The fool wonders, the wise man asks. - Benjamin Disraeli
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 84, 02 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



MAY DAY IN LITHUANIA. The Lithuanian authorities had earlier
decided that May Day was not a public holiday in the republic.
Workers wishing to celebrate the day were to make up the day
by working on Saturday. TASS reported May 1 that 2,000-3,000
people gathered in Vilnius by the Lenin monument and heard Lithuanian
Communist Party First Secretary Mykolas Burokevicius criticize
the Lithuanian authorities. Radio Independent Lithuania reported
May 1 that the LCP organized a rally in Klaipeda at which considerably
fewer people attended than in the past. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIA'S PRE-WAR FOREIGN MINISTER DIES. On April 30 Juozas
Urbsys, the last foreign minister of independent Lithuania, died,
Radio Independent Lithuania reported on May 1. The 95-year old
Urbsys was arrested in 1940 and imprisoned in Siberia until Stalin's
death. In 1988 he published his memoirs on the events in 1940,
which became a best-seller. In 1989 he expressed his support
for Lithuania's independence, and served as an example of the
continuity between the pre-war Republic of Lithuania and the
current efforts to reestablish it. (Saulius Girnius)

TRADE UNION RALLY IN VILNIUS. On April 30 the Lithuanian Confederation
of Free Trade Unions held a rally in Vilnius. A number of Lithuanian
workers' organizations did not support the rally that was, however,
endorsed by the Lithuanian Communist Party. The RFE Lithuanian
Service reported on May 1 that Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Kazimieras Motieka and National Defense Department
Director-General Audrius Butkevicius addressed the rally, but
most of the speakers condemned the government, especially for
its decision to take away the property of the confederation.
(Saulius Girnius)

MAY DAY IN LATVIA. Three political parties marked May Day in
Riga, reported TASS on May 1. The Latvian Communist Party committee
of the city of Riga held a meeting on the banks of the Daugava
River--a traditional site for LCP-sponsored manifestations in
the postwar decades. The Latvian Democratic Labor Party, whose
members are mostly former LCP members holding more progressive
views than the mainstream of the LCP, convened near the monument
to the 1905 revolutionaries. The Latvian Social Democratic Workers
Party members gathered around the monument to the poet Janis
Rainis, a leading personality in the party prior to and during
Latvia's independence. (Dzintra Bungs)

REPUBLICAN INDUSTRY MINISTRY OFFICIALS MEET IN JURMALA. According
to Diena of April 29, representatives of ministries of industry
of Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia,
Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania discussed issues relating
to jurisdiction over various industries in their republics. At
the conclusion of their two-day meeting in Jurmala they adopted
a protocol stating that "all enterprises, functioning or being
established in a republic, regardless of ownership, will be subject
to the laws of that republic and to such USSR laws in effect
in that republic." The Latvian Ministry of Industry is currently
preparing to bring the All-Union enterprises in Latvia under
Latvian jurisdiction. (Dzintra Bungs)

PEOPLE'S FRONT ON RESTORING LATVIA'S INDEPENDENCE. On April 27,
the council of the People's Front of Latvia drafted a plan--intended
for the Supreme Council deputies--to conclude the transition
period to the restoration of Latvia's independence and achieve
de facto independence in 1992. According to Diena of April 29,
the plan calls for the nullification of the July 21, l940 declaration
establishing Soviet rule in Latvia; revocation of the Latvian
SSR Constitution and its replacement by legislation for the transition
period; reinstatement of the code of civil laws adopted in 1937;
reestablishment of the citizenship of the Republic of Latvia;
and the registration of Latvia's residents. (Dzintra Bungs)

MILK AND MEAT PRICES REMAIN STEADY FOR LATVIAN CONSUMERS. Diena
announced on April 29 that while the state purchasing prices
of milk and meat would rise on May 2, the prices paid by the
consumer for meat and dairy products would not be increased for
the time being. Consumer prices may rise after the government
reexamines the republican budget for 1991. (Dzintra Bungs)

MAY DAY IN ESTONIA. May Day commemorations in Estonia were quiet
and uneventful, according to an RFE Estonian Service report from
Tallinn that day. Mart Linnart told RFE/RL that only about 2,000
demonstrators gathered in Tallinn's Freedom Square to celebrate
workers' rights, holding signs with such slogans as "Yes to the
Union Treaty" and "No to Ethnic Hatred." A new, more sharply
worded slogan read: "Shame to the Soviet Politicians who have
Allowed an Anti-Soviet Wave and the Rise of Separatism." The
meeting featured Anatolii Lapukhin, who warned in his speech
that non-Estonians should leave the republic when the Soviet
military did so, lest nationalists take to the streets "as they
had in Germany in 1933." (Riina Kionka)

DECISION ON NARVA ZONE DELAYED. The Estonian Supreme Council
on April 30 postponed voting on a proposal to set up a free economic
zone in the northeastern city of Narva, TASS reported that day.
The Narva Free Economic Zone (NFEZ) proposal would tie Narva's
industry, energy plants and raw materials into an economic conglomerate
that function as a unit outside republic control. Opponents see
the plan not as an economic but as a political move toward northeastern
Estonia's secession. But the plan's proponents deny any such
aspirations, according to a series of interviews in Eesti Ekspress
(April 26). (Riina Kionka)

BALTIC FOREIGN MINISTERS' MEETING CONCERNING CSCE. Foreign ministers
of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania met in Riga on April 30 to
coordinate their work in connection with CSCE meeting in Berlin
June 19-21. At the press conference following their meeting,
according to Radio Riga of April 30, the ministers expressed
the hope that the USSR would not place obstacles against Baltic
participation in the Berlin conference. They noted that an expulsion
of Baltic representatives, as happened in Paris in November 1990,
would not promote the international authority of the Soviet Union
which was already shaky. (Dzintra Bungs)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



GLOOMY MAY DAY IN MOSCOW. Yesterday's May Day celebration on
Red Square, organized for the first time by official trade union
organizations alone rather than by the CPSU, was perfunctory
and joyless. Western agencies reported May 2 that approximately
50,000 workers attended, carrying slogans reflecting the country's
dire economic straits. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was
present atop the Lenin Mausoleum, attended by Supreme Soviet
chairman Anatolii Lukyanov, but did not speak. Radio Moscow noted
tersely that the tribune looked "somewhat different." Security
was tight, but the USSR's democratic opposition boycotted the
rally, sparing Gorbachev the humiliation he endured at last year's
meeting in the face of jeering protesters. There were, however,
some neo-Stalinist and anti-semitic slogans to be seen. (Sallie
Wise)

UNEMPLOYMENT COULD REACH 40 MILLION. The director of the All-Union
Unemployment Fund, Anatolii Kapustin, estimates that unemployment
in the USSR could rise from its present level of 8 million to
as much as 40 million under market conditions. Kapustin, a member
of the Congress of People's Deputies, was interviewed by Rabochaya
tribuna of April 30, TASS and AFP reported that day. The Fund
is an information service set up by Rabochaya tribuna to help
people find work. Kapustin reckoned that 2 million of the current
figure are long-term unemployed, while 6 million are frictionally
unemployed, or between jobs. (Keith Bush)

FACTS BEHIND UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES. Kapustin is only telling part
of the story. The traditional Soviet labor market is very rigid
and has proved itself incapable of allocating labor resources
efficiently. Labor mobility is low, and there is little chance
for retraining. There is a poor match of workers to jobs both
regionally and professionally; several million jobs in the USSR
remain open today. In contrast to what Kapustin implies, the
non-state sector has welcomed millions of displaced workers (cooperatives
and individual labor activity alone have employed 9 million since
mid-1988). This suggests that a stronger market, not the traditional
Soviet social system, holds the answer. (John Tedstrom)

NEW ESTIMATES OF POVERTY LEVEL. The unlikely figure of Evgenii
Primakov, Gorbachev's special Mideast envoy, has rejected the
Goskomtsen criterion of the poverty level after the retail price
increases of April 2, The Financial Times reported May 1. Primakov
is said to have told a Security Council session that estimates
of the minimal subsistence level of 207 rubles a month, made
by Boris Bolotin of IMEMO, were closer to the mark. Bolotin has
also calculated that the compensation for the lower paid of 60
rubles a month covers only one third of the price increases,
and not 85% as the government has claimed. Commersant has suggested
a minimum of 186 rubles a month as the subsistence level in big
cities. (Keith Bush)

DE MAIZIERE SAYS UNIFICATION ALMOST STOPPED. Former East German
Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere said in an interview with the
mass circulation Super (May 1) that Soviet hardliners were keen
on using troops to prevent German unification. "There was a change
of atmosphere in the Politburo and the army," said de Maiziere
referring to his impressions after an April 1990 visit to the
Soviet Union. After this visit, de Maiziere told German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl, "we have only three or four months" to bring about
unification, Super reported. According to the former Prime Minister,
German unification "would practically be impossible now," AFP
reported May 1. (Suzanne Crow)

MISSILE TEST IN SEA OF JAPAN. According to a report in the May
1 Washington Times, the USSR fired two SLBMs into the Sea of
Japan shortly before and shortly after Gorbachev's visit to Japan.
The Japanese government protested to Moscow that the missile
splashdowns were too close to the Japanese mainland, the Times
said. According to US intelligence sources cited in the paper's
report, the missiles were launched from a submarine in the Barents
Sea. In the past, Moscow has used such missile launches--for
example the SS-18 firings which landed 500 miles from Hawaii
in late September 1987--as a means of nuclear muscle-flexing.
(Suzanne Crow)

AIRCRAFT TECHNOLOGY TO ROK. Officials from the Soviet Chamber
of Commerce office in Seoul said at a news conference on May
1 the USSR is willing to offer South Korea expertise to produce
jet fighters and aerospace technology, AFP reported May 1. (NCA/Suzanne
Crow)

HONECKER SWITCHES HOSPITALS. The Bild Zeitung, a mass circulation
tabloid, reported on April 30 that former East German leader
Erich Honecker was moved from the Krasnogorsk Military Hospital
because authorities there found him "undesirable." Honecker was
returned to the luxurious Moscow Aviators' Hospital to a large
suite normally occupied by Soviet generals. His wife occupies
a comparable suite next door, AFP reported April 30. Moscow city
officials complained last month that Honecker would need to apply
for a Moscow residence permit just like everybody else. (See
Daily Report, April 18). (Suzanne Crow)

TURKEY RETURNS HELICOPTER, NOT PILOT. On May 1, Turkey returned
the MI-8 military transport helicopter which was used by a defecting
Soviet lieutenant on April 24 to fly to Turkey. Turkey did not
return the pilot, identified by Soviet officials as Lieutenant
Irek Gimatov. Gimatov is seeking asylum; the USSR is seeking
extradition. Turkish officials said no decision has yet been
made on his asylum request, Reuters and AP reported May 1. (NCA/Suzanne
Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE ON LEADERSHIP MISTAKE. Former Foreign Minister Eduard
Shevardnadze said in an interview with IAN on April 29 that the
Soviet leadership made a crucial mistake in 1988 when it restructured
the state from a unitary, centralized system to a democratic
form of government. He maintained that he was among those who
had favored the creation of a strong presidency prior to the
formation of a parliamentary system. Instead of relying on a
strong executive presidency, the Soviet leadership mistakenly
devoted itself to the creation of a parliamentary system which
became unstable, he said. (Alexander Rahr)

SHEVARDNADZE CONTINUES TO WARN OF DICTATORSHIP. Shevardnadze
told journalists that the threat of dictatorship "has grown"
recently, AP reported on April 30. He maintained that there are
plans to "double or triple the size of the army" to impose a
nationwide state of emergency. Shevardnadze said a coup is possible
if the government does not succeed in stabilizing the economy.
He indicated that Gorbachev is not capable of keeping the army
under firm control, and did not exclude the possibility that
military units could be used against people, even in Moscow,
without Gorbachev's approval. (Alexander Rahr)

SOYUZ LEADER SUPPORTS APRIL 23 DECLARATION. Yurii Blokhin, head
of the conservative parliamantary faction, Soyuz, said that his
group supports the joint agreement signed between Gorbachev and
nine republican leaders on April 23, because it contains ideas
shared by Soyuz, such as the introduction of a special regime
in basic industries. According to Reuters on April 30, Blokhin
also said that Soyuz so far has failed to collect the 450 signatures
needed to convene a special session of the USSR Congress of People's
Deputies, at which it wants to demand the introduction of a state
of emergency in the entire country. (Alexander Rahr)

NEW ATTACK ON THE KGB. A KGB official from Altai has called for
the resignation of KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov. Vladimir Aladkin
writes in Stolitsa (no. 11-12) that reforms in the KGB will not
take place under the present KGB leadership. Aladkin cites recent
internal KGB orders, issued by KGB first deputy Genii Ageev,
to demonstrate the anti-reform stance of KGB leaders who, he
claims, have become alienated from the rest of the agency. Aladkin
stresses that the KGB leadership is resisting the subordination
of KGB branches to local soviet control. He suggests decentralizing
the agency to republican level and welcomes the creation of a
Russian KGB, which, he says, should become a more liberal institution.
(Alexander Rahr)



USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN SIGNS DECREE FOR COAL MINERS. During his visit to the
Kuzbass, RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin on May 1
signed a decree transferring coal mines on the republic's territory
from all-Union to republican jurisdiction. Yeltsin declared that
this was fully in line with the demands of the miners, TASS reported
the same day. Central authorities must approve the decree and
are likely to do so in the face of continued labor unrest. (Yeltsin
says Gorbachev will approve the decree May 5, according to Reuters,
May 1). Miners must still vote on whether to end their strike.
In contrast, labor leaders in the oil and gas industries are
demanding direct negotiations with authorities to improve economic
and social conditions, but with central authorities, not republican
ones, at least for now. (John Tedstrom)

POPOV DECLINES INVITATION TO RED SQUARE. Radio Rossii reported
May 1 that Moscow city soviet chairman Gavriil Popov was invited
to attend the May Day rally in Red Square with Gorbachev. However,
at the recommendation of the Democratic Russia coordinating council,
Popov declined to participate in any rally. (Sallie Wise)

RYZHKOV RUNS FOR RUSSIAN PRESIDENCY. Former Soviet Prime Minister
Nikolai Ryzhkov said he would run for the Russian presidency,
if nominated. He told Komsomol'skaya pravda on May 1 that representatives
of industrial and agricultural enterprises as well as public
organizations have urged him to challenge Yeltsin in the June
12 elections. Ryzhkov said he also has support from the CPSU.
Earlier reports had indicated that Vadim Bakatin was the CPSU's
top candidate for these elections (see Daily Report, April 29.)
Ryzhkov, who suffered a heart attack last December and quit the
post of Prime Minister, still enjoys, according to recent opinion
polls, considerable popularity in the country. (Alexander Rahr)


RUSSIAN KGB TO BE FORMED. Yeltsin and KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov
will sign an agreement on the creation of a separate RSFSR KGB
on May 5, Radio Moscow reported April 30. According to Sergei
Stepashin, head of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Committee for State
Security, the territorial structures of the KGB in Russia will
come under the control of the RSFSR government. The Russian KGB
will be subordinated to the central KGB only for special "operational
missions." Interfax on April 27 identified the former deputy
chief of the KGB's investigation department, General Viktor Ivanenko,
as the future head of the Russian KGB. The decentralization of
the KGB and its partial transfer to RSFSR republican control
is a major victory for Yeltsin. (Alexander Rahr)

BOCHAROV FOR ECONOMIC DICTATORSHIP. The head of the RSFSR Supreme
Economic Council, Mikhail Bocharov, has outlined the basis of
an extraordinary economic program prepared by his council. Pravda
on April 30 quoted him as saying that the program foresees a
transfer to the market through economic dictatorship. The plan
suggests the suspension of all parliamentary and party activities
in the USSR and Russia for two years. During that time, the country
will be ruled not by the military but by professional politicians
who are to be elected by the people. Bocharov, once a leading
democrat and major economic consultant to Yeltsin, said that
35% of all Russian deputies share his views. (Alexander Rahr)


WORK STOPS AT KALININ ATOMIC STATION. The Tver' (formerly Kalinin)
soviet has decided to halt construction on the fourth block of
the Kalinin atomic power station, Radio Mayak reported April
30. The safety of the station has come under suspicion because
water under the stations' foundation makes the site potentially
too unstable. An expert team is to determine whether construction
should be completed. (John Tedstrom)

GEORGIAN EARTHQUAKE DEATH TOLL RISES. As of late yesterday, Kutaisi
city prefect Archil Kostava stated that 81 bodies had been recovered
from the ruins, 100 people were missing, 500 injured and 80,000
homeless in the four mountain raions worst hit, Reuters and AP
reported May 1. The final death toll is expected to be higher.
Rescue operations are hampered by blocked roads and wrecked communication
lines. Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia declared May 1 a
day of mourning. AFP May 1 reported that the Soviet government
has offered emergency aid, as have Israel, France and Japan.
(Liz Fuller)

ROUNDTABLE OFFICIAL SHOT DEAD IN ADZHAR PARLIAMENT. Nodar Imnadze,
head of the Adzhar branch of the Georgian ruling Round Table
coalition, was shot dead by security guards April 29 after bursting
into the speaker's office of the parliament building in Batumi
with a Kalashnikov rifle and injuring two officials, AFP reported
May 1 quoting TASS. Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia's eagerness
to abolish Adzhar autonomy is stubbornly opposed by local officials.
(Liz Fuller)

THIRTY-FIVE KILLED IN ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI CLASH. Up to 35 people,
including women and children, were killed April 30 when Soviet
troops and Azerbaijani police attacked the village of Getashen
in south-west Azerbaijan. TASS quotes Armenian sources as claiming
the action was part of an attempt to evict them from the village;
AzerINFORM says the troops were checking passports and seeking
to disarm guerrillas. The Armenian parliament issued a statement
May 1 accusing the central authorities of trying to draw Armenia
into "a war" with Azerbaijan and waging "state terrorism" against
the republic, Radio Moscow reported May 1. (Liz Fuller)

UKRAINE'S ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN NOT AS SEVERE AS SOVIET AVERAGE.
Citing the republican Statistics Committee, Radio Kiev reported
on April 30 that in the first quarter of 1991 Ukraine's national
income fell by 4.4% and production of industrial goods by 4.1%.
The average Soviet decline for the same period is almost twice
as high. (Valentyn Moroz)

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT YIELDS TO LABOR UNION FEDERATION. According
to an agreement with the Council of the Ukrainian Independent
Union Federation, the republican government will introduce this
month a "realistic minimum wage" and will begin income indexation
if prices rise further, Radio Moscow reported on May 1. The government
will also guarantee distribution of goods among the population
if supplies continue to deteriorate. According to the agreement,
medical, educational and cultural workers will receive raises
which will bring their salaries to average republican levels.
(Valentyn Moroz)

MOLDAVIA ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON OVERCOMING MOLOTOV-RIBBENTROP.
The Moldavian Supreme Soviet Presidium is organizing an international
conference with the participation of historians, political scientists,
and international law specialists, to be held in Kishinev on
June 26 to June 28, on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and ways to
transcend its consequences for Bessarabia. Members of parliaments
and individual diplomats from all CSCE states, the Baltic States,
and other union republics are also invited to attend. The conference
is sponsored by the Moldavian parliament's chairman Alexandru
Mosanu and will be chaired by parliament presidium member Valeriu
Matei, both of them professional historians. TASS reported on
the conference May 1. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN MAY DAY RALLY SUPPORTS STRIKING MINERS. A rally organized
by the Moldavian Popular Front and allied groups in Kishinev
on May 1, with 20,000 attending, expressed support for the demands
of the striking miners in the RSFSR and Ukraine, Moldovapres
reported the same day. The rally also denounced the proposed
Union treaty (which Moldavia has rejected) and expressed support
for RSFSR leader Boris Yeltsin. The Moldavian Popular Front is
also conducting a republic-wide collection of food for the striking
miners. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN AGREEMENT ON SOCIAL PROTECTION. The Moldavian government
and the republic's Trade Union Council have signed their second
agreement on social protection, Radio Moscow reported April 30.
The government obligates itself to set a guaranteed minimum living
standard for all categories of wage earners and to increase allocations
for state-subsidized meals in educational and social institutions
in proportion to price increases. This agreement supplements
the general agreement for 1991 signed by the republic's government
and trade unions on April 15 (see Daily Report, April 17). (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIAN STUDENTS IN ROMANIA. At a regular news briefing April
30, reported by Rompres that day, the Romanian government's chief
spokesman said that 1,500 university students and 1,200 high
school students from Moldavia were enrolled in Romanian universities
and schools for the current academic year. Most of them were
on Romanian state scholarships, and some received scholarships
from unofficial Romanian patriotic and cultural organizations.
(Vladimir Socor)

[as of 1300 CET]

Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise


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

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