... единственный способ иметь друга заключается в том, чтобы самому быть другом. - Эмерсон
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 56, 20 March 1991



BALTIC STATES





USSR CRITICIZES DANISH ACCORDS WITH BALTICS. On March 19 the
USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a protest note to its Danish
counterpart concerning Denmark's recently-concluded protocols
with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, TASS reported that day.
USSR Foreign Ministry spokesman Vitalii Churkin said that the
USSR objected in particular to Denmark's intention, as stated
in the protocols, to grant diplomatic recognition to the Baltic
states as soon as possible. Churkin also warned that the protocols
could impair Soviet-Danish relations. (Dzintra Bungs)

NO NEW PRICE HIKES FOR ESTONIA, LITH-UANIA. Estonia and Lithuania
will not raise prices in conjunction with the all-Union price
increase set for April 2, DPA reported March 19. USSR Supreme
Soviet member Sergei Riyabchenko told DPA that-the two Baltic
states were not on a list of those republics that have verbally
agreed to the price hike. Riyabchenko reportedly saw the list
at a closed meeting with Prime Minister Pavlov. (Riina Kionka)


ESTONIA'S NEW PRESIDIUM. The Estonian Supreme Council chose a
new presidium on March-18, Rahva Haal reported March 19. The
new group consists of Inter-regional Council chairman Vladimir
Lebedev; Viru deputy Vitali Menshikov, Popular Front activists
Ignar Fjuk and Liia Hanni; Liberal Democrat Tiit Kabin; Republican
Party member Ulo Uluots; and Rural Union and "Free Estonia" member
Heino Kostabi. The four Supreme Council directors remained uncontested
in their seats, bringing the presidium total to 11-members, down
from 16. The new group, encompassing a wider range of views than
the old body, is likely work out many political disputes on its
own before introducing them into the Supreme Council, as the
old Popular Front-dominated presidium did. (Riina Kionka)

MORE CHURCHES IN LATVIA. Janis Timpa, Deputy Director of the
Department of Religious Affairs under the Latvian Council of
Ministers, told LETA on March 15 that the number of parishes
and religious organizations is growing in Latvia. Currently there
are 256 Lutheran, 186 Roman Catholic, 61 Baptist, 90 Russian
Orthodox, and 65-Old Believers' parishes in Latvia. These figures
shed light on the situation of the larger religious denominations,
but do not reflect the situation of the smaller sects, which
have also become more active lately. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIA ADOPTS LAW TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF NATIONAL MINORITIES. On
March 19 the Latvian Supreme Council adopted a comprehensive
law "On Free Development and Rights to Cultural Autonomy of the
National and Ethnic Groups in Latvia." The law guarantees the
rights of national minorities, which comprise about one-half
of Latvia's population; it also states that any acts encouraging
discrimination, national superiority, or strife are punishable
by law. Deputy Ruta Marjasa noted that the pro-Moscow opposition
faction of deputies, Ravnopravie, which claims to represent the
Russian-speaking population of Latvia, took a passive stand during
the drafting of this legislation, and did not disrupt the work
of the deputies, Radio Riga reported March 19. (Dzintra Bungs)


SQUARE IN VILNIUS NAMED AFTER SAKHAROV. On March 16 the square
in front of the main printing house in Vilnius, which was seized
by Soviet troops in January, was named after the late Soviet
physicist and human rights activist Andrei Sakharov. Sakharov's
widow, Elena Bonner, spoke at the dedication ceremonies, saying
that "the Russian nation, those soldiers, [and] youths who are
now in this building . . . should thank Lithuania for naming
this square for Andrei Sakharov, a man who loved freedom more
than they," Radio Kaunas reported March-19. (Saulius Girnius)


LITHUANIAN AID TO STRIKING COALMINERS. The Lithuanian Workers'
Union responded to the coal miners' strike in the USSR by organizing
the collection of money and food in Lithuania to aid the strikers,
union's chairman Aldona Balsiene told RFE/RL on March 18. More
than 450 tons of food have already been sent to the miners in
the Kuzbass, Donbass, and Vorkuta. The response was so great,
in fact, that the collection of food was halted when it was not
clear whether the various obstacles to its shipment could be
overcome. The generosity of Lithuanians was in part prompted
by the fact that the Kuzbass miners had immediately protested-the
military assaults in Vilnius in January, even threat-ening to
strike if they were not halted. (Saulius-Girnius)

INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATORS SAY KREMLIN PLANNED CRACKDOWN. A group
of retired military officers has published a report in Moscow
News No. 9 in which they claim that the storming of the Vilnius
television center on January 13 was carried out by the troops
from the Pskov Airborne Division and the KGB "speznaz" detachment
attached to the KGB's Seventh Administration, with help from
tank units from the Vil'nus' garrison, all under the command
of Colonel General Vladislav Ochalov. The report noted that three
days earlier, a functional space telecommunications center, directly
connected to Moscow, was installed at a military base in Vilnius,
a fact they claim indicates that the Kremlin had immediate access
to information from Vilnius. The authors conclude that the January
13 action was planned, approved, and coordinated by the central
leadership-including President Mikhail Gorbachev-well in advance.
(Victor Yasmann)



USSR ALL-UNION TOPICS

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE ON PRICE HIKES. USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev
yesterday issued a decree introducing new retail state prices
and tariffs for transportation and communications services as
of April 2, TASS reported March 19. Money from the increases
will be used to pay tax-free compensations (which will begin
March-20) to the population and to finance salary increases for
workers in the areas of education, health, social security, culture,
and archives. Prices will not be raised on medicines and medical
supplies, coffee, vodka, synthetic materials, and gas, coal,
firewood, kerosene, etc. Chairman of the USSR State Committee
on Prices Valentin Senchagov said the central government will
set prices but republican governments will be allowed to make
adjustments based on regional considerations. (Dawn Mann)

SAVINGS ACCOUNTS TO BE FROZEN? According to AFP March 19, citing
Interfax, a bill that would freeze 50% of the savings held in
personal and private (co-operative) commercial accounts is being
prepared. President of the Federation of Soviet Cooperatives
Vladimir Tikhonov, speaking in Leningrad said this is "straightforward
confiscation." USSR Prime Minister Valetin Pavlov reportedly
outlined the plan at a closed meeting of the USSR Supreme Soviet
on Tuesday. The presidential decree issued yesterday (see above)
notes that "in connection with the price hikes" measures for
compensating "losses to owners of deposits, USSR State Bank certificates,
and state securities" need to be elaborated. (Dawn Mann)

STRIKES SPREAD, GORBACHEV IN KEMEROVO. TASS reported March 19
that some 300,000 miners, mostly in the Donbass, Kuzbass, and
Vorkuta are on strike. Gorbachev met with local officials in
Kemerovo on Tuesday and promised that wages, tax laws, and food
supplies would be adjusted for miners there, according to TASS.
Gorbachev and the officials rejected the use of the strikes to
press "unreasonable" political and economic demands. No representatives
of the striking miners were present. In Kiev, Ukrainian deputy
prime minister Viktor Gladush offered to begin negotiations with
Donbass miners, while the directors of the Dobass "Pavlogradugol"
association filed suit against their striking miners for ignoring
procedures on strikes set out in Soviet labor laws. Miners in
Chelyabinsk have sent a fully-empowered delegation to Moscow
to seek talks, and a national strike committee that will seek
the resignation of Gorbachev and his government was formed in
Moscow yesterday. Miners in Karaganda and Rostov have suspended
their strike until May 25 in order to give officials time to
fulfill promises to improve living conditions. (NCA/Dawn Mann)


BAKATIN ON MINERS' STRIKE. In his first interview since his political
comeback as a member of the USSR Security Council, Vadim Bakatin
supported Gorbachev's rejection of the Kuzbass miners' political
demands. Bakatin told Vremya March 19 that if Gorbachev gave
in to the miners' demands, he would be violating the USSR constitution.
(Bakatin presumably had in mind the miners' demand that power
be transferred to the Federation Council, an idea also put forward
by RSFSR Supreme Soviet chairman Boris Yeltsin.) Bakatin criticized
"certain groups of deputies" for raising tensions and abusing
the miners' strikes to satisfy their own political ambitions.
(Alexander Rahr)

USSR PROSECUTOR GENERAL DEFENDS YELTSIN. USSR Prosecutor General
Nikolai Trubin sent a legal evaluation of Yeltsin's March 9 speech
(in which he declared "war" on the central leadership) to the
USSR Supreme Soviet on Tuesday. According to TASS March 19, Trubin
concluded that Yeltsin had not called for the forcible overthrow
of the country's leadership. A number of USSR deputies had asked
the Prosecutor General to evaluate the legality of Yeltsin's
comments in light of the constitutional ban on calling for the
forcible overthrow of the state. (Alexander Rahr)

GORBACHEV CALLS FOR DEFENSE INDUSTRY RESTRUCTURING. Gorbachev
told a meeting of economists on March 19 that restructuring of
the defense industries offered one path out of the current economic
crisis. According to a Pravda account of the meeting, summarized
by Reuters, Gorbachev said: "Distortion in favor of military
production in the economy has been our misfortune. But the military
sector offers a colossal opportunity." He pointed especially
to "processing, storage and transport of farm produce" as areas
where the defense industries could help out. The statements imply
a return to an earlier stage of reform in which the defense sector
was charged with lifting the general economy. (Stephen Foye)


MILITARY TELEVISION PROGRAM REVAMPED. "Na sluzhbe otechestvu"
("In the service of the fatherland"), Central Television's military
program, has been replaced. Its successor, "Radar," aims to unite
viewers on the basis of "spirituality, traditions, and pride
for the Motherland," according to the Deputy Chief of the Main
Political Administration of the Soviet Army, Colonel General
Grigorii Stefanovsky, who moderated the first broadcast on March
17. The "Radar" television association was created in December,
1990 by the USSR Ministry of Defense, the All-Union Radio and
Television Company, and the Soviet Cultural Foundation (where
Stefanovsky is in charge of a special project on "The Army and
Culture.") Guests on the first show included some of the most
prominent figures of the "national patriotic" camp, including
writers Valentin Rasputin and Aleksandr Prokhanov, journalist
Aleksandr Nevzorov, Colonel Viktor Alksnis and Bishop Vikentii.
(Victor Yasmann)

PRAVDA EQUATES DEMOCRATIC ACTIVITY WITH COUP D'ETAT. "A remarkable
aid for preparing a coup d'etat" is how Pravda on March-12 describes
a handbook prepared by USSR people's deputy Arkadii Murashev
for use by members of "Democratic Russia." Pravda's vitriolic
commentary makes it clear that the handbook teaches activists
how to operate a xerox machine, gives guidance on selecting candidates
for election and running an electoral campaign, suggests they
should fundraise by canvassing cooperatives and small enterprises,
urges them to make contacts with the mass media, and advises
them to learn how to organize a rally, demonstration, and strike.
In Pravda's eyes, these activities-the very stuff of democratic
politics-are nothing other than preparations for a "coup d'etat."
(Elizabeth Teague)

ALKSNIS DOUBTS RATIFICATION OF PARIS AGREEMENT. "I foresee big
difficulties in the USSR Supreme Soviet with ratification of
the Paris agreement on the reduction of conventional arms from
the Atlantic to the Urals," Colonel Victor Alksnis said on "Radar"
on March 17. Since November 1990, when agreement was reached,
the entire concept on which the agreement was based has been
"ruined" Alksnis said by the "one-sided concessions" of the USSR.
Now, he continued, we face the exploding of the "last myth of
perestroika, the myth of our successful foreign policy." (Victor
Yasmann)

RELATIONS WITH DOMINICAN REPUBLIC RENEWED. TASS reported March
19 the renewal of diplomatic relations with the Dominican Republic,
which have been stagnant since 1959, according to TASS. There
are no plans to exchange ambassadors. Rather, the Dominican Republic
will use its mission in Germany to renew ties with the USSR,
and the USSR will use its mission in Venezuela. (Suzanne Crow)


IZVESTIA APPROVES RFE/RL NOBEL NOMINATION. Izvestia on March
14 commented on Estonian foreign minister Meri's nomination of
RFE/RL for the Nobel Peace Prize. Izvestia observed that political
changes in Eastern Europe in the past couple of years caused
some people to say that RFE/RL had outlived its purpose. "However,"
Izvestia noted in a clear reference to the attempts of the Gorbachev
leadership to reverse the course of glasnost, "in recent months
no such statements have been heard." (Elizabeth Teague)

FIRSTSOVIET STUDY OF KATYN MASSACRE. The first major Soviet study
of the massacre by the NKVD of Polish officers in the Katyn woods
in 1943 has been published in Moscow, TASS reported March 19.
(Last year, the USSR officially admitted to Soviet responsibility
for the crime, which it had blamed on the Nazis.) The book, Katynsky
labirint ("The Labyrinth of Katyn"), written by Literaturnaya
gazeta correspondent Vladimir Abarinov, contains new archival
materials and interviews with still-living witnesses of the tragedy.
(Vera Tolz)

SHELEPIN DEPICTS BREZHNEV-TIME BORGIAS. On March 14, Trud began
serializing the recollections of former KGB chairman and Politburo
member Aleksandr Shelepin. Shelepin, who played a leading part
in the plot against Nikita Khrushchev and later conspired to
take the post of Leonid Brezhnev, takes issue with reformers
who have criticized him in their own recently-published memoirs-Fedor
Burlatsky, Georgii Arbatov and Sergei Khrushchev. Shelepin also
relates, among other things, how Semen Tsvigun, the one-time
deputy head of the KGB and Brezhnev's brother-in-law, invited
a Party official to dinner. This official, who had intended to
criticize Brezhnev at an upcoming Central Committee plenum, could
not attend the plenum because he was in the hospital, suffering
from food poisoning. (Julia Wishnevsky)



USSR IN THE REPUBLICS

MORE REFERENDUM RESULTS. Soviet referendum commission chairman
Vladimir Orlov told the Supreme Soviet March 19 that in the nine
republics where voting took place under normal conditions the
results so far showed that 77% of those voting voted in favor
of the Union, TASS reported. Preliminary results for the RSFSR
were 71.75% in favor of the Union, and 71.09% in favor of instituting
the office of president in the RSFSR, TASS reported March 19.
Unfortunately, figures for the turnout are not yet available,
but TASS reported that the final results of the all-Union referendum
are now expected on March 21. (Ann Sheehy)

ALLEGED VOTING FRAUD IN BELORUSSIA. Belorussian Popular Front
leader Zyanon Paznyak told RFE-RL March 19 that a poll watcher
sent by the democratic opposition to observe the referendum in
Minsk's Zavodsky district was beaten up and ejected from the
voting station by members of the official electoral committee.
In addition, a free-lance journalist in Minsk reported voting
irregularities in a number of Belorussian villages, including
one case where the electoral committee in Rudinsk took the ballot
box around to homes after the polls closed and urged people to
vote for the Union. The journalist said there are numerous reports
of people voting on behalf of relatives. (Belorussian BD/Kathy
Mihalisko)

MOLDAVIAN LEADERS ON THE REFERENDUM. At a press conference in
Kishinev, the leaders of the Moldavian parliament sharply criticized
the central Soviet media for "misleading the world" about the
situation in Moldavia, Moldovapres reported March 19. The parliamentary
leaders refuted allegations of the widespread use of physical
intimidation against those wishing to vote in the referendum
(which Moldavia refused to hold on its territory but which was
nevertheless organized locally by military authorities and the
soviets of some mixed- population districts). President Mircea
Snegur termed the reporting by the central media "brutally insulting
to the leaders and the people of Moldavia." Internal Affairs
Minister Ion Costas said that the Moldavian police had prevented
civilian pickets from blockading the voting centers and that
isolated situations in which intimidation had occurred were being
investigated by judicial authorities. (Vladimir Socor)

CHORNOVIL SAYS WEST UKRAINE VOTE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS. Commenting
to Le-Figaro, March 19, on West Ukraine's overwhelming vote in
favor of Ukrainian independence, Lvov oblast soviet chairman
Vyacheslav Chornovil said he was genuinely astonished by the
magnitude of the victory, which, he said, surpassed even the
results of the Baltic independence referendums. Chornovil claimed
that at least 50% of the Russians in the region also voted for
independence (though it is not clear whether he was referring
to Russians who actually took part in the West Ukrainian ballot
or to the total Russian population). (Kathy Mihalisko)

UPDATED REFERENDUM RESULTS IN UKRAINE. The latest figures on
the results of the balloting in the all-Union referendum in
Ukraine show that 70.5% of the eligible voters supported the
center's notion of a "renewed federation," Radio Kiev and Ukrinform-TASS
reported March 19. The preliminary tally was 73.4%. The updated
figure was announced in the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet and at a
press conference of the Central Committee of the Communist Party
of Ukraine yesterday. (Roman Solchanyk)

NEW RADICAL ECONOMIC REFORM PROGRAM FOR RUSSIA. The RSFSR Supreme
Economic Council, under the chairmanship of Mikhail Bocharov,
is currently working on a new economic program for the "revival
of Russia," according to RSFSR deputy Aleksandr Deryagin. Deryagin
told Radio Mayak March 19 that this program will establish the
framework for future reform. Deryagin added that Bocharov's program
seems very promising and could lead to significant improvements
in the republican economy in a relatively short time. The program
will be presented to the RSFSR Congress of People's Deputies
when it meets at the end of March. (Alexander Rahr)

RADIOROSSIYA REPORTEDLY JAMMED IN LENINGRAD OBLAST. Residents
of Lodeinoe Pole in Leningrad oblast complain that broadcasts
by Radio Rossiya are regularly jammed in their region, the radio's
news service reported March 19. The head of the communications
center of Lodeinoe Pole told the radio that he knew nothing about
the jamming. (Vera Tolz)

BELORUSSIAN CP WANTS TO CONTROL PLURALIST NEWSPAPER. Moskovskie
novosti wrote March 3 that the Central Committee of the Belorussian
Communist Party is unhappy with Narodnaya hazeta, the five-month-old
organ of the republican Supreme Soviet. First secretary Anatolii
Malofeev is said to have ordered Communist deputies to meddle
in the affairs of the newspaper, and the ideological secretary
recently raised the question of "ending the access of various
dubious papers to the printing facilities of the Central Committee."
Narodnaya hazeta strives to present the viewpoints of all deputies,
printing interviews not only with the most conservative but also
the appeals and protests of the non-Communist parliamentary opposition.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

MORE FATALITIES IN SOUTH OSSETIA. TASS quotes former Ossetian
obkom first secretary Anatolii Chekhoev as claiming that four
people were killed in clashes in Tskhinvali on the night of March
16-17, and two more on March 17 after the closing of the polls;
Chekhoev further asserted that only nine of 43,000 persons who
participated in the referendum voted "No." On March 18, Radio
Tbilisi reported that four young Georgians were burned to death
earlier that day by Ossetian extremists. The death toll since
mid-December is now forty-four, including 11 police. (Liz Fuller)


BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY IN KIEV. British Foreign Secretary
Douglas Hurd began his visit to the Soviet Union yesterday with
a first stop in Kiev, Radio Kiev and Ukrinform-TASS reported
March-19. Hurd said starting in Ukraine will give him a different
perspective on the Soviet Union than if he had arrived in Moscow.
(NCA/Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN-LANGUAGE PRESS DISAPPEARING FROM CRIMEA. According
to Molod' Ukrainy March 5, newspapers in Ukrainian are increasingly
difficult to buy in Crimea, which recently reasserted its status
as an autonomous republic within the Ukrainian SSR. The problem
apparently affects even the conservative Party organ Radyans'ka
Ukraina. Instead, Crimean kiosks have started to stock Russian
Federation papers such as Volzhskie novosti and the ultrarightist
Sovetskaya Rossiya. In another sign of anti-Ukrainian sentiment
in official Crimean circles, Yalta authorities are refusing to
implement a decision to establish a museum to poetess Lesya Ukrainka.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

ANOTHER SENTENCE IN OSH AFFAIR. TASS reported March 19 that the
Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan has sentenced a participant in last
summer's violence in Osh Oblast to 12 years imprisonment. The
defendant, Ataman Tashaliev, was accused of having led an attack
on Uzbek homes in the town of Uzgen, where some of the worst
violence between Kirgiz and Uzbeks took place. According to the
head of the investigating team sent by the USSR State Prosecutor's
office, 65 cases arising from the Osh violence have been sent
to the courts, and about half of these have already been heard.
At least two death sentences have been handed down. (NCA/Bess
Brown)

[As of 1230 CET]

Compiled by Doug Clarke & Dawn Mann


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

Домашняя страницаж ° Комментарии ° Книга гостей


©1996 "Друзья и Партнеры"
Наташа Булашова,Грег Коул
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Основные разделы
Домашняя страница
Bulletin Board
Беседка
Листсервер Друзья и Партнеры

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

Новости
Новости из России и СНГ
Новости о России и СНГ
Газеты и журналы
Прочие новости
Погода


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