I'm going to turn on the light, and we'll be two people in a room looking at each other and wondering why on earth we were afraid of the dark. - Gale Wilhelm
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 29, 11 February 1991





BALTIC STATES



LITHUANIA VOTES FOR INDEPENDENCE. Radio Kaunas on February 10
announced the preliminary results of the previous day's poll
asking whether Lithuania should be an independent, democratic
republic. 84.63% of the 2,654,000 eligible voters participated,
with 90.47% voting "yes", 6.56% - "no", and 2.59% - invalid.
A majority of voters in all the 44 raions and cities voted for
independence, with the smallest margin being in the Polish-inhabited
Vilnius and Salcininkai raions. A greater share of voters in
those two raions also did not take part in the elections. (Saulius
Girnius)

LOW POLISH TURNOUT IN LITHUANIAN POLL. Czeslaw Okinczyc, representative
of the Lithuanian Supreme Council responsible for relations with
the Polish government, told Polish TV on February 10 that only
24% of the Poles living in Lithuania took part in the poll on
February 9, with only half of those taking part voting for Lithuanian
independence. The low turnout, said Okinczyc, was due to distrust:
while Poles fear the consequences of Lithuanian nationalism,
Lithuanians think the Polish minority hinders their struggle
for independence. (Roman Stefanowski)

PRUNSKIENE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Former Lithuanian Prime Minister
Kazimiera Prunskiene was in Prague on February 9 where she spoke
at a meeting of the signatories of Czechoslovakia's Charter 77
human rights movement. In an interview with CTK that day she
emphasized the need for a political balance between the polarized
forces in Lithuania. She criticized Lithuanians who oppose any
compromise with Moscow, saying that this caused conflicts within
the republic and thus played into the hands of pro-Moscow forces.
(Saulius Girnius)

MORE MILITARY IN LITHUANIA. On February 9 about 1,400 armed KGB
cadets from military schools in Central Asia and Siberia arrived
in Lithuania, agencies reported on February 10. They will be
stationed at bases in Rukla and Kazlu Ruda, southwest and northeast
of the city of Kaunas. Radio Moscow on February 10 reported that
the exercise commander of maneuvers planned in the three Baltic
republics from February 10-20 will be Petr Chaus, who said that
the maneuvers would not include major troop movements but would
consist mainly of staff work. (Saulius Girnius)

CHAUS ON MILITARY EXERCISES. Lieutenant General Petr Chaus, Chief
of Staff of the USSR Baltic Military District, told Diena on
February 8 that the military exercises would start on February
10 in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and would continue for 7-10
days. Chaus also said that the exercises would involve only members
of the Baltic Military District; this would seem to suggest that
additional troops would not be brought into the Baltics for the
exercises. (Dzintra Bungs)

SAVISAAR, JUNDZIS REGRET MILITARY EXERCISES. Estonian Prime Minister
Edgar Savisaar said that while his government appreciated being
informed of Soviet military exercises in the Baltic states, he
asked that the exercises be cancelled or postponed since troop
movements would serve to raise tensions in the population, reported
ETA on February 8. Similar views were expressed by Deputy Talavs
Jundzis, chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council's Commission
on Defense and Internal Affairs, according to Diena of February
8. Savisaar also asked the Baltic Military District about projected
troop movements outside the bases. (Dzintra Bungs)

BALTIC MILITARY DISTRICT REDUCES NUMBER OF PLANES. The Soviet
air force reduced by two the number of military planes in the
Baltic Military District, reported Diena on February 7. According
to Major General Valentin Filatov, Chief of the District's Political
Department, this step was taken in accordance with last year's
Paris accord on the reduction of armed forces in Europe. Asked
about the transfer of Soviet troops from Germany to the Baltics,
Filatov said that he was not informed about the subject. (Dzintra
Bungs)

BALTIC QUESTION NOT AN ETHNIC ISSUE. The Baltic Section of the
international Conference on the Protection of National Minorities
and Human Rights in Europe concluded that the conflict in the
Baltics has a political rather than an ethnic cause. Deputy Andrejs
Pantelejevs, Chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council's Commission
on Human Rights and Ethnic Issues, told Diena on February 7 that
the conference, organized in Oslo by Norway's Human Rights Institute,
rated the Baltic laws on human and nationality rights as even
more progressive than the present international regulations.
He said that the world expects the Baltic states to ensure the
rights of all their residents. (Dzintra Bungs)

DOING THEIR INTERNATIONALIST DUTY. In an interview in the February
10 Rahva Haal, Mikhail Lysenko, head of the Estonian Intermovement's
armed militia wing, the "workers' brigades," said that during
the elections in Tiraspol his troops helped "maintain order"
in the city. Along with similar armed groups from Lithuania,
Latvia, Ukraine and unspecified RSFSR oblasts they "guaranteed
security for the Dniester Republic representatives during their
trip to Chisinau". Lysenko complained about "incessant provocations"
and shots being Bired at their cars. While Baltic governments
have long claimed that Interfront and similar organizations'
demonstrations and actions are helped by people from outside,
this is the first time the Estonian Intermovement has aOBnowledged
its "internationalist duty." (T.H. Ilves)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



RE-SHUFFLE AT TOP OF KGB. Two heavyweight KGB officials, First
Deputy Chairman Philipp Bobkov and Deputy Chairman Vladimir Pirozhkov,
have resigned from the agency, according to Izvestia and TASS,
February 8. Bobkov, who in the 1970s headed the KGB Fifth Main
Administration for Ideological Subversion, since 1983 has been
responsible for all domestic KGB activities. Pirozhkov, who supervised
the cadres, archives, and external surveillance administrations,
was responsible for liaison between the CPSU apparatus and the
KGB. Bobkov was replaced by Colonel General Victor Grushko, who
since last year has headed the KGB Second Main Administration.
Grushko in turn was succeeded by Lieutenant General Gennadii
Titov, his old colleague at the KGB's Scandinavian intelligence
desk. The third new appointee is 45-year-old Valerii Vorotnikov,
who became the chief of Administration "Z" (the former Fifth
Main Administration). (Victor Yasmann)

COMMERCIALIZATION OF GOSTELERADIO. On February 8, Gorbachev issued
a decree transforming the USSR's sole nationwide network, Gosteleradio,
into the state-owned All-Union Television and Radio Company.
The decree envisages the transfer of all Gosteleradio's property
and funds, including foreign currency reserves, to the new company's
jurisdiction. Leonid Kravchenko, widely blamed for the present
"counterrevolution" in Soviet TV, has become president of the
company. Kravchenko will also head the All-Union Council on Radio
and Television, a newly created organ to supervise the work of
television. Gorbachev's decree seems to be another attempt to
prevent non-communist political forces from gaining access to
national TV. (Victor Yasmann)

GORBACHEV STATEMENT ON GULF WAR. Gorbachev said on February 9
in a formal statement concerning the Gulf conflict that "the
logic of the military operations and the character of the military
actions" threaten to go beyond the mandate of UN Resolution 678
on the use of force against Iraq, TASS reported. Gorbachev appealed
to Saddam Hussein to "display realism" and announced that Evgenii
Primakov would travel to Baghdad for talks with the Iraqi president.
Gorbachev's warnings are consistent with Soviet attempts to distance
the USSR from the military effort since the outbreak of hostilities.
(Suzanne Crow)

LENINGRAD RALLY AGAINST WAR. Several thousand Leningrad residents
participated in protests on February 10 against Baltic independence
movements and the Gulf War. TASS said 4,000 people were present,
but Leningrad police put the figure at between 7,000 and 8,000.
The rally was organized by patriotic groups including war veterans,
the Communist Party, and the "Soyuz" faction of the Congress
of Peoples Deputies, AP reported. (Suzanne Crow)

RESULTS OF TALKS IN TURKEY. Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Belonogov concluded talks in Ankara (February 8 and 9) with Turkish
Prime Minister Yildirim Akbulut and First Deputy Foreign Minister
T. Ozceri. TASS reported February 10 the sides agreed that Iraq's
territorial integrity should be preserved after the conflict
in the Gulf ends and that Turkey should not open up a second
front unless attacked by Iraq. The TASS report also reiterated
the formulation that "military actions there should be halted
immediately as soon as Baghdad displayed readiness to pull its
troops out of Kuwait." (Suzanne Crow)

PRIMAKOV TO JAPAN. Evgenii Primakov will visit Japan February
13-17 to meet Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu and Foreign
Minister Taro Nakayama. He plans to discuss the Gulf war, the
Japanese-Soviet territorial dispute, and Gorbachev's planned
visit to Japan in April, AFP reported February 9. The dispatch
of Primakov instead of Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh
suggests that Gorbachev will continue to disperse foreign policy
operations among a wide array of people, and perhaps limit Bessmertnykh
to arms control matters and East-West relations. (Suzanne Crow)


SHEVARDNADZE SETTING UP THINK TANK. Former Foreign Minister Eduard
Shevardnadze is creating a "foreign policy association" to promote
links between the USSR and the rest of the world at a non-governmental
level. According to an Interfax report (February 9), the organizing
committee of the research group includes some of the USSR's leading
political scientists and diplomats. Interfax said sponsors are
likely to include the state-run Soviet Peace Committee and the
city soviets in Moscow and Leningrad. Interfax also said Shevardnadze
has turned down offers to teach at American universities and
go on a speaking tour in the West, AP and AFP reported. (Suzanne
Crow)

WORK CONTINUES ON UNION TREATY. The first sitting of the plenipotentiary
representatives of the republics who are to continue work on
the Union treaty with a working group representing the USSR president
and Supreme Soviet met in the Kremlin on February 8, TASS and
Izvestia reported. Work is expected to continue all this week
on an article by article discussion of the crucial questions
of delimiting powers between the Union and the subjects of the
federation. After the draft has been reworked, it will be discussed
again at a session of the Federation Council. (Ann Sheehy)

LESS THAN FULL TURN-OUT FOR UNION TREATY DISCUSSIONS. According
to Izvestia of February 11, the session in the Kremlin on the
draft Union treaty on February 8 was attended by representatives
of only nine out of the fifteen union and eighteen out of the
twenty autonomous republics. The Ukrainian delegation was to
arrive later, while Moldavia was still undecided whether or not
to participate in work on the treaty, Izvestia reported. Georgia
sent only an observer, and the Baltic states declined to send
delegations. (NCA/Ann Sheehy)

CALL FOR RESTORATION OF DICTATORSHIP OF PROLETARIAT. Komsomol'skaya
pravda on February 2 poured scorn on an interview in "provincial
editions" of "a central newspaper" (unidentified, but most probably
Sovetskaya Rossiya). In it, V.G. Dolgov, a member of the Central
Committee of the RSFSR CP, calls for "a return to what the country
abandoned with its adoption of the 1936 Constitution," that is,
voting weighted in favor of manual workers and peasants and excluding
members of the intelligentsia and the self-employed. As Komsomolka
points out, this would mean the abolition of universal suffrage
based on "one man--one vote" and a return to Stalinist "dictatorship
of the proletariat." The newspaper says those who issue such
calls are not concerned about working people but only about preserving
"the dictatorship of the bureaucracy masquerading as the power
of the working people." (Elizabeth Teague)

YANAEV IN KUZBASS. Vice-President Gennadii Yanaev toured the
Kuzbass region of Western Siberia February 8 and promised coalminers
in Novokuznetsk the government would not raise retail prices
"until a law on compensation and other bills protecting the population"
were passed. "People should feel an improvement in the domestic
market in the next few months," he promised. According to TASS
of February 8, Yanaev extracted a pledge from the miners not
to strike. Following the tragic events in Vilnius last month,
leaders of miners' strike committees in the Kuzbass expressed
their willingness to join a general strike calling for Gorbachev's
ouster. (Elizabeth Teague)

FORTHCOMING RETAIL PRICE INCREASES. Goskomtsen First Deputy Chairman
Anatolii Komin has already announced that "retail prices for
the main mass of consumer goods and, above all, food will have
to be raised considerably during the first half of 1991" (Pravda,
January 2). Somewhat curiously, he later affirmed that: "...of
course, our compatriots must know in advance about the price
reform" (Pravda, January 30). RSFSR Premier Silayev has now indicated
that "all social groups of the population" will be fully compensated
for increases in the prices of main foodstuffs (Radio Moscow-1,
1630 GMT, February 8). And Sobchak spoke of an effective poverty
level of 120 rubles a month: those earning less, he inferred,
would be fully compensated for price increases (Radio Moscow-1,
1900 GMT, February 9). (Keith Bush)

LATEST FIGURES ON BANKNOTE EXCHANGE. In two separate interviews
on Central Television on February 9 (1800 and 1850 GMT), USSR
Gosbank officials reported that 41.2 billion rubles' worth of
the old 50- and 100-ruble notes had been taken in for exchange,
leaving 7 billion rubles' worth to be effectively confiscated.
They repeated that no exchange of 25- and 10-ruble notes and
no freezing of savings deposits are contemplated. (Keith Bush)


ALKSNIS DISMISSES POSSIBILITY OF ARMY COUP. Colonel Viktor Alksnis
has denied that a military coup could happen in the Soviet Union.
He told IAN on February 8 that a military coup along the lines
of that in Portugal could not be staged in as large a country
with such a big army as the Soviet Union. He dismissed the possibility
of a conspiracy in the military leadership. According to Alksnis,
there is no personality in the Army command who could take such
a responsibility upon himself. He stated that true democracy
must be achieved through a temporary period of presidential rule
throughout the country, but Gorbachev is too weak to conduct
it. (Alexander Rahr)

USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN: KALININGRAD WILL REMAIN PART OF RSFSR. Boris Yeltsin
says Kaliningrad Oblast (formerly East Prussia, now an enclave
between Lithuania and Poland) will remain within the Russian
Republic. Visiting the regional capital, Svetlogorsk, on February
9, Yeltsin said "Kaliningrad Oblast is a Russian oblast--such
it is and such it will remain." Yeltsin acknowledged that the
region has acute ecological problems and backward social amenities,
blaming this on the presence of large numbers of Soviet military
units. Yeltsin returned to Moscow February 9. (Elizabeth Teague)


RSFSR CP OFFICIALS CRITICIZE YELTSIN POLICIES. A seminar of gorkom
and raikom secretaries from the regions of eastern Siberia was
addressed February 8 by RSFSR Communist Party leader Ivan Polozkov.
Radio Moscow reported that day that the seminar adopted a resolution
condemned Boris Yeltsin's policies as "intensifying the destructive
processes in the USSR." (Elizabeth Teague)

DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA FORMS OWN PARTY STRUCTURES. The "Democratic
Russia" movement has begun to establish its own organizational
structures in workers' collectives. According to Kuranty of February
9, over the past two weeks more than 100 primary "Democratic
Russia" organizations have been formed in enterprises and institutes
in Moscow. Each primary organization has elected its working
organ--a coordinating council. A vertical structure of "Democratic
Russia" is also being created. Primary organizations will be
subordinated to coordinating councils on regional, city and raion
levels. Arkadii Murashov, co-founding member of "Democratic Russia,"
told the RFE-RL Research Institute that Boris Yeltsin and Anatolii
Sobchak may soon become leaders of the movement. (Alexander Rahr)


"DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA" SUGGESTS NATIONAL GUARD FORMATION. The Coordinating
Council of "Democratic Russia" has issued a statement on the
political situation in the country, published in Kuranty, February
8. It said the Kremlin intends to establish a dictatorship in
the country before the March 17 referendum. The coordinating
council called for the creation of a "national guard", subordinated
to the Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. "Democratic Russia"
characterized its major tasks as supporting Boris Yeltsin and
democrats in the RSFSR parliaments. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN AND THE GENERALS. Yeltsin said at a meeting of the Coordinating
Council of "Democratic Russia" on January 18 that a group of
ten generals had approached him and stressed the need for the
creation of a separate Russian Army, Pavel Kudyukin, presidium
member of the Social Democratic Party, disclosed in an interview
with Kuranty on February 8. Kudyukin also said that Yeltsin is
strongly supported by the "Leftist Center" group in the Russian
parliament, headed by General Dmitrii Volkogonov and liberal-oriented
officers of the Shchit parliamentary faction. (Alexander Rahr)


SOCIAL DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS FORM JOINT LEADING BODY. The
Social Democratic and Republican Parties of the Russian Federation
have formed a joint political consultative council to direct
the work of both parties. Its membership, published in Kuranty,
February 8, consists of eight persons: USSR deputies A. Mizhurenko,
A. Obolensky, S. Sulakshin, V. Shostakovsky; RSFSR deputies L.
Volkov, V. Lysenko, O. Rumyantsev; and deputy of a Moscow raion
soviet P. Kudyukin. (Alexander Rahr)

MOSCOW DOCTORS THREATEN TO STRIKE FEBRUARY 14. Physicians in
the Soviet capital are planning a one-day strike next Thursday
(February 14) to back up their calls for more funds for health
care. Radio Moscow said February 10 that 62% of the capital's
medical facilities and pharmacies intend to take part in the
strike, but emergency services will not be affected. (Elizabeth
Teague)

ALCOHOL PRICES TO RISE IN MOSCOW RESTAURANTS. The Moscow city
soviet has increased the prices of alcohol in the city's restaurants
by 200%, in an effort to raise funds for social services. Izvestia
announced the rise on February 8, quoting a city soviet official
as saying the extra income would be used "for the social protection
of the underprivileged." According to a Reuter report the same
day, the increase will not affect prices in state liquor shops,
except for the price of beer. The latter will go up in both shops
and restaurants. Izvestia said the price of a half-liter bottle
of Zhigulovskoe beer will increase from 80 kopecks to 1.20 rubles.
(Sallie Wise)

ARMENIAN PAN-NATIONAL MOVEMENT CALLS FOR UNITED FRONT AGAINST
CPSU. The council of the Armenian Pan-National Movement has issued
an appeal to all republics seeking sovereignty to band together
to combat the influence of the CPSU, Armenpress reports. The
statement argues that communist pressure on the republics is
so great that they must set aside their differences "for the
sake of preserving our national identities and to secure our
place in the family of free nations." Armenia's non-communist
government ruled last November to ban the activities of all political
groups in state institutions, organizations and educational establishments
in order to curtail the influence of the Armenian CP. (Armenian
BD/Liz Fuller)

CALLS FOR PRESIDENTIAL RULE IN SOUTH OSSETIA. Pravda reported
on February 9 that 700 primary Party organizations in the North
Ossetian ASSR have called for the introduction of Presidential
rule in South Ossetia, where the situation is said to have deteriorated
over the previous 24 hours. Water and power supplies to the blockaded
oblast capital of Tskhinvali have been cut off, hospitals are
without heat, and the population is said to be "on the verge
of starvation." 6,000 Ossetians have fled across the Caucasus
through the snow to North Ossetia; some refugees have died in
the attempt. (Liz Fuller)

UZBEK AND KAZAKH GOVERNMENT DELEGATIONS MEET IN ALMA-ATA. The
January 24 issue of Sotsialistik Qazaqstan reports that a delegation
headed by Uzbek Vice-President Shukrulla Mirsaidov visited Alma-Ata
for follow-up meetings to the summit of the five Central Asian
republican leaders last June. The summit resulted in long-term
economic and cultural exchange agreements among the five republics.
The Uzbek delegation was received by Kazakh president Nursultan
Nazarbaev, who spoke of the importance of quickly transforming
the present exchange of goods between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan
into economic integration of the Central Asian republics. (Hasan
Oraltay and Timur Kocaoglu)

ORIENTAL STUDIES INSTITUTE TO BE OPENED IN UZBEKISTAN. A Tashkent
journalist has informed RFE/RL that the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers
has approved the creation of an Institute of Oriental Studies
Institute at Tashkent University, to study the Arabic, Persian,
Afghan, Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, Anatolian Turkish, Japanese, and
Korean languages and literatures. According to reports in the
Uzbek press, Uzbekistan needs the institute because the republic
is seeking to develop business relations and scientific and cultural
cooperation with South-East Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
(Timur Kocaoglu)

FRUNZE REMAINS FRUNZE FOR TIME BEING. According to the Postfactum
news agency, the presidium of Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Soviet has
declared invalid the vote to change the name of the republic's
capital from Frunze to Bishkek, DPA reported on February 9. Apparently
an insufficient number of deputies was present to validate the
vote. (Bess Brown)

TAJIKISTAN PREPARES FOR REFERENDUM. TASS reported on February
8 that Tajikistan has begun preparations for the March 17 referendum
on the continued existence of the USSR. The report says that
most of the population of the republic is expected to vote for
the union, because it is supported not only by the republic's
government, but also by members of the Democratic Party and the
Popular Front movement Rastokhez. But, TASS notes, the spectrum
of opinion on what should be the political and economic foundations
of the new union is very wide. Tajik president Kakhar Makhkamov
commented in January that the absolute majority in Tajikistan
supports the union, so the referendum is pointless (Literaturnaya
gazeta, January 16). (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIAN RESERVATIONS TO UNION TREATY. Moldavia--along with
the Baltic states and Georgia--is not attending the new round
of talks, which began in Moscow February 8, between the center
and the republics on the treaty of Union. On November 2, 1990,
Moldavia had suspended its participation in treaty talks until
such time as the center guarantees the republic's territorial
integrity. Interviewed by the Hungarian daily Nepszabadsag February
8, Moldavian Prime Minister Mircea Druc said that Moldavia would
not become involved in "renewing the union" since it was not
a signatory to the original treaty and "the union was forced
on us, it annexed us". Moldavia will make its own decision depending
on the final shape of the treaty, Druc said. (Vladimir Socor).


MOLDAVIANS RESIST REFERENDUM, CP AND NON-MOLDAVIANS BACK IT.
The Moldavian Supreme Soviet persists in delaying any discussion
on holding in Moldavia the referendum on preserving the USSR,
Pravda and TASS reported February 7 and 8, respectively. The
Moldavian Popular Front and two dozen other public organizations
and political parties have in a joint statement urged a boycott
of the proposed referendum, which they would accept only after
Moldavia enacts its own laws on referendums, citizenship, and
migration. Pravda and TASS said that the referendum is backed
by the Moldavian Communist Party, the Russian deputies in the
Moldavian Supreme Soviet, and the self-proclaimed Dniester SSR
and Gagauz SSR. (Vladimir Socor).

[as of 1300 CET]

Compiled by Doug Clarke and Sallie Wise


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

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