We may live without friends; we may live without books; But civilized man cannot live without cooks. - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 100, 28 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



LITHUANIA DECLARES SOVIET TROOPS ILLEGAL. After three days of
discussions in closed session, the Lithuanian Supreme Council
on May 27 adopted two decisions, Radio Independent Lithuania
reported on May 28. The first declared that the "USSR MVD OMON
and also any other formations that are not provided for by the
laws of the Republic of Lithuania are illegal." It also called
on the Lithuanian government to strengthen control over the Lithuanian
border and reestablish customs posts that were destroyed. The
second decision was an appeal to the citizens and inhabitants
of Lithuania urging OMON troops to refuse to participate in criminal
activities against the people of Lithuania or even to leave their
units. (Saulius Girnius)

PUGO NO LONGER DENIES OMON PARTICIPATION IN BORDER ATTACKS. In
an interview appearing in Izvestia May 27, USSR Minister of Internal
Affairs Boriss Pugo contended that the MVD had "absolutely no
material confirming that the Riga or any other OMON subunit was
involved" in the attacks on the Latvian and Lithuanian customs
posts. That evening RFE/RL correspondent Mikhail Bombin reported
that a later issue of Izvestia noted that Pugo had reversed his
stand. In view of Aleksandr Nevzorov's filmed reports of the
OMON exploits along the Baltic borders, Pugo reportedly said
that such "evidence cannot be ignored." (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN CONCERN OVER TALKS WITH THE USSR. On May 23, the Latvian
delegation for talks with the USSR expressed alarm over the sudden
Soviet decision to postpone the talks, "all the more so because
the postponement of the planned meeting coincides with new acts
of violence by USSR armed formations against the Republic of
Latvia." The statement revealed that on May 22, OMON units had
raided the Latvian militia administration, and noted that such
attacks give cause for "concern that certain forces in the Soviet
Union want to tackle the question of further relations between
the USSR and the Republic of Latvia with the help of armed force,
and not by way of talks." The Latvians, nonetheless, expressed
readiness to continue the talks on June 6 and 7, as proposed
by the USSR. (Dzintra Bungs)

ANTI-INDEPENDENCE FORCES WANT SAY IN LATVIAN-USSR TALKS. On May
23 members of the Interfront and other anti-indpendence groups
staged a protest in front of the Council of Ministers building
in Riga to demand that prices of goods and services in Latvia
be reduced to the level of USSR prices. The participants, claiming
to represent 42 labor collectives and various organizations of
war veterans and servicemen, also demanded that their organizations
have a say in the Latvian-USSR talks. Radio Riga reported on
May 24 that the picketers threatened the Latvian government with
a general strike if their demands were not met. In contrast,
they voiced the same demands politely in an appeal addressed
to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. (Dzintra Bungs)

LANDSBERGIS APPEAL TO WESTERN DEMOCRACIES. On May 25 the Bureau
of Information of the Lithuanian Supreme Council issued the text
of an appeal "To the Leaders of the Western Democracies" by its
chairman Vytautas Landsbergis. The appeal noted that the USSR
authorities legitimize recent attacks on Lithuanian customs posts
by Soviet troops through decrees that "continue to be used to
lay claim to Soviet 'sovereignty' over Lithuania." Western silence
on these attacks could be interpreted as an admission that the
1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact assigning Lithuania to the USSR's "sphere
of influence" was still valid today, the appeal noted. (Saulius
Girnius)

BALTS AT CSCE CONFERENCE IN KRAKOW. A 10-day symposium discussing
international cooperation in preserving the common cultural heritage
will begin on May 28 in Krakow, a RFE/RL correspondent reported
on May 27. The USSR vetoed the Baltic States request to participate
in this CSCE conference, but Poland has invited four delegates
from Lithuania and Denmark three delegates from Estonia as their
guests. The Balts will not be allowed to address the symposium
or participate in its work. A theater group from Vilnius will
present Jeshua Sobol's play "Ghetto" in an arts festival that
will be held in conjunction with the conference. (Saulius Girnius)


FARMERS' RALLIES IN VILNIUS. On May 23 thousands of people gathered
in Vilnius at the invitation of the Farmers' Union to protest
the reorganization of Lithuania's agriculture being passed by
the parliament and government, Radio Vilnius reported that day.
The authorities did not allow the rally to be held in front of
the parliament building, but several thousand people nevertheless
gathered there. Farmers' Union chairman Vidmantas Velikonis,
parliament deputies Jonas Tamulis and Algirdas Brazauskas, and
many other speakers addressed the 20,000 people who gathered
in Kalnu Park for the main rally. It passed an 11-point resolution
urging the authorities to change their agricultural policy. (Saulius
Girnius)

KAMPELMAN IN LITHUANIA. On May 23 the head of the US delegation
to the CSCE, Max Kampelman, held talks with Landsbergis. On May
24 he visited some of the buildings seized by the Soviet military
in January and met with representatives of the Polish and Russian
minorities, as well as Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas, Radio
Independent Lithuania reported on May 25. (Saulius Girnius)

CHERNOBYL VICTIMS WANT COMPENSATION. Radio Riga reported on May
27 that representatives of approximately 6,000 Chernobyl victims
in Latvia plan to hold a hunger strike in Riga. The hunger strike
would be staged if the Latvian authorities did not grant them
compensation and medical care, similar to that recently approved
by the USSR Supreme Soviet. The Latvian Supreme Council is to
address the issue on May 29. The vast majority of Chernobyl victims
in Latvia are men who had to participate in the cleanup after
the explosion; so far, 58 deaths have been registered in Latvia
that are linked to the Chernobyl disaster. (Dzintra Bungs)

LAWFUL PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION FORMED IN LATVIA. The Lawful
Property Owners Association was officially founded on May 18,
reported Radio Riga that day. The meeting was attended by 73
delegates from 14 branch associations, formed since the April
8 meeting in Riga of those wishing to establish such an organization.
The delegates elected to the presidium Zigurds Strikis, Roberts
Zile, and Anta Bergmane. The new association, affiliated with
the Committee of Latvia and the citizens' movement, aims to protect
the rights of those who owned property in pre-war Latvia and
to ensure that Latvian property rights are not usurped by Soviet
institutions. (Dzintra Bungs)

TALLINN POLICE GET UNIFORMS. Tallinn's police are finally getting
new uniforms, Paevaleht reported on May 22. The uniforms will
replace the old militia garb worn before the new police force
was organized last year. Traffic police were the first to get
new uniforms. Although the uniforms are still incomplete, lacking
some trimming, two newly-clothed traffic inspectors told Paevaleht
they were happy with the change: "It feels better to wear the
new uniform than the militia uniform. People look at [the new
uniforms] with curiosity and have a better attitude toward them."
(Riina Kionka)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


LUK'YANOV ON UNION TREATY. USSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Anatolii
Luk'yanov told the parliament May 27 that everyone at the meeting
of the committee preparing the Union treaty in Novo-Ogarevo on
May 24 had agreed that the new Union should be a federation,
TASS reported. Luk'yanov said that continuing differences about
its future name could be settled at a session of the committee
in a week's time. The May 24 meeting had come out in favor of
the two chambers of the future Supreme Soviet being equal. Luk'yanov
himself and the chairman of the Council of Nationalities, Rafik
Nishanov, had defended the right of the Union to take part in
the signing of the treaty, Luk'yanov added. (Ann Sheehy)

GORBACHEV ON UNION TREATY. Luk'yanov told the Supreme Soviet
further that he had met Gorbachev May 27 to discuss work on the
treaty. Gorbachev had stressed that the choice made by the people
in favor of a federation in the March 17 referendum was the most
important criterion for work on the treaty, and "the principles
of a federation should permeate the whole treaty, all its sections,
beginning from its title." This concerned the division of powers
between the republics and the Union, the structure of the organs
of the federation, questions of citizenship, and other matters.
(Ann Sheehy)

MINISTRY OF FINANCE TAKES A LOAN. The USSR Supreme Soviet approved
a presidential order May 27 for Gosbank to loan 5 billion rubles
to the USSR Ministry of Finance, TASS reported the same day.
The loan runs until October 1, 1991, and carries a 6% annual
interest rate. The funds will go to the extra-budgetary fund
for economic stabilization established by agreement between the
Center and the republics in 1990, and included in the 1991 all-Union
budget. The Baltic republics have subsequently refused to contribute
to the fund, and other republics have reduced the size of their
contributions. The fund should have had about 12 billion rubles
of deposits in the first quarter alone this year, but as of May
1, it totalled only 1.8 billion. (John Tedstrom)

MOELLEMANN MEETS PAVLOV. German Economics Minister Juergen Moellemann
held talks with Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov in Moscow yesterday,
TASS reported May 27. The two ministers focused their attention
on the further development of Soviet-German economic relations,
and discussed the maintenance of "traditional business ties"
between Soviet enterprises and their partners in the former GDR,
TASS said. They also grappled with the issue of housing construction
for Soviet troops returning from Germany. Western agencies May
27 quoted Moellemann as saying that Pavlov had agreed to award
Eastern German firms DM 1.2 billion in contracts for investment
goods, in addition to DM 9 billion in orders for which the USSR
has already contracted. (Sallie Wise)

GORBACHEV MAY ACCEPT "CONDITIONS" ON WESTERN AID. Debate continues
on whether, and on what terms, Gorbachev may be invited to the
G-7 summit in July. German State Secretary Horst Koehler was
quoted by Western agencies May 27 as saying that "the summit
should be in a position to issue a statement where willingness
to give financial aid [to the USSR] is linked with certain formulations
of what the G-7 countries see as preconditions for such aid."
German government sources in Bonn told Western agencies May 27
that the G-7 communique would speak of "conditions" for aid and
that Gorbachev would accept them. (Sallie Wise)

OPTIMISM OVER START. Following a UN disarmament conference in
Kyoto, Japan on May 27, senior Soviet and US officials expressed
optimism that the START treaty would soon be concluded. Ronald
Lehman, chief of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency,
said the superpowers are close to agreement on START "although
there are some issues left." Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir
Petrovsky said there is reason to hope that a summit to sign
the treaty could take place this year. Both officials claimed
that Moscow and Washington are close to resolving a dispute over
the CFE treaty, Western agencies reported May 27. (NCA/Suzanne
Crow)

CHURKIN ON EASTERN EUROPE AND NATO. Responding to a question
at his May 27 briefing about the possibility of East European
cooperation with NATO, Soviet Foreign Ministry Spokesman Vitalii
Churkin stressed that such cooperation was moving in the direction
of the exchange of military information and experience, TASS
said May 27. (Suzanne Crow)

STAROVOITOVA COMMENTS ON KGB LAW. The new law on the KGB gives
state security officers the right to enter public and private
premises without being sanctioned by the procuracy, People's
Deputy Galina Starovoitova told Radio Rossii, May 26. She criticized
the USSR Supreme Soviet for adopting the law which legally extends
the KGB's functions. As examples, Starovoitova cited provisions
of the law allowing postal censorship and eavesdropping, KGB
control over the Army and MVD, the KGB's right to issue decrees
that are mandatory for public organizations, and rules concerning
the KGB archives. She expressed the hope, however, that the newly-created
RSFSR KGB will be not involved in political surveillance and
ideological control. (Victor Yasmann)

KGB SIGNS CONTRACT WITH ITALIAN CINEMA FIRM. The head of the
KGB Public Relations Center, General Aleksandr Karabainov, has
signed a contract in Rome with a Italian cinema group on a 13-part
television series about the history of the KGB, Pravda reported
May 27. According to the contract, the KGB will provide the Italian
producers a list of the most interesting KGB operations abroad
and later will give them access to KGB veterans who took part
in the operations. The deal reflects a new line of the KGB public
relations offensive in which the KGB promotes its activities
abroad rather than concealing them. "KGB intelligence has done
nothing to be ashamed of," said the chief of KGB Intelligence,
Leonid Shebarshin, to Central Television, December 20, 1990.
(Victor Yasmann)

YAZOV BANS AESCHYLUS. Soviet Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov personally
banned Peter Stein's production of "Oresteia" by Aeschylus (525-456
BC) in the Moscow Soviet Army theater, Komsomol'skaya pravda
reported May 12. The theater's management attempted to persuade
Marshal Yazov that Stein is "nearly the most famous theater director
in the world," but their argument fell on deaf ears. In the year
of the 50th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union,
Yazov told Komsomol'skaya pravda, "why should our Army theater
provide its stage for some German to perform a play by some Greek?"
(Julia Wishnevsky)

CHURCH COMMEMORATES VICTIMS OF REPRESSION. TASS on May 24 quoted
the current issue of Moskovskii tserkovnyi vestnik as saying
that burial services will be held on June 8 in all dioceses of
the Russian Orthodox Church for all those clergymen and laymen
who were repressed during the Soviet period. (Oxana Antic)

SALVATION ARMY OPENS FIRST BRANCH IN USSR. It was announced in
October, 1990 that the Salvation Army would resume its activities
in the Soviet Union (see Daily Report, October 25, 1990). Izvestia
reported on May 18 that a branch of this international religious
organization has opened in Leningrad. Removed from the Soviet
Union in 1923, the Salvation Army now plans to open Sunday schools
for children and adults, cafes and restaurants for the needy,
and boarding schools. (Oxana Antic)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN UNDER WAY. RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman
Boris Yeltsin yesterday began his campaign for the presidency
of the Russian Federation. According to TASS, Yeltsin was expected
in the far northern port of Murmansk late at night on May 27;
after a tour of the Kola peninsula, Yeltsin will make a whirlwind
tour through the rest of the RSFSR. He is due back in Moscow
June 6 to take part in Central Television's "Who's Who?" phone-in
program. (Elizabeth Teague)

BAKATIN MAKES A GOOD IMPRESSION. On May 27, "Who's Who?" featured
presidential candidate Vadim Bakatin who strove to present himself
as a liberal-leaning centrist. (For example, Bakatin said he
personally favors private ownership of land, but condemned Yeltsin's
efforts to force it through on the grounds that the general population
is not yet ready for such a step.) The campaign of presidential
hopeful Nikolai Ryzhkov continues to be propagandized by the
conservative media, in particular, by the newspaper of the RSFSR
Communist Party, Sovetskaya Rossiya, while Krasnaya zvezda reported
May 28 on Ryzhkov's visit to the soldiers of the Moscow garrison.
(Elizabeth Teague)

YAKOVLEV CLASHES WITH MAKASHOV. "Poor is [our] country, if a
man like you claims the presidential post of Great Russia," said
Aleksandr Yakovlev to General Albert Makashov in Nezavisimaya
gazeta May 23. In an interview published in the same newspaper
two day earlier, hard-liner Makashov (who blames Yakovlev for
promoting liberal reforms during his six years in power) questioned
Yakovlev's wartime record, saying that there were no marine troops
in the Red Army in 1942. In his reply, Yakovlev (who was badly
wounded on the Leningrad front at the age of 19) accused Makashov
of blackening the memory of Soviet marines who died in action
fighting the Nazis. (Julia Wishnevsky)

POLOZKOV COMPARES PRESIDENCY TO MONARCHY. RSFSR CP First Secretary
Ivan Polozkov compared the creation of the Russian presidency
to restoration of the monarchy. TASS on May 23 quoted him as
saying that the Russian presidency contradicts the very idea
of perestroika because it means the "destruction of all democratic
principles" and a "turn from people's democracy." He warned that
the creation of a Russian presidency will provoke a chain reaction
in the republics, which will result in the appearance of several
dozen new presidents. The RSFSR CP has tried to postpone the
presidential elections until late summer to give Yeltsin's opponents
more time to conduct their campaign. (Alexander Rahr)

GREEN PARTY FOUNDED IN RSFSR. Ecology groups in the RSFSR have
joined together to form a "Green" Party, TASS reported May 27.
At its founding conference in Leningrad, the new party called
for the replacement of all nuclear power plants in the USSR by
"ecologically clean" sources of energy. The new party will have
its work cut out. Today's Financial Times (May 28) cites the
USSR Minister of Atomic Energy, Vitalii Konovalov, as telling
Pravda in a recent interview that the Soviet government plans
to triple the country's nuclear energy capacity by the year 2000.
(NCA/Elizabeth Teague)

OIL WORKERS MAY STRIKE. Igor' Klochkov, Chairman of the Independent
Russian Trade Union Federation, was quoted by Radio Moscow May
27 as saying RSFSR oil workers are insisting on better working
and living conditions. He said workers in the oil and petroleum
refining industries would go on strike "soon" unless they get
higher pay and other benefits. The best information from Moscow
indicates that transfer of the oil and gas industries to RSFSR
subordination is not one of their demands. Yeltsin noted on May
25, however, that ownership of Russia's oil and gas reserves
are still a matter of debate in his discussions with Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev. (John Tedstrom)

TATARSTAN SUPSOV MEETS AGAINST BACKGROUND OF PROTESTS. The Tatarstan
Supreme Soviet started work May 27 with pickets outside the building
and several individuals continuing the hunger strike begun two
weeks ago to protest the holding of the RSFSR presidential elections
in the republic, Radio Moscow reported. On the evening of May
26 a meeting of several thousands in Kazan' adopted a resolution
calling for the elections not to be held. Novosti reported May
23 that there were almost daily protest meetings in Kazan', Naberezhnye
Chelny, Al'met'evsk, and other cities, and that the struggle
for power in the republic was taking on more and more of an ethnic
coloration. (Ann Sheehy)

SESSION OF CRIMEAN TATAR COMMISSION. A routine session of the
state commission for the problems of the Crimean Tatars on May
27 noted that already about 135,000 Crimean Tatars, or more than
a third of those in the USSR, were now living in the Crimea,
TASS reported. A survey had shown that the absolute majority
of Crimean Tatars wanted to return to the Crimea for permanent
residence in the next three years, but their unorganized arrival
was said to be causing serious problems. The commission suggested
that special commissions should be set up in areas of compact
settlement of Crimean Tatars to assist their organized return.
(Ann Sheehy)

REVISED FIGURE FOR NUMBER OF CRIMEAN TATARS. A report from USSR
Goskomstat presented to a session of the State Commission for
Crimean Tatar Problems on May 23 said that it had been established
that 350,000 individuals regarded themselves as Crimean Tatars,
TASS reported. According to the 1989 census there were only 272,000
Crimean Tatars in the Soviet Union, but this figure was generally
regarded as too low. The commission noted that quite a lot had
been done to repatriate Crimean Tatars to the Crimea, but the
work was still being hampered by a acute lack of material and
technical resources. (Ann Sheehy)

GAMSAKHURDIA ELECTED GEORGIAN PRESIDENT. Official results announced
May 27 indicate that with virtually all votes counted, acting
president Zviad Gamsakhurdia has won 87% of the vote in the Georgian
presidential election. His closest rival, Valerian Advadze, received
6%, and Georgian CP first secretary Dzhemal Mikeladze -- 1.7%.
Voter turnout was given as 84%, according to The New York Times,
May 28. Gamsakhurdia celebrated May 27 with a march-past by the
newly created Georgian National Guard and pledged to assure the
security of the Georgian people and to battle "provocateurs,
criminals and the communist mafia." He expressed outrage at what
he termed territorial claims by Armenia on Georgia, Western agencies
reported May 27. (Liz Fuller)

GORBACHEV VISITING KAZAKHSTAN. TASS reported on May 27 that Mikhail
Gorbachev is to begin a working visit to Kazakhstan today (May
28). The main stops during the visit, which is expected to last
three days, are Alma-Ata, Kokchetav in the grain-growing northern
part of the republic, and the southern industrial city of Chimkent.
The only time Gorbachev visited Kazakhstan since becoming General
Secretary of the CPSU was in 1985. The TASS report does not mention
specific reasons for the present trip, but it is possible that
Gorbachev wants to see the workings of Kazakhstan's economic
reform program for himself. (Bess Brown)

TESTING TO BE RESUMED IN SEMIPALATINSK? Kazakhstan's anti-nuclear
Nevada-Semipalatinsk movement has learned that testing is soon
to be resumed at the test site in Semipalatinsk Oblast, and the
movement's Siberian chapter is appealing to the population of
the Altai Krai to protest. A TASS report of May 27 quoted the
Siberian appeal as warning that the Altai is downwind of the
testing site--and tests are conducted only when the wind is blowing
in that direction. The appeal also says that if tests are resumed
(three have been planned for 1991), the movement will have to
resort to extreme measures, without specifying what these might
be. (Bess Brown)

UZBEKISTAN'S COMMUNIST PARTY REGISTERED. TASS reported on May
24 that the Communist Party of Uzbekistan was the first public
organization to register as such with the republican ministry
of justice. The report claims that the Party, which now has over
650,000 members, is growing. Perhaps now that the Communist Party
has had the honor of registering first, republican authorities
will permit the registration of the Popular Front organization,
"Birlik." (Bess Brown)

UZBEK, KIRGIZ PRESIDENTS APPEAL FOR RECONCILIATION. Presidents
Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan and Askar Akaev of Kyrgyzstan have
issued an appeal to their republics in connection with the upcoming
anniversary of the 1990 violence in Osh Oblast. A TASS report
of May 25 quoted the appeal as attributing the Osh events, which,
according to official sources, cost more than 300 lives, to the
underdeveloped economy and low living standard of the people
in the region. According to the report, parts of Osh Oblast are
still under curfew. (Bess Brown)

SOVIET DEFENSE PLANT BURNS DOWN. Vremya May 26 reported that
the Aynur defense industry works in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan was gutted
by fire early the same day. The fire apparently began in the
plant's recreation area and spread throughout the facility. Firefighters
were unable to put out the flames because of inadequate water
pressure. Defense authorities were unwilling to give details
of the plant's operations due to security concerns. (NCA/John
Tedstrom)

KGB MAJORS DEBATE 'DEPARTIFICATION'. The issue of eliminating
Communist Party control over law enforcement agencies has reached
the Belorussian KGB. On May 7, Narodnaya gazeta, organ of the
republican Supreme Soviet, published a letter by Major Petr Snopok
in defense of one-party rule in KGB ranks. He was replying to
an article published March 8 by fellow major V. I. Kostko in
favor of democratization and "departification" of the KGB. To
allow political parties other the CPSU to be represented in the
MVD, KGB, and Ministry of Defense is an "absurd idea," argues
Snopok, given that nefarious forces are waiting to turn the country
away from socialism. (Kathy Mihalisko)

TRANSYLVANIA HUNGARIAN LEADERS VOICE SUPPORT FOR MOLDAVIA. Addressing
a congress of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania
in the Transylvanian city of Marosvasarhely/Tirgu-Mures June
26, the Federation's Honorary Chairman, Bishop Laszlo Toekes,
"urged his fellow-Hungarians to take a stand on the situation
of Romanians in the USSR," Rompres reported the same day. "We
must take the side of the Romanian nation, advocate the unification
of Romanian territories, for Moldavia's right of self-determination,"
Rompres further quoted Toekes as saying. (Vladimir Socor)

MORE HUNGARIAN SUPPORT. Interviewed by RFE/RL's Romanian service
May 27, the Federation's President, Geza Domokos, said that "of
course the Moldavians in Bessarabia are a part of the Romanian
nation, from whose body they were torn away ...We support the
Moldavians' right to determine their fate in accordance with
their own will. We regard the developments in Moldavia with sympathy."
The Federation's General Secretary, Geza Szoecs, has long been
on record with the same position. The Hungarian Democratic Federation
of Romania is allied to the Romanian democratic opposition, as
is the Moldavian Popular Front. (Vladimir Socor)


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

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