Eat to live, and not live to eat. - Benjamin Franklin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 32, 14 February 1991





BALTIC STATES



PRAVDA: US AID TO BALTICS VIOLATES SOVEREIGNTY. Pravda today
(February 14) denounced US direct aid to the Baltic States as
a violation of Soviet sovereignty and a sign of disregard for
the importance of a unified Soviet Union. A Reuter summary quoted
the article as saying "it is clear Washington has crossed its
own Rubicon, beyond which, it seems, one can expect new difficulties
in Soviet-American relations." (Sallie Wise)

US CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION IN VILNIUS. Radio Kaunas on February
14 reported that a US Congressional delegation visited Vilnius
on February 13. They met with Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis
and Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius and other officials. DPA
reported on February 13 that Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R-New York)
told reporters in Vilnius that the Baltic situation will become
the world's primary problem once the Gulf war is finished. He
also said that US-Soviet relations will depend largely on future
political developments in the Baltics. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN-CZECHOSLOVAK RELATIONS. CTK on February 13 reported
that Lithuanian parliamentarian Czeslaw Okinczyc met Czechoslovak
President Vaclav Havel that day and handed him a letter from
President Landsbergis. Havel was reported to have praised Lithuania's
opinion poll as a sincere expression of the desire for independence
that had increased pressure on Moscow to hold a real dialogue
with Lithuania and should bring progress towards independence.
CTK also reported that day that Foreign Ministry spokesman Egon
Lansky had said that the results of the opinion poll did not
change his country's relations with Lithuania. Czechoslovakia
respects the legitimate rights of Lithuania to independence,
but with regard to international norms of recognition still considers
Lithuania as part of the USSR. (Saulius Girnius)

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DETENTION OF "SHIELD" INVESTIGATORS. On
February 14 Radio Kaunas reported on a press briefing that morning
at the Lithuanian parliament. Government driver Kestutis Balciunas
who was detained on February 12 with "Shield" investigators Colonel
Ivan Bichkov, Captains Aleksandr Evstigneev and Gennadii Melkov
said that the automobile with the four detainees had been escorted
by armed military vehicles. The detainees were questioned separately
and Balciunas was told when he was released at 11:00 A.M. on
February 13 that he should not go to work, but go home. Parliament
spokesman Audrius Azubalis said he had no accurate information
about the fate of the three detainees. Radio Kaunas on February
13 reported on a press conference at parliament at which the
other two members of the "Shield" delegation, Colonel Sergei
Gudinov and Major Nikolai Moskovchenko, said that the detention
of the three officers was a provocation and the allegations that
they had weapons and drugs were "absurd." (Saulius Girnius)

FREEDOM FOR LITHUANIA--AT A PRICE? The RL Russian Service's evening
news show "In the Country and the World" was informed by a Moscow
correspondent that Sovetskaya Rossiya February 13 published an
article in which a certain Gelbakh recommended that Lithuania
should be allowed to leave the USSR as long as it relinquished
Vilnius and Klaipeda. (Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, was under
Polish rule in the interwar period. Klaipeda, formerly Memel,
is one of the USSR's few warm-water ports; until the First World
War, it was under Prussian rule.) (Savik Shuster)

NEVZOROV SPILLS THE BEANS. "In the Country and the World" received
a report February 13 from Algimantas Zhukas, chief political
editor of the Lithuanian daily Respublika. Regarding the explosion
that occurred outside Communist Party headquarters in downtown
Riga at 10:05 P.M. Riga time on February 12, Zhukas said news
of the blast was broadcast on Leningrad television that night
by journalist Aleksandr Nevzorov in his "600 Seconds" show directly
following the evening news program "Vremya," i.e., at about 9:50
P.M. Leningrad time. That is, Nevzorov made his announcement
at around 8:50 P.M. Riga time, over one hour before the explosion
actually took place. Radio Riga aired the story on February 14,
noting that Respublika carried the story in that day's issue.
(Savik Shuster)

LATVIAN DEPUTIES INVITED TO DANISH PARLIAMENT. Hans Peter Klaussen,
president of Denmark's Folketing, told the Latvian Supreme Council
on February 13 that his country "recognized OBtvia as an independent
state back in 1921 and has not changed its attitude since," reported
Radio Riga that day. Klaussen, who heads a Danish parliamentary
delegation viBiting the Baltics, told the press that they had
come to "show solidarity with Baltic independence aspirations
and assBss the situation." He invited Latvian deputies to visit
the Folketing in the very near future. (Dzintra Bungs)

RSFSB TO OPEN A DIPLOMATIC OFFICE IN RIGA. Radio Riga reported
on February 12 that Russia has drawn up definite plans to open
an office for its diplomatic representative in Latvia. No date
was given when the office in Lacplesa Street in RBga would start
to function. The RSFSR already accredited Janis Lovniks on January
25 as diplomatic represBntative from Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)


INTERFRONT LEADER CLAIMS ORGANIZATION HAS NO ARMED GUARDS. In
an interview with Radio Riga on February 12, Interfront leader
Anatolii Alekseev did not confirm or deny the allegation by Mikhail
Lysenko, leader of the Estonian Intermovement's armed militia
wing, that armed units from the Baltics, Ukraine, and the RSFSR
had helped "maintain order" during the elections in Tiraspol
(Rahva Haal, February 10; see Daily Report of February 11). Alekseev
did indicate, however, that his organization did not have any
armed guards. At the same time he accused the Volunteer Guard
Units in Latvia Bf being armed--a claim that was flatly denied
by the Latvian authorities via Radio Riga on February 12. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LATVIAN PENSIONERS FINALLY GET THEIR SAVINGS PAID OUT. On February
14 and 15 banks will honor the receipts given to pensioners in
Latvia when they deposited their 50 and 100 ruble bills (many
of them kept their savings at home) in January as a consequence
of the USSR monterary reform. Radio Riga reported on February
14 that the banks in Latvia had received sufficient cash from
Moscow to make these payments possible. Bank officials also said
that they hoped to have sufficient money on hand for payment
in cash of February's salaries of the republican labor force.
(Dzintra Bungs)

ESTONIANBMAYOR VISITS UNITED STATES. An RFE/RL correspondent
in Washington reported on February 13 that Tallinn's mayor Hardo
Aasmae is in the United States for a visit. On February 12 he
met with Baltic affairs specialists in the US State Department.
The visit was sponsored by the International Institute for Education.
(Dzintra Bungs)

SOVIET GENERAL DEMANDS FEE FOR INTERVIEW. General Anatolii Vodopyanov,
Deputy Chief of the Baltic Military District's Political Department,
refused to answer reporters' questions concerning military exercises
in the region without remuneration. According to Diena of February
13, General Vodopyanov said that he would not give any interviews
unless he was paid a fee. He added: "In the West, you get good
money for such interviews." Vodopyanov did not say what he considered
an appropriate fee. (Dzintra Bungs)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



PRIMAKOV SEES HOPE. Gorbachev's personal envoy Evgenii Primakov
held a news conference upon his return to Moscow from Iraq (via
Teheran) on February 13 saying, "there are rays of light which
enable us to think more optimistically," TASS reported. "Our
position remains adamant," Primakov said; "that was the topic
of discussion in Baghdad." "We insist on Iraq's withdrawal from
Kuwait, and that must be guaranteed." "We are against this war,
and we're doing everything so that it will be stopped," Primakov
said. (Suzanne Crow)

PRIMAKOV CANCELS JAPAN TRIP? Reuter reported January 14 that
Primakov cancelled his trip to Japan, scheduled to start today
(February 14). DPA, however, says Primakov will go to Japan one
day later than planned. Primakov will meet with Japanese Prime
Minister Toshiki Kaifu and Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama tomorrow
(February 15), DPA reported today. (Suzanne Crow)

KUWAITI DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS GORBACHEV. Soviet President
Gorbachev told reporters, "the time is such that we have something
to discuss," upon greeting visiting Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister
Sabah Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah today (February 14). Foreign Minister
Aleksandr Bessmertnykh is also attending the meeting. Foreign
Ministry Spokesman Vitalii Churkin said Bessmertnykh had earlier
briefed the Kuwaiti official on talks between Primakov and Saddam
Hussein, as well as on the planned visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister
Tariq Aziz. The Kuwaiti official is expected to have a private
meeting with former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze.
AFP's report from today cited TASS information. (Suzanne Crow)


IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER TO MOSCOW. As a result of the Primakov
mission to Baghdad, Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz will travel
to Moscow on February 17 and possibly meet with Gorbachev on
February 18, TASS said February 13. (Suzanne Crow)

SOVIET MEDIATION BETWEEN IRAQ AND KUWAIT? Soviet Foreign Ministry
Spokesman Vitalii Churkin said at a February 13 briefing that
"no one has laid the function of mediator" on the USSR and the
USSR did not ask for that authority. However, Churkin continued,
"we are trying to do...everything possible...to end the bloodshed
as soon as possible and fulfill the UN Security Council resolutions."
Churkin said the USSR is acting with cognizance of its "role
as a great power and a permanent member of the UN Security Council."
(Suzanne Crow)

POLITICAL OFFICERS DENOUNCE GULF WAR. Top ranking political officers
representing the Soviet armed forces and KGB border troops condemned
the allied war effort against Iraq at a news conference on February
13, Reuter reported. The generals said that the real goal of
the war was the extermination of civilians and the destruction
of Moscow's former ally. The Deputy Head of the Armed Forces
Political Administration, Lt. General Alexander Ovchinnikov,
compared the suffering of Iraqi civilians to that of Soviet servicemen
in the Baltic. (Stephen Foye)

GENERALS AFFIRM PARTY CONTROL. At the same press conference,
the generals also emphasized that the Communist Party continues
to dominate the armed forces, according to TASS and Reuter reports.
General Boris Golishev of the KGB Border Troops' Political Department
said, "a wise state will never reject an institution that protects
its interests and the people." The generals noted that all general
officers are Party members, as are at least 90% of the staff
of the military political organs. They said that 37,000 primary
Party organizations exist in the armed forces, and that those
servicemen joining the Party exceeded by 19% those leaving; Party
membership, they said, grew by 3.7% in 1990. (Stephen Foye)

CPSU FIGHTING TO REGAIN POSITIONS. A major roundtable discussion
on the need to build a social democratic platform inside the
CPSU appeared in Literaturnaya gazeta on January 30. Taking part
were Fedor Burlatsky, Sergei Alekseev, and Stanislav Shatalin,
all of whom remain within the Party because they see no possibility
at present of constructing an independent alternative outside
it. Burlatsky said that 40% of the Party's 16.9 million members
have either stopped paying their Party dues or ceased playing
an active role in Party activities. Shatalin pointed to the way
in which the CPSU is trying to claw back positions lost over
the past five years. "Look at obituaries," he said. "The general
secretary heads the list of signatories; then comes Yanaev, Ivashko
is third, Pavlov fourth, Lukyanov fifth, and then all the Politburo
and Secretariat." Everybody else brings up the rear. (Elizabeth
Teague)

RYZHKOV OUTMANEUVERED BY GORBACHEV. Gorbachev's decision to replace
the USSR Council of Ministers with a Cabinet of Ministers came
as a complete surprise to former Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov.
In an interview with Argumenty i fakty (no 1), Ryzhkov's wife,
Ludmila, recalled that in the beginning of November, Gorbachev
asked Ryzhkov to draw up a new scheme for the Council of Ministers
which should have been implemented after the signing of the new
Union Treaty. But on November 17, Gorbachev suddenly changed
his mind in a speech to the Supreme Soviet and proposed replacing
the Council of Ministers with the Cabinet of Ministers, in which
the role of the Prime Minister was sharply diminished. (Alexander
Rahr)

GROMOV NUMBER ONE IN THE MVD? Former USSR prosecutor Nikolai
Ivanov (of the Gdlyan/Ivanov affair) told the weekly Rossiya
(no. 4) that the first deputy interior minister, General Boris
Gromov, is de facto chief of the MVD. He identified Gromov as
a Gorbachev man. According to Ivanov, the present interior minister
Boris Pugo was first groomed to become KGB chief but his candidacy
was later rejected because he was too closely tied to the old
Party establishment. In the interview Ivanov also advocated the
formation of separate RSFSR interior forces to strengthen Russian
sovereignty. (Alexander Rahr)

GORBACHEV SAID TO SIGN DECREE ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT. The RL Russian
Service's evening news show "In the Country and the World" reported
February 12 that a new presidential decree on foreign investment
in the Soviet economy "and on the flow of foreign currency into
and out of the USSR" was signed by Mikhail Gorbachev February
5. RL was informed by Dmitrii Vasil'ev, deputy editor of Kommersant,
that he had seen a copy of the as yet unpublished decree at the
USSR Ministry of Finance. Further details are not yet available.
(Savik Shuster)



USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



ANOTHER YELTSIN AIDE RESIGNS. RSFSR Deputy Prime Minister Gennadii
Filshin has resigned due to pressure from conservative forces,
Radio Rossiya reported on February 13. He was accused of involvement
in a deal with a British-based trading company which the Soviet
state bank has declared illegal. In his resignation letter, Filshin
denied any wrongdoing and accused the KGB and old-style Party
officials of working to discredit the democratic RSFSR leadership.
He said that his resignation should be understood as a "protest"
against an "anti-democratic campaign of provocation." Filshin
is the third Yeltsin aide, after Gregorii Yavlinsky and Boris
Fedorov, to resign in the past three months. (Alexander Rahr)


RSFSR KGB TO BE FORMED SOON. A RSFSR Supreme Soviet Committee
on Security has been set up with RSFSR deputy Sergei Stepashin
heading it. Stepashin was interviewed on the Soviet second TV
channel on February 12. The major task of the new legislative
organ is, according to Stepashin, the creation of an executive
body for republican security issues--a Russian KGB. Stepashin
said that his committee will work out a transfer of those structures
of the all-Union KGB which are situated upon the territory of
the RSFSR to Boris Yeltsin's republican leadership. He noted
that the concept of a Russian KGB will be based on protecting
individual rights, not these of the state, adding that a law
on state security will be adopted in the RSFSR legislature. (Alexander
Rahr)

YELTSIN URGED TO INTERVENE IN SOUTH OSSETIA. The chairman of
the North Ossetian ASSR Council of Ministers, Sergei Khetagurov,
has called on RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin to intervene to halt
inter-ethnic violence in the South Ossetian AO, where the situation
remains "extremely tense," TASS reported on February 13. Yeltsin
is to visit the North Caucasus beginning February 26. TASS further
reported that on February 12 USSR Interior Ministry forces intercepted
and forced down a helicopter flying a mission for the Georgian
MVD that was transporting quantities of arms. On February 12
the Georgian parliament extended for a further month the state
of emergency in Tskhinvali. (Liz Fuller)

GAMSAKHURDIA, PATRIKEEV WARN AGAINST ANTI-MILITARY PROTESTS.
In separate statements carried by Krasnaya zvezda and Radio Tbilisi
on February 13, Georgian Supreme Soviet chairman Zviad Gamsakhurdia
and the Commander of the Transcaucasus Military District, Colonel-General
Valerii Patrikeev, have condemned plans by Georgia's unofficial
National Congress for a mass protest action against the presence
of Soviet troops in Georgia planned for Soviet Army Day (February
23). Patrikeev described the planned protest as "either an act
of provocation or sheer political puerility" and warned that
"in the present extremely complicated situation in Georgia there
is little hope of avoiding unforeseen circumstances during a
protest action of this kind." (Liz Fuller)

NAME CHANGE OF FRUNZE IS FINAL. The change of the name of Kyrgyzstan's
capital from Frunze to Bishkek went into effect on February 5
and is absolutely final, according to republican Supreme Soviet
chairman Medetkan Sherimkulov, who told KirTAG that information
to the contrary was the result of a misunderstanding. DPA, quoting
Postfactum, reported that the Supreme Soviet presidium had determined
that a quorum of deputies was not present when the vote was taken.
A Bishkek journalist told RFE/RL that Kirgiz newspapers are using
the new name of the city. Izvestia also uses the dateline "Bishkek."
(NCA/Bess Brown)

KAZAKHSTAN'S SUPREME SOVIET TAKES FOOD SUPPLY MEASURES. Radio
Moscow, quoting the semi-independent Aziyapress agency, reported
on February 13 that the current session of Kazakhstan's Supreme
Soviet has passed a law on priority development of rural villages
and the agro-industrial complex. The measure is described as
being part of an effort to improve food supplies in the republic,
which are reaching a stage of crisis, despite having been given
priority in economic plans since the beginning of 1987. Shortcomings
in the supply of food to consumers was officially acknowledged
to have been a major contributing factor in the riots in Alma-Ata
in December, 1986. (Bess Brown)

SIMILAR FACTORS UNDERLIE FERGANA VALLEY VIOLENCE. Soyuz no. 4
carries an article by special correspondent Marat Abdullaev comparing
the outbreaks of violence in Uzbekistan's part of the Fergana
Valley in 1989 and in Osh oblast, Kyrgyzstan's share of the valley,
in 1990. The most notable similarity between the two events,
according to Abdullaev, was the attackers' perception that the
nationality attacked enjoyed advantages that gave them a more
favorable economic situation. Uzbek residents of the Fergana
Valley explained the 1989 attacks on Meskhetian Turks by saying
that the Meskhetians were primarily employed in trade and service
organizations, and therefore lived better. Kirgiz said the same
thing about Uzbek domination of trade and services in Osh. (Bess
Brown)

ENERGY SHORTAGES EXPECTED IN UKRAINE. Ukrinform/Tass reported
on February 13 that, due to the closure of three (possibly the
last) of the Chernobyl blocs by 1995, an energy shortage is expected
in Ukraine. According to Prime Minister V. Fokin, the republic
can produce only 30% of its energy. Under public pressure the
government adopted a moratorium on the further development of
nuclear power. It now expects to stop energy exports and develop
a shortage by 1994. Alternative energy sources are being considered,
among them steam-gas, solar, and wind generators. Domestic models
of steam-gas generators are being developed while the government
is looking into buying them in Italy. (Valentyn Moroz)

MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA. Moldavian President Mircea Snegur,
who began an official visit to Romania February 11, left Bucharest
February 13 for a tour of Romania's rump province of Moldavia
(the western part of the historic principality, whose eastern
part is today's Soviet Moldavia). Before leaving Bucharest, Snegur
met with Teoctist, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Meanwhile in Kishinev, the Moldavian Communist Party First Secretary
Grigore Eremei cautioned at a press conference that Moldavian-Romanian
cooperation "must not be turned into interference into Moldavia's
internal affairs," Moldovapres and Rompres reported on February
12 and 13, respectively. (Vladimir Socor).

ROMANIANS IN NORTH BUKOVINA OBTAIN SMALL CULTURAL GAINS. For
the first time since the Soviet annexation of North Bukovina
from Romania, Romanians there have obtained authorization to
set up a society for Romanian religious culture and a Romanian
lyceum. The society, named after the 19th century Romanian Metropolitan
Sylvester, seeks to promote the use of the Romanian language
in the local Orthodox Church, reopen churches closed by the Soviet
authorities, proselytize youth in the Romanian language, and
set up a seminary for training Romanian priests, Rompres reported
February 9. The lyceum, located in a Romanian village near the
oblast's capital Chernovtsy, is receiving teaching staff and
other aid from Soviet Moldavia and from Romania, Radio Kiev reported
February 4. (Vladimir Socor).

[as of 1300 CET]

Compiled by Doug Clarke and Sallie Wise


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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole