The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are infliciting it upon me. - Frederick Douglass
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 60, 26 March 1991



BALTIC STATES



MVD TROOPS DISPATCHED FROM ESTONIA. The USSR Ministry of Internal
Affairs issued an order last weekend dispatching an MVD battalion
that includes 50 Estonians to a crisis area outside Estonia,
ETA reported March 25. Estonian Internal Minister Olev Laanjarv
sent Boriss Pugo, the USSR Minister of Internal Affairs, a telegram
on March 23 asking that, in keeping with the August 1990 agreement
reached by Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar and Pugo's predecessor
Bakatin, the Estonians not be sent. According to that agreement,
the MVD in Estonia remains under local control and any troop
movements must be governed by a bilateral agreement. On March
25, after receiving no reply from Pugo, Laanjarv received assurances
from USSR Internal Forces chief Yurii Shatalin that men conscripted
from Estonia will not be sent outside the republic. (Riina Kionka)


RUUTEL GOES TO WASHINGTON. Chairman of the Estonian Supreme Council
Arnold Ruutel is expected to make an official visit to the U.S.
this week, the Estonian Foreign Ministry reports. "President"
Ruutel is set to meet with Secretary of State James Baker on
Thursday and with President George Bush on Friday. Estonian Foreign
Minister Lennart Meri will accompany Ruutel, who is visiting
the U.S. for the first time. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA HAS 6,759 KGB AGENTS. As of November 1, 1990, there were
6,759 full-time KGB workers, excluding border guards, in Estonia,
according to Eesti Ekspress March 22. Of the 6,759 agents, 1,257
are support staff; border guards and informants are excluded
in the figure. Eesti Ekspress, a trendy weekly newspaper, reportedly
received the information "from the most trustworthy sources."
(Riina Kionka)

MOSCOW THREATENS AGAIN LATVIA OVER CONTRIBUTIONS. The USSR Finance
Ministry sent a telegram to Latvia's Minister of Finance Elmars
Silins stating that unless 4 billion rubles are transferred by
Latvia to USSR accounts by April 1, retaliatory measures--including
dismissal of bank officials and other personnel--would be taken.
On March 19, Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis explained in writing
to his Soviet counterpart Valentin Pavlov why Latvia could not
contribute this sum and why it found it impossible to participate
in USSR compensatory funds. Radio Riga reported March 25 that
Latvian leaders now reckoning with the possibility of a Soviet
economic blockade. (Dzintra Bungs)

1949 DEPORTEES REMEMBERED IN LATVIA. Throughout Latvia thousands
of people attended memorial ceremonies held to honor the approximately
50,000 persons, including many children, who were transported
to remote regions of the USSR on March 25, 1949. These deportations
were ordered by Moscow and sanctioned by the Latvian SSR authorities
for the purpose of removing resistance to the Soviet drive to
collectivize agriculture. March 25 has been designated in Latvia
as the "Day of Remembrance of Victims of Communist Terror." (Dzintra
Bungs)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



"SOYUZ" CALLS FOR SPECIAL CONGRESS. The "Soyuz" group of conservative
people's deputies, one of the largest factions in both the USSR
Congress of People's Deputies and the USSR Supreme Soviet, issued
a statement yesterday calling for a special session of the USSR
Congress of People's Deputies at which USSR President Mikhail
Gorbachev would have to explain why he has not used the expanded
powers granted to him to bring the country out of its current
crisis, TASS reported March 25. "Soyuz" also charged that the
draft Union Treaty violates the USSR Constitution (the draft
is, in fact, intended to serve as the basis for a new constitution;
its provisions are also meant to be superior to any in the existing
constitution) and runs counter to the results of the March 17
referendum. (Dawn Mann)

RALLIES BANNED IN MOSCOW. Effective today, the USSR Cabinet of
Ministers has banned street rallies in Moscow until April 15,
TASS reported March 25. The government instructed the Moscow
city council (which had granted permission for a rally sponsored
by Democratic Russia on March 28), the KGB, and the Ministry
of Internal Affairs to take the necessary steps to implement
the order. TASS said the order was issued in response to Gorbachev's
March 24 order to the government to ensure public order and safety
in Moscow during the special session of the RSFSR Congress of
People's Deputies (Daily Report, March 25). The ban is clearly
intended to prevent mass manifestations of support for RSFSR
Supreme Soviet chairman Boris Yeltsin and discontent with Gorbachev
and is likely to further exacerbate already strained relations
between city and all-Union authorities. (Dawn Mann)

FOOD SUPPLY COMMISSION SET UP. The USSR Supreme Soviet listened
on March 25 to a chronicle of woes about the prospects for this
agricultural year. The area sown to winter grain is sharply down,
and there are the perennial shortages of seed grain for the spring
planting, agricultural machinery, and spare parts, TASS reported
March 25. Russian writer and Supreme Soviet member Vasilii Belov
spoke of agriculture's "state of agony," and warned of the danger
of famine. A draft resolution on agriculture was presented but
not passed (probably due to the absence of a quorum). It was
subsequently announced that Gorbachev has ordered the formation
of a special commission to deal with shortages of food supplies,
to be headed by USSR Deputy Premier Fedor Senko. (Keith Bush)


PAVLOV WILL MEET WITH MINERS. USSR Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov
has agreed to met with miners on Friday for talks on economic
matters, according to TASS and Reuters March 25. Nikolai Vorontsov,
the Soviet ecology minister, told the USSR Supreme Soviet that
the USSR Cabinet of Ministers had met in special session on Monday
and agreed to open talks. USSR Minister of Justice Sergei Lushchikov
proposed that miners be held liable for losses incurred during
the strike; according to USSR Minister of the Coal Industry Mikhail
Shchadov, losses in coal production alone total $443 million
in potential profit at the official exchange rate. Leaders of
the striking miners said on Monday, however, that they will not
withdraw their demand for Gorbachev's resignation and replacement
by Yeltsin and will only return to work when this demand is met--or
when asked by Yeltsin to stop striking. The Supreme Soviet could
not muster a quorum and therefore failed to pass a draft resolution
suspending the strike until May 25. (Dawn Mann)

ESTIMATES OF INFLATION IN 1991. Varying characterizations and
estimates of the rate of inflation in 1991 in the wake of the
April retail price increases have been offered by Soviet officials.
In interviews with The Journal of Commerce on March 25, Soviet
Deputy Prime Minister Shcherbakov spoke of a "huge" rise in inflation
unless there is an increase in the output of consumer goods.
The chairman of the USSR State Committee for Prices, Vyacheslav
Senchagov, foresaw a "considerable" rise in inflation. USSR Finance
Minister Vladimir Rayevsky stuck with the 60% figure already
forecast for April. And Postfactum cites the deputy director
of the Research Institute for Prices, Vladimir Shprigin, as estimating
a 100% inflation rate for 1991 if output continues to fall. (Keith
Bush)

NIXON MEETS KGB CHAIRMAN. Former US President Richard Nixon met
with KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov, TASS reported March 25.
The agency gave no details of their conversation, but said that
Nixon is in the Soviet Union on a "fact-finding mission at the
special request of US President George Bush." (Victor Yasmann)


MISSILE WARHEADS EXPLODE. Some 40 anti-aircraft missile warheads
exploded in a warehouse near Moscow on March 22, Izvestia reported
March 25. One person--a warehouse guard--was said to be missing.
The incident occurred in the village of Chernogolovka as the
missiles were being unloaded from trucks. According to an AP
account of Izvestia's report, all the rockets carried conventional
warheads and there was no danger of nuclear contamination. The
blast destroyed some buildings and shattered windows in the area.
(Stephen Foye)

THE ARMY AND THE DRAFT UNION TREATY. Army General Valentin Varennikov
told Radio Mayak on March 23 that "the direct participation of
the Defense Minister and the General Staff" ensured that the
recently released draft Union Treaty took a proper approach to
defense issues. Varennikov also provided a brief analysis of
Russian history in which he argued, not surprisingly, that unity
had in the past been Russia's salvation against foreign invaders.
He called for maintenance of the Soviet state and army. (Stephen
Foye)

PROGRESS URGED IN ARMS CONTROL. A Soviet Foreign Ministry official
said on March 25 that Moscow is convinced last-minutes differences
on a START treaty can be quickly resolved and a date set for
a U.S.-Soviet summit, AFP reported. The Geneva talks on reducing
Soviet and American strategic arsenals by 35% have been stalled
by disagreements over implementation of last fall's CFE treaty.
In an effort to break that deadlock, President Bush has written
a letter to Gorbachev urging him to address Western concerns
about CFE, The New York Times reported March 26. Washington has
said that START talks cannot proceed until problems with CFE
are resolved, while the Soviets have decried any linkage between
the two. (Stephen Foye)

PRAVDA: NO RETREAT IN US-SOVIET COOPERATION. Pravda ran a commentary
on March 25 which noted that Moscow "cannot fail to be wary of
the fact that in the euphoric conditions engendered by the anti-Iraq
coalition's easy victory, forces which think in old confrontational
terms are becoming more active in the United States." Pravda
also claimed that "there is talk that arms control is not even
necessary, since America 'has no equal in terms of strength'."
The commentary concludes that "a pause [in relations] filled
with businesslike activity by experts is entirely acceptable.
But we must not permit any retreat." (Suzanne Crow)

VORONTSOV OUTLINES UN ROLE IN MIDDLE EAST. Soviet Ambassador
to the United Nations Yulii Vorontsov said the level of foreign
troops in the Gulf region should be greatly lowered, and the
United Nations should establish a multinational naval force to
protect shipping in the region. Vorontsov brought up the notion
of reviving the UN Military Staff Committee once again and said
that "a new level of confidence" between the five permanent UNSC
members justifies the resumption." Vorontsov stressed that peacekeeping
forces, if needed at all, should be set up under UN auspices
and should be supported by "contingents of Arab, Moslem, and
[forces from] other countries, Reuters reported March 25. (Suzanne
Crow)

GORBACHEV WANTS FULL SETTLEMENT WITH JAPAN. The Soviet Union
is ready to discuss and settle all issues with Japan "in the
fairest way possible," Gorbachev told the leader of Japan's ruling
Liberal Democratic Party Ichiro Ozawa on March 25 TASS reported.
There is a "new momentum in talks on a peace treaty, in which
we are ready to examine and settle all issues," TASS quoted Gorbachev
as saying. Japan has refused to sign a peace treaty with the
Soviet Union until the Kurile Islands are returned to Japan.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Vitaly Churkin, questioned at a press
briefing on the Kurile Island issue on Monday, said "there is
too much speculation about the subject," AFP reported March 25.
(Suzanne Crow)

ROK WANTS FULL KAL ACCOUNT. Seoul once again expressed its desire
for a full account of the KAL shootdown from Soviet authorities
on March 25, AFP reported. South Korea's news agency Yonhap said
the South Korean side would raise the issue with the Soviet Union
during meetings at the deputy foreign minister level in April.
(Suzanne Crow)

BOGOMOLOV PREDICTS COMEBACK OF SHEVARDNADZE. Oleg Bogomolov,
economic advisor to Yeltsin, has predicted that Eduard Shevardnadze
will make a political comeback. The Washington Post March 26
quoted him as telling a Washington seminar audience that Shevardnadze
continues to work on developing a foreign policy that will be
implemented when democratic forces take over the country. Bogomolov
indicated that he works closely with Shevardnadze, and described
the former foreign minister as more courageous than Gorbachev.
He called upon the West to transfer its support from Gorbachev
to the democratic forces. (Alexander Rahr)

SHEVARDNADZE SAYS MILITARY DICTATORSHIP POSSIBLE. Shevardnadze
told BBC television March 26 that he can't exclude a military
coup in the Soviet Union if the military "goes out of control."
He accused military hardliners of trying to undermine his policy
of arms reduction. Shevardnadze appealed to Gorbachev and Yeltsin
to "settle their differences and work on a compromise." He maintained
that three years ago the present draft of the Union Treaty would
have been signed by all republics, including the Balts, because
at that time "people still believed in perestroika." Now, he
claimed, the new treaty can't satisfy republican demands for
independence. (Alexander Rahr)

"DE-STABILIZATION OF WORKERS' MOVEMENT COULD BRING NEGATIVE RESULTS."
KGB Major Aleksandr Mavrin, a member of the Volgograd regional
KGB administration and an expert on workers' movements, published
an article in Komsomol'skaya pravda on March 20 in which he argued
that the KGB must to stop trying to sow chaos within workers'
movements and strike committees. Continuing these activities
could result in an outcome exactly opposite from that required
by the top political leadership and could also cause "irreparable
damage" to the KGB among workers, who are still quite loyal to
the state security organs, Mavrin added. He revealed that on
the eve of a strike wave in February, KGB regional offices received
a directive instructing them to closely follow the "dynamics
of independent workers' movements and their interaction with
foreign trade unions and international organizations." (Victor
Yasmann)

RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH PLANS CONCERNING A MONASTERY. TASS reported
on March 23 about the return to the Russian Orthodox Church of
Nilova Pustyn', an important monastery situated on Lake Seliger
in Central Russia. Bishop of Tver' and Kashino Viktor told TASS
about the Church's plans to open a home for the aged in the monastery--after
its restoration--and, eventually, a nursing school. Teaching
nuns to be nurses is an idea the Church has been trying to pursue
for a long time; if realized, the institution at Nilova Pustyn'
would be the first of its kind. (Oxana Antic)



USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



"COMBAT OPERATIONS" IN SOUTH OSSETIA. On March 25 TASS characterized
the ongoing clashes between Georgian and Ossetian fighters in
Georgia's South Ossetian AO as "combat operations," claiming
that both sides are using automatic weapons, heavy machine guns,
grenade launchers and rockets. Two days earlier, Yeltsin had
described the situation as "a mini-civil war." An unspecified
number of people were seriously wounded yesterday in shooting
in and around the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali. Gas,
electricity and water supplies to the city are still cut. (Liz
Fuller)

TURKMEN SUPREME SOVIET APPROVES UNION TREATY DRAFT. TASS reported
March 25 that the current session of Turkmenistan's Supreme Soviet
has approved the draft Union Treaty, although the deputies suggested
a number of additions that would give more rights to citizens
of the federation. (Bess Brown)

FOOD SHORTAGE IN THE KOMI ASSR. On March 25, Radio Moscow reported
severe food shortages in various areas of the RSFSR, including
the Komi ASSR. The Komi Communist Party First Secretary, Yurii
Spiridonov, has ordered all enterprises in the autonomous republic
to surrender 15 percent of their output. This will be used to
barter for foodstuffs. Rationing has been instituted: the residents
of Syktyvkar are entitled to one chicken and 500 grams of sausage
every three months. (Keith Bush)

OBLAST CUSTOMS SERVICE ESTABLISHED. As an illustration of the
growing separatism in the USSR, Moscow Television on March 24
featured the setting up of a customs service in Saratov oblast.
It processes those residents of Saratov who travel abroad as
well as exports from, and imports into, the oblast. The head
of the USSR Main Administration for State Customs Control was
also featured. He took a dim view of this and similar local initiatives,
calling them "simply absurd." (Keith Bush)

NAZARBAEV MEETS WITH INDUSTRIAL LEADERS. Radio Moscow reported
March 25 that Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev had met with
heads of enterprises subordinate to all-Union ministries and
departments to discuss how these enterprises, which make up the
majority of industrial, construction and transport firms in Kazakhstan,
fit into the republic's economic reform program which will introduce
a market economy. According to the report, speakers said that
powers would have to be redefined and relations changed between
Moscow, Alma-Ata and the firms themselves. Nazarbaev proposed
a fund to finance study abroad, and there was general agreement
on the need to reorient the economy toward the production of
consumer goods. (Bess Brown)

KAZAKH LANGUAGE LAW IN ACTION. Izvestia March 19 contains an
article by an inhabitant of North Kazakhstan oblast, warning
that the law declaring Kazakh the state language of the republic
has the potential to foment interethnic strife. He points out
that although Kazakhs make up only 18% of the oblast's population,
as of January 1, 1995, all official business must be conducted
in Kazakh--a language that half of the young Kazakhs in the oblast
do not know. The article is reminiscent of complaints raised
last year in largely-Slavic East Kazakhstan oblast, where the
Ust-Kamenogorsk city soviet demanded suspension of the language
law. (Bess Brown)

BELORUSSIAN POPULAR FRONT HOLDS SECOND CONGRESS. The Second Congress
of the Belorussian Popular Front, held March 23-24 in Minsk,
took note of the fact that March 25 marked the anniversary of
the proclamation in 1918 of the independent Belorussian National
Republic, and said the Popular Front should strive to continue
the unfinished work begun seventy-three years ago. The organization's
primary goal, speakers said, was the promotion of a free people
in a sovereign, independent Belorussia, although orators like
Vasil' Bykau warned of the enormous obstacles ahead. Delegates
voted to restructure the Front's membership and reelected Zyanon
Paznyak as chairman. (Russian & Belorussian BDs/Kathy Mihalisko)


CHERNIGOV COMMUNISTS WANTED TO SUSPEND UKRAINIAN CONSTITUTION.
Le Figaro's correspondent in Moscow reported March 25 that a
recent issue of Komsomol'skaya pravda published a secret document,
dated September 2, 1990, in which the Chernigov oblast' soviet
declared the suspension of the Ukrainian Constitution on its
territory and the prohibition of all non-Communist political
organizations. This is but one of a number of signs to emerge
lately indicating that the authorities in Chernigov are turning
the area into a center of right wing reaction. (Kathy Mihalisko)


BRYANSK CHILDREN SUFFERING FROM CHERNOBYL'. A socio-ecological
expedition recently returned from Bryansk oblast' with shocking
information on the health of children's there, Radio Mayak reported
March 22. In regions affected by radiation from the Chernobyl'
accident, up to 80% of the children studied are suffering severe
health problems, such as lymphatic disorders. Pediatricians also
remarked on the psychology of "post-Chernobyl' children" who
have taken it into their heads that they will not live more than
15-20 years and who therefore take no interest in life. As an
example, Dr. Vladimir Lupantin said he found six- and seven-year-old
children who had started smoking. (Kathy Mihalisko)

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER COMPLETES MOLDAVIAN VISIT. Romanian
Foreign Minister Adrian Nastase held a second day of official
talks in Kishinev on March 25, during the first-ever official
visit to Moldavia by a Romanian Foreign Minister (Daily Report,
March 25). Nastase and his Moldavian counterpart Nicolae Tiu
signed a protocol on cooperation and consultation among the two
Foreign Ministries on European, regional, and Danube and Black
Sea issues, Radio Bucharest reported March 25. Both sides will
seek Moldavia's inclusion in consultations between Romania and
Ukraine at the Foreign Ministry level, which were agreed upon
on during Nastase's visit to Kiev on March 23. (Vladimir Socor)


SLOW MOVEMENT IN MOLDAVIAN-ROMANIAN ECONOMIC AND CONSULAR TIES.
At a press conference reported by Rompres and Moldovapres March
25, the Moldavian side again hinted at its dissatisfaction with
Romania's failure to simplify visa and residency regulations
and to provide facilities for Moldavian-Romanian reciprocal travel.
Nastase inspected possible future sites in Kishinev for the Romanian
General Consulate, due to open simultaneously with a USSR Consulate
General in Iasi. Moldavia had wanted a direct arrangement for
Moldavian (rather than USSR) and Romanian consulates. (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIA TO SUPPORT UKRAINIAN INSTITUTIONS. Moldavian President
Mircea Snegur has issued a decree providing for state support
for Ukrainian cultural life in Moldavia. A Ukrainian cultural
center, library, and newspaper will be established in Kishinev,
Radio Kiev reported March 25. On February 28, Snegur had issued
a decree introducing Ukrainian-language instruction in schools
in Ukrainian settlements in Moldavia and Ukrainian-language TV
and radio broadcasts (Daily Report, March 1). Although they are
Moldavia's largest non-titular ethnic group, with 14% of the
republic's population, Ukrainians had until now lacked those
facilities. (Vladimir Socor)


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

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