to accelerating rates of crime, the new directorate will be tasked with battling organized crime, corruption, and drug dealing. To be set up within a month, it will cooperate with the KGB and is to coordinate the activities of new inter-regional and local MVD units (controlled jointly by Moscow and republican Internal Affairs Ministries), the latter to be created within a two month period. Progressives are likely to view the units as another means of reasserting Moscow's control. (Stephen Foye) PUGO PROMOTED. USSR interior minister Boris Pugo has been promoted to the rank of Colonel General, TASS reported on February 4. Pugo said that the newly created Committee for Coordination of the Work of the Law Enforcement Organs will improve cooperation between the MVD and the KGB. He noted that the committee will coordinate and not direct the activities of the two institutions. Pugo indicated that, in recent months, problems had arisen in coordinating the activities of the KGB and MVD. He stated that the Soviet leadership will not tolerate the existence of two separate interior ministries in some republics. (Alexander Rahr) CENTRAL COMMITTEE PLENUM "A WATERSHED." Speaking to Party activists at a Moscow factory on February 4, Ivan Polozkov, the arch-conservative leader of the RSFSR Communist Party, called the January 31 Central Committee plenum "a watershed in the Party's work" and "a signal to launch a political battle." Western commentators are also saying that, with its calls for the Party's return to economic management and its denunciations of "bourgeois morality," the plenum showed the CPSU back on the offensive. (CMD/Elizabeth Teague) NOT SWEDEN, BUT CHILE... Moscow Communist Party boss Yurii Prokof'ev says countries such as South Korea, Spain, and Chile, all of which developed strong market economies during periods of authoritarian rule, offer better models for Soviet economic reform than Western democracies such as the USA and the countries of Western Europe. Prokof'ev told a press conference in Moscow on February 4 that whereas the Western democracies took centuries to build their market economies, in countries such as Chile "developed market infrastructures were created in a short period of time...and in an organized way." Quoting his remarks, Reuters noted that the USSR long denounced the Pinochet regime as a reactionary state that kept its workers in poverty. (Elizabeth Teague) SHATALIN IN SOUTH KOREA. Former Gorbachev adviser Stanislav Shatalin is in South Korea to attend a seminar on Soviet economic reform, AFP reported February 4. Shatalin, who has published several recent articles harshly criticizing Gorbachev's economic policies (Komsomol'skaya pravda, January 16 and 22), said the Soviet people have no confidence in their country's economic future. What's more, he said, "they also lack the will to learn from other countries." Writing in Sovetskaya Rossiya on January 29, the conservative economist Mikhail Popov blasted Shatalin as "a nervous lumpen- academcian." (NCA/Elizabeth Teague) QUADRILATERAL INTERREPUBLICAN TREATY BY SEPTEMBER? Representatives of Belorussia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine met February 4 to discuss the drawing up of their draft treaty on a union of sovereign states that could be a substitute for Gorbachev's Union treaty, TASS reported February 4. A communique on the meeting stated that the draft was to be approved not later than September 1991. This suggests that the matter is more complicated than originally envisaged by Yeltsin. When the quadrilateral treaty was first mooted during the Fourth USSR Congress of People's Deputies Yelstin said he hoped it would be concluded during the congress. (Ann Sheehy) UN MANDATE ON IRAQ "ALREADY EXCEEDED": SUPSOV. The Supreme Soviet Committee on International Affairs said on February 4 that military action in the Gulf "is already exceeding the UN mandate." Committee Chairman Aleksandr Dzasokhov called for all necessary measures, including the intervention of the United Nations, to find a political solution. The committee decided to recommend to the USSR Cabinet of Ministers that an interdepartmental group of experts be created to oversee the situation in the zone of military action in the Gulf, TASS reported February 4. (Suzanne Crow) CPSU STATEMENT ON GULF. The CPSU Central Committee published a statement on February 4 urging Moscow to "take the necessary additional steps in the international community and United Nations to end bloodshed" in the Gulf. Expressing deep concern over developments in the war, the Central Committee said Soviet diplomatic efforts would help to "preclude irretrievable damage to the environment and redirect the military conflict so that it is in the spirit of UN Security Council resolutions." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday it is giving its "complete attention" to the CPSU's recommendation and pointed out that it does not contradict the USSR's known position on the Gulf crisis, TASS reported February 4. (Suzanne Crow) BELONOGOV IN TEHRAN. TASS reported February 4 a meeting between Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Belonogov and Iranian President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani. No details of the meeting were offered except that the USSR Foreign Ministry welcomes the prospect of a meeting between Saddam Hussein and Rafsanjani as long as the meeting is dedicated to the topic of getting Iraq out of Kuwait. Several days before, on February 1, Belonogov met with Nematollah Izadi, Iranian ambassador to the USSR. TASS reported the same day that the two discussed the situation in the Gulf and measures both their countries were taking to stop the war. (Suzanne Crow and Sallie Wise) SYRIAN DEFENSE MINISTER TO MOSCOW. Syrian Defense Minister Lt. General Mustafa Talas arrived in Moscow on February 4 for a four-day visit. He will hold talks with Soviet Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov on "questions of bilateral ... cooperation in the military sphere, the worsening of the situation in the Middle East, and the extension of the Persian Gulf war." Talks with Deputy Prime Minister Igor Belousov and Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Constantin Katushev are also expected, TASS said February 4. (Suzanne Crow) DZASOKHOV MET ALGERIAN, TUNISIAN AMBASSADORS. Aleksandr Dzasokhov, Politburo member and chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet's Committee for International Affairs, met with the Algerian and Tunisian ambassadors to the Soviet Union, according to TASS on February 1. Dzasokhov assured the ambassadors that the Soviet leadership and the USSR Supreme Soviet are constantly working on finding a political solution to stop the Gulf war. The ambassadors complained that the allies' military actions have exceeded the scope of the UN resolution. (Alexander Rahr) USSR DENIES UPPING DEMANDS FOR WITHDRAWAL. A Soviet official in Bonn denied reports appearing in the February 4 Berliner Zeitung saying the USSR was demanding more money and time to get its troops out of Germany. The official, who was unnamed in AFP's report of February 4, said there were no such demands. (Suzanne Crow) GENSCHER WARNS GORBACHEV. West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher warned on February 3 that Gorbachev was calling into question his place in history and endangering a new era of East-West cooperation. Genscher, who was one of Gorbachev's earliest and staunchest Western supporters, said "the old thought patterns are returning in the Soviet Union" and "reactionary forces might attempt to restore a totalitarian regime throughout the country," the Washington Post reported February 4. (Suzanne Crow) USSR-VIETNAM RELATIONS "READJUSTED". Vietnam's Vice Premier Nguyen Khanh said on February 4 his country "has started to try to find other sources" of supply for oil and fertilizer. Last year, the USSR failed to supply what it promised in oil and fertilizer. Khanh said relations between the two countries had been "readjusted" due to the drastic changes in the USSR and Vietnam. Last week Hanoi and Moscow signed an economic cooperation agreement for 1991 but apart from the fact that trade is now conducted in hard currency and at world prices, no details were reported, Reuter reported February 4. (Suzanne Crow) JAPAN DENIES KURILE ISLANDS DEAL. The Japanese foreign ministry on February 1 denied reports that Japan had concluded a deal to buy the Kurile Islands from the USSR, TASS said. On January 29 the Soviet side denied a Postfaktum news agency report claiming the islands would be sold. (See Daily Report January 31, 1991.) (Suzanne Crow) NO PARTIES REGISTERED IN USSR YET. A spokesman for the USSR Justice Minister said no political parties or public associations had been registered yet under the new law on public associations, Radio Moscow reported January 4. Vladimir Shbankov said only 24 organizations had filed the necessary documents with his office yet although there had been about 350 inquiries. He said he believed the first organization would be registered in the middle of this month. Shbankov told Radio Moscow that the CPSU would have to submit the same documents as any other organization. (NCA/Vera Tolz) USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS YELTSIN TO MAKE TELEVISION SPEECH. Novosti Press Agency announced yesterday that RSFSR Supreme Soviet chairman Boris Yeltsin plans to deliver a major television speech today (February 5). No time has yet been announced. Novosti quoted Yeltsin's aide Lev Sukhanov was saying the speech will cover a wide range of topics with emphasis on the general political situation "in Russia and the country." Yeltsin himself told a meeting of RSFSR trade union officials in Moscow last week that he had applied for television time to make a live speech to the RSFSR on February 5. (NCA) TWO RSFSR PARTIES MAKE STEP TOWARD CONSOLIDATION. Representatives of the RSFSR Social Democratic Party and the Republican Party (formerly the Democratic Platform within the CPSU) discussed ways the two organizations could unite at a joint plenary meeting, TASS reported February 3. The two parties have similar platforms; their members constitute a joint bloc in the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies; and finally, their factions in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Volgograd, Komi ASSR and Tataria have already merged. However, the plenary meeting failed to pass a final decision on the unification, postponing it to April or May. (Vera Tolz) RSFSR SUPSOV PREPARING DECREE ON RESTORATION OF SOVIET GERMAN STATEHOOD. Commenting on the fact that the RSFSR Supreme Soviet's Human Rights Committee was to discuss the Soviet German problem, Radio Moscow reported February 2 that the RSFSR Supreme Soviet was drawing up a resolution on measures to restore the statehood of the Soviet Germans as the only means to put a halt to Soviet German emigration. The resolution would set up a state committee to work out a concept and programme for restoring the Volga German republic to be submitted to the RSFSR Supreme Soviet within three months. The restoration of Soviet German autonomy will be the main topic of a Congress of Soviet Germans to be held in Moscow from March 11-15. (Ann Sheehy) REPUBLICAN LEADERS TO BECOME MEMBERS OF DEFENSE COUNCIL? The Russian parliament has issued a resolution calling, among other things, for the inclusion of republican leaders in the USSR Defense Council, TASS reported on February 1. It also urged President Mikhail Gorbachev to include the chairmen of local soviets as members of regional military councils. This initiative of the Russian parliament was in line with Boris Yeltsin's recent moves toward more control over the Soviet armed forces. (Alexander Rahr) PRIVILEGES FOR STALIN'S VICTIMS IN KARELIA. The government of Karelia adopted a resolution giving privileges to victims of Stalin's repressions, Radio Moscow-1 reported on February 1. The privileges include a 25% increase to those receiving the minimum possible pension, reduction in prices for medicine and housing, as well as the right to use public transport free of charge. (Vera Tolz) TYPHOID OUTBREAK IN CENTRAL RUSSIA. TASS reported on February 2 that ten people have been hospitalized with typhoid fever in the city of Barysha [Ul'yanovsk oblast]. An extraordinary anti-epidemic commission has determined that the administration of a local textile factory caused the outbreak through negligence. The factory released unpurified water used to clean sheepskins into the drinking water supply. TASS said the raion procuracy has initiated criminal proceedings. Meanwhile, measures are being taken to contain a possible epidemic. (Sallie Wise) RAILROAD TRANSPORT JAM IN LENINGRAD REGION. Railway stations along the Leningrad line are jammed with goods awaiting transport, according to a Radio Moscow report February 2. Some 27,000 tons of goods are waiting to be moved, while more than 900 railroad cars have yet to be unloaded. Radio Moscow said that the backup is creating a shortage of raw materials in industry and of goods in shops. (NCA/Sallie Wise) VLADIVOSTOK AIRPORT OPEN FOR FOREIGN AIRLINES. The USSR defense ministry granted permission for the Vladivostok airport to open to foreign airlines, Komsomol'skaya Pravda reported on February 2. A Japanese firm immediately offered its services to the city's executive committee in modernizing the airport and building hotels in Vladivostok. The defense ministry is also considering opening Vladivostok for international navigation. (Alexander Rahr) UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION AGAINST REFERENDUM. The Narodna Rada, which groups the democratic opposition in the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, and "Rukh" qualified the March 17 referendum as "unconstitutional" at a press conference yesterday, Ukrinform-TASS reported on February 4. Speakers at the press conference emphasized that a republican referendum on whether Ukraine should be independent must precede the referendum on maintaining the USSR. The Narodna Rada, said its leader, Ihor Yukhnovs'kyi, will pursue policies aimed at establishing an independent Ukrainian state. (Roman Solchanyk) UKRAINIAN COMMUNISTS FAVOR UNION TREATY. A statement by the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party expresses support for the proposed union treaty without which, it says, there can be no political or economic stabilization in the country and the republic, Ukrinform-TASS reported February 4. (Roman Solchanyk) CONFERENCE ON UKRAINIAN ARMY APPEALS TO SUPREME SOVIET. A two-day conference in Kiev devoted to the "internal and external security of Ukraine and the concept of a Ukrainian army" ended Sunday, and Radio Kiev reported February 4 that participants were satisfied with the results. They adopted a four-part appeal to parliament calling on it to pronounce on the status of the USSR armed forces in Ukraine and to establish a Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. They also worked on the creation of "Committees for the Resurrection of the Armed Forces of Ukraine," taking into account that the military had a key role to play in the proclamation of the independent Ukrainian state in 1918. (Kathy Mihalisko) NEWCOMER TO BELORUSSIAN PRESS CALLS FOR SLAVIC UNITY. A new Russian-language publication appeared last week at Belorussian kiosks, sources have told the RFE-RL Belorussian service. Called Slavyanskie vedomosti, the first issue promotes the unity of the Great Russian, White Russian and Little Russian [i.e., Belorussian and Ukrainian] peoples and is said to contain anti-Semitic material. It is being printed at the facilities of the Belorussian Communist Party, but, in apparent contravention of the law, ownership of the paper has not been identified. (Kathy Mihalisko) NEW MOLDAVIAN PARTY FIRST SECRETARY. A plenum of the Moldavian Central Committee on February 4 elected Grigore Eremei first secretary of the Moldavian Communist Party in place of Petru Lucinschi, who last week was elected a secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, TASS reported February 4. Eremei, a Moldavian born in 1935, has headed the Moldavian trade union organization for some years. He appears to have spent his whole career in Moldavia, and is a rather gray figure, lacking the talents of his predecessor. This could bode ill for the future of the Party in Moldavia, but there appears to have been no more attractive candidate. (Ann Sheehy) STIMULATION OF FOOD PRODUCTION IN KYRGYZSTAN. TASS reported on February 4 that a special commission to ensure food supplies and combat "economic sabotage" has been set up by decree of president Askar Akaev. The commission has until February 15 to inventory existing food resources and create food reserves. The decree also calls for measures to stimulate production of foodstuffs; half of the private autos, television and radio sets available for sale are to be reserved for sale to persons engaged in agriculture. The report notes that rationing of foodstuffs was begun in Kyrgyzstan at the end of 1990, and now includes nine different products, including sugar, flour and vegetable oil. (Bess Brown) COSSACK OKRUG PROCLAIMED IN KARACHAI-CHERKESS AO. A congress of Cossack deputies of all levels elected from the Zelenchuk and Urup raions of the Karachai-Cherkess autonomous oblast has proclaimed the two raions the Zelenchuk-Urup Territorial Okrug, TASS reported February 3. A Cossack ataman had complained earlier that Karachai attempts to regain a separate Karachai national territory would cut the predominantly Russian-speaking Zelenchuk raion in two and had suggested the raion be subordinated directly to Stavropol' krai. The proclamation is part of the general revival of Cossack national identity in the North Caucasus, which is adding to interethnic tensions in the region. (Ann Sheehy) [As of 1230 CET] Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise
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