|When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain|
No. 105, 05 June 1991
BALTIC STATES SAJUDIS ORGANIZES VIGILS AROUND PARLIAMENT. On June 4 Radio Independent Lithuania read an appeal to the people of Lithuania issued by Sajudis calling for vigils around the parliament building in Vilnius to help prevent an army attack. The appeal listed a schedule designating on which night (from June 4 to 10) people from various raions should gather for the vigil, lasting from 6:00 P.M. to 9:00 A.M. the following morning. Similar vigils are thought to have played a role in preventing an army attack on the parliament in January and may serve the same purpose again. (Saulius Girnius) US CONDEMNS TRUBIN REPORT, TROOP DEPLOYMENTS. On June 4 US State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler denounced the report by Soviet General Prosecutor Nikolai Trubin on the violence in Vilnius last January, explaining that "videotapes and pictures taken at the time, and forensic evidence developed by the Lithuanian authorities, both indicate that Soviet troops were responsible for the deaths in January." Tutwiler said that Trubin's report appeared to be "at odds with the facts." Tutwiler also commented on the troop deployments in Vilnius on June 3, noting that it was unclear how the latest Soviet display of force in Lithuania "can be consistent with the expressed intentions of Moscow to avoid violence." (NCA/Gytis Liulevicius) IGNATENKO BLAMES LANDSBERGIS. Soviet presidential spokesman Vitalii Ignatenko, in Oslo arranging for Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's trip, told reporters June 4 that Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis was responsible for the current tense situation in Lithuania, Western agencies reported that day. Ignatenko reportedly said: "Every time US-Soviet relations, or relations with the West, start looking better, Landsbergis does something like this." It is, however, difficult to comprehend how Landsbergis could be considered responsible for the USSR Prosecutor's report exonerating the Soviet military for the deaths in Vilnius in January or the setting up of military checkpoints in Vilnius June 3. (Saulius Girnius) SHEVARDNADZE CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN BALTIC STATES Speaking at a press conference in Paris on June 4, former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze condemned Soviet violence in the Baltic States and called upon Moscow to begin a "serious, fundamental dialogue with the Baltic and other republics... there is no other way [to resolve problems] than to conduct negotiations among equals in a peaceful atmosphere," a RFE/RL correspondent in Paris reported that day. While Shevardnadze said that he was not aware of the details of Soviet troop deployments in Vilnius on June 3, he said "tanks won't help...and violence just won't work." Force "is not the right method." (Saulius Girnius) LITHUANIANS MEET POPE IN POLAND. Pope John Paul II held an outdoor Mass in Lomza on June 4 in which more than 16,000 Lithuanians from Poland and Lithuania also participated. Radio Independent Lithuania reported June 5 that Lithuanian television would broadcast that night the Pope's meeting with Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevicius and the Lithuanian Catholic Church hierarchy, as well as Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Ceslovas Stankevicius, Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila, and Minister of Education and Culture Darius Kuolys. The Pope held a special Mass for the Lithuanians in the Lomza Cathedral at 9:00 A.M. today. Sladkevicius invited the Pope to visit Lithuania next year. (Saulius Girnius) MOISEEV WARNS LATVIANS ABOUT MILITARY DRAFT. In a letter sent to Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs, USSR First Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Moiseev warned that all possible measures would be taken in order to fulfill the spring draft, reported Radio Riga on June 4. Spokesmen for the Military Commisariat in Latvia told Supreme Council deputies that though the draft had been met only by about 20-25%, force would not be used to complete the draft. The deputies were skeptical about these assurances, recalling the situation in January in Latvia vis-a-vis conscription. (Dzintra Bungs) LAW ON POLICE ADOPTED IN LATVIA. Radio Riga reported on June 4 that earlier that day the Supreme Council adopted a law on police. This means that the present militia would be dismantled during the coming year and a new police force, loyal to the Republic of Latvia, would be organized. (Dzintra Bungs) NO NEW SOVIET ANTI-AIRCRAFT INSTALLATIONS IN LIEPAJA? Commander of the Soviet forces in Liepaja (Post No. 90450), Boris Fershalov, told Liepaja mayor Imants Vismins that no new air defense installations are being constructed in the vicinity of that coastal city, according to Diena of June 3. His statement contradicts an earlier statement by Colonel Yurii Zamyatin (see Daily Report, June 3). Fershalov also expressed interest in closer cooperation between his forces and the city authorities. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIAN ECONOMIC AND POPULATION DATA FOR 1991. On May 18, Radio Riga reported that about 2,681,000 persons now live in Latvia; population growth was caused primarily by immigration. The national economy employs 1,405,000 people. Average monthly income for those working in the state sector is 365 rubles (270 rubles in 1990), in agriculture--349 rubles (274 rubles last year), and in cooperatives--470 rubles. In the first quarter of 1991, compared with the same period last year, housing construction dropped by 42%. There was also a decline in production of wool material (-26%), knitwear (-17%), sugar (-45%), meat (-14%), and whole milk (-21%). (Dzintra Bungs) VALJAS JOINS SHEVARDNADZE'S THINK TANK. Former ECP First Secretary Vaino Valjas has joined Shevardnadze's new think tank, Rahva Haal reported on June 4. Valjas, who was Soviet Ambassador to Nicaragua before taking over the ECP in June 1988, told Rahva Haal he hopes his participation in the Foreign Policy Association will raise international awareness of Estonia's problems: "We can use this organization's international connections [to that end]," Valjas said. Valjas' invitation to join the group reportedly came from Shevardnadze himself. (Riina Kionka) ESTONIA, AZERBAIJAN SIGN AGREEMENT. Estonia and Azerbaijan have signed an agreement meant primarily to solidify economic relations between the two republics. The agreement calls for gradually moving trade relations to world market prices and for assisting each other in areas of business services, including marketing, according to TASS June 4. Permanent trade representatives will play a major role, and should open up offices in Tallinn and Baku in the near future. This type of bilateral agreement is likely to serve as one of the fundamental strategies for the six republics which do not intend to sign the new Union treaty but which will still need to rely on good economic relations with other republics, at least for the foreseeable future. (John Tedstrom) AXE NOT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR FINNS. A man wielding an axe attacked the Finnish consulate in Tallinn on May 31, Rahva Haal reported June 1. Meelis Kaas, an Economics Ministry consultant under the old Communist regime and widely believed to be a KGB employee, took an axe from his Zhiguli (parked illegally in front of the Finnish consulate) and hacked a hole in the consulate's window. Police on the scene quickly handcuffed Kaas--who identified himself as a businessman--and arrested him. Although lines for Finnish visas are long in Tallinn, and can result in great frustration, Rahva Haal postulated the involvement of organized crime, asking "how large might the reward be for destroying the window?" (Riina Kionka) USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS GORBACHEVS TO OSLO, STOCKHOLM. Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev arrived in Oslo today (June 5) and will continue on to Stockholm tomorrow. As the Soviet side insisted, Gorbachev will be met by Norwegian and Swedish government leaders as well as Nobel Committee officials. Gorbachev is to deliver his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech at 1:00 P.M. today, and then will meet with Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland. The Gorbachevs are scheduled to have an audience this evening with King Harald V and Queen Sonja, followed by a gala banquet at the Royal Palace. (NCA/Suzanne Crow/Sallie Wise) PROTESTS OVER GORBACHEV'S VISIT TO OSLO. Reacting to Soviet troop deployments in Vilnius on June 3, Balts plan to demonstrate against Gorbachev during his visit to Oslo today (June 5), Western agencies reported June 4. Five separate protests are planned, mainly by Balts in exile. Jews, Afghans and Moldavians reportedly will join the protests. Gorbachev also may face criticism from the local press and questioning by the Norwegian government and the Nobel Prize committee about Soviet actions in the Baltics. Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorwald Stoltenberg told the Norwegian Parliament June 4 that Norwegian leaders would raise the issue with Gorbachev, and said "demonstrations of power that we have witnessed do not serve the cause of peace," agencies reported. (NCA/Gytis Liulevicius) SUMMIT AT END OF JUNE? According to the German Bild Zeitung (June 4), the US-Soviet summit will take place in Moscow from June 25-27. The paper, citing "well-informed Moscow sources," said 400 beds had been reserved in a Moscow hotel for the US delegation. Western agencies June 4 also cited a booking agent from a Moscow hotel as saying the United States is trying to book rooms. However, TASS and Western agencies yesterday quoted Soviet and US spokesmen as saying that no firm date for the summit has yet been determined. Reportedly, a few "technical" obstacles to the START treaty remain to be worked out. (Suzanne Crow/Sallie Wise) LUK'YANOV REPORTS TO USSR SUPSOV ON UNION TREATY. Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Anatolii Luk'yanov told the Supreme Soviet June 4 that the discussions of the draft Union treaty in Novo-Ogarevo on June 3 had, in fact, covered all sections of the document, and that a common opinion had been reached on most articles, TASS reported June 4. Luk'yanov said the articles delimiting the powers of the Union and the republics had been agreed on "virtually without any serious comments." He said that RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin was still objecting to the concept of federal taxes and had stated that the newly-elected president of the RSFSR should raise the question in the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. (Ann Sheehy) LUK'YANOV, NISHANOV DEFEND POSITION OF USSR SUPSOV. Luk'yanov told the Supreme Soviet further that the title of the treaty has caused the most disagreement. He and Rafik Nishanov, chairman of the Council of Nationalities, had insisted on "Union Treaty," but the majority had favored "Treaty on Union of Sovereign States." He and Nishanov had also expressed the view that only the USSR Congress of People's Deputies and a referendum could decide whether the word "sovereign" should be substituted for "socialist" in the country's name. Finally, Luk'yanov reported that a very important article had been added to the draft to the effect that the all-Union parliament and supreme organs of justice should retain their powers until new organs were formed. (Ann Sheehy) SHCHERBAKOV ON WESTERN AID. Speaking to the USSR Supreme Soviet June 4, Soviet First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov said that Western aid to the USSR would help open the Soviet economy to the global community, TASS reported the same day. Shcherbakov, who led the delegation of Soviet officials to the US last week, said that in his discussions of aid with administration officials he did not propose hard numbers. Shcherbakov said that any financial aid would be used primarily to help with price reform and commercializing the banking and financial sector of the Soviet economy. Shcherbakov stressed that the Soviet side did not trade away their economic plans for promises of help. (John Tedstrom) WHAT IS YAVLINSKY'S ROLE? On the role of Grigorii Yavlinsky, the reform-minded Soviet economist who was working on a reform program with economists at Harvard while Shcherbakov and Soviet presidential adviser Evgenii Primakov were in Washington, Shcherbakov said that Yavlinsky "was invited to the USA in the capacity of a private expert and is competently pursuing the line of the Soviet leadership on the development of cooperation with the Group of Seven," according to the same TASS report. "He is not working out any kind of new program or alternative proposals...although some of his colleagues and several American representatives have such ambitions. We have once again delineated his powers, and emphasized that, if he exceeds them, his work will not be acceptable to us." (John Tedstrom) USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS LENINGRAD VERSUS ST. PETERSBURG. Heated debates have arisen over whether to restore Leningrad's original name of St. Petersburg, TASS reported June 3. Communists in Leningrad and other cities have initiated a campaign against the return of the original name, denouncing as "blasphemy" the proposed referendum on the issue to be held June 12 in Leningrad. TASS said that in May, 282 RSFSR People's Deputies wrote to the RSFSR Congress saying an all-Union referendum should be held to take such an important decision as the renaming of Leningrad (the city where the October revolution took place). The deputies also suggested that the USSR and RSFSR parliaments discuss the issue. On June 4, Pravda and Sovetskaya Rossiya published an appeal by the CPSU CC and the CPSU's Central Control Commission to "communists and all honest people" to say a definitive "no" to the organizers of the referendum on the renaming of Leningrad. (Vera Tolz) YELTSIN WOOS MILITARY. Yeltsin has signed an agreement with regional officials in Murmansk designed to give local enterprises greater economic control, The Christian Science Monitor reported on June 4. Yeltsin said that relations between industrial enterprises and the RSFSR government will be only through taxes. Later, Yeltsin visited a naval base at Severomorsk and promised to improve officers' housing conditions. He stressed that he has no intention of creating a separate army for Russia. (Alexander Rahr) YELTSIN ON RUSSIAN AGRICULTURE. Yeltsin called upon local deputies in Perm' to improve the distribution of land to individual farmers. Radio Moscow on June 4 quoted him as saying that the material base of agriculture will improve and that the Kirov plant in Leningrad--one of the biggest military-industrial plants in the country--has started to produce tractors instead of tanks. (Alexander Rahr) MEDVEDEV SAYS YELTSIN WON'T WIN IN FIRST ROUND. Historian Roy Medvedev predicted in an interview with Krasnaya zvezda, reported by Radio Moscow on June 4, that Yeltsin will receive only 40% of the votes and thus fail to become RSFSR president in the first round of elections. Medvedev did not exclude the possibility that former Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov might win--due to the organizational and propaganda apparatus which backs him. (Alexander Rahr) YAKOVLEV MEETS LEADERS OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA. USSR presidential adviser Aleksandr Yakovlev has met with members of the coordinating council of the "Democratic Russia" movement to discuss the political situation in the country. One of the co-chairmen of the movement, Arkadii Murashev, later told Nezavisimaya gazeta (June 3) that the participants of the meeting agreed that the divide in the present political process in Russia is between forces which back Boris Yeltsin and Vadim Bakatin on the one hand, and Nikolai Ryzhkov and Albert Makashov on the other. TASS on June 3 quoted Ryzhkov as saying in a meeting with Moscow students that his present relations with Gorbachev are "cool." (Alexander Rahr) RSFSR CP ANALYZES OPPOSITION. Izvestia TsK KPSS, No. 5 carries a sociological portrait of the anti-communist opposition by an analytical unit of the RSFSR CP Central Committee. The study is based on profiles of 1363 political opposition figures active at national and regional levels, and divides the opposition in the RSFSR into six groups: 1] Former dissidents: people with an "idea," with whom compromise is impossible. 2] The intelligentsia: they see the CPSU as an obstacle to their aspirations, but dialogue and compromise are possible on an individual level. 3] Young educated people: despite their radical rhetoric, it is possible and necessary to work with them. 4] Formerly active communists: they now combat Communism with the same energy they once guarded Marxist purity, and compromise with them is impossible. 5] Rank-and-file activists: they are not anti-communists, but oppose bureaucracy and incompetence. The CP must work with them. 6] The "masses" (75-80%) of the opposition are driven by Russian patriotism. Knowing the "real worth" of "Democratic Russia's" leaders, they nevertheless support them at present. There is a real possibility for fruitful work with them to change their mood in the "necessary" direction, the study concludes. (Victor Yasmann) SHEVARDNADZE OFFERS TO MEDIATE IN ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN. Speaking in Paris June 4, Shevardnadze offered to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Arguing that the conflict between the two republics "had reached its apogee," Shevardnadze advocated contacts between the leadership of the two republics on a weekly or even a daily basis in order to hammer out a compromise. If such measures failed, UN General Secretary Perez de Cuellar should be asked to mediate in the conflict, Western agencies reported June 4. (Liz Fuller) GAMSAKHURDIA TO VISIT US. TASS June 4 quoted Georgian media reports that Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia may make an unofficial visit to the US later this month. Gamsakhurdia would visit the US Senate and might also meet with President Bush. (NCA/Liz Fuller) FEDERATION COUNCIL CRITICIZES GEORGIA FOR HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN OSSETIA. TASS June 4 summarized a statement issued by the Federation Council condemning as "a gross violation of the USSR Constitution and international accords on human rights" what it terms a campaign to drive ethnic Ossetians out of Georgia. The outflow of Ossetians from Georgia which began in January of this year is said to be increasing. (NCA/Liz Fuller) DISPUTE CONTINUES BETWEEN KYRGYZSTAN AND TAJIKISTAN. A long-running dispute over land and water rights in villages on the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan continues to affect relations between the two republics. In 1989, at least one person was killed and several were injured in fights between villagers; commissions appointed to resolve the dispute were unsuccessful. This May, the presidents of the two republics were to meet about the dispute, but, according to the May 23 issue of Izvestia, the meeting did not take place. Now the Kirgiz side claims that it was cancelled by mutual agreement and accuses the Tajiks of bad faith in blaming the cancellation on the Kirgiz. (Bess Brown) PLANE SAID TO BOMB TAJIK VILLAGE. According to TASS reports of June 4, four people were killed and a number were injured when an unidentified aircraft dropped bombs on a village in Tajikistan on that day. The two reports differed on the number of bombs dropped, one giving the number as five, the other as two. Neither report indicates where the plane came from, but one says it had been spotted flying over Afghan territory along the Pyandzh River, which forms the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. According to TASS, the commander of the Afghan air force is assisting in the investigation of the incident. (NCA) TRIAL BEGINS IN TAJIKISTAN. Five people have gone on trial in Dushanbe on charges of having incited the riots in that city in February, 1990. According to a report in the May 27 issue of Izvestia, one of the defendants, R. Saliev, is supposed to have organized pogroms against Armenians living in a Dushanbe microraion. The disturbances were reported to have been set off by rumors that Armenian refugees were being given preference in obtaining housing in the city; republican Communist Party chief Kakhar Makhkamov claimed that the rumors were false and that the handful of refugees who had come to Dushanbe had already left again. (Bess Brown) BELORUSSIAN CATHOLICS JOURNEY TO SEE POPE. Border crossing points between Poland and Belorussia have been opened to allow Belorussian Catholics to see Pope John Paul II during the Pontiff's current visit to his homeland. According to TSN on June 5, several hundred busses carrying Belorussian Catholic believers have crossed into Poland. An equally large number of Catholics from the Baltic states are also making the journey. (Kathy Mihalisko) URANIUM DEPOSITS FOUND IN UKRAINE. Rich uranium deposits were discovered in Rivne (formerly Rovno) region by the air mapping expedition "Aerologia" from Moscow, News from Ukraine reported in its May issue (#18, 1991). The city of Rivne is situated atop the center of a uranium bed which stretches both east and west of the region. Further research is needed to determine industrial viability of the deposits. (Valentyn Moroz) MOLDAVIA FOUNDS NATIONAL BANK. By a decree of President Mircea Snegur on June 4, reported by Moldovapres the same day, a Moldavian National Bank has been created through what is in effect a republican takeover of the Moldavian branch of the USSR Gosbank. "On the basis of Moldavia's declaration of sovereignty," the Moldavian National Bank is empowered to carry out the republic's policy with respect to money circulation, credit, currency operations, and control of the republican banking system. The Moldavian National Bank is due to become operational by December 1991. (Vladimir Socor) SNEGUR ON MOLDAVIAN INDEPENDENCE, USSR RESPONSE. In an interview in Kishinev with a special correspondent of The Independent, published June 4, Snegur said that his current goal is Moldavian independence and "the existence of two independent Romanian states, which in time will integrate economically and culturally." Romania agrees to this, and "the USSR is not making great efforts to prevent reunification," Snegur said. (Vladimir Socor) SNEGUR RECEIVES COMPATRIOTS FROM UKRAINE. On June 3, Snegur met in Kishinev with representatives of associations of "Romanians and Moldavians" from southern Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, and Carpathian Ukraine, Moldovapres reported June 4. Southern Bessarabia and northern Bukovina, once parts of Moldavia, were attached to Ukraine after the Soviet annexation. Expressing concern over denationalization and lack of political representation, the delegates requested support from Moldavia and Romania for mother-tongue education and culture in their areas. Snegur announced that the issues will be submitted to the parliament and government of Moldavia for examination and possible action. (Vladimir Socor)
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