A man seldom thinks with more earnestness of anything than he does of his dinner. - Samuel Johnson
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 153, 13 August 1991



BALTIC STATES



LITHUANIAN-ARMENIAN TREATY. Chairman of the Armenian Supreme
Soviet Levon Ter-Petrosyan will make an official visit to Vilnius
on August 14, Radio Independent Lithuania reported August 12.
Lithuanian and Armenian delegations will hold formal talks on
a treaty establishing relations between the two republics (the
project of which was prepared in April) that is expected to be
signed. Ter-Petrosyan will hold talks with Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis after which they will give
a press conference. (Saulius Girnius)

LETTERS TO GORBACHEV AND DOGUZHIEV, PETITION TO OMON. Protestors
at a weekend demonstration outside the Vilnius OMON headquarters
sent an open letter to USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev on August
11, RFE's Lithuanian Service reported August 12. The letter demanded
that Gorbachev withdraw the OMON from Lithuanian territory and
stating that the notion that the Soviet president is not responsible
for the OMON is a "myth." The rally also sent a letter to USSR
Deputy Prime Minister Vitalii Doguzhiev, the official charged
with conducting negotiations with Lithuania, calling for the
return of Lithuanian property seized by Soviet forces last January.
The demonstrators presented the OMON with a petition asking the
servicemen to "reconsider and desert this criminal structure."
(Gytis Liulevicius)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



UNION STATE PROPERTY FUND. On August 10, President Gorbachev
issued a decree that specifies the obligations and the functions
of the Union State Property Fund (Soyuzgosfond), TASS reported
with delay on August 12. The agency is to oversee the destatification
and privatization of state union enterprises, and to negotiate
terms with republican bodies concerning the privatization of
enterprises under their joint jurisdiction. One of its functions
will be to determine the proportion of shares remaining in union
ownership when state enterprises are restructured into shareholding
companies. (Keith Bush)

GAS CONCESSION FOR ANGLO-SOVIET GROUP. An Anglo-Soviet trading
company, Orbicom, has been granted a concession to exploit gas
reserves on the Western side of the Yamal Peninsula, The Financial
Times reported August 12. Reserves in the two specified areas
are believed to exceed 150 million tons of gas condensate. Orbicom
has a 50 percent stake in the corporate vehicle set up to handle
the operation, and the balance is held by Tyumen' Geologiya and
Yamalneftegaz-geologiya. The joint venture has reportedly been
endorsed by the USSR and RSFSR governments. It is subject to
safeguards on any environmental impact and a 2-5 percent share
of net revenues must be spent on local living conditions. (Keith
Bush)

USSR, POLAND OFFICIALLY CONFIRM MURDERS NEAR KHAR'KOV. A joint
Soviet-Polish Commission has officially confirmed that several
thousand Polish army officers were shot by the NKVD in Khar'kov
in April-May 1940 and buried in a nearly forest, Moscow radio
reported August 10 and TASS August 12. The exact number of Polish
army officers was not given, but Moscow radio said that the remains
of about 8,000 people, including Soviet citizens, were found
at the burial site. (Ann Sheehy)

KALININGRAD-BERLIN RAIL LINK REESTABLISHED. On August 8 the first
train with German tourists arrived in Kaliningrad from Berlin,
Moscow radio reported August 10. The notice that had hung in
the station in West Berlin for 46 years saying that "Trains to
Koenigsberg have been temporarily cancelled" has been transferred
to a museum. (Ann Sheehy)

SALES OF WEAPONS TO POPULATION DISCUSSED. The USSR Ministry of
Internal Affairs has drafted a law regulating possession of arms
and liberalizing the sale of weapons to the population for self-defense,
according to an article in Izvestia on August 6. The draft permits
all adult Soviet citizens, except those with criminal records
or who are mentally ill, to possess weapons for self-defense.
The report said that the KGB, the Ministry of Justice and the
Ministry of Defense are studying the draft with enthusiasm. Its
supporters in these agencies have suggested that former and retired
law-enforcement officers be the first to be allowed to possess
weapons. (Victor Yasmann)

INCREASING NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS FOR AIRBORNE AND MVD TROOPS.
This year there are more than 30 applicants for each place in
the Ryazan' Higher Command School of the Airborne Troops, Komsomol'skaya
pravda reported on August 2. The popularity of military academies
among school-leavers has substantially increased this year after
a sharp fall in the years of perestroika, the daily noted. On
August 4, the TV program Na sluzhbe Otechestvu also reported
on the increasing in-flow of young people to the MVD internal
troops and airborne troops. A large number of MVD troopers have
asked to serve in "hot spots"; an Army officer said that there
have been many volunteers for service in Nagorny Karabakh. Last
year the MVD was given preference over the Army in selecting
draftees in the annual call-up. (Victor Yasmann)

LATTER-DAY SAINTS IN THE USSR. Novosti's monthly bulletin Religion
in USSR No. 7 contains an article by Archimandrite Augustin on
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known
as the Mormon Church, reviewing the history of this religious
movement which emerged in America in the early 19th century,
and presenting information on Mormons in the Soviet Union. The
first converts appeared in the USSR fairly recently and, according
to the archimandrite, there are now one stake (diocese) and two
wards (parishes), all in Leningrad. A report in March, 1991,
said that there was one Mormon community in the Soviet Union
with about 7O members. (Oxana Antic)

RESTORATION OF MONASTIC COMMUNITIES. Pravda on August 5 and Izvestia
on August 6 reported on the rebuilding of cloisters for monastic
communities. The Pravda article somewhat emotionally described
the reconstruction of the Tolgsk Convent in Yaroslav Oblast,
already inhabited by nuns, while Izvestia reported that "scientists
are converting an ancient temple into a center of modern spirituality":
after it is reconstructed, the Fedorovskii convent in Pereslavl'-Zalesskii
will house not only monks but an international center of information
technologies. (Oxana Antic)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS


RSFSR DEPUTIES TO MEET YELTSIN TO ASK HIM TO DELAY SIGNING UNION
TREATY. A delegation of RSFSR deputies representing various factions
in the RSFSR parliament is to meet Yeltsin August 14 to ask him
not to sign the Union treaty on August 20, the Financial Times
reported August 13. Deputy Leonid Volkov, a leader of the social
democratic faction, said August 12 that a meeting of deputies
from both the Democratic Russia group and the communist group
agreed to oppose the signature of the treaty because the final
text was not known and the RSFSR Supreme Soviet had not been
given the chance to debate it. (Ann Sheehy)

RSFSR CP SPONSORS NEW NEWSPAPER. The RSFSR Communist Party Central
Committee and the Leningrad regional Party committee are the
founders of a new newspaper known as Narodnaya pravda. The print
run is 200,000 copies; how often the paper will appear has not
yet been decided. Among the 44 members of the editorial board
are Yurii Bondarev, General Al'bert Makashov, and Viktor Tyul'kin,
a member of the RSFSR CP CC. TASS August 12 reported that the
tone of the articles is "sharp and uncompromising," and that
it contains material critical of Gorbachev, Aleksandr Yakovlev,
and Eduard Shevardnadze. (Dawn Mann)

KGB SUPPORT FOR YELTSIN. The RSFSR KGB boss, Viktor Ivanenko,
said in an interview published in Trud on August 3 that he will
resist pressure from the conservatives to join an anti-Yeltsin
campaign. In return for the KGB's loyalty, Yeltsin has promised
not to conduct any purges in the republican KGB organization,
Ivanenko asserted. He also stated that the RSFSR KGB regards
the defense of Russian sovereignty as its major duty. The latest
news of KGB compliance with Yeltsin's decree on depolitization
came from Stavropol' Krai, the home region of Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev, where the local KGB administration has disbanded
its Party Committee completely, Radio Rossii reported on August
12. (Alexander Rahr)

PROJECT ON LENINGRAD'S NEW STATE STATUS. Leningrad mayor Anatolii
Sobchak has issued a provisional project on the state status
of Leningrad--Sankt Petersburg, Radio Rossii reported on August
8. The project provides for the city to have the same status
as that accorded the republics within the RSFSR and to have its
own constitution. A new working parliament--the Leningrad Senate--is
being set up, consisting of 100 deputies of the present Leningrad
City Soviet. The executive branch, including security forces,
comes directly under the mayor's administration. The former coat-of-arms
of Sankt Petersburg and its former banner with a three-headed
golden eagle have returned as symbols of the city. (Alexander
Rahr)

KALUGIN'S STATUS AS HONORARY COSSACK ANNULLED. The leadership
of the Kuban' Cossack Rada has annulled the decision of the Bryukhovets
Cossack Association making former KGB General Oleg Kalugin an
honorary Kuban' Cossack (see Daily Report No. 151 of August 9),
Radio Mayak reported August 12, citing Kommersant. The Kuban'
Cossack Rada told the Bryukhovets ataman that the status of honorary
Cossack did not exist even for a USSR deputy. (Ann Sheehy)

RAZAMAU TRIAL RESUMES WITHOUT DEFENDANT. The trial of the Belorussian
independent labor leader Mikalai Razumau resumed August 12 in
Mogilev, but the defendant was absent. Razamau told RFE/RL's
Belorussian service August 12 that he would not attend the trial
unless forced to do so. He said he plans to remain in him hometown
Orsha. Razamau was taken bodily from the courtroom August 7 by
supporters who said he would remain in Orsha under their protection
until the trial was moved there and non-Communist judges were
appointed. According to Radio Rossii on August 11, the workers
threatened to strike if their terms were not met. (Ann Sheehy)


HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER COMPLETES VISIT TO UKRAINE. The Hungarian
foreign minister Geza Jeszenszki, who visited Kiev and the L'vov
and Transcarpathian oblasts of Ukraine from August 8-11, described
the relations established recently between Ukraine and Hungary
as a model of good-neighborliness, Ukrinform-TASS reported August
12. In Uzhgorod, Jeszenszki took part in the opening of a consultative
office of the Hungarian Consulate General in Kiev. (Ann Sheehy)


TEMPORARY BAN ON EXPORTS FROM UKRAINE. Ukrainian Premier Vitold
Fokin announced on Central Television August 11 that Ukraine
had imposed a temporary ban with effect from August 10 on the
export of 60 scarce consumer goods, including foodstuffs. Fokin
justified the measure on the grounds that large amounts of goods
were being taken out of the republic that "we badly need ourselves,"
and because farms were sending grain and other produce to other
republics where the wholesale prices are higher. 95 new border
posts and 152 mobile border units had been created to enforce
the ban. The Ukrainian government has also reintroduced ration
coupons. (These had been withdrawn after large-scale forgeries
had occurred). (Keith Bush)

JUDAISM IN THE UKRAINE. Religion in USSR No. 7 contains a long
essay by philosopher Victor Elenskii of Kiev on the history of
Judaism in the Ukraine from the first century A.D. until the
present. The essay says that although the absence of continuity
of religious tradition among Jewish people in the Ukraine is
a most serious and dramatic problem, there is no doubt that Jewish
religious life is on the rise there. (Oxana Antic)

INTERNATIONAL ISRAELI AGENCY OPENS BRANCH IN KIEV. In accordance
with growing ties between Ukraine and Israel, an official branch
of the international Israeli organization "Sokhnut" was opened
in Kiev on August 11, Radio Kiev reported that day. The purpose
of the organization in Ukraine is to promote Jewish culture,
tradition and customs, and also to answer questions regarding
immigration to Israel. (Natalie Melnyczuk)

HEAD OF NORTH OSSETIAN PARLIAMENT REPLIES TO GAMSAKHURDIA. The
chairman of the North Ossetian Supreme Soviet Akhsabek Glazov
has rejected the demand of Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia
that North Ossetia should renamed itself Ossetia, TASS reported
August 10. Glazov described Gamsakhurdia's demand as gross interference
in the affairs of a sovereign republic, and said that North Ossetia
alone would decide what it wanted to call itself. Glazov also
rejected Gamsakhurdia's assertion that the conflict in South
Ossetia was being provoked by the Ossetians. (Ann Sheehy)

GEORGIA CRITICIZED BY USSR FOREIGN MINISTRY FOR RECOGNIZING SLOVENIA.
TASS reported August 12 that the Georgian Supreme Soviet had
officially recognized Slovenia as an independent state and had
affirmed its readiness to begin talks immediately on setting
up diplomatic relations with Slovenia. The Georgian move was
condemned by a USSR Foreign Ministry spokesman who argued that
it had no legal force as Georgia is itself not an independent
state. (Liz Fuller)

CRIMINAL CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST AZERBAIJANI SOCIAL-DEMOCRAT.
TASS reported August 12 from Baku that Social Democrat Araz Ali-zade,
brother of presidential candidate Zardusht Ali-Zade, has been
charged with insulting Azerbaijani president Mutalibov in election
campaign speeches in Geranboi Raion. Zardusht Ali-zade is the
sole candidate opposing Mutalibov in the Azerbaijani presidential
election which is to take place September 7. (Liz Fuller)

IS NAZARBAEV PLANNING AN ECONOMIC UNION? Radio Moscow reported
on August 12 that according to the RIA news agency, Kazakh president
Nursultan Nazarbaev expects republican leaders to gather this
week to work out an agreement on an economic union. (Bess Brown)


ANTI-NUCLEAR MARCH IN KAZAKHSTAN. A mass "peace march" to force
the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site on August
29, the date set for the next test, has begun in Kazakhstan,
according to Novosti on August 12. Many political groups and
parties in the republic began planning for the march, which they
hoped would involve hundreds of thousands of participants, immediately
after the test was scheduled. Participants in the march are to
rally in Semipalatinsk on August 25: invited guests include George
Bush, Boris Yeltsin, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev, and
foreign correspondents. Earlier in the summer, organizers were
confident that they would succeed in shutting down the site;
according to Novosti, on August 30 Muslim clergy are scheduled
to offer thanks for the success of the popular movement. (Bess
Brown)

KYRGYZSTAN TAKES OVER ALL-UNION ENTERPRISES. Radio Moscow reported
on August 12 that Kirgiz president Askar Akaev has signed a decree
transferring to republican subordination those enterprises within
Kyrgyzstan that were previously subordinate to all-Union ministries.
The decree asserts jurisdiction over all enterprises and organizations
within the republic, with the exception of those whose activities
fulfill certain all-Union functions. Presumably this refers to
military installations. In Kyrgyzstan, as in Kazakhstan, which
obtained control of its all-Union enterprises somewhat earlier,
most industry has been subordinate to all-Union ministries. (Bess
Brown)

HELSINKI WATCH BLAMES MAKHKAMOV. The US Helsinki Watch Group
has issued a report blaming Tajikistan's president Kakhar Makhkamov
for the deaths of more than 20 unarmed demonstrators during violence
in Dushanbe in February 1990, because he asked Gorbachev to send
troops from outside the republic to put down the disturbances.
The conclusions in the report are based on findings of two Helsinki
Watch missions to the Tajik capital. The report recommends to
the USSR and Tajik governments that the military not be used
in police actions. (Sonia Winter/Bess Brown)

MUJAHIDIN ON THE SOVIET BORDER. On August 12, Novosti quoted
an officer of the Central Asian Border District on the taking
over by the Afghan resistance of three districts on the border
with Tajikistan. According to the officer, now more than 90 percent
of the area on the Afghan side of the Tajik border is now under
the control of the mujahidin, but he said that incursions by
the Afghan resistance into Soviet territory are unlikely. (Bess
Brown)

MOLDAVIA AND RUSSIAN FEDERATION SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENT. The
prime ministers of the RSFSR and Moldavia, Ivan Silaev and Valeriu
Muravschi, signed an agreement on August 12 in Kishinev, dealing
with economic cooperation and trade for 1992, the Soviet, Moldavian,
and Romanian media reported the same day. Silaev declared that
the agreement will stand regardless of Moldavia's position on
the union treaty. The agreement places economic relations between
the two republics on the basis of international law. Commodities
are to be traded at world prices, but payments may be made through
ruble-denominated clearing. Enterprises and organizations in
the two republics will be free to establish direct contractual
relationships. Both sides will encourage joint ventures. (Vladimir
Socor)

ZHIRINOVSKY BACKS WOULD-BE DNIESTER, GAGAUZ REPUBLICS. At the
end of a visit to the self-proclaimed Dniester and Gagauz SSRs
in eastern and southern Moldavia, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the hardline
ex-candidate for RSFSR president and likely candidate for USSR
president, was interviewed on August 12 by TASS's chief correspondent
in Moldavia. Zhirinovsky said that Moldavia's "other peoples"
will be justified in breaking away from Moldavia if the latter
seeks independence from the USSR. Zhirinovsky's position on this
particular point coincides with Moscow's. On July 29, Zhirinovsky
was given a triumphal reception at a mass rally in Tiraspol,
capital of the "Dniester SSR." (Vladimir Socor)


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

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