The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are infliciting it upon me. - Frederick Douglass
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 150, 08 August 1991





BALTIC STATES



SOVIET SOLDIER SHOT IN VILNIUS. A Soviet soldier from the Vilnius
garrison died following an altercation with Lithuanian police
on August 7, Radio Independent Lithuania reported that day. According
to the Lithuanian Interior Ministry, two drunk Soviet soldiers
resisted arrest after attempting to break into a car at about
3:00 A.M. A Lithuanian policeman scuffled with the soldiers,
who were trying to take his gun. The gun discharged, wounding
one soldier, Nikolai Kukul, who died on the way to the hospital.
The second soldier remains in Lithuanian custody, and the incident
is under investigation. (Gytis Liulevicius)

JOINT SOVIET DENIAL. The USSR Defense and Interior Ministries
and the KGB issued a joint statement denying responsibility for
the July 31 Lithuanian border post murders, TASS reported August
7. "The leadership of these agencies categorically declare that
they had absolutely no involvement in the tragedy," the statement
read, assuring that the Interior Ministry and KGB are cooperating
with Lithuanian law enforcement authorities in investigating
the killings. The statement criticizes "a number of ranking Lithuanian
officials" for alleging Soviet army, Interior Ministry, or KGB
involvement. (Gytis Liulevicius)

NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE FRONT FORMED. A new political association,
the National Independence Front, was founded in Kaunas, Radio
Independent Lithuania reported on August 7. The Kaunas branch
of the Lithuanian Freedom League, the Kaunas Workers' Union,
the national youth union "Young Lithuania," the Republican Party,
the Lithuanian Land Owners Union, and the Political Prisoners
Club 58 (all extreme right-wing groups) expressed interest in
forming the association whose avowed purpose is to strengthen
the implementation of Lithuanian independence. The front was
probably formed as a counterweight to the left-wing Lithuanian
Future Forum, founded in April, but it is unlikely that either
front will have any important political influence. (Saulius Girnius)


LATVIAN COMMUNISTS PROTEST YELTSIN'S DEPOLITICIZATION DECREE.
At its latest plenum, the Latvian Communist Party Central Committee
sent a telegram of protest to USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev
concerning RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin's decree banning political
party activity in the workplace. The Latvian communists also
expressed concern about the "intertia" of Soviet authorities
regarding this "anti-constitutional" decree, reported Diena of
August 6. According to TASS of August 3, the plenum also considered
the party's strategy now that it is an opposition party, rather
than the leading political party in Latvia. Economic difficulties
in Latvia were also discussed. (Dzintra Bungs)

OPPOSITION DEPUTIES IN THE BALTICS TO COOPERATE. Radio Riga of
August 7 reported that opposition deputies from the Supreme Councils
of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are to meet in Riga in two
weeks to work out modes of cooperation, especially in gathering
evidence of violations of human rights. Sergei Dimanis, leader
of the Ravnopravie faction in the Latvian Supreme Council, envisages
the new grouping to be analogous to the Baltic Council, but that
"it would not engage in drafting endless resolutions." Dimanis,
an organizer of the meeting, wants Latvia to remain a part of
the USSR, and opposes Latvia's independence. In contrast, the
Baltic Council, comprised of government and Supreme Council leaders,
advocates independence for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. (Dzintra
Bungs)

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IN ESTONIA. In the midst of growing complaints
against the government, Tallinn is trying to minimize public
criticism by holding closed press conferences. According to Eesti
Aeg on August 6, Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar's press secretary
Juhan Hindov invited only "representatives of trustworthy publications"
to an August 1 press conference with Savisaar. Hindov refused
to let reporters from some of Estonia's most respected and widely
read publications--including Eesti Aeg, Postimees, Kultuur ja
Elu, and Eesti Elu--attend the press conference, telling Eesti
Aeg by telephone that "there wasn't enough room for everybody."
Still, at the end of the press conference, which was broadcast
on TV, Hindov thanked all of those "who had found the time to
attend." (Riina Kionka)

PAY, COMPENSATION HIKES IN ESTONIA. Salaries for those employed
in medicine, sports, and social administrative areas will increase
by 1.5 to two times starting September 1, Paevaleht reported
on August 6. The pay hike is expected to raise the average monthly
salary for those working in the "social sphere" to about 700
rubles per month. Starting on October 1, non-earners on fixed
incomes will also have more help in coping with Estonia's strong
inflationary pressure. On that date, according to Paevaleht,
compensation payments will increase by 30 rubles per month for
pensioners, children, and students. The government instituted
compensation payments last October to groups that were especially
hard hit by continuing price hikes. (Riina Kionka)

MOSCOW-TALLINN EXPERT TALKS GO WELL. Talks held on August 6 between
Estonian and Soviet expert groups went well, Paevaleht reported
the next day. Estonian group leader and head of the Supreme Council
foreign relations commission, Indrek Toome, told the newspaper
that the teams discussed a wide range of economic issues. Toome
said the teams were able to agree on positions about half the
time: "At least at the expert level, we have agreed on the necessity
of recognizing our transition period--and Estonia's independence
at the end of said period--in mutual documents. There was no
more talk of the Union treaty, or that we must necessarily join
it," Toome said. (Riina Kionka)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



FIL'SHIN EXPELLED FROM PARTY. RSFSR deputy foreign trade minister
Gennadii Fil'shin has been expelled from the CPSU by the buro
of the Irkutsk regional Party committee, Novosti reported August
6. Fil'shin was expelled for non-payment of Party dues and non-participation
in the primary Party organization of the USSR Academy of Sciences'
Irkutsk Department on Regional Economics, where he once worked.
Novosti reported that Fil'shin had submitted his resignation
from the Party before the buro expelled him, and that "informed
circles" think Fil'shin was expelled as part of a campaign to
prevent his nomination for election as governor (gubernator)
of Irkutsk. Last February Fil'shin resigned and was later officially
removed as an RSFSR first deputy prime minister in connection
with the "140 billion ruble deal." (Dawn Mann)

EYE SURGEON LEAVES THE CPSU. Nezavisimaya gazeta, as cited by
Western agencies August 7, reported that millionaire eye surgeon
Svyatoslav Fedorov has quit the Communist Party on the grounds
that it cannot be reformed. Fedorov, who is an adviser to Boris
Yeltsin, was one of the earliest and most successful Soviet entrepreneurs.
He pioneered a new treatment for myopia at his Institute of Eye
Microsurgery, which he privatized, and he is also part-owner
of the new Pullman Iris Hotel. (Elizabeth Teague)

OLD CENSORS NEVER DIE... Novosti Press Agency reported August
7 that a new government agency is being set up to "advise" the
Soviet media on how to avoid divulging state and commercial secrets.
This "Agency for the Protection of State Secrets in the Mass
Media" is clearly yet another incarnation of the notorious GLAVLIT
censorship agency, set up in the 1920s. GLAVLIT was abolished
last year, because the new USSR Law on the Press forbids political
censorship, but the former censors immediately found a home in
a new body, the "Main Administration for Safeguarding State Secrets"
(GUOT). GUOT in turn was supposed to be abolished as of July
1, 1991, and its functions were to pass to an as-yet-uncreated
USSR Press and Information Ministry. Novosti's report indicates
that GUOT has found a new lease on life. Statutes for the new
body are being drafted, according to deputy chairman Nikolai
Glazatov, who added that the agency will check the all-Union
mass media for commercial or state secrets, but only after, not
before, publication. (Elizabeth Teague)

PROPOSED LAW ON WEAPONS. The Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs
has drafted a proposed law on the control of weapons. Izvestia
of August 7, as summarized by Radio Moscow-1 the same day, reported
that the law includes a section on "weapons of self-defense."
The MVD reportedly has said that it is necessary to give citizens
"the right independently to defend themselves from crime with
the aid of weapons of self-defense." According to Izvestia, the
new law would give Soviet citizens new rights which would demonstrate
that "individual security is becoming no less important than
state security." Weapons would be sold in special shops to citizens
over 16 years of age. Izvestia noted, however, that it is difficult
to predict how the draft law proposed by the militia will be
received. (Sallie Wise)

PLANS FOR RESCHEDULING FOREIGN DEBT. Ivan Ivanov, a consultant
to the USSR Supreme Soviet's International Relations Committee,
told The Wall Street Journal August 7 that Gorbachev had taken
a plan to reschedule the Soviet Union's foreign debt to the post-G-7
summit meeting. However, according to Ivanov, "we didn't offer
it [in London] because we didn't want to focus on financial help."
It is now thought that any rescheduling plan will be merged into
a larger package of Western technical and financial aid. (Keith
Bush)

SCALE AND REPAYMENT OF FOREIGN DEBT. In the same article, Oleg
Mozhaiskov, head of the USSR Gosbank's hard currency division,
was quoted as estimating Soviet foreign debt at $62 billion.
Convertible currency reserves were put at $5-6 billion in addition
to (still!) undisclosed gold reserves, while Mozhaiskov reckoned
that commercial arrears totalled some $3-4 billion. The same
official had been cited by TASS August 6 to the effect that some
$30 billion, i.e., nearly half of the USSR's total debt, will
become due in 1991 and 1992. In light of the current prospects
for the exports of oil, gas, arms, and gold, some form of rescheduling
appears to be inevitable. (Keith Bush)

FORECAST OF OIL OUTPUT AND EXPORTS. First Deputy Chairman of
the USSR Fuels and Energy Commission Rantik Margulov projects
oil output at 550 million tons and exports at 60 million tons
in both 1991 and 1992. Margulov was addressing a press conference
on August 7 in Washington at the end of an eight-day US-Soviet
energy workshop, The Journal of Commerce and Western agencies
reported August 8. Margulov's estimates are considerably above
those of most Soviet and Western specialists. For instance, the
chairman of the USSR Goskomstat, Vadim Kirichenko, forecast oil
output in 1991 at about 508 million tons (Pravitel'stvennyi vestnik,
July 17). (Keith Bush)

THOUSANDS UNEMPLOYED BY CONVERSION. Soviet First Deputy Prime
Minister Vladimir Shcherbakov on August 6 revealed USSR Goskomstat
data that show significant increases in unemployment due to conversion
of Soviet defense industries, according to a TASS report the
same day. Of some 300,000 workers relieved of work in defense
plants in 1990, 76% were reassigned to civilian production while
the rest entered the growing ranks of the Soviet unemployed.
The expectations for 1991 are similar. Shcherbakov said that
current trends would see another 380,000 people "freed" from
defense production, with some 70,000 of those becoming unemployed.
(John Tedstrom)

FIRST RESULTS OF REGISTRATION OF UNEMPLOYMENT IN USSR. The first
month of official registration of the unemployed in the USSR
is over and the results show that there is not yet mass unemployment,
Moscow Radio 1 reported August 7, summarizing an article in Sovetskaya
Rossiya the same day. The director of the All-Union Social Fund
for Defense Against Unemployment, People's Deputy Anatolii Kapustin,
said, however, that comforting conclusions could not be drawn
from the results. He believes, along with specialists in the
field, that by the end of 1991 there will be at least 1.5 to
2 million unemployed in the USSR. As a proportion of the population
this is still a manageable level of unemployment, but as the
broadcast pointed out, marketization has hardly begun so the
picture is likely to change dramatically in the future. (Sarah
Ashwin)

PAVLOV, FINNISH PRIME MINISTER DISCUSS TRADE. Soviet Prime Minister
Valentin Pavlov met his Finnish counterpart, Esko Aho, in Soviet
Karelia August 7 to discuss trade between the USSR and Finland
which, according to TASS August 7, Pavlov described as suffering
from "serious obstacles" of late. Pavlov announced after his
four-hour meeting with Aho that the USSR Cabinet of Ministers
had decided to allow Soviet enterprises to conduct barter trade
with Finnish firms. Aho welcomed the decision, saying that it
would help stimulate Soviet-Finnish trade and economic relations,
but that Finnish enterprises still had to find Soviet partners
for the plan to work. Officials from Karelia participated in
the talks, and both Pavlov and Aho expressed hope for an enhanced
role for Karelia in future bilateral relations. (Sallie Wise)


BOOK ON GORBACHEV'S RISE TO POWER. The journal Den' (no. 13)
has begun to publish the memoirs of Valerii Legostaev, a former
speechwriter for the late Konstantin Chernenko. The memoirs are
the most detailed revelations of Gorbachev's rise to power so
far, providing deep insights into the political struggle in the
Kremlin during 1985. Legostaev charges that Gorbachev's election
as General Secretary was an historical mistake, because Gorbachev
was, in his view, a completely inexperienced politician who only
knew how to run a "wealthy spa region such as Stavropol." Legostaev
states that friction between the military and Gorbachev occurred
immediately after the latter's accession to power. (Alexander
Rahr)

SOVIETS ATTEND SIXTH WORLDWIDE DAY OF CATHOLIC YOUTH. According
TSN August 7, the Roman Catholic Church for the first time has
invited young people from the Soviet Union to participate in
the Sixth Worldwide Day of Catholic Youth, which will be held
in Poland. About 7O,OOO young people from the Soviet Union--Catholics
and non-Catholics, believers and non-believers--are expected
to attend. The Pope will pay expenses for these guests. About
a million young people from 85 countries are expected to participate
in the event. (Oxana Antic)



USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



KUPTSOV FOR COOPERATION; POLOZKOV'S NEW JOB. Newly-elected RSFSR
CP leader Valentin Kuptsov said at a press conference, broadcast
by Vremya on August 7, that the Russian Communists will seek
cooperation with the Yeltsin administration and other political
parties. He stressed the need for Russian Communists to restructure
their work and learn how to work in the future under conditions
of depoliticization and the transition to a market economy. Komsomol'skaya
pravda reported on August 7 that the previous RSFSR CP boss,
Ivan Polozkov, will soon be appointed USSR Deputy Minister of
Agriculture. (Alexander Rahr)

ZYUGANOV ON KUPTSOV'S ELECTION. RSFSR CP Politburo member Gennadii
Zyuganov told Radio Moscow on August 7 that there had been three
candidates for the post of First Secretary at the RSFSR CP plenum.
Moscow Party chief Yurii Prokof'ev withdrew his candidacy because
he thought his departure from Moscow would cause severe problems
in the city's Party organization. Zyuganov said that he himself
withdrew because he has no experience in economic affairs. Thus,
the name of Valentin Kuptsov appeared alone on the voting list
and the plenum elected him. (Alexander Rahr)

UKRAINIAN CP EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH RSFSR COMMUNISTS. In a
telegram addressed to the RSFSR Communist Party leadership, the
Secretariat of the Ukrainian Communist Party Central Committee
expressed solidarity with and fraternal support for the Communists
of the RSFSR, TASS reported August 7. The telegram condemned
actions of people calling themselves "democrats," who are blatantly
denying the legitimate rights of the working people and trying
to destroy the foundations of the communist party. The Ukrainian
CP condemned the RSFSR Presidential decree on depoliticization
and appealed to Gorbachev to adopt laws protecting the rights
of communists and mass public movements. (Natalie Melnyczuk)


RUTSKOI COUNTING ON GORBACHEV. RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi, who was expelled from the CPSU by the RSFSR Communist
Party Central Committee on August 6, quite rightly told reporters
in Moscow on August 7 that the RSFSR CP CC cannot take such a
decision. (Rutskoi was elected to the RSFSR Congress of People's
Deputies from a district in Kursk and after Rutskoi formed the
"Communists for Democracy" faction last April, the Kursk regional
Party committee said it would have expelled him from the Party...if
only he had joined it in Kursk.) Rutskoi also said that Yeltsin,
with whom he met on August 3, approved of Rutskoi's plans to
form the Democratic Party of Communists of Russia. More important,
however, will be Gorbachev's position on the issue, and Rutskoi
said he thinks that Gorbachev "will find a solution to my problem."
(Dawn Mann)

STRUGGLE OVER DEPOLITICIZATION. Ivan Antonovich, a hardliner
in the RSFSR CP Politburo, told Novosti on August 7 that Yeltsin's
decree was unconstitutional and that the RSFSR CP would ignore
it. Antonovich said that the RSFSR CP will not restrict itself
to pure political work in the future but will also seek involvement
in Russia's economy. Meanwhile, in Leningrad, the staff of the
local navy base decided not to wait for an official order from
the military leadership in Moscow to obey Yeltsin's decree and
abandoned its Party committees on navy ships, Radio Rossii reported
on August 7. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN TO MEET TRADE UNIONISTS TO DISCUSS DEPOLITICIZATION.
Yeltsin is to meet representatives of the official Russian Federation
of Independent Trade Unions on August 10, Radio Rossii reported
August 7, to discuss the part of the edict on depoliticization
which affects trade unions. The Federation does not have a final
position, but there are currently two opinions on the issue:
either to change the wording of the point, or to exclude it entirely.
The current wording is: "The activities of the organizational
structures of trade unions are carried out by agreement between
the administration of state establishments, organizations, and
enterprises and a labor collective." This means that to operate
unions will be dependent on the bosses' permission. (Sarah Ashwin)


END OF RADICAL SOVIET. Moscow Deputy Mayor Yurii Luzhkov told
the Moscow government August 6 that the executive committee of
the Oktyabr'sky raion soviet had been disbanded for "complete
disruption of work" (razval raboty), Vesti reported August 6.
Headed by the radical Il'ya Zaslavsky, the Oktyabrsky raion soviet,
along with its executive committee, has been lionized by the
liberal Soviet media as the avant-garde of economic and political
reforms. A year after they were elected, however, both Zaslavsky
and chairman of the executive committee Georgii Vasil'ev resigned
due to the split among representatives of "Democratic Russia"
in the corps of raion deputies. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RSFSR WANTS MORE FOR ITS RESOURCES. In a populist concession
that could delay the signing of the new Union Treaty, Yeltsin
has promised to negotiate new prices for energy and raw materials
with other republics after the Treaty is signed. Yeltsin has
been making this promise during his visit this week in the Tyumen'
region, according to TASS and Western reports August 7. Whether
other republics will agree to the price hikes is another question.
The move--if carried through--will almost certainly spark a trade
and price war with republics that are important exporters to
the RSFSR. It would not be surprising if some of the other, weaker,
republics refused to sign the treaty without certain guarantees
over energy supplies and prices. (John Tedstrom)

UP TO 25% OF SIBERIAN ENERGY AT WORLD PRICES. Additionally, Yeltsin
is granting various Siberian energy producers the right to sell
up to 25% of their products at world market prices as of September
1, according to TASS August 7. The rights were extended to a
group of 17 local governments. The increased revenues are to
be targeted at developing the region's social infrastructure.
The energy can be sold internally or abroad. Many energy producers
had asked for permission to sell 50% of their output at world
market prices, but Yeltsin rejected that proposal. (John Tedstrom)


SOVIET GERMAN CONGRESS SET FOR OCTOBER. The long-delayed officially-sponsored
congress of Soviet Germans will take place from October 18-20,
Neues Leben reported August 7. The congress had originally been
planned for March, but was cancelled at the last minute. The
reason given was the referendum on the future of the Soviet Union,
but the real grounds seem to have been dissension among the Soviet
Germans; the more militant members of the Soviet German "Rebirth"
association were sticking out for the restoration of the Volga
German republic, while the authorities wanted the Soviet Germans
to settle, at least temporarily, for extra-territorial autonomy.
Since then, a German national raion has been established in the
Altai, and the chances for the restoration of some form of autonomy
for the Germans on the Volga seem to have improved marginally.
(Ann Sheehy)

SPECIAL HARVEST COMMISSION IN KAZAKHSTAN. Radio Moscow, quoting
Komsomol'skaya pravda, reported on August 7 that a special commission
has been created in Kazakhstan to try to maximize the grain harvest.
The commission includes the republican minister of internal affairs
and chairman of the KGB, which suggests that it may be the "stick"
as opposed to last week's "carrot"--a promise of higher procurement
prices for grain. Neither approach is likely to help much--a
severe drought has affected the grain-growing areas for months,
and apparently farms are considering themselves lucky to obtain
half their normal output per hectare. (Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIANS FOR TWO INDEPENDENT ROMANIAN STATES. The Romanian
Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and the Moldavian Academy's
Institute of Social Studies last month conducted jointly a poll
on political preferences in Moldavia, using a representative
sample of 2,200 residents reflecting the adult population's occupational,
educational, age, and ethnic stratification. In the poll's most
important finding, 71% agreed with the proposition that Moldavia
and Romania "should form two independent states in the period
ahead"; 17% disagreed, and 12% had no opinion. The finding reflects
the low public support in Moldavia at the present time for the
idea of reunification with Romania and the consensus behind the
Moldavian leadership's concept of "two independent Romanian states."
The poll, with a margin of error was 2%, was reported by Radio
Bucharest on August 7. (Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER SSR" STARTS FORMING OWN OMON UNITS. The would-be Dniester
SSR, whose Russian communist leaders on August 6 announced fresh
steps toward secession from Moldavia (see Daily Report, August
7), has begun forming OMON detachments of its own. According
to Novosti August 7, the Joint Council of Work Collectives (OSTK)
and Bendery City Executive Committeee are recruiting "non-Moldavians"
into these detachments, offering "high pay." The recruitment
drive is being conducted through the military commissariat, reflecting
the known links between the "Dniester SSR"'s leaders and the
Soviet military in Moldavia. (Vladimir Socor)


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

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