He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom. - J.R. Tolkien
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 61, 27 March 1991



BALTIC STATES





MVD TROOPS FROM ESTONIA TO AZERBAIJAN. A battalion of MVD troops
stationed in Estonia was sent to Nagorno-Karabakh on March 25,
Rahva Haal reported March 26. 11 volunteer conscripts from Estonia
assigned to the battalion went along even though Estonia's Minister
for the Interior, Olev Laanjarv, had received assurances from
Moscow that local men would not be sent (Daily Report March 26).
Earlier, ETA had reported that the troops were to be sent to
"a crisis area," without specifying their destination. (Riina
Kionka)

LITHUANIAN-USSR TALKS FAIL TO START. Radio Vilnius and Western
agencies reported on March 26 that initial talks between Soviet
and Lithuanian representatives which could pave the way for actual
negotiations failed to start on Tuesday. Soviet Deputy Prime
Minister Vitalii Doguzhiev, head of the USSR delegation, refused
to meet with the three-man Lithuanian delegation on the grounds
that it did not include its chairman, President Vytautas Landsbergis.
TASS said March 26 that the Lithuanians had not replied to a
separate Soviet offer on negotiations and had set preconditions
on the talks. Although TASS questioned Lithuanian commitment
to the talks, there is reason to question Soviet intentions in
this matter. (Dzintra Bungs)

LANDSBERGIS ON NIXON'S VISIT. President Vytautas Landsbergis
told the press on March 25 that he considered the visit of former
US President Richard Nixon in Lithuania "a moderate, but fairly
clear sign of political support for Lithuania." Landsbergis added
that Nixon's statements in Lithuania and Moscow "are indicative
of a more active US stand on Baltic independence than that demonstrated
last year," Diena reported March 25. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN AID FOR STRIKING SOVIET MINERS. According to Radio Riga
March 26, four railroad cars filled with food and medical supplies
left Riga that day for Novokuznetsk to bring relief to the striking
Soviet miners there. Responding to an appeal from the People's
Front of Latvia for aid to the miners, people from all over Latvia
sent donations of money, food, and medical supplies. Another
shipment containing goods for the coalminers' children is being
planned for April. (Dzintra Bungs)

UPDATE ON NEWSPAPER PUBLICATION IN LATVIA. Newspaper publication
is still not back to normal in Latvia, after the Black Berets
occupied the Press Building in Riga on January 3. The building,
which was the main publishing house of newspapers and journals
in Latvia, was then taken over by the Latvian Communist Party.
Because of underutilization of its publishing capacities, the
Press Building is now losing about 10,000 rubles daily. Aivars
Baumanis, chairman of the Journalists' Association, told Radio
Riga on March 25 that talks may start in Moscow this week that
could lead to a resolution of the problems. He said the printing
press, purchased from Sweden by the Latvian government to help
alleviate the press shortage, may be operational in mid-April.
(Dzintra Bungs)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



GORBACHEV RE-ORGANIZES MOSCOW POLICE. In a move that may establish
a disturbing precedent for the future, USSR President Mikhail
Gorbachev on March 26 decreed the creation of a single Administration
of Interior Affairs for Moscow and the Moscow Area, "Vremya"
and Radio Moscow reported Tuesday. The new administration, to
be based on separate city and area administrations that previously
existed, will be headed by the USSR First Deputy Minister of
Interior Affairs, Lieutenant General Ivan Shilov. Oversight of
the Moscow police has been taken out of the hands of the Moscow
authorities: Shilov will report to the USSR Ministry of Internal
Affairs. Simultaneous with the issuance of the decree, the incumbent
Moscow police chief, Petr Bogdanov, was released from duty. Shilov
has been frequently assigned to "hot spots": in 1990, he served
in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, and Namagan. All-Union and
Moscow authorities have been engaged in a lengthy battle over
the appointment of a new chief of police for Moscow (Daily Report,
March 21); Gorbachev clearly expects his decree to be the last
word on the matter. Security Council member Vadim Bakatin, however,
said the measure is only temporary, according to TASS March 26.
(Victor Yasmann/Dawn Mann)

USSR SUPREME SOVIET ORDERS SUSPENSION OF MINERS' STRIKE. Deputies
overwhelmingly approved a draft resolution ordering striking
miners to suspend their strike for 2 months, TASS reported March
26. TASS did not report on how the Supreme Soviet will enforce
this resolution. The deputies rejected USSR Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov's proposal that the miners be held liable for losses incurred
during the strike. The draft instructs the USSR Cabinet of Ministers
to begin immediate consideration of the miners' economic demands
and gives the government one month to do so and then report back
to the Supreme Soviet. Gorbachev said on Central Television last
night that he will meet with miners' representatives, probably
next Tuesday. RSFSR Council of Ministers Chairman Ivan Silaev
told a Moscow news conference that he met with miners in the
Kuzbass last weekend and told them that economic reform will
fail unless they go back to work. Strike leaders say the resolution
is illegal but that it is up to individual mines to decide whether
to obey it. (Dawn Mann)

TSN DISAPPEARS AGAIN... On March 27, the morning edition of the
TSN newscast was once again replaced by a short summary of the
official "Vremya" newscast, read by the latter's moderator and
lasting only 6 minutes instead of 15. The reason for this substitution
is unknown. TSN's moderators and editor were replaced on March
16; since then, the program has been rather conformist. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

"VZGLYAD" TO BE RESTORED. Deputy chairman of the All-Union State
Television and Radio Company Valentin Lazutkin told APN March
25 that Central Television is planning to restore the popular
TV show "Vzglyad," which has been banned since the end of last
year. Lazutkin said that the new "Vzglyad" will differ noticeably
in its composition and content. Aleksandr Lyubimov, one of the
original moderators, will produce the new "Vzglyad." (Vera Tolz)


PAVLOV ON WESTERN AID. In an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun on
March 23, Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov asserted that
"international cooperation" envisioned in the USSR's current
stabilization package and economic guidelines "exceeds the scope
of the Marshall Plan." He again downplayed the scope of the Western
emergency food aid supplied in recent months, saying that it
added up to less than one week's food requirements for Moscow
alone. He appealed for massive and prompt financial assistance
from the West, citing a figure of $12 billion for Soviet obligations
this year, and suggested that Japan should provide financial
aid prior to Gorbachev's scheduled visit next month. (Keith Bush)


USSR RATIFIES EBRD. On March 26, the USSR Supreme Soviet ratified
the USSR's membership of the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development, TASS and AP reported March 26. The vote was
380 for and one against, with 11 abstentions. USSR State Bank
Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko told the assembly that the move
would boost the international community's trust in the Soviet
Union and its economic policy and would enhance the country's
tarnished reputation for prompt debt repayment. As a co-founder
of the EBRD, the Soviet Union would have a 6-percent stake in
the bank's aggregate capital, i.e., 600 million ECUs or roughly
$730 million. One-third of this sum would be payable within the
first five years of the Bank's operation. (Keith Bush)

GORBACHEV'S ECONOMIC ADVISOR FOR SLOW REFORM PROCESS. Oleg Ozherel'ev,
Gorbachev's new economic advisor, told the Financial Times March
27 that the transition to a market economy must be slowed down.
He indicated that the present collapse of the economy is a direct
result of trying to move too fast to the market. Ozherel'ev,
who was recruited from the central Party apparatus where he had
worked under former Party ideologist Vadim Medvedev, said that
he favors the reimposement of central control over supply contracts
between state enterprises, otherwise, he predicted, production
will slump by 40 or 50%. He rejected radical privatization plans
and stressed that privatization should be first conducted in
the agricultural and retail trade sectors and only later in big
capital-intensive companies. (Alexander Rahr)

JOURNALISTS' UNION TO EXPELL KRAVCHENKO. The Moscow branch of
the USSR Journalists' Union is determined to expell Kravchenko
from its ranks, Novosti quoted Nezavisimaya gazeta as reporting
March 26. The question of Kravchenko's membership in the Union
was first raised at a congress of the Union held earlier this
year, at which the crackdown on Central Television initiated
by Kravchenko was discussed. The congress instructed the Moscow
branch of the Union to take a final decision on the issue. (Vera
Tolz)

HEAD OF CENTRAL SPECIAL ARCHIVES PROTESTS RESTRICTIONS. Anatolii
Prokopenko told Novoe vremya No. 11 that he has resigned as director
of the Central State Special Archives because the Main Archival
Administration constantly demanded that he limit scholarly access
to sensitive NKVD materials. Prokopenko said that, in particular,
his supervisors were displeased because he had allowed historians
to study materials pointing to the responsibility of the NKVD
for the Katyn massacre. Prokopenko also attacked the KGB for
not opening up its archives. Prokopenko disclosed that he has
recently become deputy chairman of the Committee for Archives
at the RSFSR Council of Ministers and expressed the hope that
some central archives will be soon transferred to the supervision
of the RSFSR government. (Vera Tolz)

AID TO AFGHANISTAN TO CONTINUE. Boris Pastukhov, Soviet ambassador
to Afghanistan, said on Afghan Radio March 26 that Soviet aid
to Afghanistan will continue at 1990 levels, Reuters reported
Tuesday. Pastukhov's statement coincides with statements made
by Soviet Ambassador at Large Nikolai Kozyrev in late February.
Kozyrev said it is the duty of the Soviet Union to continue providing
military aid to Kabul because it will speed a political settlement
in the country, TASS reported February 25. (Suzanne Crow)

HALF MILLION WEAPONS CONFISCATED. A Defense Ministry spokesman
told TASS on March 25 that some 513,000 weapons have been handed
over to Soviet military units in 1990-91. According to Mikhail
Kolesnikov, 73,000 of those weapons came from the Baltics, the
Transcaucasus, and Central Asia. He claimed that about 70% of
the total had been stolen by "extremists" from arms depots and
servicemen. Kolesnikov said that the weapons were confiscated
in accordance with the presidential decree of July 25, 1990.
(Stephen Foye)

WARNING ON DISSOLUTION OF WARSAW PACT. Krasnaya zvezda warned
on March 26 that new European security structures are emerging
too slowly and voiced concern over the disbandment of the Warsaw
Pact's military wing. According to a TASS account, the Defense
Ministry newspaper said NATO's role as a guarantor of European
stability has been overstated and cautioned against proposals
to expand NATO into Eastern Europe. The paper said a new European
system must take into account the state interests of the USSR.
(NCA/Stephen Foye)





USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA TO GO AHEAD WITH MARCH 28 RALLY. After meeting
in closed session on Tuesday, the Moscow city council reiterated
its willingness to allow the March 28 rally called by Democratic
Russia to go ahead, Moskovskaya pravda reported March 26. Leaders
of Democratic Russia told a Moscow news conference that they
now expect 1 million people to participate in the rally "because
so many people are against the ban," according to Igor Kharichev,
a member of DR's coordinating council. Both the Moscow city council
and Democratic Russia consider Gorbachev's ban on rallies in
Moscow unconstitutional: last fall, the USSR Committee for Constitutional
Oversight declared that limiting the right of the Moscow city
council executive committee to permit demonstrations contradicted
the USSR Constitution. (Dawn Mann/Julia Wishnevsky)

MOSCOW BRACING FOR DEMONSTRATION. Vadim Bakatin, a member of
Gorbachev's Security Council, addressing a Moscow news conference,
who said that he himself would not have banned the demonstration,
predicted that "decisvie measures" would be taken to prevent
the demonstration, but said he was "absolutely confident that
there won't be any armed vehicles or arms or anything like that,"
Reuters reported March 26. Nikolai Travkin, chairman of the Democratic
Party of Russia, told AP on march 26 that he had urged the organizers
of the rally to back down, arguing that society had reached a
critical point, past which "anger will turn to blood." Barriers
barring access to Red Square and Manege Square were being put
into place yesterday, AP reported. (Dawn Mann)

USSR SUPREME SOVIET REFUSES TO UPHOLD BAN ON MOSCOW RALLIES.
Vladimir Lysenko, a leader of the Democratic Russia faction in
the RSFSR parliament, told Radio Rossiya on March 26 that on
Monday a member of the USSR Supreme Soviet asked that body to
adopt a resolution upholding the ban on rallies in Moscow. Lysenko
said the deputies refused to do so. On March 26, according to
"Vremya," the Supreme Soviet rejected calls to issue a statement
condemning either the Moscow city council or Democratic Russia--which
of the two is not clear--for going ahead with a rally on March
28. (Julia Wishnevsky)

NEW RSFSR ECONOMIC REFORM PLAN. RSFSR Council of Ministers Chairman
Ivan Silayev partially unveiled his republic's latest economic
reform program at a Moscow press conference, TASS reported March
26. Silayev asserted that it represented a realistic program
for implementing the basic principles of the "500-Days Program,"
and that it would run from April 1991 through December 1992.
It envisages widescale privatization in industry and agriculture,
the retention by the republic of most of the hard-currency earnings
derived from its exports, and lower rates of corporate taxation.
The program will be submitted to the RSFSR Congress of People's
Deputies. (Keith Bush)

RSFSR CP LEAKS LIKE A SIEVE. On March 19 and 20, Komsomol'skaya
pravda published two secret RSFSR Communist Party instructions.
The first, circulated by the Rostov oblast' Party committee,
reports on a poll it conducted on Yeltsin's February 19 interview
with Central Television. 60% of the respondents agreed with Yeltsin's
call for Gorbachev's resignation, while only 21% disagreed. 64%
of the non-Party members polled regard themselves as Yeltsin
supporters; for Communists in the Rostov region the figure is
46%. The second document, signed by Ivan Antonovich, a member
of the RSFSR CP Politburo, suggests that the activities of Democratic
Russia should be "neutralized." Antonovich told Komsomol'skaya
pravda that he never issued this instruction. An official attached
to the Penza oblast' Party committee, which circulated the document,
had no comment. (Julia Wishnevsky)

MOSCOW MAYOR CALLS FOR CREATION OF ANTI-COMMUNIST PARTY. The
chairman of the Moscow city soviet, Gavriil Popov, reiterated
the call for the creation of a new party, that would constitute
a real opposition to the CPSU. Writing in Komsomol'skaya pravda
on March 26, Popov also rejected the possibility that a nationwide
civil war would break out in the USSR. (Vera Tolz)

FUTURE OF RSFSR TELEVISION STILL UNCERTAIN. Deputy chairman of
the All-Union State Television and Radio Company Valentin Lazutkin
told APN March 25 that several (unidentified) Union republics
were highly dissatisfied with plans to transfer Central Television's
second channel to the newly-created RSFSR television company.
Lazutkin said that non-Russian republics, including Ukraine,
had threatened to stop broadcasting the second channel on their
territory if it is given to the Russian Federation. (The RSFSR
is the only Union republic that does not produce its own programs.)
After a lengthy battle, agreement has been reportedly reached
between the RSFSR authorities and the leaders of Central Television,
and the RSFSR government is planning to start broadcasting regularly
as of March 31. (Vera Tolz)

BELORUSSIAN YOUTH TV PROGRAMS UNDER THREAT. Journalists at Belorussian
State Television and Radio last week told RFE/RL that two glasnost'-minded
television programs for youth, "Five Plus" and "Krok," may be
pulled from the air. They attributed this to pressure from the
Central Committee of the Belorussian CP and to the general crackdown
on the media instituted by Kravchenko, head of the All-Union
Television and Radio Company. (Belorussian BD/Kathy Mihalisko)


GEORGIAN GREEKS EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM.
On March 13 the Russian-language paper of the Georgian Supreme
Soviet, Vestnik Gruzii, printed an appeal signed by 22 prominent
Georgian Greeks calling on the republic's Greek community (which
numbered just over 100,000 at the time of the 1989 Soviet census)
to vote "Yes" in the referendum of March 31 on the restoration
of Georgian independence. The appeal further urged the Greek
community in Abkhazia to boycott the All-Union referendum of
March 17, arguing that it "contradicts the interests of Georgia."
The referendum results, however, suggest that virtually the entire
non-Georgian population of Abkhazia voted on March 17. (Liz Fuller)


ISLAMIC CENTER FOUNDED IN KYRGYZSTAN. RFE/RL has been learned
that the founding congress of a Kirgiz Muslim Center was held
in Bishkek on March 26. Sadikjan Kamalov, formerly the highest-ranking
religious official in the republic, was elected president of
the center. Kamalov was removed from his post as kazi of Kyrgyzstan
last year after he made critical remarks at a meeting of the
Muslim Religious Board for Central Asia, but he has remained
a prominent public figure in the republic. He is a deputy in
the republican Supreme Soviet and recently accompanied Kirgiz
president Askar Akaev on a visit to Osh oblast. (Uzbek BD/Bess
Brown)

MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT ON RELATIONS WITH MOSCOW AND ROMANIA. Interviewed
by the Madrid daily El Mundo March 25, as reported by Reuters
March 26, Moldavian President Mircea Snegur said that "the pro-Moscow
minority" in Moldavia had asked Moscow to crack down militarily
on the republic but that he "did not think that Gorbachev would
dare to take that step." Snegur added "the Russians in the Baltic
countries are better than ours. The majority there are pro-independence,
while here they just make life impossible." Refuting the charge
that Moldavia wants to reunify with Romania, Snegur said that
Moldavia would retain economic links with the USSR and the republics
but would do so as "an independent Moldavia which will have privileged
links with Romania. In future there will be practically no borders
between the two states." (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN FOREIGN MINISTER DEFINES GOALS. Interviewed by Rompres
March 26, Moldavian Minister of External Relations Nicolae Tiu
said the republic's "main goal is freedom and independence."
Commenting that Moldavia's efforts "do not enjoy due recognition
in other countries" except for Romania, Tiu said that the lack
of international recognition constituted a serious handicap that
Moldavia needed to overcome by initiating its own foreign policy.
(Vladimir Socor)

DONETSK MINE STRIKES WINDING DOWN. As of late yesterday, according
to Radio Kiev-2 and Radio Moscow, only 16 of 122 mines in Donetsk
oblast' were partially or fully disabled by strikes, a sharp
reduction from the previous day. A special working group is being
formed by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet to deal directly with
miners' collectives and strike committees. Chairman Leonid Kravchuk
yesterday released an appeal to the strikers in which he described
their action as a real threat to the republic's energy, metallurgical
and agricultural industries. The Lvov oblast' soviet also yesterday
urged striking miners in the Lvov-Volyn basin to return to work,
according to Radio Kiev-3. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN AUTOCEPHALOUS CHURCH OPENS SEMINARY. As announced March
26 on Radio Kiev-3, a seminary for priests of the Ukrainian Autocephalous
Orthodox Church has opened in the West Ukrainian city of Ternopol.
It will accommodate 40 seminarians. The UAOC, which is independent
of and staunchly opposed to the Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian
Orthodox Churches, is a growing force in religious life in the
republic. (Kathy Mihalisko)

(END)


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

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