Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 104, 04 June 1991



BALTIC STATES



SOVIET MILITARY ACTIONS IN VILNIUS. Last night (June 3) around
9:30 P.M. local time, Soviet military troops set up about 15
checkpoints in Vilnius around important sites in the city, including
3 around the parliament building, and forced passers-by to show
identification documents, Radio Independent Lithuania reported
on June 4. Some soldiers said they were searching for army deserters,
but they even stopped women. Two members of the National Defense
Department were briefly detained. Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis appeared several times on
Lithuanian television calling on the people to go to the parliament
to be "witnesses" if the parliament was attacked. Thousands of
Lithuanians gathered around the parliament, and the troops withdrew
about midnight. (Saulius Girnius)

SOVIET MILITARY VEHICLES THREATEN CUSTOMS POST. Also on June
3, six Soviet armored military vehicles surrounded the Lithuanian
customs post at Medininkai on the Lithuanian-Belorussian border.
The troops pointed their guns at the customs post, but withdrew
without incident eight hours later, Radio Vilnius reported that
day. (Saulius Girnius)

SOVIET PROSECUTOR EXONERATES SOVIET TROOPS. On June 3 USSR Prosecutor
General Nikolai Trubin issued a 15-page preliminary report on
the activities of the Soviet military on January 13 in Vilnius,
TASS reported June 3. The report declared that the tragic events
on January 13 were "the result of the Lithuanian leadership's
anti-constitutional activities." According to Trubin, statements
by witnesses and results of forensic expert examinations showed
that the people had been shot by Lithuanian militants or crushed
by cars. When attacked by militants "using knives, sticks, metal
rods," the soldiers had only "defended themselves with rifle
butts, firing shots with blanks and some live cartridges into
the air." Foreign journalists at the scene as well as video films,
however, contradict Trubin's version of the events. (Saulius
Girnius)

LITHUANIAN COMMENTS ON PROSECUTOR'S REPORT. Trubin's report was
immediately attacked by Lithuanian officials. Landsbergis told
RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service on June 3 that Nazi Propaganda Minister
Josef Goebbels "would be envious" of the report. Landsbergis
said that he believed that the USSR prosecutor "is sacrificing
himself to save Gorbachev" before the latter's Nobel Peace Prize
acceptance speech. The Lithuanian parliament issued a statement
declaring that the report was full of "impudent and boundless"
lies, quoting Landsbergis as saying that in the report "no value
is placed on truth and justice and there are not even signs of
an evolution toward a law-governed state," The Washington Post
reported June 4. (Saulius Girnius)

LANDSBERGIS CANCELS PLANNED TRIP TO MEET POPE. Landsbergis had
been planning to travel to Poland to meet with Pope John Paul
II, but told the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service on June 3 that the
recent military activities had forced him to cancel the trip.
Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius and the Lithuanian bishops, as
well as 600 buses from Lithuania, began on June 3 to travel to
Poland where the Pope will hold a special Mass for Lithuanians
in Lomza the morning of June 5. (Saulius Girnius)

CHERNOBYL VICTIMS START HUNGER STRIKE IN RIGA. Representatives
of the organization "Chernobyl" began a hunger strike in the
Dom Square in Riga on June 3, reported Radio Riga that day. Many
of its 6,000 members participated in the cleanup of the Chernobyl
explosion. Their spokesmen had told Supreme Council leaders last
week that if they were not guaranteed improved living conditions
and medical care, they would stage a hunger strike. Specifically,
they want Latvia to ratify the recent Soviet laws providing compensation
for Chernobyl victims. This demand is problematic and is not
supported by all members of "Chernobyl," since Latvia, as an
independent state, cannot adopt or ratify laws of another state.
(Dzintra Bungs)

IVANS CRITICAL OF USSR PROSECUTOR'S REPORT. Speaking on Swedish
Radio on June 3, Dainis Ivans, First Deputy Chairman of the Latvian
Supreme Council, disagreed with the USSR Procuracy's view of
the Soviet crackdown in Lithuania in January. He charged that
the action was planned in Moscow and probably had prior approval
from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev himself. On other matters,
Ivans was skeptical about the impact of the various groups and
presidential candidates in the RSFSR on the Soviet reform process,
noting that the military-industrial complex and the CPSU were
still very powerful. (Dzintra Bungs)

NARVA YOUTH FOR INDEPENDENCE. Some 4,000 young people in the
primarily Russian city of Narva have formed an organization to
support Estonia's independence, Rahva Haal reported on June 1.
"We live in the Republic of Estonia, want to support this state
and to remain within its constituency," the organization's chairman
Sergei Aleksandrov told ETA. "That's why we also have an Estonian
name, and [why] most of us are learning Estonian," Aleksandrov
added. The name "Young Narva" harkens back to the intensely pro-independence
literary circle "Young Estonia," which was active from 1905 to
the early 1920s. By supporting Narva's inclusion in Estonia,
"Young Narva" has stepped out against a recent proposal to turn
the city of Narva into a free trade zone, which opponents say
would be the first step toward political separation from the
rest of Estonia. (Riina Kionka)

FOOD PRICES TO RISE AGAIN. Estonians can expect further price
hikes in foodstuffs as of July 1, Paevaleht reported on June
1. On that day, the government will dismantle the remaining vestiges
of the system by which the state bought up agricultural products.
Because food prices will no longer be affected by subsidies,
but will instead be brought to market level, prices should stabilize
somewhat, with market forces, not lost subsidies, causing any
further hikes. (Riina Kionka)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


"SOCIALIST" TO BE DROPPED FROM TITLE OF SOVIET UNION. At a meeting
in Novo-Ogarevo June 3, the preparatory committee working on
the final draft of the Union treaty reaffirmed its decision to
drop the word "socialist" from the name of the USSR and replace
it with the word "sovereign," TASS reported that day. Gorbachev
aide Georgii Shakhnazarov said some participants argued that
the word "socialist" should be retained in the title in accordance
with the results of the March 17 referendum, but virtually no
country in the world now has an ideological symbol in its name.
Shakhnazarov said the name change did not mean the rejection
of socialist ideals. (Ann Sheehy)

GOODWILL PREVAILS AT NOVO-OGAREVO. According to Shakhnazarov
the meeting in Novo-Ogarevo, which was chaired by Gorbachev and
attended by the leaders of the nine republics that have expressed
an interest in signing a new Union treaty as well as the leaders
of the autonomous republics, was marked by goodwill and mutual
understanding. The participants managed to deal with the preamble
and start on the first section of the document, which covers
general principles. These are not the most controversial sections.
Shakhnazarov said that so far there had been no radical change
in the structure of the published text, but much work remained
to be done. (Ann Sheehy)

USSR SUPREME SOVIET WANTS VOICE IN UNION TREATY. In the USSR
Supreme Soviet session on June 3, several deputies once again
expressed alarm that attempts are being made to complete the
new Union treaty without their participation, TASS reported the
same day. Deputies have been upset by the 9-plus-one agreement
which envisages an early dissolution of the present all-Union
parliament after a new treaty is signed. An article in Nezavisimaya
gazeta of May 31 foresees the possibility of a constitutional
crisis. The article suggests that a constitutional way to overcome
the opposition of the all-Union parliament would be for republics
to recall their deputies and thus deprive the parliament of a
quorum. (Ann Sheehy)

LAW ON RECALL OF DEPUTIES ADOPTED. The USSR Supreme Soviet on
June 3 approved a law on the recall of People's Deputies, TASS
reported that day. Deputies can be recalled for failing to fulfill
their duties, violating the USSR Constitution or breaking the
law, or when they no longer enjoy the trust of their constituents.
The recall process begins with a petition signed by at least
10% of the voters in the deputy's electoral district (or in the
organization that elected him), which is then reviewed by the
local soviet. If approved, voters go to the polls to vote for
or against the deputy. (Dawn Mann)

ONLY VOLUNTEERS TO SERVE IN "HOT SPOTS." The USSR Defense Ministry
has announced that military units deployed to areas of social
unrest will be staffed only by volunteers, Radio "Mayak" reported
on June 3. Conscripts who agree to serve in such areas will receive
three to four times normal pay, a further two months' pay upon
discharge, and a yearly 20-day vacation. Units composed of "draftee-volunteers"
are reportedly already being formed in Leningrad for deployment
to the Transcaucasus, including the border regions between Armenia
and Azerbaijan. (Stephen Foye)

NO CHEMICAL OR NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN FORMER GDR. The German Environment
Minister, Klaus Toepfer, told journalists at a press conference
in Moscow on June 3 that he has been told that there are no nuclear
or chemical weapons on former East German territory, TASS and
Western agencies reported. The assurances reportedly came during
a conversation with Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov. Toepfer arrived
in Moscow on June 2 for three days of talks on environmental
problems, including those left behind by Soviet troops leaving
Germany. (NCA/Stephen Foye)

BESSMERTNYKH WARNS OF "NEW RISKS" TO EUROPE. Soviet Foreign Minister
Aleskandr Bessmertnykh, in a letter to European Community foreign
ministers meeting in Dresden, has warned that Europe faces "new
risks" following the end of the Cold War. According to Western
agency reports June 3, Bessmertnykh cautioned Europeans to be
aware of rising nationalism, ideological revanchism, the widening
gap between rich and poor countries, and population growth on
Europe's borders. Although Bessmertnykh apparently did not elaborate,
he told the EC ministers that these risks require a "joint response."
(NCA/Sallie Wise)

USSR ON SITUATION IN ETHIOPIA. Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman
Vitalii Churkin announced yesterday that the Soviet Union wants
"constructive dialogue" with the US, Italy, and other interested
countries to bring about a speedy normalization in Ethiopia,
TASS reported June 3. He stressed that the USSR remains "a reliable
friend of the people of Ethiopia," and supports "peaceful, democratic
reconstruction of the country...in conditions of freedom of choice
and respect for human rights." Churkin said that since the evacuation
of Soviet citizens from Ethiopia that began May 26, there were
66 Soviet embassy staffers and trade representatives and 52 medical
workers still in Ethiopia. (Sallie Wise)

SHEVARDNADZE DENIES PLANS FOR UN POST. Former Foreign Minister
Eduard Shevardnadze denied in a French television interview on
June 3 that he wants to replace Javier Perez de Cuellar as United
Nations Secretary General, Western agencies reported June 3.
Shevardnadze described Perez de Cuellar as his friend and urged
that he remain in office for another term. Shevardnadze was in
France promoting the French-language edition of his book. (NCA/Suzanne
Crow)

JAPAN HELPS USSR WITH DEFENSE INDUSTRIES. A delegation under
the auspices of the Japanese ministry for foreign trade and industry
is going to the USSR in mid-July to begin a program of assistance
to Soviet defense industries trying to convert to civilian production.
The delegation will include government officials, financiers,
and private business representatives with experience in conversion,
according to TASS, June 3. The group will visit a number of defense
plants and meet with relevant Soviet industrial officials. The
focus of the Japanese effort is, for the time being, on technical
assistance. (John Tedstrom)

SOVIET-ITALIAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEAL. Soviet military satellites
will be used in a joint venture project aimed at improving the
obsolete Soviet telephone network, according to an interview
with representatives of the Italian telecommunications concerns
"TELESPAZIO" and "STET" on Central Television, May 29. The representatives
gave no details of the deal. The Soviet partner in the deal will
be the newly-created state corporation "TELEKOM," which was formed
on the basis of USSR Ministry of Communications' telecommunication
divisions, and is headed by former Minister of Communications
Erlen Pervyshkin. (Victor Yasmann)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


YELTSIN CAMPAIGNING. RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin
announced his presidential program at a meeting of the Democratic
Russia movement on June 1. According to a TASS report that day,
he promised to improve living conditions within two years. Yeltsin
wants to obtain ultimate control over finance policy on RSFSR
territory and a transfer of all RSFSR industries, including military
plants, to RSFSR government jurisdiction. Yeltsin said that,
if elected president, he will conduct a sovereign foreign policy.
The Guardian on June 3 reported that, if he wins, Yeltsin plans
to visit the US shortly after his election. Yeltsin also promised
to return all confiscated church property in a meeting with Patriarch
Aleksii II. (Alexander Rahr)

RYZHKOV CAMPAIGNING. Former Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov stressed
during his electoral campaign at a meeting in Bashkiria that
he supports the socialist path and rejects capitalism for Russia.
TASS on June 1 quoted him as saying that if elected president,
he will prevent a sell-out of Russia's factories to millionaires
and foreigners. He said factories should be modernized with state
funds. Ryzhkov emphasized that he is not Gorbachev's candidate.
Gorbachev's candidate for the RSFSR presidential elections is
Vadim Bakatin, he asserted. Ryzhkov criticized the present Gorbachev/Yeltsin
alliance and said that it will last only until June 12--the day
of the RSFSR presidential elections. (Alexander Rahr)

ZHIRINOVSKY CAMPAIGNING. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the
Liberal-Democratic Party, said at a meeting in Perm' that only
he can save Russia from the danger of civil war. TASS on June
3 quoted him as saying that if elected president, he will alter
the country's foreign policy. He pointed out that the East-West
conflict is over and world politics should focus on North-South
relations. He promised to lift all economic barriers. He also
stressed that he will not touch the privileges of the military-industrial
industries in Perm' because the export of weapons remains an
important source of hard currency income. (Alexander Rahr)

MAKASHOV CAMPAIGNING. General Albert Makashov has promised to
establish law and order in Russia if elected president. According
to TASS on June 3, Makashov, who is supported by neo-Stalinist
Nina Andreeva, said that enterprises should not be sold, but
handed over to workers' collectives. Makashov also spoke in favor
of changing the political system so that the RSFSR parliament
and the local soviets will be elected by workers' collectives,
not through popular elections. He maintained that his goal is
to preserve Russia as a power, which should be strong and wealthy.
(Alexander Rahr)

DEFENSE MINISTRY: NO CAMPAIGNING BY DEMOCRATS. A directive issued
by the Defense Ministry to commanders in the city of Arkhangel'sk
forbids "spy-democrats" to campaign for the RSFSR presidency
among military units, Radio Rossii said on June 3. The directive--first
picked up by the Russian Information Agency out of Arkhangel'sk--was
reportedly announced to troops stationed at the local garrison.
At the same time, according to the report, campaigning in support
of Ryzhkov is being conducted without restriction. A representative
of "Soldiers For Democracy" will reportedly lodge a protest with
Moscow. (Stephen Foye)

SHATALIN JOINS DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF RUSSIA. Academician Stanislav
Shatalin, former economic adviser to Gorbachev, joined the Democratic
Party of Russia headed by Nikolai Travkin, Radio "Mayak" reported
June 3. Shatalin was quoted by the radio as saying the Democratic
Party of Russia represents interests of Russia better than any
other political organization. For his part, Travkin (a worker)
noted that Shatalin's membership in his party refutes the myth,
spread by its critics, that the party is not suitable for intellectuals.
(Vera Tolz)

ARE SOME INDUSTRIES OFF-LIMITS? In a development related to the
RSFSR's plans for privatization (see Daily Report, June 3), Gorbachev
has been stressing in comments devoted to the new Union treaty
that the defense, oil, and gas industries should remain under
all-Union subordination, Radio Rossii reported June 3. These
industries, the primary hard currency earners in the USSR, would
apparently not be eligible for privatization. In support of his
republic's efforts to become more independent and less centralized,
Yeltsin noted that he could not agree with Gorbachev on this
point. (John Tedstrom)

NAGORNO-KARABAKH ARMENIANS READY FOR DIALOGUE? TASS reported
June 3 that a group of Nagorno-Karabakh officials have dispatched
a telegram to Gorbachev, USSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Anatolii
Luk'yanov, and Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov expressing
their readiness for a dialogue with the Azerbaijani leadership
in the presence of USSR Supreme Soviet representatives. The signatories
demanded an end to the ongoing bloodshed and forced deportation
of Armenians and the release of hostages. (NCA/Liz Fuller)

INTERPARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION IN GEORGIA. Georgian Parliament
chairman Akaki Asatiani met June 3 with members of the inter-
parliamentary commission of deputies to the USSR, RSFSR and Georgian
Supreme Soviets which for the past two weeks has studied the
situation in South Ossetia. Commission members expressed concern
at ongoing tension and rising crime in the former South Ossetian
AO. They proposed "a period of civic peace and accord" in the
region, and creation of a committee to coordinate attempts by
law enforcement organs and residents to restore normal living
conditions and economic activity, TASS reported June 3. (Liz
Fuller)

EXPLOSION IN BUKHARA. Russian Television reported on its evening
news show on June 3 that a tank of liquid chlorine had exploded
at a railway station in Bukhara in Uzbekistan. A poisonous cloud
spread over an area of 1.5 kilometers, which included dwellings.
Twenty-seven people had to be hospitalized. The report did not
give the date of the explosion. (Bess Brown)

TRIAL ENDS IN BISHKEK. The May 29 issue of Izvestia reported
that the corruption trial of Asanbai Askarov, former First Secretary
of Kazakhstan's Chimkent Oblast CP organization and a relative
of Kazakhstan's former Party chief Dinmukhamed Kunaev, has ended
in the Kirgiz capital. It had been underway for almost two years.
Askarov, who was convicted of having received more than 111,000
rubles in bribes, was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment; six
Party and government officials tried with him received varying
terms of imprisonment. The trial was held in Kyrgyzstan because
officials in Kazakhstan feared a wave of popular sympathy for
Askarov if the trial were held in Alma-Ata. (Bess Brown)

BELORUSSIAN STRIKE LEADERS ASK FOR OBSERVERS. According to the
Post-Faktum news agency on June 3, the Council of Belorussian
Strike Committees has asked the leadership of the RSFSR to send
observers to Belorussia. The request is being made in connection
with the alleged persecution of participants in the politically-motivated
labor strikes that took place in April and May in the republic.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

BELORUSSIAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS OBTAIN REGISTRATION. As reported
by Radio Rossii and other sources, the Belorussian Social Democratic
Society was registered May 24 by the Ministry of Justice. That
brings to three the number of noncommunist political parties
that have obtained legal status in Belorussia. The other two
are the United Democratic Party and the Belorussian Peasant Party.
Only the Social Democrats, however, already have a faction in
the republican Supreme Soviet. (Kathy Mihalisko)

"UNIVERSAL" COMMODITY EXCHANGE OPENS IN KIEV. Ukrinform-Tass
reported on May 28 that the first Ukrainian commodity exchange/stock
market, launched by the State Supplies Committee, Ministry of
Commerce, Republican Exhibit Center and the Ukrainian Economists
Association, has held its first trading session. It differs from
the 20 regional republican exchanges in that trade there is conducted
only by brokers and electronic equipment is widely used. 350
million rubles' worth of goods were offered at the first session.
Plans for the future include trading information with Russian
and Belorussian exchanges and trading sessions five days a week.
(Valentyn Moroz)

MOLDAVIAN PREMIER TERMED WORTHY SUCCESSOR OF DRUC. Interviewed
by Romanian TV June 2, Moldavia's foremost poet, Grigore Vieru,
who is a USSR People's Deputy and a vocal defender of the recently
ousted Moldavian Prime Minister Mircea Druc, commended Moldavian
President Mircea Snegur for choosing Valeriu Muravschi as the
new Prime Minister. Vieru termed Muravschi "as good a Romanian
and Christian as Druc" and noted Muravschi's plans to continue
Druc's agenda of radical economic and social reforms. (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIAN PREMIER ON SOVIET CENTRAL TV. In his first interview
as Prime Minister of Moldavia with the Soviet central media,
Muravschi told Central Television June 1 that "the center completely
failed to take our position seriously" in preparing the Union
treaty, and that partly as a result of this, Moldavia "has moved
and is trying to move further in the direction of independence."
Indicating that any decision on independence will be made by
popular consultation, Muravschi added that Kishinev considers
economic links with Soviet republics to be vitally necessary
irrespective of Moldavia's future political status. (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIAN PREMIER'S ROMANIAN INTERVIEW. In his first interview
as Prime Minister with the Romanian media, Muravschi told Rompres
June 2 that "we have the same language, history and destiny...[and]
we must now strive to integrate our economies." Echoing his immediate
predecessor Druc, Muravschi called for "100 joint ventures" to
be set up by Romania and Moldavia, while also reaffirming Moldavia's
pursuit of horizontal cooperation with Soviet republics. In contrast
to Romania's policies, Muravschi reiterated Kishinev's resolve
to speed up the transition to a market economy and privatization,
to be closely followed by the liberalization of prices. (Vladimir
Socor)


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

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