The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. - Plutarch
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 107, 07 June 1991



BALTIC STATES



GORBACHEV CRITICIZED IN STOCKHOLM. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
met with criticism on several fronts while visiting Stockholm
on June 6. Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson pressed Gorbachev
on the Baltic issue during their official talks, and demonstrators
for Baltic independence rallied not far from Carlsson's office,
Radio Independent Lithuania reported June 7. Carlsson insisted
that "the Baltic people have the right to self-determination."
He also took exception to the Soviet prosecutor's report of June
3 in which Soviet troops were absolved of any responsibility
for the deaths in Vilnius last January. Although Gorbachev warned
against interference in ostensibly "Soviet internal affairs,"
Carlsson stood firm, emphasizing Sweden's historical and cultural
ties to the Baltic States as a neighbor. A weekly pro-Baltic
independence demonstration usually held on Mondays was rescheduled
to coincide with Gorbachev's visit. Swedish opposition party
leaders spoke at the rally, and also expressed their support
for Baltic independence at an official lunch with Gorbachev.
(Gytis Liulevicius)

NO NEW NATO STATEMENT ON BALTIC STATES. NATO foreign ministers
meeting in Copenhagen released a declaration on June 6, supporting
"the expectations and the legitimate aspirations of the Baltic
peoples," The Los Angeles Times reported June 7. The statement
remained consistent with previous NATO pronouncements on the
Baltic States, and did not mention the recent Soviet army actions
in the region. Denmark and Iceland desired a stronger statement
condemning Soviet violence and demanding that any aid to the
Soviet Union be tied to support for Baltic independence and a
warning against the use of force. In a compromise, the ministers
said that Central and Eastern European differences should be
settled in a "peaceful" manner. (Gytis Liulevicius)

UNEXPLAINED TROOP MOVEMENTS IN LITHUANIA. Radio Independent Lithuania
reported on June 6 that there had been unexplained troop movements
the previous day. A column of 19 Ural military trucks, loaded
with men dressed in plain clothes, passed through Panevezys heading
north. Other military trucks also unloaded passengers at the
OMON headquarters in Vilnius and at the main army base in Naujoji
Vilnis. Vilnius airport officials also told several establishments
that they should take away their cargoes stored at the airport
as quickly as possible since the Soviet military had asked for
more space to accommodate planned shipments of ammunition. (Saulius
Girnius)

WHO GAVE ORDERS FOR BORDER ATTACKS? Some people are still confused
over who gave OMON troops their orders to raid Baltic border
posts last month. According to yesterday's Paevaleht (June 6),
USSR deputy Interior Minister Vassily Trushin told Latvia's Interior
Minister Aloizs Vaznis by telephone on May 24 that "the USSR
Interior Ministry does not give the Riga OMON any orders." Four
days later, USSR Interior Minister Boriss Pugo sent Vaznis a
telegram saying that "the Riga OMON acted legally." OMON units,
despite being nominally attached to local MVD authorities, are
believed to be under the command of the USSR MVD. Since it is
unlikely that the Riga OMON units received their orders from
local authorities, it would appear that the USSR Interior Ministry
has either assented to their activities, or has chosen to ignore
them. (Riina Kionka/Stephen Foye)

LATVIAN-USSR TALKS: "WORKERS"' PARTICIPATION TURNED DOWN. Radio
Riga reported on June 6 that when the Soviet delegation arrived
in Riga on June 5, Aleksei Litvinenko demanded permission to
participate in the USSR-Latvian consultations. USSR delegation
head Vladimir Velichko evidently turned down the demand. The
next morning workers' council members picketed near the venue
of the talks, and Velichko met with them during the lunch break.
(Litvinenko helped organize a demonstration of various Russian-dominated
organizations on May 23 to protest protesting price hikes in
Latvia and ask for representation in the USSR-Latvian talks.)
Few details were reported about the talks that started on June
6 and are continuing today (June 7); apparently economic issues
dominated the agenda. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN-RSFSR PROCURACY ACCORD ASSAILED. On May 22 representatives
of the Latvian and RSFSR procuracies signed an agreement of cooperation.
A statement of protest against the accord was issued by employees
of the Latvian SSR and Lithuanian SSR procuracies, reported TASS
on June 5. Both in Latvia and Lithuania there exist two procuracies:
one loyal to the independent state, and the other loyal to the
USSR, as well as the Latvian SSR and the Lithuanian SSR. The
protesters are members of the pro-USSR procuracies and they claim
that the RSFSR accord with "the unlawfully-formed procuracy of
the Latvian republic,...leads to a split in the unified procuracy
system" of the USSR, and "disorganizes the work of law enforcement
bodies." (Dzintra Bungs)

PEOPLE'S FRONT CONCERNED ABOUT ANOTHER CRACKDOWN IN LATVIA. Romualdas
Razukas, chairman of the People's Front of Latvia, told Radio
Riga on June 5 that the PFL is taking precautionary steps against
another Kremlin crackdown in Latvia, which, he felt, would differ
from the one in January, in that the Soviet military may be involved.
(In January, when Latvians set up barricades around key institutions
in Riga, Soviet troops did not stage an assault. Only OMON forces
raided the Ministry of Internal Affairs on January 20.) PFL activists
are drawing up a plan of nonviolent resistance to Soviet force,
should it be used. Razukas said that the PFL would cooperate
both with the government and the Supreme Council on these matters.
(Dzintra Bungs)

UNEMPLOYMENT IN LATVIA. Leonards Rubins, Deputy Director of Latvia's
Job Placement Center, told Radio Riga on June 5 that currently
there were about 3,000 jobless in the republic; this figure included
878 engineers and 354 youths under the age of 18; women also
comprised a large portion of the jobless. By the end of 1991,
the unemployment figure may rise to 6,700, though only about
4,000 of this total could be classified as jobless. Rubins did
not explain the reasons for the differentiated classfication.
He advocated the adoption of a program actively combatting unemployment
by providing new jobs and job training, rather than concentrating
on unemployment compensation. (Dzintra Bungs)

NEW HIGHER SCHOOL FOR NARVA. The primarily Russian city of Narva
in northeastern Estonia is slated to get a new higher school,
according to Rahva Haal of June 4. The school, set to open this
fall, will train teachers for elementary schools and the early
secondary grades during a four-year course of study. The school
will also offer courses in Estonian-related subjects (language,
culture), and is to provide some 150 teachers each year for Estonia's
Russian-language schools that Estonia has had to import from
the USSR up to now. Two more higher schools are set for Tartu
(a teachers' seminar) and Viljandi (a program centered on culture.
The establishment of the school in Narva represents the Estonian
government's attempt to respond to the city's Russian-speaking
population's requests for a Russian university in Narva. (Riina
Kionka)


USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS


CABINET OF MINISTERS LOOKS AT ECONOMIC LEGISLATION. Meeting June
6, the USSR Cabinet of Ministers devoted much of its attention
to economic legislation, including antimonopoly measures, privatization
of the savings bank system, and the USSR's foreign economic activities,
TASS reported the same day. Reflecting the complex nature of
antimonopoly theory, the Cabinet decided to take a look at republican
measures in this area and make recommendations based on them
to the USSR Supreme Soviet. A similar approach was taken on the
question of bankruptcy legislation. This almost deferential treatment
of republican-level economic legislation reflects both the degree
to which all-Union legislation is lagging, and, perhaps, an effort
on the part of the Center to be more accommodating to the periphery.
(John Tedstrom)

PRIMAKOV ELABORATES. The USSR is seeking Western commodity aid,
and not just credits to buy foodstuffs and consumer goods, according
to Yevgenii Primakov in Izvestia of June 6, as cited in The New
York Times of June 7. This confirms the position described by
USSR Deputy Premier Vladimir Shcherbakov to the USSR Supreme
Soviet on June 4, who explained that the Soviet Union would have
no hope of repaying large credits. It looks like a return to
Nikolai Shmelev's "instant gratification" strategy whereby huge
quantities of imported consumer goods (to a minimum value of
some $30 billion) would "prime the pump," provide incentive,
and mop up some of the ruble overhang. (Keith Bush)

TRADE UNIONS CRITICIZE INDEXATION PLANS. The General Confederation
of Trade Unions of the USSR (VKP) has registered harsh criticism
of the draft fundamentals of legislation on income indexation.
Some of the principal objections appeared in Trud May 25. Although
the government considers 90 million Soviet citizens to be below
the poverty level, the VKP reckons that half of the population
falls into this category. With inflation now running at nearly
200% per annum, the trade unions demand that indexation be triggered
on a monthly basis when retail prices rise by more than, say,
15% a month. They call for indexation based on a minimum living
wage, and give 270 rubles a month as an example. (Keith Bush)


REFORMIST MEDIA DUBIOUS OF GORBACHEV'S APPEAL TO WEST. Gorbachev's
Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech received unenthusiastic reviews
from the liberal Soviet media. Vitalii Tretyakov, editor of Nezavisimaya
gazeta, wrote June 6 that "since, as it has apparently turned
out over six years of more or less unsuccessful reform, there
is not much hope to be placed on the Soviet people, Gorbachev
now prefers to rely on Westerners, and especially their leaders."
Vladimir Gurevich, economics editor of Moscow News, told Western
agencies June 6 that "Gorbachev regularly pulls back at the last
moment when the big decisions, especially on the economy, have
to be made. [Western leaders] want to see action, not words."
Radio Rossii commentator Nikolai Agayants said June 6 that the
speech contained "nothing new." (Sallie Wise)

BAKER, BESSMERTNYKH MEET ON START. Soviet Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh and US Secretary of State James Baker are meeting
today (June 7) in Geneva to hammer out an agreement that would
remove remaining obstacles to conclusion of a strategic arms
treaty, Western media reported June 7. The START issue reportedly
has held up setting a definitive date for the proposed US-Soviet
summit. (Sallie Wise)

SHIPMENTS TO CUBA TO RESUME. Aleksei Rubinchik, head of the economic
section in the USSR's embassy in Cuba, said on June 6 he expects
Soviet shipments to Cuba of food and other basic goods to resume
soon. Rubinchik said the disruption in shipments, now into its
fifth month, was caused by internal Soviet problems, Western
agencies reported June 6. (NCA/Suzanne Crow)

USSR PUSHES FOR INCLUSION IN ASIA TALKS. Speaking at a conference
in Manila on Security in Asia, Soviet ambassador-at-large Vladimir
Fedotov said the USSR must not be barred from participation in
economic organizations of the Asia-Pacific region and called
for talks on a wide range of security concerns. Fedotov said,
"no matter how different the situation in this region is from
that in Europe, the countries of Asia and the Pacific will be
compelled to solve problems of security on the basis of the same
fundamental principles and political, legal and material guarantees."
Fedotov said it is important at least to start negotiations,
Western agencies reported June 6. (Suzanne Crow)

DEFAULTS IN SOVIET PAYMENTS. The Norwegian Trade Ministry took
the opportunity of Gorbachev's visit to complain about Soviet
arrears of some $19 million in payment to Norwegian firms, Western
agencies reported June 6. An East German shipbuilder has suspended
work on 16 ships for the USSR pending hard-currency payment,
according to agency reports May 28. But the Finnish railways
resumed the transit of Soviet freight after Soyuzvneshtrans paid
its overdue bill, TASS was relieved to report on May 8. Outstanding
Soviet commercial arrears are believed to exceed $5 billion.
(Keith Bush)

MOISEEV ON GULF WAR. General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev told
TASS on June 6 that the most fundamental lesson to be learned
from the Gulf War was that political means to resolve the conflict
had proven insufficient. His comments followed a Moscow conference
devoted to the war. Moiseev criticized speakers at the conference
who apparently argued that the Gulf War proved that the USSR
should alter its current plans for military reform (presumably
to move more quickly toward a professional force). He also lambasted
domestic and foreign critics of the USSR Defense Ministry who
have used the Gulf War to argue that the Soviet armed forces
themselves are not the powerful force that they once were. (Stephen
Foye)

PROTECTIONISM IN THE ARMED FORCES? Responding to a statement
by RSFSR presidential candidate General Al'bert Makashov that
there is no "protectionism" in the army, USSR People's Deputy
Vilen Martirosyan said that the sons of the following military
leaders are currently studying at the prestigious General Staff
Academy: Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces Varennikov;
former head of the Main Political Administration Lizichev; and
former Deputy Defense Minister Sukhorukov. (Stephen Foye)

SUPREME SOVIET MEMBERS GIVE THEMSELVES A RAISE. Citing rising
inflation, the members of the USSR Supreme Soviet voted on June
5 to increase their monthly salary from 500 to 800 rubles, and
to increase the salaries of members of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers
by 50-100%, TASS reported the same day. Supreme Soviet members
also receive a 300-ruble monthly allowance for living expenses.
(Dawn Mann)

"NOVYI MIR" UNDER THREAT OF COLLAPSE. The leading Soviet literary
monthly, Novyi mir, has not solved a problem with paper supply
and is on the verge of complete collapse. Early last year, the
journal's editorial board announced that publication was stopped
due to a paper shortage. Then, a couple of issues came out, but
the last four issues for 1990 again failed to be distributed
to subscribers. This year, the situation has not improved and
only two issues have come out so far. Commenting on the situation,
Komsomol'skaya pravda (June 6) said that the journal was temporarily
closed under Khrushchev, then terrorized under Brezhnev (for
its outspoken materials), but only the current economic situation
seems to be able to really kill the periodical. (Vera Tolz)

JOURNALISTS WITH PARLIAMENTARY ACCREDITATION SET UP UNION. Soviet
and foreign journalists accredited to the USSR Supreme Soviet
and republican parliaments have set up a joint association, Radio
Moscow-1 reported June 6. The association is not sponsored by
the Soviet government. It is the first association in which Soviet
and foreign journalists cooperate on reporting on the USSR's
domestic events. Soviet and foreign parliamentary journalists
have many problems, including the fact that some newly-elected
republican Supreme Soviets want to restrict their work and demand
reporting on parliamentary sessions to prepared not by outside
journalists, but by the Supreme Soviets' own press centers. (Vera
Tolz)

KGB ACCUSES CIA OF OFFENSIVE. First Deputy Chief of the KGB intelligence
directorate, Lieutenant General Vadim Kirpichenko, asserted to
IAN June 5 that it is more difficult for Soviet intelligence
officers to work in the US than for American officers to work
in the USSR. "While we have more openness and democratization,
the media in the USA continue to maintain a higher level of worry
among the general public about KGB activities," he alleged. He
accused the CIA of an "offensive" and of trying to "woo" Soviet
citizens to stay in the US. He said the Soviet government repeatedly
has stated that it does not see the US as an "enemy", while Washington
has not reciprocated. Kirpichenko's statement comes amidst reports
from the US and Western Europe about intensified KGB activity.
(Victor Yasmann)

MUSEUMS VERSUS CHURCHES. Radio Mayak reported on June 5 that
Nikolai Gubenko, USSR Minister of Culture, recently discussed
the problem of returning to believers church buildings which
are used as museums. Gubenko asked believers for patience and
understanding on the matter. (Oxana Antic)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


LATEST OPINION POLL ON RSFSR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES. According
to a survey conducted in the RSFSR by the Russian Sociopolitical
Institute and reported by Soviet Central TV on June 5, the popularity
of chairman of RSFSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Boris Yeltsin has
fallen--from 60% at the beginning of May to 44% at the beginning
of June. Simultaneously, Nikolai Ryzhkov's popularity has risen
among electors--from 23% to 31%. A number of voters think that
Ryzhkov has a more stable personality than Yeltsin. The chances
of the other presidential candidates seem to be small. Only 10%
of the electorate favor Vadim Bakatin and 2% support General
Albert Makashov. (Alexander Rahr)

BEDSIDE READING. Literaturnaya gazeta (May 22) asked each candidate
for the RSFSR presidency which book he would recommend his cabinet
to read. No less than three (Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Albert Makashov,
and Aleksei Sergeev) chose Dale Carnegie, the American author
on the psychology of success whose How to Win Friends and Influence
People was serialized in the Soviet press last year. Vyacheslav
Potemkin and Vladimir Voronin boldly recommended their own books.
Lev Ubozhko chose works by Solzhenitsyn, Avtorkhanov, Voslensky
and Leonard Schapiro--whose very possession could have earned
a jail term a decade ago. Roman Kalinin chose the Gospels. Boris
Yeltsin and Vadim Bakatin played safe with Russian classics:
Yeltsin with the 19th century satirist Saltykov-Shchedrin and
Bakatin with Ivan Bunin--the first Russian to win the Nobel Prize
for Literature. Nikolai Ryzhkov lived up to his reputation for
dullness by choosing "the book of life." (Elizabeth Teague)

NEW UKRAINIAN DIRECTIVE ON UNION ENTERPRISES. On June 6, the
Ukrainian Supreme Soviet passed a bill governing the transition
of all-Union enterprises and organizations located in Ukraine
to the jurisdiction of Ukrainian state organs, Radio Kiev-2 reported.
The deputies also voted on a list of candidates to fill ministerial
positions, many of them newly created. Liberal parliamentarians
did not do well: among the rejected were Green Party leader Yurii
Shcherbak, Kiev Polytechnic Institute rector Petro Talanchuk,
and well-known literary specialist Mykola Zhulinsky. In contrast,
the deputy chairman of the Ukrainian KGB, Evhen Marchuk, was
named minister for defense and security. (Kathy Mihalisko)

CONFERENCE ON NATIONAL MINORITIES ENDS IN KIEV. A three-day meeting
of commissions from ten republics ended June 6 in Kiev. The three
Baltic and three Slavic republics, plus Moldavia, Kazakhstan,
Armenia, and Georgia, were represented at the conference on national,
religious, and other minority rights. The final communique stated
that the defense of those rights is the responsibility of sovereign
states, and called for greater legal protection. (Kathy Mihalisko)


DRAFT OF KAZAKH PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM APPROVED. A joint session
of Kazakhstan's Supreme Economic Council and Council of the Republic
have approved a draft program for privatizing state holdings
in the republic, according to reports by Novosti and Radio Moscow
on June 6. The first stage of the program, which gives concrete
form to the privatization plans set out in the draft law on privatization
submitted for public discussion in April, envisages the privatization
of small firms. These include service and retail trade establishments
and small industries. Health and educational facilities, communications,
aviation, gold-mining and certain other industries are to remain
state property. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIA INSTITUTES OWN CITIZENSHIP. The Moldavian parliament
adopted June 5 a long-awaited law on republican citizenship,
which separates Moldavian from USSR citizenship. All who were
born or resided on the present territory of the republic before
June 28, 1940 (the date of the first Soviet annexation) and their
descendants are automatically eligible for Moldavian citizenship.
(Besides Moldavians this covers the Gagauz, Bulgarians, most
Jews, and a large proportion of Ukrainians). (Vladimir Socor)


QUALIFICATIONS FOR CITIZENSHIP. Present residents who settled
in Moldavia between June 28, 1940 and until June 23, 1990 (the
date of Moldavia's declaration of sovereignty) must opt for either
Moldavian or USSR citizenship. To qualify for Moldavian citizenship
these residents (most of whom are recent arrivals from Russia)
must have a legal domicile and employment and apply within one
year of the adoption of this law. After the lapse of one year,
these residents and any post-June 23, 1990 arrivals choosing
to apply for Moldavian in place of USSR citizenship will have
to pass a language test and to pledge to honor the republic's
laws. (Vladimir Socor)

DUAL CITIZENSHIP CIRCUMVENTED. The law rules out dual citizenship
in principle, the intent being to preclude any dual USSR-Moldavian
citizenship. However, special provisions for dual citizenship
may be made in bilateral state treaties between Moldavia and
other states, and the Moldavian president may grant Moldavian
citizenship to individual citizens of other states. The exceptions
appear designed to permit dual Moldavian-Romanian citizenship
for Moldavian refugees in Romania. In recent months, the government
daily Moldova Suverana has printed thousands of applications
to the Moldavian President from Moldavian refugee families in
Romania seeking Moldavian citizenship in addition to their present
Romanian citizenship. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN MILITARY DRAFT IN TROUBLE. Of 11,000 young men eligible
for the USSR military draft in Moldavia this spring, over 6,000
have in one form or another declined to serve, Moldovapres reported
June 5, citing data from Moldavia's Department for Military Affairs.
Of over 4,000 who would accept to serve, 43% would only do so
in units on the territory of the republic or in Moldavia's newly-established
Corps of Carabinieri, according to the same Department. Under
Moldavian law, the USSR armed forces may draft Moldavian citizens
only at the draftee's written request and with written parental
consent. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN BRANCH OF ROMANIAN LIBERAL PARTY ISSUES PROGRAM. Recently
set up by and for residents of Moldavia, the Kishinev branch
of Romania's historic Liberal Party has made public its program,
Ekspress khronika reported June 4. The program calls for the
"resolution of nationality problems in accordance with internationally
accepted norms," adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, Moldavia's integration into Europe, and the privatization
of property. (Vladimir Socor)

CORRECTION ON SOVIET DEFENSE COUNCIL. The Daily Report of June
6 (no. 106) incorrectly identified the functions of the Soviet
Defense Council, as spelled out by Anatolii Luk'yanov in a Radio
Rossii report. In fact, Luk'yanov said that the Security Council
(not the Defense Council) continues to operate, and that it oversees
issues of economic, foreign policy, and ecological security.
The Defense Council, he added, deals with questions concerning
the army and defense industry. (Stephen Foye)


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

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