When two people communicate, they each can be enriched - and unlike traditional resources, the more you share the more you have. - U.S. Vice President Al Gore
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 69, 10 April 1991



BALTIC STATES



SOVIET TROOPS OCCUPY ANOTHER LITHUANIAN BUILDING. Soviet paratroopers
took over the driving school of the DOSAAF organization in Vilnius
on April 9, Radio Vilnius and Reuters reported that day. It is
not clear who ordered the takeover. Lithuanian authorities have
asked Moscow to return the building to Lithuanian control. DOSAAF
is an all-Union organization providing military training for
young people. Last year it was reorganized in Lithuania and was
brought under Lithuanian jurisdiction. Given that Soviet forces
have occupied other buildings in Vilnius, the question arises
whether Moscow is planning another escalation of force in Lithuania.
(Dzintra Bungs)

HOW MANY COMMUNISTS IN ESTONIA? Only one third of the members
of the Estonian Communist Party have stuck with the movement,
according to an April 5 Eesti Ekspress interview with ECP (CPSU
platform) First Secretary Lembti Annus. Annus said a third of
the formerly 106,000 strong party has remained true, and that
the overwhelming majority of those are in the Moscow-loyal party.
"The self-proclaimed independent ECP has significantly fewer
members," Annus said. "Although they claim to have 5000 [members],
I have my doubts." The independent ECP tentatively split with
Moscow in March 1990, formalizing the breakaway in January 1991.
(Riina Kionka)

LATVIANS AND GEORGIANS RECALL SOVIET CRACKDOWN. On the second
anniversary of the Soviet crackdown in Tbilisi, a commemorative
exhibition of the events has opened in Riga, reported Radio Riga
on April 9. The exhibition is sponsored by the Georgian Culture
Society in Latvia. Concurrently, an exhibit opened in Tbilisi
documenting the Soviet violence in Latvia and Lithuania in January.
Radio Riga also reported widely about the Georgian independence
declaration. (Dzintra Bungs)

PEOPLE'S FRONT OF LATVIA DECIDES AGAINST VOLUNTEER GUARDS. On
April 3 the board of the People's Front decided to stop coordinating
and financing volunteers guarding the principal government and
communications buildings in Riga. Volunteers were organized in
January to guard against a Moscow-organized coup in Latvia. On
January 26 the Council of Ministers decided to establish a Defense
Department which was to take over the guarding of strategically
important sites. According to the PFL, this task has not been
handled effectively by the new department. The PFL board urged
the Council of Ministers to continue to work more energtically
on establishing a Latvian national army or guard. (Dzintra Bungs)




ALL-UNION TOPICS



ANTI-CRISIS PROGRAM. On the evening of April 9, President Mikhail
Gorbachev outlined on Soviet Television a one-year program of
measures aimed at stabilizing the economy, reimposing central
controls on many aspects of planning and management while expediting
the transition to a market economy. TASS subsequently carried
the full draft of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers' "Action Program
for leading the Economy out of Crisis," but then withdrew it
without explanation. (It is possible that the government first
wants to gauge the republics' reaction to such elements of the
program as the moratorium on strikes and on demonstrations during
working hours). (Keith Bush)

ANTI-CRISIS DETAILS NEXT WEEK. Gorbachev said he would submit
a more detailed outline of his plan to the USSR Supreme Soviet
next week. (NCA)

BAN ON STRIKES PART OF GORBACHEV PACKAGE. Included in Gorbachev's
anti-crisis measures is a call for a moratorium on all strikes
and on demonstrations in working hours. (This would not rule
out weekend rallies such as those called recently in support
of Yeltsin.) Political strikes would be banned entirely and penalties
introduced to ensure that the ban was made to stick. However,
Gorbachev did not specify whether he was proposing a legal ban
on strikes or merely a voluntary public moratorium. Recent experience
suggests that, unless extremely tough penalties are introduced
and are enforced, workers are unlikely to pay any more attention
to a ban on strikes than other sections have society have paid
to Gorbachev's other recent exhortations. (Elizabeth Teague)


PATH TO HYPER-INFLATION? On April 2, Central Television interviewed
the director of the Perm Telephone Plant on the aftermath of
the retail price increases. His workers are already co-owners
of the plant and are "interested in high end-results." Wages
there are set to double; this is to be achieved partly by cutting
costs but largely, it appears, by simply raising prices for the
enterprise's products. (Keith Bush)

YAZOV ON CFE, TROOP PROBLEMS IN GERMANY. The Soviet Defense Minister
told reporters on April 9 that Moscow has done nothing to contravene
the CFE agreement, TASS reported. Echoing others in the military
leadership, Yazov justified the movement of thousands of tanks
and other equipment beyond the Urals and the redesignation of
three army motor-rifle divisions to naval shore defense. He called
the latter step "a purely internal affair" and claimed that all
the equipment involved was accounted for in accordance with the
CFE agreement. Yazov also criticized the German press for encouraging
an "unhealthy" attitude around Soviet bases in the FRG and for
encouraging Soviet soldiers to defect. (Stephen Foye)

SOBCHAK CALLS FOR ALTERNATIVE TO CPSU. Anatolii Sobchak has called
for the creation of an all-Union Social-Democratic party as a
counter-weight to the CPSU. The Financial Times quoted him on
April 10 as telling a meeting in London on April 9 that such
an alternative party should include Eduard Shevardnadze and Stanislav
Shatalin. Sobchak criticized Boris Yeltsin for spending too much
time fighting Mikhail Gorbachev instead of introducing land reform
and private ownership. He said that Yeltsin will use his new
extraordinary powers to dismantle the local Communist Party structures
in the RSFSR. (Alexander Rahr)

KOMPLEKTOV'S APPOINTMENT OFFICIAL. Viktor Komplektov was named
ambassador to the United States by Gorbachev on April 9, TASS
reported. Komplektov, considered conservative, is a career diplomat
specializing in the United States and Latin America. He was named
Deputy Foreign Minister in late 1982. Washington accepted Komplektov's
appointment on March 18, AFP reported that day. (Suzanne Crow)


GORBACHEV TO VISIT ROK. After his April 16-19 visit to Japan,
Mikhail Gorbachev will travel to South Korea for a one-day visit
(on April 19). Gorbachev will meet his South Korean counterpart
on the Island of Cheju rather than in Seoul so as to avoid irritating
the North Korean leadership. Persistent rumors that Gorbachev
would travel to South Korea, or perhaps to both North and South
Korea, have until now been dismissed by Soviet foreign ministry
officials. (See, Daily Report, February 19.) (Suzanne Crow)

EX-POWS DEMAND COMPENSATION. The All-Japan Former Detainees'
Association held a rally April 9 in Tokyo and demanded that Mikhail
Gorbachev issue a formal apology when he visits the Japanese
capital April 16. The ex-POWs also called for Soviet compensation
and the return of the remains of some 60,000 Japanese buried
in Siberia, Reuter reported April 9. (Suzanne Crow)

BESSMERTNYKH APPLAUDS YUGOSLAVIA. Speaking at a joint press conference
with his Yugoslav counterpart, Budimir Loncar, Foreign Minister
Aleksandr Bessmertnykh said, "We highly value the constructive
role played by Yugoslavia in Europe and the world, and we think
that Yugoslavia can continue to play that role only as a unified
government," TASS reported April 9. (Suzanne Crow)

TASS ANSWERS PELL. TASS commentator Vladimir Bogachev responded
on April 9 to US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman
Claiborne Pell's statement of April 8 that it would be rash to
dismantle a security structure which has preserved peace for
over forty years. Bogachev complained that NATO is trying to
continue the arms race with the latest weapons technology. "It
is not simply a matter of the quantity of weapons but also their
effectiveness," Bogachev said. Surprisingly, Bogachev did not
respond specifically to Pell's statement that the East European
states should be invited to participate in NATO. (Suzanne Crow)




IN THE REPUBLICS



GEORGIA DECLARES INDEPENDENCE. The declaration of independence
adopted April 9 by the Georgian Parliament was endorsed unanimously,
but not voted on, AFP reported that day. Citing the Georgian
news agency Sakinform, TASS stated April 9 that the independence
declaration proceeded from the results of the March 31 referendum
in which 90.57% of the electorate participated, of whom 99.08%
voted in favor of the restoration of independence. The population
of Tbilisi "wept with joy and danced in the streets" at the news,
The Los Angeles Times reported April 10. (Liz Fuller)

INDEPENDENCE DOES NOT EQUAL IMMEDIATE SECESSION. Georgian Supreme
Soviet chairman Zviad Gamsakhurdia is quoted by The New York
Times (April 10) as stating that Georgia's declaration of independence
"is not a de facto withdrawal from the Soviet Union" and will
have to be followed in the next 2-3 years by a series of legal
steps to establish self-rule. Yesterday's events seem to mark
a departure from Gamsakhurdia's earlier statement that Georgia
would not declare its independence until it had achieved full
political and economic autonomy, since these conditions have
not yet been met. The Georgian economy is not yet fully independent
of Moscow (indeed, it is in deep crisis). (Liz Fuller)

AUTONOMY FOR ABKHAZIA BUT NOT OSSETIA. Gamsakhurdia further stated
that the autonomous republic of Abkhazia would retain its autonomous
status in an independent Georgia, and that Adzharia would hold
a referendum on its future status, according to AFP (April 9).
He said the autonomy of South Ossetia, abolished by the Georgian
SupSov in December, 1990, will not be restored, although the
1918 declaration of independence on which Georgia's April 9 proclamation
was based specifically guarantees the right to free development
of all minorities within Georgia. (Liz Fuller)

MINSK WARNING STRIKE. On Tuesday, scores of Minsk factories staged
a warning strike to protest the failure of the Belorussian government
to make good on its promise, offered last week, to provide daily
television time to strikers. TASS said April 9 that government
officials yesterday agreed in principle to give the strikers
access to television, but a Minsk strike committee spokesman
told RFE/RL this morning that TASS' information was incorrect.
The spokesman, Hryhor Hvozdzik, maintained that, as of the time
of writing, most factories in the Belorussian capital are preparing
to march on government headquarters in central Minsk. (Belorussian
BD/Kathy Mihalisko)

KHMARA VOWS TO CONTINUE STRUGGLE. Radical Ukrainian people's
deputy Stepan Khmara, who was released from prison April 5 after
a five-month detention without trial, has vowed to keep fighting
against "the communist, socialist, Kravchukian Supreme Soviet
of Ukraine," as quoted April 9 by Radio Kiev-2. Khmara left Kiev
Sunday for the Lvov-Volyn coal mining region, whose striking
miners were instrumental in obtaining his release. (Kathy Mihalisko)


"COMMUNISTS FOR DEMOCRACY" THROW DOWN THE GAUNTLET. This new
group numbers 170 members of the RSFSR parliament, TASS reported
April 8, and believes it can muster "several million" Communist
Party members. It aims to unite Party members who support the
reform policies of Boris Yeltsin instead of the conservative
policies of the RSFSR Communist Party (RKP). The group is calling
for the ouster of the present RKP leadership and is discussing
the possibility of an extraordinary CPSU Congress in May. "Communists
for Democracy" do not intend to leave the CPSU: "let the conservatives
leave," TASS quotes them as saying. (Elizabeth Teague)

RUSSIANS TO GET LAND. Georgii Matyukhin, Chairman of the RSFSR
Central Bank, revealed in an interview with Die Welt on April
9 that this spring each citizen in the RSFSR will be entitled
to receive 1,500 square meters of land and to purchase an additional
2 500 square meters. Farmers will be eligible for larger plots
of land. The reasoning behind this, according to Matyukhin, is
that tomorrow's property owners will be more responsive to real
economic pressures than today's Soviet citizens are to even "the
best propaganda." (John Tedstrom)

YELTSIN BEGINS KISLOVODSK VACATION. Boris Yeltsin arrived in
Kislovodsk April 8 for a short holiday, Radio Rossi announced
that day. According to AFP and DPA of April 9, Yeltsin is expected
to travel to France next week at the invitation of the International
Political Forum. In Strasbourg he will meet members of the European
Parliament and Council of Europe. In Paris he will meet president
of the French National Assembly Laurent Fabius and the mayor
of Paris, Jazques Chirac. (NCA)

ANOTHER ALLIANCE OF PARTIES IN RSFSR PLANNED. Representatives
of the moderate faction of the radical Democratic Union, the
Russian Christian Democratic Party, and the Liberal Forum held
a preliminary meeting in Moscow April 9 aimed at establishing
an "Independent Russian Alliance." Novosti said the alliance
will strive for building an independent Russia, irrespective
of the center's position, and will support political trends in
the RSFSR Supreme Soviet emphasizing Russia's sovereignty. (Vera
Tolz)

MOSCOW DECIDES TO ESTABLISH ITS OWN MILITIA. On April 8, the
Moscow City Soviet voted unanimously to set up a city militia,
TASS and Radio Rossii reported that day. The decision follows
the eruption a dispute between the Soviet and the USSR ministry
of internal affairs over who controls the Moscow police. Last
month, Gorbachev decreed that the Moscow police should be under
control of the all-Union ministry. But the RSFSR Congress of
People's Deputies rejected Gorbachev's ruling, and put the police
under the control of the RSFSR government. (NCA)

RAILWAY WORKERS ISSUE ULTIMATUM. Railway workers in the Far Northern
mining city of Vorkuta are quoted as saying the demands of striking
coalminers must not be met at their expense. TASS reported April
9 that the rail workers have threatened to shut down all rail
transport, including passenger trains, if the Vorkuta miners
do not start supplying coal. The rail workers say they are losing
money because of the miners' strike action. (NCA)

MOSCOW UNION FEDERATION SUPPORTS MINERS, IS READY TO STRIKE.
The head of the Moscow federation of (official) trade unions,
Mikhail Shmakov, says his organization supports the economic
demands of the striking miners. TASS quoted Shmakov on April
9 as calling on the RSFSR and USSR parliaments to take measures
to resolve the miners' demands. He added that his federation
was calling on the Moscow city authorities to honor earlier agreements
reached with his group, including publication of data on subsistence
wages. He said that, if the demands of his federation are not
met, it might have to call a warning strike in the Soviet capital.
(NCA)

NAZARBAEV ON GORBACHEV. In an interview with the Madrid daily
El Pais, summarized by Reuter on April 9, Kazakh president Nursultan
Nazarbaev warns that 1991 will be Mikhail Gorbachev's last year
in power unless the USSR president "makes a radical turn, grasps
hold of power, starts to direct the situation and proposes an
interesting program acceptable to the people." Nazarbaev complained
of "the weakness of Gorbachev and his crowd" in dealing with
nationalist violence, citing South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh
as cases in point, and recommended the institution of states
of emergency in crisis areas. (Bess Brown)

TOWN TRIES CONVERSION. The March 14 issue of Kazakhstanskaya
pravda contains an interview with the chairman of the town soviet
of Kurchatov, which was created in connection with the nuclear
test site in Semipalatinsk Oblast and was entirely dependent
on it. Now the town is seeking ways to survive without the military-industrial
complex. The chairman, nuclear engineer Evgenii Chaikovsky, says
he found support from the Nevada-Semipalatinsk anti-nuclear movement,
as well as from a newly-formed group of mayors of US cities that
have similar problems. Kurchatov hopes to convert itself into
a science center. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIA'S INDEPENDENT COMMUNIST PARTY AGAINST "STATE SOCIALISM".
In an appeal to the people of Moldavia for support, the newly-founded
Independent Moldavian Communist Party/Democratic Platform has
denounced the "crimes and errors" of the CPSU, Moldovapres reported
April 9. Urging the "dismantling of totalitarian structures of
state socialism," the new party pledged to promote "social welfare"
within the framework of a "democratic socialism" and "the values
of Western democracy". The new party will recognize internal
factions and groupings. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN FOREIGN MINISTER RECEIVED BY ROMANIAN PRESIDENT. Moldavia's
Minister of External Relations, Nicolae Tiu, conferred with Romanian
President Ion Iliescu in Bucharest April 9. Iliescu told Rompres
and Radio Bucharest the same day that Romania's Foreign Ministry
is about to create a Permanent Secretariat to coordinate Romanian-Moldavian
economic, cultural, and political relations. A joint working
group will meet next week in Kishinev to begin drafting an intergovernmental
agreement. Tiu had conferred with Romanian Prime Minister Petre
Roman the preceding day. (Vladimir Socor)

MORE ON MURDER OF SENIOR MVD OFFICER. Pravda, Izvestia and Krasnaya
zvezda on April 9 published only a tiny report about the machine-gun
murder of MVD Colonel Blokhotin in Rostov-on-Don (see Daily Report,
April 9). However, Viktor Skrypnikov, chief political officer
of the North Caucasus and Trancaucasus Internal Troops, told
RFE/RL that day that he was inclined to believe that the murder
was a case of revenge for the activities of the MVD troops in
Transcaucasus. Skrypnikov also said that Blokhotin might have
been a victim of false identification since he was assigned to
the rear services and had taken no part in military operations.
An investigation is under way by the KGB and USSR Procuracy.
(RL Russian Service/Victor Yasmann)

(END) [As of 1300 CET]


[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