|You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw|
No. 118, 24 June 1991
BALTIC STATES OMON ATTACKS CONTINUE. On June 21 at about 20:00 local time four armed men, three of them dressed in OMON uniforms, attacked and burned down the Lithuanian customs post at Salociai in the Pasvalys Raion and the neighboring Latvian customs post, Radio Independent Lithuania reported on June 22. There were no reports of injuries. On June 22 OMON troops forced Lithuanian customs officials out of their office in the airport in Vilnius, tore off the office's sign, confiscated documents and keys, and told the officials never to return to work, the radio reported that day. The latter was the first attack on a customs post not on the Lithuanian border. (Saulius Girnius) LANDSBERGIS CONTINUES VISIT IN WEST. Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis flew from Paris to Lyon on June 20 and to the Vendee area on June 21 where he had meetings with local government and business officials. On June 22 he flew to Norway to open a Lithuanian music festival in Tundsburg. On June 23 he travelled to Kiel for the annual meeting of representatives of the parliaments of North European countries. Estonian parliament chairman Arnold Ruutel and Landsbergis told journalists that day that they trust and support RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and had reservations about the CSCE conference, scheduled in Moscow in September, Radio Independent Lithuania reported on June 24. (Saulius Girnius) PRO-BALTIC AMENDMENT TO US FOREIGN AID BILL. The US House of Representatives passed a Foreign Aid bill on June 20 with an amendment linking aid to the USSR with the situation in the Baltic States, Western agencies reported June 21. According to the amendment, the US would withhold aid pending a USSR pledge to distribute the aid equally among the Baltic States and Soviet republics. The USSR would also have to return property seized in the Baltic States since January 1. Half of the proposed $30 million in technical aid for 1992 and 1993 would go directly to the Baltic States, and the other half would be sent to democratically elected local USSR governments and other organizations deemed "eligible" for aid. (Gytis Liulevicius) PRO-SOVIET RALLY MARKS WAR ANNIVERSARY. Pro-Soviet opponents of Lithuanian independence took to the streets in Vilnius on June 22, according to TASS that day. USSR war veterans gathered at the Chernyakhovsky monument for an "anti-fascist meeting," marking the 50th anniversary of the Nazi attack on the USSR. Speakers at the meeting, including Lithuanian Communist Party First Secretary Mykolas Burokevicius, denounced the current Lithuanian government, especially Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, claiming that his father collaborated with the Nazis during the war. (Gytis Liulevicius) JUNE 1941 ANTI-SOVIET REVOLT COMMEMORATED. Lithuanians met in Lukiskiai Square (formerly Lenin Square) in Vilnius on June 22 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1941 Lithuanian revolt against Soviet rule, Radio Independent Lithuania reported June 23. The revolt managed to set up a provisional government, which was quickly disbanded by the Nazi occupiers. Several Lithuanian organizations sponsored the meeting, including "Young Lithuania" and the Lithuanian Helsinki Group. Participants put up a cross in the square, marking the spot where leaders of an 1863 revolt against tsarist rule were hanged. (Gytis Liulevicius) LATVIA REVISES 1991 BUDGET--AGAIN. Latvia has revised its budgetary revenues and expenditures for 1991--for the seventh time this year. A Tass report dated June 22 notes that the latest revision calls for expenditures to increase by 89 million rubles. Tax receipts from property taxes are to go up by 40 million. Among the departments and organizations scheduled to enjoy more revenues are the customs department for the repair and building of customs control points. The health care budget is also to rise. (John Tedstrom) USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS GORBACHEV DEFEATS HARDLINERS. USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev easily defeated his hardline opponents at the USSR Supreme Soviet who had attempted to limit his power base. The parliament overwhelmingly rejected premier Valentin Pavlov's demands for additional powers for the government. The vote was 264-24 in favor of removing the question from the agenda. Western agencies on June 22 reported that Gorbachev attacked the leaders of the Soyuz faction in the parliament, accusing them of plotting behind his back and being "completely divorced from reality." Gorbachev told reporters that he was not afraid of hardliners and that "society will reject them." (Alexander Rahr) GORBACHEV'S COMPROMISE. The rejection of Pavlov's demands was not, however, a clear victory for Gorbachev. The premier not only kept his job, but Gorbachev even admitted that Pavlov had acted "within the framework of perestroika in requesting new powers," according to Western news agencies on June 21. He also promised Pavlov he would merge his economic plan with the more radical one of Grigorii Yavlinsky. In turn, Pavlov told the Supreme Soviet that his demands for more power had been "misinterpreted" and that in reality there were no disagreements with Gorbachev. The leaders of Soyuz were surprised by Pavlov's retreat. They also deplored that KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov had earlier come out so strongly on Pavlov's side, according to The Boston Globe on June 22. (Alexander Rahr) SHCHERBAKOV SIDES WITH PAVLOV? At a seminar on changes in the USSR, Soviet first deputy prime minister Vladimir Shcherbakov said that the Soviet Union's society would not survive an attempt to implement the radical reform plan devised at Harvard University. According to Western reports June 22, Shcherbakov said people in the USSR still equate capitalism with exploitation. He said "There is enormous resistance to change on the part of the population...it would not survive shock therapy." In making this remark, Shcherbakov puts himself squarely in the conservative camp of Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov and others who were rebuffed by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on the weekend. (John Tedstrom) SOVIETS MARK NAZI INVASION. Gatherings were held throughout the Soviet Union on June 22 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1941 German invasion. According to Western and Soviet reports, Gorbachev, together with his Prime Minister and Defense Minister, laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier, while many Soviet newspapers devoted full pages to the first days of the German-Soviet conflict. Pravda carried an unusual four-page supplement for the event. Soviet sources informed their readers that some 1,710 towns were destroyed during the war, as were 70,000 villages; some 32,000 factories and 65,000 kilometers of railroad track were blown up. (Stephen Foye) GORBACHEV ON WAR ANNIVERSARY. In a speech on June 21 devoted to the war, Gorbachev, not surprisingly, stressed that the Soviet victory resulted from what he called the solidarity of the Soviet people. He said that ethnic and national differences were overcome, and that people with different social backgrounds, as well as varying political and religious beliefs, had been able to unite. He also praised allied cooperation during the war, and lamented the breakdown of East-West relations during the "Cold War" years. (Stephen Foye) VOLKOGONOV FUROR CONTINUES. Recriminations between revisionist historian Dmitrii Volkogonov and the conservative Soviet High Command continued over the weekend, indicating deepening political divisions over the war's legacy. According to Western reports on June 21, Volkogonov defended his history of the war as being entirely truthful, and said that the Soviet people do not need "sugary patriotism." He accused the military leadership of trying to control history, and said that criticism of his work had prompted him to resign as editor of the ten-volume history (see June 21 Daily Report) and from his post as head of the Defense Ministry's Institute of Military History. (Stephen Foye) GORBACHEV HAILS SOVIET-GERMAN RELATIONS. In a June 21 television address marking the 50th anniversary of Nazi Germany's attack on the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev said the Soviet Union is "firmly set on the path of reconciliation with Germany." Gorbachev also said that good relations between the two former adversaries "constitute a true example of good neighborliness and partnership." Gorbachev's speech was also broadcast on German television. (Suzanne Crow) BUSH PHONES GORBACHEV. US President George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev spoke via telephone for forty minutes at Bush's request on June 21. According to the White House, the conversation focused on the G-7 summit, the delayed US-Soviet summit, the START treaty, and Boris Yeltsin. Bush urged Gorbachev to cooperate with Yeltsin on political and economic reform policies. Bush said that he and Yeltsin, during their meeting the day before, had "a good discussion" on reforms in the Soviet Union," the Boston Globe reported June 22. (Suzanne Crow) CHILE'S ECONOMIC MINISTER TO MOSCOW. Chilean Economy Minister Carlos Ominami left for the USSR June 22, according to Western reports. He is leading a group of 35 business leaders in hopes of boosting bilateral trade. Chile hopes to increase exports to the USSR and to expand technical cooperation in the fields of fishing, textiles, metallurgy and agriculture. This is the first official Chilean visit to the USSR at such a level since 1972. Relations between Chile and the USSR were suspended between 1973 and 1990. Recent Soviet trade statistics, through end 1990, report no trade with Chile. (John Tedstrom) SOVIET TRADE OFFICIAL SEEKS ASYLUM. The Norwegian foreign ministry said on June 22 that an unnamed Soviet trade official with diplomatic status was seeking political asylum in Norway. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bjoern Blokhus said it is not certain asylum will be granted, explaining: "before glasnost'...any official trying to defect would automatically get political asylum in Norway." This is not true anymore, Blokhus said. The Soviet official reported to Oslo police just after Gorbachev's visit to Norway earlier this month, a Western agency reported June 22. (Suzanne Crow) DEMAND FOR CANONIZATION OF THE LAST TSAR. Radio Rossii reported on June 21 that the Political Committee of the Russian National Monarchist Party had demanded that the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church canonize immediately Tsar Nicholas II and the members of this family. The Tsar and his family were among several thousands of "new martyrs" canonized in 1981 by the US-based Russian Orthodox Church abroad. (Oxana Antic) USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS YELTSIN RETURNS FROM U.S. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin left a good impression during his visit to the U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle called him "impressive", according to a Western agency report on June 21. Speaking at New York University, Yeltsin predicted the creation of a common political and economic system in the world's northeastern hemisphere, in which the U.S. and Russia would play a leading role, Western agencies reported on June 22. Before his departure, Yeltsin told reporters that he was satisfied with his visit and that his goal was not to get money, but to establish personal relations with U.S. leaders. (Alexander Rahr) RSFSR REPORTS STRONG INCREASE IN INFLATION. Consumer prices in the RSFSR grew by an average 96 percent in May over May 1990, according to Western and Soviet reports of official RSFSR statistics. Food prices went up 127 percent on average, with meat up 180 percent, fish 193, and sugar 155.Textiles and clothes prices increased 166 percent and building materials 132 percent. (John Tedstrom) IRKUTSK TO GET LICENSE TO SELL ABROAD. The USSR Cabinet of Ministers has agreed to a general license for Irkutsk oblast to sell part of its raw materials abroad. Irkutsk plans to earn about 500 million hard currency rubles from the sales--presumably in 1991--and plans to direct those funds towards the purchase of capital equipment for the manufacturing and consumer goods industries. (John Tedstrom) PROTEST AGAINST UNION TREATY IN KIEV. Thousands of people demonstrated in Kiev June 23 to demand rejection of the proposed Union treaty, according to agency reports. Speakers at the rally, which was organized by Rukh, said the treaty would deprive Ukraine of its independence. In other news, the republican Supreme Soviet voted June 22 by an overwhelming majority to hold the first direct presidential election in 1992; the exact date will be fixed this week. (Kathy Mihalisko) UKRAINIAN 'SOLIDARITY.' On June 23, a three-day congress of workers ended in Kiev with a decision to form an All-Ukrainian Association of Solidarity with Workers. People's deputy Larisa Skoryk told AP that the group will use Poland's Solidarity as a model and will aim to defend workers and fight for an independent Ukraine. Donetsk coal miner Oleksandr Ivashenko was elected to lead the new association. (Kathy Mihalisko) KAZAKHSTAN CREATES ECONOMIC COUNCIL FOR REFORM. Kazakhstan has created the "Supreme Economic Council for the Introduction of Market Relations" according to Radio Moscow, June 23. Kazakhstan has recently taken several steps that put it among the most progressive republics in terms of economic reform programs. Approximately 85 percent of the republic's citizens favor moving to a market-based system. Economic reform measures will be couched in terms of Kazakhstan's sovereignty, according to the report. (John Tedstrom) NEW DATA ON UZBEK JOINT VENTURE DEALS. A surprising amount of joint venture activity is going on in Uzbekistan, according to figures recently cited by the republics's vice president Shukurulla Mirsaidov. In remarks carried by Tass June 22, Mirsaidov said that there were some 30 joint ventures in Uzbekistan, capitalized at about 377 million hard currency rubles. The joint ventures have already produced some 2.4 billion hard currency rubles worth of consumer goods. At a 5-day international business seminar in Tashkent, which ended June 22, contracts worth $65.8 million were signed. (John Tedstrom) KIRGIZ PRESIDENT SETS UP CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF WORKERS. The organizational meeting of a consultative council of workers under the republican president has been held in Kyrgyzstan, Moscow radio reported June 23. The meeting of the council, which is said to be unique to the Kirgiz president's office, discussed inter alia privatization. The Kirgiz president Askar Akaev is obviously trying to win the support of the workers for privatization, which, he said, will take place in two stages in the republic. The first would involved retail trade, services, transport, and construction, and the second medium-size and larger enterprises. (Ann Sheehy) MOLDAVIA CELEBRATES ONE YEAR SINCE SOVEREIGNTY. On June 21-23, Moldavia held official celebrations to mark the first anniversary of its declaration of sovereignty, adopted by parliament on June 23, 1990. Addressing the parliament, chairman Alexandru Mosanu said that Moldavia was building "a special relationship" with Romania but he dismissed "accusations...that unification with Romania is the ultimate goal." Reaffirming the doctrine of "two Romanian states," Mosanu said that "sovereignty has strengthened our confidence that we can be the masters of our own house," Moldovapres reported June 21. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIAN LEADERS HAIL YELTSIN'S VICTORY. Moldavian parliament chairman Alexandru Mosanu told Russian TV June 21 that Yeltsin's popular election as President of the RSFSR constituted "a resounding assertion of the democratic forces, not only in words but in deeds...improving Moldavia's chances for genuine independence. That prospect is no longer beyond the horizon". First Vice Prime Minister Constantin Oboroc in turn told Radio Bucharest the same day that "the triumph of the democratic forces in Russia is a historic event which has improved our own chances of achieving sovereignty, escaping the rule of this empire, and seeking an equitable formula of coexistence with other sovereign states". (Vladimir Socor) GAGAUZ LEADER REGRETS YELTSIN'S VICTORY. "I do not support Yeltsin," said Stepan Topal, chairman of the would-be Supreme Soviet of the self-proclaimed Gagauz SSR in southern Moldavia, in an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta of June 18. Topal accused Yeltsin of "leaving the small peoples to their own devices and disregarding their interests... If Yeltsin gets the upper hand, it will mean the demise of the small peoples." Topal also said that "many of our communists" disapprove of the recent elevation of Moldavian CP leader Petru Lucinschi (a convinced reformer) to the position of CPSU CC Secretary; "such things do not promote confidence in the Party," Topal said. (Vladimir Socor) FIRST CONGRESS OF PEOPLE'S OF CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA ENDS. A two-day congress of the people's of Checheno-Ingushetia ended June 22, TASS reported the same day. The congress, which was called by the authorities in the hope of preventing a further deterioration of interethnic relations in the North Caucasus, received a message of greetings from Gorbachev appealing to the population to preserve the republic's normal rhythm of life and set an example of interethnic relations in the North Caucasus. The congress addressed an appeal to the other peoples of the North Caucasus calling for a congress of all the North Caucasian peoples in the Chechen-Ingush capital, Grozny. (Ann Sheehy)
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.