Eat to live, and not live to eat. - Benjamin Franklin
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 135, 18 July 1991



BALTIC STATES



OMON ATTACKS CUSTOMS POST . . . Radio Riga reported on July 17
that four Black Berets (OMON troops) broke into the customs post
at the Main Railroad Station in Riga on July 16 and confiscated
documents. This was the second attack in recent weeks on the
post. (Dzintra Bungs)

AND POLICEMEN IN LATVIA. At a press conference on June 16, Latvian
Minister of Internal Affairs Aloizs Vaznis told of another OMON
assault a few days earlier: 12 armed Black Berets attacked two
policemen unloading boxes of cartridges and took both the men
and the cartridges to their base in Vecmilgravis. There the two
policemen were interrogated by a Latvian SSR Procuracy official
for six hours and roughed up by the Black Berets. Vaznis said
that the MVD in Moscow was disregarding Latvian protests concerning
OMON assaults and probably supports these efforts to destabilize
the situation in Latvia and undermine efforts of the Latvian
police to enforce the law, reported Radio Riga July 17. (Dzintra
Bungs)

SUSPICIOUS EXPLOSION IN RIGA. Yesterday (July 17) around noon
a blast rocked the Republic of Latvia Prosecutor's Office at
91 Briviba Street. The explosives had been placed in a lavatory.
One man, according to Radio Riga of July 17, was seriously injured
and hospitalized. This is the first explosion to hit Riga after
several months of relative quiet. There was a spate of mysterious
blasts in Riga last winter and it is still not clear who was
responsible for most of them. (Dzintra Bungs)

VILNIUS GARRISON COMMAND DENIES PROVOCATION PLANS. In a statement
reported by TASS on July 17, the command of the Soviet army garrison
stationed in Vilnius denied having any plans for a provocation
involving OMON units. The Lithuanian government had previously
warned of plans for a provocation in which the OMON would clash
with Soviet troops dressed as Lithuanian police. "No military
actions whatsoever, including those of a provocational nature,
with respect to the OMON, have been planned," the statement read.
The garrison command condemned any reports to the contrary as
"unprovable and false," and considered them an attempt to discredit
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev on the eve of his trip to
London. (Gytis Liulevicius)

KGB GENERAL CRITICIZES OMON, BLAMES BALTIC STATES. Lieutenant
General Bruno Steinbrik, chief of the KGB Special Department
of the Baltic Military District, told Sovetskaya Latvia of July
15 that the creation of custom posts by the Baltic States is
a direct violation of all-Union laws. While OMON attacks on the
customs posts also must be condemned, he said, one cannot fight
lawlessness with lawlessness. In the final analysis, Steinbrik
added, the OMON troops are not guilty, since they did not think
up the attacks themselves. In June, former MVD Minister Vadim
Bakatin made a similar statement, saying that both sides are
engaged in illegal actions (see Daily Report, June 11). (Victor
Yasmann)

JOINT MILITARY COMMISSIONS IN THE BALTIC. Radio Vilnius reported
on July 17 that General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev has sent
a telegram to Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius that
proposes the creation of joint commissions in the Baltic to manage
civil-military tensions in the region. Moiseev reportedly has
ordered commanders of the Baltic Military District and the Navy
to work with republican and local governmental bodies in all
three Baltic republics toward that end. Similar telegrams were
sent to Latvian and Estonian leaders, the report said. (Stephen
Foye)

APPEAL TO LITHUANIAN POLITICAL PARTIES AND ORGANIZATIONS. The
Presidium of the Lithuanian Supreme Council issued an appeal
to political parties and organizations on July 17, Radio Independent
Lithuania reported that day. The appeal warns that Lithuania
is currently experiencing the most important and complex phase
of restoring its statehood, a situation requiring close cooperation
from all sides. It stated that "success in regaining independence
and firmly establishing democracy will depend on our ability
to find common ground with respect to reforms now in progress
and the process of negotiations with the USSR." The appeal called
on political parties to settle differences peacefully, and to
avoid increasing tension. (Gytis Liulevicius)

MORE CRIME IN ESTONIA. Estonia reported 35.7% more crime in the
first half of this year compared to the same period last year,
according to Paevaleht of July 14. Although there were fewer
murders and attempted murders, manslaughter increased by 40.4%
and rape by 16.1% already this year. Most of the increase in
the crime rate is due to thefts. Overall thefts jumped by 50.6%
while apartment robberies rose by 75.3%. The crime rate per 100,000
residents rose the most in the cities of Kohtla-Jarve, Narva
and Tallinn, and in rural northeastern Estonia (Ida-Virumaa).
(Riina Kionka)

ALL QUIET ON THE EASTERN FRONT . . . There have been no further
incidents at the Narva economic border post, according to reports
from Tallinn. Two weeks ago, the Narva city council voted to
eliminate the economic border post in the city center (Narva
is separated by the Narva River from the RSFSR) and replace guards
with local police. In response, Estonian border authorities set
up their own interim border post on the Tallinn-Narva highway,
outside Narva city limits and about 19 kilometers west of the
border. Baltfax reported on July 15 that tension persists at
the interim border post because self-appointed so-called "worker
brigades" from Narva are maintaining a watch on the post. (Riina
Kionka)

BUT STALEMATE CONTINUES. Republic and local leaders failed to
resolve the escalating Narva crisis at a July 16 Tallinn meeting,
Rahva Haal reported the next day. Narva Mayor Vladimir Tsuikin
and other local leaders presented various plans for the status
of northeastern Estonia to Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar, State
Minister Ravio Vare, Interior Minister Olev Laanjarv and Chief
of Estonia's Border Authority Andres Oovel. The new plans came
after the Estonian Supreme Council rejected a government proposal
to make Narva a free economic zone, and include all of northeastern
Estonia rather than just Narva. The Narva, Sillamae, and Kohtla-Jarve
city councils are meeting within the week to further discuss
plans. (Riina Kionka)

CONVENTION AND FESTIVAL TIME IN LATVIA. Last week (July 10-14)
the international folklore festival Baltica took place in Riga
and other parts of Latvia, attracting thousands of folk musicians
of various nationalities. From July12 through 17, Latvian scientists
from all over the world gathered in Riga for their first congress.
Meeting in 24 different sessions, they exchanged information
about their specialties and sought ways to improve cooperation.
The second conference on education, attended by 80Latvian educators
from the West and hundreds from Latvia, started in Riga on July
15 and is continuing in Janmuiza, Riga, and Latgale, reported
Radio Riga July 13-17. The first such conference took place in
Muenster, Germany last spring and gave teachers from Latvia the
chance to see various innovations in education in the West. (Dzintra
Bungs)


USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



THE GRAND BARGAIN: FREE ADMISSION TO THE G-7 1/2. The Soviet
President got kind words and no money from the G-7 nations yesterday
(New York Times, Washington Post, Journal of Commerce, July 18).
The Seven pledged special associate member status in the IMF
and World Bank for the USSR: this means access to IMF expertise
but not IMF or World Bank loans. Beyond that, the Seven said
they would each provide technical assistance (which they are
already doing), urge the EBRD and OECD to help (but not raise
the low ceiling on EBRD finance for the USSR), and keep an eye
on progress. Thus, Gorbachev or someone will probably report
back to the rich kids at the next summit -- in Munich. (Philip
Hanson)

GORBACHEV COMPARES UNION TREATY NON-SIGNERS TO FORMER ALLIES.
Presidential spokesman Vitalii Ignatenko told reporters in London
yesterday that Gorbachev spoke at length to the G-7 leaders about
the relationship between the republics, including the Baltic
States, and the center, RFE/RL's correspondent in London reported
July 17. According to Ignatenko, Gorbachev said the USSR's relations
with the countries of Eastern Europe "remind one of a family
relationship--in a family where partners live together for a
long time, then divorce, then live separately, then realize that
they can't live without each other." Gorbachev reportedly said
that "something similar" might occur with those republics that
wanted to leave the Union. (Sallie Wise)

APPEAL TO SUPSOV FROM MINORITIES IN NON-SIGNATORY REPUBLICS.
Representatives of minority areas in four of the republics that
have said they will not sign the Union treaty have sent an appeal
to the USSR Supreme Soviet insisting that they be allowed to
sign the treaty. The appeal, published in Izvestia of July 17,
comes from the Abkhaz ASSR and South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast
in Georgia, the self-styled Trans-Dnieper and Gagauz republics
in Moldavia, the Interregional Council of Estonia, and the predominantly
Polish Salcininkai raion of Lithuania. The appeal cites the April
1990 law on the mechanics of secession--which allows autonomous
territories and areas inhabited primarily by minorities in republics
wishing to secede to remain part of the USSR--and suggests a
commission be set up to determine their rights under this law
and the draft Union treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

SUMMIT SET. US President George Bush and Gorbachev agreed on
July 17 to hold their sixth meeting on July 30 and 31 in Moscow.
The two leaders agreed on a means to overcoming the last remaining
obstacle blocking conclusion of the START pact after a one-hour
lunch on July 17 in London. Afterwards they instructed negotiators
to draw up treaty language on the START accord in time for their
meeting in Moscow, Western agencies reported July 17. (Suzanne
Crow)

HALF-YEARLY ECONOMIC RESULTS. USSR Goskomstat Chairman Vadim
Kirichenko outlined preliminary data for economic performance
during the first half of 1991 to a press conference in Moscow,
TASS and Western agencies reported July 17. When compared with
the first half of 1990, declines were: GNP--10%; national income--12%;
gross industrial output--6.2%; labor productivity--11%; and oil
output--10%. Wholesale prices in June 1991 were up 120% and retail
prices up 90% from June 1990. (Keith Bush)

FORECASTS FOR 1991. At that press conference and in the latest
issue of Pravitel'stvennyi vestnik, Kirichenko and colleagues
gave some tentative estimates of performance during the entire
year. (They apparently did not spell out the somewhat heroic
assumptions on which these were based). They saw a GNP decline
of 4%; an industrial output drop of 8%; a grain harvest of 195
million tons; and an oil output total of 508 million tons. (Keith
Bush)

GIDASPOV COMMENTS ON SITUATION IN CPSU. First Secretary of the
Leningrad Party Committee Boris Gidaspov, at a press conference
on July 17, supported the idea of holding an emergency CPSU Congress
in the fall, Radio Rossii reported that day. He rejected, however,
a proposal to replace Gorbachev as the Party's general secretary
and condemned the "Bolshevik Platform in the CPSU" for advancing
this proposal. Gidaspov was also skeptical about the Movement
for Democratic Reforms. He said it has been set up by representatives
of the CPSU apparatus and alleged that the movement's program
is 90% similar to the resolutions of the 28th Party congress.
(Vera Tolz)

GERMANY PROTESTS GIDASPOV'S REMARKS. At the same press conference
Gidaspov made some controversial remarks about Germany. Commenting
on the situation in the USSR, he said that Marxist-Leninist ideology
is currently being replaced in the country by laws of the animal
world as described by Charles Darwin. As is the case in the jungle,
in the newly-emerging Soviet society weaker individuals are being
swallowed up by stronger ones, Gidaspov maintained. He said that
a similar situation is to be observed in all capitalist countries
and cited Germany as an example. Gidaspov said that in Germany
it is not a chancellor or federal government that rules the country,
but dynasties of industrialists, who, although they had already
twice initiated world wars, still remain in power. Radio Rossii
said July 17 that the German consulate in Leningrad has already
expressed dissatisfaction over Gidaspov's statement and is intending
to pursue the issue further. (Vera Tolz)

COMMUNISTS FOR DEMOCRACY SET DATE FOR CONFERENCE. The Communists
for Democracy, led by RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi,
has formally announced the dates of their party's inaugural conference.
TASS said the conference will be held August 2-4 and will adopt
a program and statutes of the new organization. It will also
elect its leading bodies. (Vera Tolz)

COMMANDERS TO ATTEND RUSSIAN POLITBURO SESSION. The Politburo
of the Russian Communist Party has invited Military District
Commanders and Chiefs of military academies to its July 20 session,
Radio Rossii reported on July 17. The Politburo will reportedly
discuss draft problems, desertion, illegally armed groups, and
joint army-police patrols. A Party spokesman said that discussion
of a potential coup attempt will not be on the agenda. (Stephen
Foye)

AIR DEFENSE FORCES LAUDED. Izvestia of July18 has praised "the
impeccable and efficient" performance of the Soviet Air Defense
Forces forsafely escorting a plane to Leningrad that had illegally
en-tered Soviet air space on July 16 (see Daily Report, July
17). While the compliment was undoubtedly appreciated by leaders
of the often-maligned Air Defense troops, original reports appeared
to indicate that the Soviets, in fact, had encountered trouble
locating the intruding aircraft. In the Urals region, meanwhile,
military authorities said that they had discovered the wreckage
of a MiG-23 that had disappeared on July 15. According to Krasnaya
zvezda, the pilot perished. (Stephen Foye)

SOVIET OLYMPIC COMMITTEE STRAPPED FOR CASH. Vladimir Koval, finance
director of the Soviet Olympic Committee, told reporters in Moscow
July 12 that the committee's newly-won independence from the
Soviet government has one disadvantage: no money. According to
Western reports July 13, Koval lamented "we have obtained the
status of independence, but we also have become independent of
money." The Soviet government stopped subsidizing the Olympic
Committee this year, and the committee is further hampered by
a Presidential decree ordering all enterprises to pay 40% of
their foreign currency to the state. Vitalii Smirnov, the committee's
director, appealed at the same press conference for an exemption
from the hard currency payment. (Sallie Wise)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



RSFSR CONGRESS POSTPONES SUPSOV CHAIRMAN ELECTION. The RSFSR
Congress of People's Deputies on July 17 postponed the election
of a Supreme Soviet chairman until autumn, after failing in six
attempts to approve a new leader for the body. The congress decided
to charge First Deputy Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov with temporary
duties as Supreme Soviet chairman, TASS reported. The congress
tried six times since July 12 to elect a chairman, but no candidate
received the needed majority of 531 votes. In the last round,
the candidate of "Communists of Russia," Sergei Baburin, topped
the poll. TASS commented that although Yeltsin strongly supported
Khasbulatov's candidacy, up to 100 pro-Yeltsin democrats in the
congress consistently voted against Khasbulatov, whom they have
accused of "authoritarian methods" of leadership. (Vera Tolz)


SILAEV SIGNS REGULATIONS FOR KUZBASS FREE ECONOMIC ZONE. RSFSR
Prime Minister Ivan Silaev has signed regulations putting into
effect a free economic zone in the Kuzbass, according to Moscow
Radio 1 and RSFSR TV July17. The zone will affect all enterprises
in Kemerovo region. They will be allowed to pay wages in hard
currency, and the creation of joint ventures in the sphere of
banking and insurance will be permitted. A free customs enclave
will also be created. Joint ventures and participants in external
trade can now register with the regional executive committee,
which will establish quotas for the extraction and exploitation
of mineral resources. (Sarah Ashwin)

REFUGEE PROBLEM IN NORTH OSSETIA. The North Ossetian Supreme
Soviet is shortly to discuss the problem of the 40,000 refugees
from Georgia whose presence has aggravated the already difficult
crime situation in the republic, Novosti reported July 17. It
is proposed that only children and pensioners be given the status
of refugees, and that they should be dispersed in three tent
cities for 5,000 people each. The law enforcement agencies regard
an accumulation of refugees in one place as dangerous--there
have already been reports of hostility on the part of the Ingush.
It is proposed that all the adults should return to their places
of permanent residence in South Ossetia. (Ann Sheehy)

HUMAN RIGHTS DELEGATION CONFIRMS ARMENIAN DEPORTATIONS. An international
delegation that has just visited Nagorno-Karabakh told Western
journalists at a Moscow press conference July 17 that since late
April 10,000 Armenians have been forcibly deported from the area
by Soviet army and Azerbaijani OMON troops. Armenians have also
been illegally detained, beaten and tortured; Armenian villages
have been resettled by Azerbaijanis. The Azerbaijani authorities
have argued systematically that the Azerbaijani troops are merely
enforcing passport controls to identify Armenian guerrillas,
and that Armenians who leave Azerbaijan are doing so voluntarily.
(Liz Fuller)

UKRAINE NOT PREPARING TO LEAVE? On July15, TASS summarized an
article in Pravda by Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid
Kravchuk. TASS quoted him as stating that the new Union treaty
must be more clearly written, regarding both its general principles
and specific details, since each word of the Treaty will carry
an important meaning. He further explained that Ukraine is not
preparing to leave the Soviet Union. (Natalie Melnyczuk)

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS OPPOSE DIRECT G-7 AID TO USSR. Four
members of the Ukrainian parliament sent a letter to the leaders
attending the G-7 Summit in London July 17, stating that if the
G-7 really wants to help it should give aid directly to the republics,
not the Center. Kiev Radio reported on the same day that a member
of parliament, Dmytro Pavlychko, wrote to the G-7 that Ukraine
currently makes over $100 billion a year which it must relinquish
to the Center. Pavlychko said this same money could be used to
repay any assistance which it received from the West. (Natalie
Melnyczuk)

LEGISLATOR ON TRIAL IN UZBEKISTAN. Uzbek Supreme Soviet deputy
Shovruk Ruzimuradov has been put on trial in Karshi for his role
in fomenting unrest in the town of Yakkabag in connection with
the April price increases, according to TASS of July 17, quoting
Vechernyaya Moskva. The report says that the trial of Ruzimuradov,
who is identified as a leader of Birlik, the Uzbek Popular Front
organization, is closed to the public, and the militia has sealed
off all access to the town. Uzbek President Islam Karimov claimed,
in an interview published in Rabochaya tribuna on July 3, that
the Yakkabag disturbance was minor and denied that there had
been any casualties. (Bess Brown)

KYRGYZSTAN'S PRIVATIZATION PROJECT PUBLISHED. TASS reported on
July 17 that a project for transforming Kyrgyzstan's economy
has been published in the republican press for public discussion.
The centerpiece of the project, according to Kirgiz President
Askar Akaev, is large-scale privatization of state holdings.
First to be privatized are to be retail trade, service and public
catering firms, small construction organizations, and some highway
transport. Some enterprises that are under construction should
be sold or given to work collectives so the new owners can complete
them at their own expense. The reform is also to include laws
to encourage foreign investment. (Bess Brown)

TAJIK CONCERN ABOUT OIL FIRES. Tajikistan's Supreme Soviet has
appealed to the government of the USSR, leaders of Persian Gulf
states, and the UN to conduct a study of the effects of the Kuwait
oil fires on climate, according to a TASS report of July 15.
The appeal notes that the fires could affect the glaciers of
the Pamir and Tyan-Shan mountains, which are the main sources
of water for the Central Asian republics. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIAN POPULAR FRONT DECLINES IN POPULARITY BUT MAJORITY STILL
FAVOR INDEPENDENCE. A recent opinion poll in Moldavia shows that
the Moldavian Popular Front can now count on the votes of only
15% of the electorate, but is still the most popular party or
movement, Novosti reported July 17. Only about 8% of voters support
the Social Democrats, 7.5% support the Communists, and 6.7% favor
"Edinstvo." Forty-seven percent of those interviewed said they
dislike the Popular Front. On the other hand, about 60% (a few
percentage points less than the Moldavian share of the population)
want full independence, and only a quarter are in favor of signing
the Union treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

[As of 1300 CET]


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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole