The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 137, 22 July 1991



BALTIC STATES



SIDOROV: OMON IN LATVIA--A REPUBLICAN FORMATION. According to
Novosti of July 19, Vitalii Sidorov, USSR Deputy Minister of
Internal Affairs, said that problems with the OMON unit stationed
in Riga must be resolved in Latvia, since it is a "strictly republican
formation in which residents of Latvia serve." He recommended
that members of the OMON should be used for law enforcement in
the republic and that those OMON members found guilty of criminal
acts must be brought to justice. Sidorov's statement suggests
a change in the MVD's attitude toward the OMON, also known as
the Black Berets, since these units have been under MVD, rather
than republican, jurisdiction. (Dzintra Bungs)

MVD OFFICIAL: OFFENSIVE AGAINST CUSTOMS POSTS TO CONTINUE. MVD
representative in the Baltic area N. Goncharenko told Diena of
July 17 that "if complaints from citizens about thefts and affronts
to human dignity by Latvian customs officials continue, then
the [MVD] will continue its action against the customs posts."
He claimed that there were alcoholics and men with a "dark past"
working at the customs posts. Since May about twenty attacks--the
exact figure is not available--have been launched by OMON units
against various customs posts in Latvia; some posts have been
attacked several times already. (Dzintra Bungs)

BIRTHS AND DEATHS IN LATVIA IN 1990. According to state statistical
committee data published Latvijas Jaunatne of June 28, since
1988 birth rates in Latvia have been declining. Last year 37,918
children were born and there was an increase in the number of
children born to young and unwed mothers. In l990, 34,812 persons
died; this figure includes 695 suicides, 245 murders or cases
ofmanslaughter, 1,167 deaths as a consequence of automobile accidents,
and 144 deaths as a result of alcohol poisoning. Most of the
deaths (58%), however, were attributed to circulatory diseases,
with cancer having caused about 16% of the deaths. (Dzintra Bungs)


BUNDESTAG DEPUTY ON BALTICS. Free Democrat Cornelia von Teichman,
one of the deputy chairmen of the German-Baltic Parliamentary
Friendship Circle, expressed her disappointment over Soviet unwillingness
to negotiate with the Baltic States, an RFE/RL correspondent
in Bonn reported July 19. In a statement released following the
Bundestag delegation's visit to the Baltic States, von Teichman
denounced Soviet attempts to make the Baltic question a domestic
affair. Since the Baltic States were annexed to the USSR under
the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, she said, the Soviets and Germans
share a special responsibility for the future of the Baltics.
(Gytis Liulevicius)

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER IN US. Lithuanian Deputy Prime Minister
Zigmas Vaisvila arrived in Washington on July 18 and met with
Congressmen and government officials, Voice of America in Lithuanian
reported on July 20. Vaisvila traveled to Minneapolis that day
for the opening of the annual Special Olympics Summer Games,
where athletes from the Baltic States will compete separately,
not as part of the USSR's team. He will fly back to Lithuania
this week, stopping in New York on July 22 for meetings with the
press and some industrialists. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN DEPUTIES IN ITALY. After attending an international
youth conference for peace "Shalom" in northern Italy, a group
of about 40 Lithuanians, including 6 parliament deputies, spent
four days in Rome where they held talks with the leaders of all
the political parties in Italy. On July 19 they talked for more
than a half hour with Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who stressed
that the situation of the Baltic States is different from the
other Soviet republics and that their ties with the USSR should
be resolved in a peaceful manner. On July 20 Pope John Paul II
paid special attention to the Lithuanians at his public audience.
Radio Vatican in Lithuanian broadcast reports about the visit
on July 18-20. (Saulius Girnius)

ESTONIA GOES UP IN SMOKE. Estonia's major cigarette manufacturer
"Leek" may avert its annual summer cigarette shortage this year
by getting supplies from all-Union warehouses, Paevaleht reported
on July 18. "Leek" usually closes for repairs in June, causing
cigarette shortages in July and August. Severe materials shortages
this year, however, threatened to force closing for several more
months. "Leek" director Boris Oks told Paevaleht that the factory
will start up next week, working with all-Union materials sent
to Estonia in exchange for promised deliveries of cigarettes
to Nizhnyi Novgorod. Presumably, some of the finished product
will also be sold to local smokers. (Riina Kionka)


USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



GORBACHEV CONCEDES NON-COMMUNIST COULD BECOME PRESIDENT. Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev has acknowledged the possibility
that a non-Communist could be elected USSR President. When asked
during an interview with Britain's Independent Television News
July 19 whether he could foresee such a possibility, Gorbachev
replied eliptically. Noting that non-Communists already have
been elected presidents of some republics, he went on to say
that the USSR presidential election "has to be a competition
of programmes, a competition of parties, a competition of leaders
. . . the winner will have the support of the people and naturally
the winner in the elections will be the leader of reform in the
Soviet Union--[will] continue reform in the Soviet Union." (Sallie
Wise)

PROKOF'EV FORECASTS SPLIT. The first secretary of the Moscow
city Party committee, Yurii Prokof'ev, told a Moscow press conference
on July19 that a two- or possibly three-way split in the CPSU,
whose members make demands ranging from creating a capitalist
society to returning to Stalinism, is "inevitable," TASS reported
the same day. Prokof'ev also said that Gorbachev should resign
as General Secretary because he cannot do justice to both his
presidential and Party duties. Prokof'ev suggested that perhaps
Gorbachev could serve in a ceremonial capacity as Party chairman.
(Dawn Mann)

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS POSITION ON NEW REFORM MOVEMENTS. An extraordinary
session of the Consultative Council of the Democratic Congress
met in Kiev on July 19 to adopt a position regarding the new
reform movements in the country (the Movement for Democratic
Reforms, the United Democratic Party of the USSR, and the Democratic
Party of Communists of Russia), Ukrinform-TASS and Radio Kiev
reported July 19. Anatolii Zhivotnyuk, co-chairman of the United
Democratic Party of Belorussia is quoted as saying that, although
the Democratic Congress supports the new Movement for Democratic
Reforms, it cannot agree with its approach to reforming of the
national-state structure of the USSR, specifically its appeal
only to those national movements and parties that support preservation
of the unitary state. (Roman Solchanyk)

POPOV AND SHEVARDNADZE ON NEED FOR CENTRIST PARTY. At a meeting
on July 20 of members of the Movement for Democratic Reforms,
Eduard Shevardnadze and Moscow mayorey Gavriil Popov called for
the formation, within the movement "Democratic Russia," of a
centrist parliamentary party, TASS reported the same day. (Dawn
Mann)

MORE ON GORBACHEV'S RELATIONS WITH MDR. In a departure from the
usual practice, Aleksandr Yakovlev, head of Gorbachev's advisory
council, was not seen at the airport among those present for
Gorbachev's departure and return from London. (Another Presidential
adviser, Vadim Medvedev, was present.) Could this be related
to Yakovlev's role as a founder of the Movement for Democratic
Reforms and an indication of Gorbachev's unwillingness to be
seen with its leaders in public? (Julia Wishnevsky)

WHICH ECONOMIC REFORM PROGRAM? According to Western agencies,
Izvestia of July 19 carried articles by both Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov and First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov.
Pavlov is reported to have conducted a vigorous defense of his
new, improved anti-crisis program, asserting that it was prepared
by experts and reviewed by the IMF, World Bank, and EBRD. Apparently
referring to the same program, Shcherbakov claimed that the G-7
summit result showed that the Soviet Union has "chosen the right
path" for its reforms. The problem is that few, if any, in the
West are clear what relationship Pavlov's anti-crisis program
has to the document that Gorbachev presented to the London meeting.
(Keith Bush)

FULL MEMBERSHIP IN IMF? In the wake of the G-7 summit, the USSR
was awarded an "associate relationship" with the IMF and World
Bank. The New York Times of July 20 spelled out the likely areas
in which these two bodies will initially extend expertise and
advice. The IMF will, it is thought, first concentrate on the
budget deficit and the triple-digit inflation rate, while the
World Bank will advise on specific areas like modernizing telecommunications,
improving agriculture, and setting up commercial banks. According
to The Financial Times of July 20, Shcherbakov claimed that the
G-7 had promised to decide on whether to grant the USSR full
membership of the IMF in six months. (KeithBush)

YELTSIN COMMENDS GORBACHEV'S PERFORMANCE AT G-7. RSFSR President
Boris Yeltsin said July 21 that Gorbachev fulfilled the mandate
of the Soviet republics not to go "cap in hand" to Western leaders.
Radio Rossii, reporting on Yeltsin's press conference in Bishkek,
Kyrgyzstan yesterday, quoted him as saying that the G-7 meeting
in general had demonstrated a high degree of maturity in international
relations. (Sallie Wise)

BESSMERTNYKH ON FURTHER DISARMAMENT. In a letter to UN Secretary
General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh
stressed that "the USSR is taking concrete practical steps to
adopt its defense construction to the new military-political
and strategic realities." He continued: "at the same time, however,
we are proceeding from the fact that imparting a defensive nature
to military doctrines and, accordingly to the military structure,
can be implemented only on the bases of reciprocity . . . ."
Bessmertnykh's letter also made reference to the "full elimination"
of nuclear weapons and the reduction of conventional weapons,
TASS reported July 19. (Suzanne Crow)

AFRICA: "A RESERVE OF AUTHORITY." Soviet cooperation with African
countries is important, said Vladimir Titov in an article on
Soviet-African relations in the July issue of Mezhdunarodnaya
zhizn'. In TASS's July 19 review of the article, Titov was quoted
as saying "the African countries are an important reserve of
[Soviet] authority in the 'Third World.'" He added that through
ties with developing countries, the USSR can guarantee its long-term
positions. Titov works for the International Organizations Administration
at the Foreign Ministry. (Suzanne Crow)

MASLYUKOV IN INDONESIA. Soviet First Deputy Prime Minister Yurii
Maslyukov today (July 22) begins an official visit to Indonesia,
where he will hold talks on cooperation on technical and commercial
topics. Upon arrival on July 21, Maslyukov said the USSR and
Indonesia could cooperate in space technology, transportation,
communication, electronics, railway development, energy and aviation.
Maslyukov reiterated the Soviet Union's interest in setting up
a forum to discuss Asia-Pacific security, TASS reported July
21. (Suzanne Crow)

GREEK PREMIER TO VISIT, SIGN TREATY. Greek Premier Constantine
Mitsotakis is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on July 22 starting
a five day visit, TASS reported July 21. During his visit, Mitsotakis
will sign a treaty of friendship between the USSR and Greece.
(Suzanne Crow)

YAZOV FORCES DISMISSAL OF EDUCATION MINISTER? According to Vesti's
July 19 broadcast, USSR Education Minister Yagodin has been dismissed,
possibly at the behest of Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov. Yagodin
reportedly opposed a Defense Ministry initiative that would end
draft deferments for university students (see Daily Report, July
17). (Stephen Foye)

SOLDIERS' MOTHERS APPEAL TO YELTSIN. A group representing the
All-Union Council of Soldiers' Mothers told Radio Rossii on July
20 that they had met with Yeltsin earlier that day and asked
him to create a commission attached to the RSFSR Procuracy that
would investigate violence in army life. A spokeswoman said the
group already had met with Gorbachev, Pavlov, and Yazov, with
no results. She claimed that according to official figures provided
by the USSR Cabinet of Ministers, some 310,000 Soviet soldiers
have suffered non-combat deaths since 1945. She also said that
a special commission appointed by Gorbachev last fall has done
virtually nothing in investigating this violence. (Stephen Foye)


SPRING DRAFT FIGURES. According to General Staff Deputy Chief
Colonel General Grigorii Krivosheev, the current spring military
draft is proceeding in an "unsatisfactory" manner. In a July
18 TASS report of an interview appearing the same day in Krasnaya
zvezda, Krivosheev said that as of mid-July only 91.4% of the
total draft cohort had been inducted. In Georgia, he said, the
figure was 8.2%, in Lithuania, 12.3%, in Armenia, 16.4%, and
in Estonia, 30%. As the military leadership has done in the past,
Krivosheev blamed the low turnout primarily on the uncooperative
actions of republican governments. (Stephen Foye)

METALWORKERS HOLD DAY OF ACTION. The metalworkers have decided
to mark their professional holiday today (July 22) by a day of
action in support of their social rights. They have decided not
to strike despite the severity of problems in the industry. Some
of the machinery has not been changed for 100 years or even longer,
TSN reported July 22. In addition, thousands of qualified metalworkers
are unemployed, while those who do work have to suffer dangerous
and debilitating conditions, which mean that, like miners, they
have a low life expectancy. They also have a low quality of life.
In the metalworking town of Kirovograd, for example, meat has
not been sold freely since 1961. (Sarah Ashwin)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN ISSUES UKAZ ON PARTY CELLS IN STATE AGENCIES. Yeltsin
issued his second directive on July 20, limiting the activities
of political parties and public organizations in state agencies,
Radio Rossii reported the same day. Organizational structures
or cells representing any new or existing political party or
public organization will not be tolerated in state bodies, executive
organs attached to soviets at all levels, state enterprises,
or any other state body. Personal participation in any political
party or public organization cannot be used as a basis for discrimination
against individuals so long as they do not engage in illegal
activities. State employees are to be guided by RSFSR law in
the execution of their duties and may participate in political
parties or public organizations, but only outside working hours.
(Dawn Mann)

VREMYA SUPPRESSES NEWS OF YELTSIN'S DECREE. Both the RSFSR TV
newscast, Vesti, and Central television's TSN news presented
Yeltsin's decree on the "departification" of state bodies as
the top news story both on Saturday and on Sunday. In sharp contrast,
the main 40-minute Vremya newscast did not report on the decree
on either day (July 20 and 21). This was not, however, the first
time Vremya has failed to note a major political event that could
displease the Communist Party establishment. (Julia Wishnevsky)


EDICT "BORROWS" FROM KGB LAW? As far as the KGB and the MVD are
concerned, the ban on political activities in RSFSR state bodies
appears to contain some terminology similar to that of the Law
on State Security Organs adopted by the USSR SupSov May 16 (see
Izvestia, May 23). Article 11 of the law says: "In their official
activities, those working for state security bodies are to be
governed by the demands of laws and are not bound by the resolutions
of political parties and mass public movements which are pursuing
political ends." This seems to parrallel the second paragraph
of Yeltsin's edict. The other provision of Yeltsin's edict, calling
for party meetings outside of working hours, is similar to the
CPSU CC "Instruction for Work of CPSU Organizations in the USSR
Armed Forces" published in Izvestia TsK KPSS, No. 3, 1991. (Victor
Yasmann)

YELTSIN ADDRESSES ALL-RUSSIAN CONFERENCE OF KGB. Yeltsin told
a conference of KGB territorial officers July 19 that the time
when the KGB violated human rights is past. Today, he said, the
KGB's task is to insure citizens' personal security and rights,
according to TASS and RSFSR TV on July 19. Among the RSFSR KGB's
other tasks are protecting Russia's economic security, protecting
Russian businessmen's interests in their transactions with foreign
partners, and combatting economic crimes. Yeltsin said its most
important activity is the struggle with organized crime, terrorism
and corruption. The KGB also must guarantee the stability and
security of legally-elected bodies and of the state structure,
Yeltsin added. (Victor Yasmann)

ANTI-MARKET MOSCOW WORKERS' UNION CONGRESS. A new
organization, the Moscow Workers' Union, met on July 20, TASS
and Moscow Radio-2 reported. Delegates came from approximately
700 Moscow enterprises to establish the statutes of the Union.
The organization opposes the transition to the market, privatization
of state property, and individual ownership of land. It supports
neither the RSFSR nor the USSR Supreme Soviet, whose laws, it
claims, do not serve the interests of the working class. It is
not clear how much support such an organization will receive,
but similar platforms such as the United Workers' Front have
not been popular. Most independent worker activism to date has
not been anti-market in character. (Sarah Ashwin)

ALIEV RESIGNS FROM CPSU. Interfax reported July 19 that former
Politburo member Geidar Aliev had resigned from the CPSU on the
grounds that "the communist experiment and the choice of socialism
have not proved themselves in our country and the union of republics
that was created by brute force has outlived itself." Radio Rossii
quoted Aliev July 21 as stating that the Communist Party in his
native republic of Azerbaijan had lost all authority and should
give up its monopoly on power; he further charged that the Azerbaijan
CP, with the backing of the CPSU Central Committee, was suppressing
a wide democratic movement in Azerbaijan. (Liz Fuller)

RUSSIAN DEMOCRATIC GROUPS OPPOSE AZERBAIJAN SIGNING UNION TREATY.
Several democratic groups within the RSFSR Congress of People's
Deputies have stated their opposition to Azerbaijan's signing
the Union Treaty on the grounds that "union with a state that
widely violates human rights is unacceptable," Interfax reported
July 21. The groups proposed a peace treaty between Azerbaijan
and Armenia, a stop to the deportations of Armenians from Azerbaijan,
and measures to guarantee the rights of minority groups in Azerbaijan,
including Russians, as preconditions for Azerbaijan's adherence
to the new Union Treaty. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIANS OVERWHELMINGLY IN FAVOR OF SECESSION. Soviet Radio
July 19 cited the results of a poll conducted in Armenia early
this month by the Armenian Public Opinion Poll Center as indicating
that 80% of Armenians support the idea of Armenia's secession
from the USSR. The size of the poll sample was not stated. Armenians
are to vote in a referendum September 21 on secession in line
with the conditions laid down in the USSR Law on Secession. (Liz
Fuller)

KHMARA ARRESTED--AGAIN. Ukrainian People's Deputy Stepan Khmara
again was arrested the night of July 18, Radio Kiev reported
July 20. A special division of the police force arrived at the
Ukraina Hotel where Khmara was staying, and after a confrontation
with Khmara supporters and body-guards, the police took Khmara
away. The confrontation, which included the use of tear gas
and police batons, left a total of 23 people injured--12 members
of the police force and 11 Khmara supporters. Over 2,000 people
gathered to protest the action on one of Kiev's primary roads
later that evening. Khmara was charged with attacking a police
officer 6 months ago and his trial is scheduled for this month.
(Natalie Melnyczuk)

UKRAINIAN MINERS ORGANIZE. A conference of representatives of
miners' collectives met in Krasnoarmeisk in Donetsk on July 19
to discuss formation of an independent miners' trade union, Radio
Kiev reported July 19. The miners are dissatisfied with the official
trade union organization, the Federation of Independent Trade
Unions, which is said to have taken a neutral position regarding
the strikes this spring. The Federation, say the miners, supported
only certain economic demands put forward by the strikers and
totally ignored their political demands. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN RESOLUTION ON SOLDIERS' DEATHS. On July 19 the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet issued a resolution calling for the creation of
a special commission to investigate violence in army life. According
to Radio Moscow, the document also contained a number of other
measures related to military service. (Stephen Foye)

YELTSIN SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH KYRGYZSTAN. Yeltsin and Kyrgyzstan
President Askar Akaev signed a treaty on the bases of interstate
relations between the two republics on July 21 in the Kirgiz
capital Bishkek, TASS and Moscow radio reported July 21. The
treaty lays particular stress on the defense of the interests
of the large Slav minority in Kyrgyzstan and of Kirgiz in the
RSFSR. Akaev said the Kirgiz did not want people of other nationalities
to leave the republic. A special feature of the treaty is that
it provides for financial aid to Kyrgyzstan. Presumably Yeltsin
finds direct assistance to the less developed republics more
acceptable than subsidizing them through the all-Union budget.
(Ann Sheehy)


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

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