Logic, n. The act of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human understanding. - Ambrose Bierce
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 116, 20 June 1991





BALTIC STATES



BAKER SAYS US SUPPORTS CSCE OBSERVER STATUS FOR BALTS. Baltic
foreign ministers conferred with US Secretary of State James
Baker in Berlin on June 19, Radio Vilnius reported that day.
Baker told the Baltic representatives of US efforts to win observer
status for the Baltic States at CSCE meetings. Currently, the
Baltic States participate as guests of other countries, which
denies them entry to the closed-door sessions. Baker said that
the USSR is blocking the US effort. Latvian Foreign Minister
Janis Jurkans spoke of the meeting with Baker as an "informational"
one. Topics included the Baltic States' negotiations with the
USSR, recent Soviet military activities, and the economic situation.
(Gytis Liulevicius)

US CONGRESSMEN SEND LETTER TO GORBACHEV. The US Helsinki Commission
sent a letter to Gorbachev on June 18 in reaction to the USSR
Prosecutor-General's June 3 report on the violence in Vilnius
last January. The letter, signed by 14 Congressmen, urged Gorbachev
to "direct the USSR Procuracy or an independent investigatory
body to carefully investigate all the testimony and evidence
available, and produce a factual, credible report on the Vilnius
tragedy." The Helsinki Commission also called on Gorbachev to
"dismantle the still-existing structure of repression in Lithuania"
and to return property occupied by the Soviet army to the people
of Lithuania. (Gytis Liulevicius)

LANDSBERGIS IN MOSCOW. Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council
Vytautas Landsbergis flew to Moscow June 19 on his way to Paris.
The VOA Lithuanian Service reported that day that he had met
for 1 1/2 hours with RSFSR Supreme Soviet First Deputy Chairman
Ruslan Khasbulatov, along with the Lithuanian permanent representative
in Moscow Egidijus Bickauskas, at the Lithuanian legation. Bickauskas
said that the meeting was "useful and practical" and that a RSFSR-Lithuania
treaty should be signed in the summer. Landsbergis has begun
a 10-day trip to France, Norway, Germany, and Finland. He is
scheduled to meet today (June 20) with French President Francois
Mitterrand, Prime Minister Edith Cresson, and high-ranking government
and parliament officials. (Saulius Girnius)

SAVISAAR AVOIDS NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. On June 19 Estonian Prime
Minister Edgar Savisaar avoided an effort by some parliament
deputies to force a no-confidence vote on his government, Radio
Tallinn reported that day. The parliament voted to approve the
suggestion by its chairman Arnold Ruutel not to put the no-confidence
motion on the day's agenda. (Saulius Girnius)

BUNDESTAG BACKS BALTIC INFORMATION OFFICES. The German Bundestag
approved a resolution on June 19 calling for the exchange of
information offices with the Baltic republics, RFE/RL's correspondent
in Bonn reported that day. Helmut Schaefer, Minister of State
in the Foreign Ministry, said that the German government would
soon open talks to open a Goethe Institute in one of the Baltic
capitals and that Bonn has no objection to the establishment
of a Baltic information office in Germany. Such an office, however,
would not have diplomatic status or German government financing.
(Saulius Girnius)

DIENSTBIER ON BALTIC TIES. In an interview with the Berlin Tageszeitung
on June 19, Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier expressed
his country's wishes for productive relations with the Baltic
States. Dienstbier said that he had the impression that "there
are few people in the Baltic States that are calling for immediate
establishment of diplomatic relations." Instead, Dienstbier considered
"close, day-to-day connections" to be more important. (Gytis
Liulevicius)

KGB FAILED TO FABRICATE "FASCIST PLOT" IN LATVIA. In August 1990,
the Latvian KGB arrested an activist of the "Environmental Protection
Club," Janis Legzdins, accusing him of creating a pro-fascist
organization, and mounted a campaign in the central media to
compromise independence-minded Latvia, reports Moscow News No.
23. The KGB charged Legzdins with preparing a plan to steal KGB
archives and to fly abroad on a hijacked plane. The case signalled
an anti-Latvian campaign in the central media launched by an
article by former Latvian KGB Chairman S. Zukul in Pravda, November
28, 1990. Latvian KGB representatives told Moscow News that they
had nothing to do with spreading information about "rising pro-fascist
groups" in Latvia. The disinformation campaign was psychological
preparation for the present policy of intimidating the Baltic
States, comments the weekly. (Victor Yasmann)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



PAVLOV AGAIN INSISTS ON MORE POWER. Fearing that a Gorbachev-Yeltsin
alliance could strip them of power, it appears that conservatives
now are seeking to curtail the USSR President's powers and make
Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov run the country. Pavlov on June
18 issued his second appeal for additional power in the parliament,
asking that the president be subordinated to the government,
according to TASS that day. The chairman of the Soviet Constitutional
Compliance Committee, Sergei Alekseev, on Soviet TV June 19 rejected
Pavlov's demand on the ground that it would create three power
centers--the presidency, the prime minister and the parliament--resisting
each other. (Alexander Rahr)

KGB, ARMY, MVD SUPPORT PAVLOV. Russian TV and other Soviet sources
on June 19 disclosed that Pavlov's proposal was supported in
the parliament by the heads of the army, Interior Ministry, and
KGB, Dmitrii Yazov, Boris Pugo,and Vladimir Kryuchkov, respectively.
One of the security chiefs, presumably Kryuchkov, was reported
to have described USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of
dismantling the Union as coinciding with the plans of US intelligence.
The first deputy chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, Ruslan
Khasbulatov, told Radio Rossii on June 18 that an attempt to
crush any of the Russian republican structures will fail. (Alexander
Rahr)

CUTS IN GOVERNMENT APPARATUS ANNOUNCED. While Pavlov wants additional
power for his government, Gorbachev wants to cut around a third
of all jobs in central Soviet ministries as part of his plans
to reduce the state budget and to transfer the country to a market
economy. Soviet news agencies reported on June 18 that such a
decision was announced at a government meeting. The apparatus
of the Cabinet of Ministers will be cut by 32% and consist only
of 36,000 people. Some ministries will be cut by 50% and their
functions transferred to the republican level. The only ministries
to escape cuts will be the defense and railway ministries, which
will remain firmly under the center's jurisdiction. (Alexander
Rahr)

USSR STALLS CSCE PLAN FOR CRISIS MEDIATION. At the CSCE foreign
ministers' meeting in Berlin yesterday, Soviet Foreign Minister
Aleksandr Bessmertnykh objected to a plan to prevent conflicts
and manage crises, insisting that CSCE member states must have
the right to veto procedures in disputes that involve them. RFE/RL's
correspondent in Berlin June 19 quoted Belgian Foreign Minister
Mark Eyskens as saying that the USSR was the only country to
object to the plan, which would entail sending CSCE fact-finding
missions to areas of tension. Western agencies report today that
a compromise may be reached before the conference ends later
today. (Sallie Wise)

BONN WANTS TO KNOW BEFORE SOVIET NUKES ARE MOVED. The German
government has asked the Soviet army in eastern Germany for advance
notice before any Soviet nuclear weapons are shipped back to
the USSR. The German Ministry of Transport said June 18 that
it had been told that no nuclear arms are being transported at
present, and that Moscow would consider Bonn's request for prior
notification. Bessmertnykh acknowledged last week that Soviet
forces in Germany still have nuclear weapons. (NCA/Sallie Wise)


SOVIETS PREPARE FOR WAR ANNIVERSARY. Ceremonies marking the 50th
anniversary of the June 22, 1941, Nazi attack on the USSR seem
likely to be contentious. TASS reports that in the June 19 Pravda,
General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev criticized the idea that
losses early in the war were the result of ineptitude on the
part of the High Command and that the army relied on numbers
rather than skill. He admitted, however, that the General Staff
had made serious errors. Meanwhile, on June 19 a conference (addressed
by Moiseev) was held in Moscow on the war's initial period, as
was a conference jointly sponsored by the Defense Ministry and
the USSR Union of Writers (and addressed by Defense Minister
Yazov). (Stephen Foye)

SOVIET-GERMAN TANDEM ON ANNIVERSARY. In a joint article devoted
to World War II that appears in the June 20 Die Welt, veterans
Sergei Akhromeev and German Christian Democratic Party Deputy
Alfred Dregger stress the importance of good relations between
the two countries, according to agency summaries. Akhromeev also
used the occasion to call for the dissolution of NATO and for
a definition of the role to be played by the Western European
Union. Dregger said that these organizations were the basis for
the success of the East-West Helsinki process. (NCA/Stephen Foye)


ASSOCIATION OF PUBLISHERS HOLDS MEETING. An organizational meeting
to create a new Association of Publishers was held in Moscow
June 19. The aim of the new association is to help publishers
coordinate their activities and solve problems of paper deliveries
and printing equipment during the transition to a market economy.
The enterprise is supported by the USSR State Committee for the
Press, whose official Mikhail Nikol'sky was elected head of the
association's organizational committee, Radio Moscow-1 reported.
(Vera Tolz)

EXPERIMENTAL CREATIVE CENTER PUBLISHES MAGAZINE. The interdisciplinary
Experimental Creative Center (ECC) headed by controversial political
scientist Sergei Kurginyan has started a bi-monthly magazine,
Polis, published under the aegis of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
The founders of Polis include the ECC, the association "Save
World and Nature", the Soviet Committee for the Defense of Peace,
the Council of the All-Union Confederation of Trade-Unions, the
Institute of the International Workers Movement and "Progress"
publishers. The editorial board includes USSR Deputy Foreign
Minister Eduard Obminsky, Chairman of the State Committee for
the Press and Publishing Mikhail Nenashev, rector of the former
CPSU CC Institute of Social Sciences Yurii Krasin, political
scientists Igor Klyamkin and Marina Pavlova-Sil'vanskaya, and
leading consultants from the CPSU International Department, experts
from the USA and Canada Institute, as well as from the Institute
of the World Economy and International Relations. (Victor Yasmann)


NUMBER OF DEATH SENTENCES RISES. The number of death sentences
in the USSR (which was, as a result of changes in the law, showing
a steady tendency to decrease) increased in 1990. This was revealed
June 19 in an interview in Rabochaya tribuna with the director
of the clemency appeals department of the USSR Supreme Soviet,
Gennadii Cheremnykh. According to agency reports, Cheremnykh
said 445 people were convicted of capital crimes in the USSR
in 1990. Of those 29 have since been pardoned and 29 have already
been executed. Capital punishment statistics were a state secret
in the USSR until, on February 26, 1991, Komsomol'skaya pravda
published figures for 1985-89. These showed the numbers of death
sentences dropping from 770 in 1985 to 526 in 1986, 344 in 1987,
and a low of 271 (of whom 72 were pardoned) in 1988. The figures
began to rise again in 1989, when 276 people were sentenced to
death (of whom 23 were pardoned). (Elizabeth Teague)

NON-COMBAT DEATHS IN THE ARMY. No. 22 Ogonek carries an informative
article on the difficulties faced by parents and investigators
in their efforts to uncover the extent of, and reasons for, non-combat
deaths among conscripts. Author Gennadii Zhukovets concludes
that the Defense Ministry has stonewalled the investigation,
and that a presidential commission appointed to investigate has
been largely ineffective. He says, however, that a Defense Ministry
statement suggests that some 8,000 conscripts have died annually
over the last fifteen years, and that letters to the presidential
commission imply that some 75-80% of all deaths, and 70% of serious
injuries, are related to violence in army life. (Stephen Foye)


"NON-COMBAT" DEATHS SINCE WWII. A commission of the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet charged with investigating peacetime deaths in the armed
forces says that some 310,000 Soviet soldiers have suffered peacetime
deaths since the end of World War II, Vesti reported on June
18. The commission said that one-half of the deaths were the
result of suicide, some 20% occurred from beatings, and only
10% were related to accidents. The Vesti report provided no details
on the Committee's composition. (Stephen Foye)

STALIN'S OFFICIAL DOUBLE DIES AT 93. Rabochaya tribuna (June
15) reported that a man who once served as Stalin's official
double has died at the age of 93 in Krasnodar (Southern Russia).
The newspaper identified the man only as "Rashid," and said he
was chosen before World War II as Stalin's double because of
the remarkable resemblance. The paper said he was trained for
two years before he was allowed to substitute for Stalin at meetings
and banquets. In January, 1991, the same newspaper reported that
another man, identified as Evsei Lubitsky, had often been used
as Stalin's double after undergoing surgery to increase his resemblance
to the Soviet leader. (NCA/Vera Tolz)


USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS


YELTSIN INTERVIEWED. In an interview on ABC's Nightline on June
18, Yeltsin promised to dismantle the Communist system in Russia
and said he will again oppose Gorbachev if the latter delays
reform. He admitted that he does not like Gorbachev "to a large
extent" because the USSR President is "inconsistent." But he
also told Radio Rossii on June 19 that after his election as
RSFSR President, Gorbachev sharply improved his attitude towards
him. Yeltsin disclosed that on June 17, Gorbachev, Kazakh President
Nursultan Nazarbaev and he met in Moscow and agreed to push the
Yavlinsky economic plan which seeks closer cooperation between
the USSR and the West. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN SAYS HE WOULD STOP AID TO CUBA, AFGHANISTAN. Yeltsin
said during his meetings with US lawmakers that he favors eliminating
all foreign aid to Cuba and Afghanistan, Western news agencies
reported June 20. He offered to discuss the conversion of military
production plants to civilian use. He advised against giving
financial aid to Gorbachev's central government because "there
is no way to control whose hands it will end up in." Yeltsin
told the US House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee
that all people of the Soviet Union support private property
ownership, democracy, privatization, and a market economy system.
(Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR SUPREME SOVIET DISCUSSES LANGUAGES BILL. On June 19 the
RSFSR Supreme Soviet approved in the main a draft law "On the
languages of the peoples of the RSFSR," TASS reported yesterday.
This is the first such bill in RSFSR history. Some deputies objected
to the bill's declaring Russian the state language only in the
republic's krais and oblasts, and leaving it up to the local
authorities to decide what the situation should be in the autonomous
formations. In fact, in their declarations of sovereignty many
of the autonomous formations, which often have a very sizable
Russian-speaking population, have already given both the vernacular
and Russian the status of state language. (Ann Sheehy)

RUSSIAN CITIES RATED ACCORDING TO LIVING STANDARDS. A new sociological
survey concluded that Moscow and Leningrad have the best overall
living standards of cities in the Russian Federation, the latest
issue of Argumenty i fakty reported. Leningrad's Voznesensky
Finance and Economics Institute, which organized the study, said
the lowest living standards were found in Elista (Kalmykskaya
ASSR), Groznyi (Checheno-Ingushetiya), Makhachkala (Dagestan),
Ulan Ude (Buryatiya) and the Russian city of Tambov. The highest
dietary standards after Moscow were in Leningrad, Murmansk and
Kaliningrad, with the poorest in Groznyi and Kyzyl. Rates of
infant mortality, illness, and industrial accidents were lowest,
however, in Makhachkala and Groznyi, and the highest in Yakutsk
and Kemerovo. The least polluted cities were Kurgan, Tyumen,
Chita and Pskov. The most polluted were Groznyi, Lipetsk and
Nalchik (Kabardino-Balkariya). (Vera Tolz)

DEFENSE INDUSTRY FUNDS RUSSIAN TELEVISION. RSFSR television,
which is having budget and technological problems, presently
is supported by the inter-branch concern Konversiya ("Conversion"),
headed by entrepreneur Boris Korobochkin, according to Kommersant
No. 20. Konversiya, which united about 120 defense sector enterprises,
is registered at the RSFSR Council of Ministers. Thus far, the
concern has extended to the Russian State Television and Radio
Company a loan of $6 million for telecommunications equipment,
writes Kommersant. In May there were reports that an association
of directors of defense enterprises in Leningrad and the Baltic
Maritime Company would be the major stockholders of the Leningrad
commercial TV company (see Daily Report, May 31). (Victor Yasmann)


INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF CHITA POSSIBLE? The leaders of Chita
oblast have addressed to the USSR and RSFSR Supreme Soviets an
appeal for emergency measures to supply the inhabitants of eastern
Siberia with the necessary industrial goods and foodstuffs, Central
Television reported June 14. If this is not done, the appeal
states, the oblast leadership will be forced to consider the
creation of a republic of Chita, which will be independent of
the center. (Ann Sheehy)

MVD MAJOR KILLED IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. TASS reported June 19 that
USSR MVD Major Alexei Khomich was ambushed and killed by unidentified
gunmen June 18 while driving from the NKAO capital of Stepanakert
to Shusha. A senior lieutenant travelling with him was severely
wounded. Khomich is the most senior officer to be killed to date
in Nagorno-Karabakh; an MVD colonel was shot in Rostov in April,
reportedly by members of an Armenian extremist organization.
(Liz Fuller)

KRAVCHUK: STRONG RESERVATIONS ON UNION TREATY DRAFT. In an interview
June 20 with the Financial Times, Ukrainian Supreme Soviet chairman
Leonid Kravchuk indicated that his republic might not sign the
Union treaty this summer, as Gorbachev desires, because commitments
were made to striking students and workers not to sign on the
dotted line until adoption of a new republican constitution.
Kravchuk said he supports Yeltsin's position that each republic
should make a single contribution to the central treasury, adding
that he would urge the Ukrainian parliament to reject the latest
draft if its provision for direct central government taxation
is not changed. (Kathy Mihalisko)

SHCHERBAK NAMED UKRAINIAN MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. The well-known
writer and physician Yurii Shcherbak was elected June 19 to the
post of Minister for the Environment, TASS announced. Shcherbak
has written extensively on the Chernobyl' disaster and is currently
chairman of the Ukrainian Green Party. (Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN AND BELORUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS ON CHERNOBYL' COVER-UP.
At a press conference June 19 in Berlin summarized by TASS, the
foreign ministers of Ukraine and Belorussia, Anatol' Zlenko and
Pyatr Krauchenka, said the world still does not know the truth
about the impact and scale of the Chernobyl' disaster. The two
ministers took issue with the recently issued and highly controversial
report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, stating that
its findings would lead to unjustified optimism. Zlenko and Krauchenko
are in Germany as part of the Soviet delegation to the CSCE.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

RETURN OF CRIMEAN TATARS TO CRIMEA. Over 130,000 Crimean Tatars
have returned to the Crimea, the chairman of the Crimean ASSR
Committee for Deported Peoples Lentun Bezaziev told TASS June
19. Those coming by invitation have their expenses paid and are
given a plot of land and credit, but members of the intelligentsia
have difficulty finding work in their specialty. Efforts are
being made to revive national culture, Bezaziev said, and work
is in hand on restoring local monuments. Novosti reported on
June 18, however, that members of the National Movement of Crimean
Tatars are not satisfied with the progress made and want the
matter raised at the 5th USSR Congress of Peoples' Deputies.
(Ann Sheehy)

MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT WANTS "EMERGENCE FROM ANONYMITY". Briefly
stopping over in Bucharest en route to this year's session of
the Economic Forum in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Moldavian President
Mircea Snegur told reporters that the 9-plus-1 agreement and
the latest version of the Union treaty made for "a so-called
renewed federation...in reality preserving a unitary state."
This is "unacceptable" to Moldavia which stands by its conception
of a "confederation of sovereign states," Snegur said. At the
same time Moldavia would seek access to "other communities,"
he said. Noting that Moldavia was little known internationally,
Snegur said that the republic "must at last emerge from anonymity"
and seek direct cooperation with the West. (Vladimir Socor)

DOCTRINE OF "TWO ROMANIAN STATES" REASSERTED. Snegur again ruled
out Moldavia's reunification with Romania for the foreseeable
future, reasserting the Moldavian doctrine of "one people, two
states," which envisages close economic and cultural cooperation
with Romania by an independent Moldavia. He regretted that plans
for greater cross-border communication and for "100 joint ventures"
between Moldavia and Romania are not being realized. He was optimistic,
however, about the prospects of cooperation between Moldavia
and the RSFSR, highly praising Yeltsin. Snegur's remarks, made
after a brief meeting with Romanian President Ion Iliescu, were
reported by the Romanian media and Western news agencies June
19. (Vladimir Socor)

KYRGYZSTAN PILGRIMS TO MECCA. About 500 pilgrims from Kyrgyzstan
are going on the pilgrimage to Mecca this year, TASS reported
June 19. They hope not only to visit the holy places, but also
meet leaders of the World Islamic Center to discuss possibilities
for two to three thousand Kyrgyzstanis to take jobs in Saudi
Arabia, and joint projects. (Ann Sheehy)

KAZAKH PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE LOSS OF LIFE DURING
COLLECTIVIZATION. The Kazakh Supreme Soviet has set up a commission
to study what really happened in the republic during collectivization
and the forcible settlement of the nomads at the beginning of
the 1930s when 2.5 million people died of hunger, Izvestia reported
June 11. Local historians have only been able to discuss this
grim period openly since the advent of glasnost'. The Kazakhs
have since managed to make good their numbers, and are to hold
an "enormous festival" to mark the anticipated birth of the 10
millionth Kazakh in the world on June 25, Novosti reported June
14. Former Party first secretary Dinmukhamed Kunaev will speak
at the opening ceremony. (Ann Sheehy)


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

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