Жизнь надо мешать чаще, чтобы она не закисла. - М. Горький
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 154, 14 August 1991



BALTIC STATES



NO HELP FROM SOVIETS ON MEDININKAI INVESTIGATION. The official
Lithuanian government commission charged with investigating the
July 31 Medininkai murders accused Soviet agencies of hindering
the investigation, Radio Independent Lithuania reported August
13. Lithuanian Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila, head of
the commission, said in a statement that the USSR Interior and
Defense Ministries and the KGB are not providing Lithuania with
any real help. Two weeks have passed since the killings, but
Lithuanian authorities have yet to be allowed to question Soviet
armed units about the attack. Vaisvila suggested that "the USSR
is consciously delaying the investigation." In contrast, he noted
that Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Latvian, and Estonian law
enforcement authorities are assisting the Lithuanian investigation.
(Gytis Liulevicius)

CHINESE CONSUL GENERAL IN VILNIUS. On August 13 the consul general
in Leningrad and another consul of the People's Republic of China
visited Vilnius for the first time after their appointments last
month, Radio Independent Lithuania reported that day. Chairman
of the Lithuanian Supreme Consul Vytautas Landsbergis told them
about the political and economic situation in Lithuania and its
fight for independence. The Chinese consuls also met with Foreign
Minister Algirdas Saudargas. (Saulius Girnius)

SAVISAAR: PAVLOV MEETING "FRUITFUL". Estonian Prime Minister
Edgar Savisaar told reporters that his meeting with his Soviet
counterpart on August 13 was "fruitful," Baltifax reported that
day. Savisaar, who met with Valentin Pavlov in Moscow to discuss
trade and economic cooperation, said an agreement governing those
areas would be ready by 1992. (Riina Kionka)

WHEN WILL RUSSIA RATIFY? While in Moscow, Estonian Prime Minister
Edgar Savisaar also met with Yuri Skokov, and adviser to RSFSR
President Boris Yeltsin, Baltfax reported on August 13. Skokov
reportedly quoted Yeltsin as saying that the political and economic
agreement signed between Estonia and the RSFSR on January 12
would become valid after Russia signs the Union treaty. The Estonian
Supreme Council ratified the agreement in January, but the RSFSR
parliament has not yet done so. (Riina Kionka)

RIGA RAILROAD CUSTOMS POST SUFFERS ANOTHER ATTACK. Six armed
men attacked the Riga railroad station customs post at 23:40
on August 12, reported Baltfax of August 13. They break the door
and windows of the office and beat up a customs officials who
was on duty at the time. One of the attackers was wearing an
OMON uniform. (Dzintra Bungs)

TALKS BETWEEN LATVIAN AND USSR MINISTRIES OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS.
Latvian Minister of Internal Affairs Aloizs Vaznis told Radio
Riga on August 13 that no progress had been made during the talks
in Moscow that he had had with the USSR First Deputy Minister
of Internal Affairs Ivan Shilov. Vaznis said that Moscow was
still proposing that Latvia take over the responsibility and
authority for OMON--a proposal that Latvia finds unacceptable,
since it wants these special forces to leave Latvia entirely.
(Dzintra Bungs)

NO PROGRESS IN TRACKING DOWN OMON TRANSGRESSORS. Radio Riga reported
on August 13 that no convictions have been made of those responsible
for the OMON attacks on people and property this year. Chief
Investigator Rita Aksjonoka said that the principal problem is
that it is impossible to interrogate a member of the OMON. (Dzintra
Bungs)

OMON UNITS FROM RIGA IN LITHUANIA ON JULY 31? Radio Riga reported
on August 13 that OMON units were seen leaving Latvia for Lithuania
on July 31, the day that that the Lithuanian customs officials
at the Medininkai post were attacked. On their way they changed
cars, starting out in a car registered to OMON, and later driving
an MVD vehicle. (Dzintra Bungs)

CHINESE DIPLOMAT ON LATVIAN INDEPENDENCE. Van Fensyan, Consul
General of China in Leningrad paid a visit to Latvia, Diena reported
on August 12. He said that "the question of Latvia's independence
is an internal affair of the USSR." He added the he hoped that
both Latvia and the USSR would resolve the question peacefully.
(Dzintra Bungs)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



PAVLOV WARNS OF POWER VACUUM AFTER UNION TREATY IS SIGNED. At
his press conference in Moscow on August 13, USSR premier Valentin
Pavlov warned of the risk of a power vacuum after the Union treaty
was signed unless the center retained some control over the economy,
Western agencies reported August 13. Pavlov appeared to be reacting
to Yeltsin's remarks to leaders of the federation of independent
trade unions of Russia on August 10 that the power of the Union
ministries would end after August 20 and "neither Pavlov, nor
Petrov, nor Sidorov" would any longer be able to dispose of the
property on a given territory. Pavlov maintained that in certain
key sectors republics would still have to take the central authorities
into account when making important decisions. (Ann Sheehy)

MORE ON PAVLOV'S PRESS CONFERENCE. To judge from the TASS and
Western agency coverage of August 13, Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov's press conference of that date was not as exciting as
had been promised/threatened. Reporting on the deliberations
of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers on August 12, Pavlov said that
this year's grain harvest would be "considerably" lower than
in 1990, but such emergency measures as mobilizing labor and
trucks had been rejected; a new body named Agrosnab has been
created to help with harvesting and distribution; widespread
and chronic shortages of electricity are anticipated for "at
least five years" because of a freeze on the construction of
new nuclear stations, the coal-miners' strike, and the dilapidated
state of the energy sector. (Keith Bush)

PAVLOV PICKS ON YELTSIN. According to Pavlov, his first deputy,
Vladimir Shcherbakov, had proposed a nationwide wage freeze.
The RSFSR representative had agreed in principle, but requested
a delay while the republic implemented wage increases that had
been granted since April. The other 14 republics wanted a week
to consider the pay freeze. Pavlov characterized the RSFSR objections
as being "of a purely populist character." He criticized the
RSFSR government for promising pay increases to coal-miners and
for proposing to raise oil and coal producer prices. The prime
minister stated that a wage freeze was needed in order to stabilize
the ballooning money supply. He declined to give an official
estimate of inflation at mid-year (it is believed to be considerably
in excess of 100 percent over June 1990). (Keith Bush)

MILITARY EXERCISES NEAR NUCLEAR PLANT. Interfax in English reported
August 13 that units from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the
Baltic Fleet, the Leningrad regional department of the KGB, and
several border guard units have held four days of training exercises
near the Leningrad nuclear power station. The large-scale exercises
were reportedly held in order to train the units how to defend
a nuclear power station in the event of subversive acts or other
extraordinary situations. Exercise directors were cited as saying
that the MVD troops displayed "adequate skills," but that air
and sea defenses for the nuclear plant are inadequate. (Keith
Bush)

LUSHCHIKOV ON REGISTRATION OF PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS. USSR minister
of Justice Sergei Lushchikov told Izvestia on August 13 that
only two political parties--the CPSU and the Liberal Democratic
Party--are among the more than 200 public organizations that
have now been registered at the all-Union level. No other political
party has been able to satisfy all of the requirements for registration
as a national party. He also noted that many organizations cannot
be registered because they violate Article 17 of the USSR law
on public organizations, which forbids such groups from pursuing
commercial aims. Asked why the CPSU and Komsomol were registered
despite the fact that they engage in commercial activity, Lushchikov
said that it was because making money is not the raison d'etre
of either the CPSU or Komsomol. (Dawn Mann)

"PATRIOTS" UNITE AGAINST ELECTED GOVERNMENTS. The leadership
of the RSFSR Communist Party, the military and ultranationalist
Russian literati are busy trying to establish a mass movement
of all "patriotic" forces to replace the present state power,
probably by violent means. The movement is to embrace hard-core
Orthodox Marxists as well as anti-Communists, such as the Pamyat
Society, known for their illiberal and anti-Semitic convictions.
On August 13, TSN broadcast an interview with the movement's
organizers, writers Aleksandr Prokhanov and Eduard Volodin, who
signed the notorious "Word to the Nation" calling on all true
Russian patriots to joint their ranks against Gorbachev's and
Yeltsin's establishments. Prokhanov told TSN that they plan to
hold a founding congress in September or October. (Julia Wishnevsky)


SILAEV EXPLAINS OIL PRICE INCREASES. RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan
Silaev refuted Soviet press reports that the internal Soviet
price for oil would rise to 280 rubles per ton, according to
Radio Mayak on August 13. At the same time, he confirmed that
prices on oil and other natural resources would increase, and
said that consultations with other republics on this issue have
already begun. Silaev foresees a movement of Soviet internal
trade prices towards world market prices, beginning with oil
and natural resources. (Resource-poor republics are certain to
demur.) He said it was too early to predict the eventual price
level for oil in the USSR. (John Tedstrom)

PAVLOV ON "REAL" ECONOMIC REFORM. In an interview published in
Rabochaya Tribuna August 13, Soviet prime minister Pavlov warned
readers not to expect real economic reform by the end of the
year, TASS reported the same day. Pavlov insisted, on the other
hand, that a noticeable stabilization in economic performance
had begun. (Perhaps that gives conservatives' arguments against
real reform more credibility, or at least takes the pressure
off introducing radical reform in the near term.) Pavlov reiterated
his goal of restructuring the economy towards social needs, using
the market as a tool, not as an end in itself. (John Tedstrom)


MOSCOW STUDENTS PROTEST AGAINST THE DRAFT. Moscow students have
set up a strike committee to protest against proposed legislation
on military service, under which all students under 27 would
have to serve in the army for 2 years, TASS reported August 13.
The army has argued against preferential treatment for students,
given the need for more draftees. According to a member of the
strike committee, Nikolai Pakhomov, the students' goal is "real
reform of the army". The strike committee is establishing contacts
with colleges in other parts of the country and will produce
leaflets and organize a picket, to persuade People's Deputies
to consider their view. If these means do not prove sufficient,
they will organize demonstrations and then a strike, including
hundreds of thousands of students. (Sarah Ashwin)

ZHIRINOVSKY QUESTIONS FINNISH INDEPENDENCE. The USSR Ministry
of Defense has distanced itself from remarks made by the leader
of the Liberal-Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky who, in
an interview with the Finnish newspaper Iltalechti, questioned
Finland's independence. Zhirinovsky, who has started a personal
campaign for the post of USSR president, claimed that Finland
should be part of a Russian empire and added that his views correspond
with those of the Defense Ministry. On August 13, Novosti quoted
Valerii Manilov, chief of the defense ministry's information
service, as saying that Zhirinovsky's statement is the latter's
personal view and is by no means supported by the defense ministry.
(Alexander Rahr)

OF YOUNG PEOPLE'S SOULS. Irina Ovchinnikova describes in a long
article in Izvestia, August 5, how a young boy was utterly unperturbed
after his schoolmate died in a fight with him. Ovchinnikova says
that this is the result of a lack of religious morality in the
upbringing of this young man and of youth in general. (Oxana
Antic)

A NEW SOVIET EXPORT--YOUNG WOMEN. A Novosti report of August
12 indicates that a number of new Soviet businesses are making
money in the so-called escort business. The report lists a Soviet-Polish
joint venture called "Intersex," a state-run firm called "Soveskortexport,"
and an undientified firm named "Russian Beauty." Novosti says
Arab countries are keenest to hire young Soviet women for what
it coyly describes as "all sorts of jobs." Young women from Georgia
and Estonia are in particular demand in Western Europe, the report
says, since Russian women "talk back and overindulge." Russian
waitresses hired by an Italian bar, the report says, were sent
back to the USSR since they ate too well in Italy and gained
too much weight. (Elizabeth Teague)



USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



YELTSIN EVADES SOME OF THE ISSUES. In a statement published in
Nezavisimaya gazeta in reply to the recent appeal by leading
radicals including Elena Bonner and Yurii Afanas'ev not to sign
the Union treaty on August 20, Yeltsin argues that any delay
would play into the hands of conservative forces and that Gorbachev
has promised that, as soon the treaty is signed, he will issue
a decree making over the whole economic potential of the RSFSR
to the republic. Yeltsin also rejects the argument that he has
no right to sign the treaty, maintaining that the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet has discussed it more than once and the draft was published.
He chooses to ignore the resolution of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet
of July 5 stipulating that it must discuss the final text before
the treaty is signed. It seems likely that there will be some
tough talking today when he is due to meet RSFSR deputies from
both ends of the political spectrum to explain his stand. (Ann
Sheehy)

FIRST CONFERENCE OF MUSLIM PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS IN THE USSR.
A forum of Muslim public organizations devoted to "The Islamic
Factor in Eastern European Process" will be held for the first
time in the USSR from August 22-26, Moscow radio reported August
13. The forum, which is being organized by the recently-created
Moscow Islamic Cultural Center, will be attended by Muslim religious
and public figures, businessmen, and diplomats from 12 countries.
They will discuss inter alia problems of the Muslim youth movement,
entrepreneurship, and a single information system for Muslims.
(Ann Sheehy)

DISSENSION OVER IDEA OF SIBERIAN REPUBLIC. A proposal to create
a Siberian Soviet Federal Republic with its capital in Novosibirsk,
recently published in the Tomsk newspaper Narodnaya tribuna,
has been the subject of heated argument, TASS reported from Novosibirsk
August 13. The new republic would embrace 19 krais, oblasts,
and national-state formations. The idea is said to have been
fiercely rejected by the acting chairman of the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet Ruslan Khasbulatov and RSFSR premier Ivan Silaev. Others
do not reject the idea out of hand but believe that to create
it now would play into the hands of conservative forces. According
to TASS, the idea of proclaiming a Siberian republic was first
expressed publicly a year ago by some Siberian leaders but did
not receive support. (Ann Sheehy)

NAZARBAEV SAYS REPUBLICS TO MEET WITHOUT MOSCOW. Novosti reported
on August 13 that Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbaev
has said that leaders of the 15 union republics plan to gather
as soon as possible to discuss how to organize relations among
republics and how to put a stop to the bloodshed that has occurred
in many parts of the country. According to the report, the participants
have already agreed that the center should not take part in the
meeting. (Bess Brown)

YELTSIN/KUPTSOV TALKS. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and RSFSR
CP leader Valentin Kuptsov have met to ease tensions which have
risen in connection with the decree on depolitization. TASS on
August 13 reported that Yeltsin rejected the idea of suspending
the decree until the Committee on Constitutional Observance has
checked its validity. At the same time he promised not to disband
Party committees by force. Kuptsov assured Yeltsin that under
his leadership the RSFSR CP will support "progressive reform."
Yeltsin and Kuptsov agreed to hold regular meetings in future.
(Alexander Rahr)

SOBCHAK ATTACKED BY LENSOVET. Leningrad's mayor Anatolii Sobchak
faces a serious conflict with the Leningrad City Council over
privatization of the city's property. Izvestia reported on August
13 that the Presidium of the Leningrad City Council has questioned
Sobchak's right to conduct the privatization of the city's property
only through the mayor's office without the participation of
the City Council. Sobchak responded that questions of privatization
of city property are not within the competence of the Presidium
of the Leningrad City Council and that he intends to defend the
sovereignty of his office. (Alexander Rahr)

DENIAL THAT COSSACK UNITS ARE HELPING KEEP LAW AND ORDER IN LENINGRAD.
On August 13 the Leningrad city department of internal affairs
categorically rejected reports in the media that Cossack units
were helping the militia to keep law and order in "Northern Palmyra"
(Leningrad), Moscow radio reported August 13. The reports were
also said to have exaggerated the size of the Cossack community
on the Neva, which numbers only about 500 families. (Ann Sheehy)


CENTRAL ASIAN PRESIDENTS MEET. TASS reported on August 13 that
the heads of state of the five Central Asian republics are meeting
in Tashkent to assess the results of the cooperation agreement
they signed a year ago in Alma-Ata. They will also discuss the
new Union treaty; Interfax on August 14 quoted Kazakh president
Nursultan Nazarbaev as saying on his arrival in the Uzbek capital
that all republics planning to sign the treaty should ask whether
it will be the prelude to fundamental changes that will end the
country's economic crisis. An Azerbaijani delegation led by that
republic's prime minister is attending with observer status.
(Bess Brown)

COORDINATION COMMISSION TO BE ESTABLISHED. The TASS report of
the Central Asian presidents' meeting adds that a permanent commission
to coordinate the socio-economic development of the five republics
is expected to be set up. One of its first tasks will presumably
be to coordinate the terms of the myriad bilateral agreements
which the Central Asian republics have concluded with other Soviet
republics. (Bess Brown)

ARMENIAN PRIME MINISTER ON UNION TREATY. TASS August 13 quoted
Armenian Prime Minister Vazgen Manukyan as proposing at a news
conference in Erevan August 13 that Armenia could become an "associate
member" of the Soviet Union. Manukyan said that it would make
sense for Armenia to sign the Union Treaty only if it contained
a provision on the procedure of secession from the Union. Armenia
is due to hold a referendum on September 21 on secession from
the USSR. (Liz Fuller)

DEPOLITIZATION IN KYRGYZSTAN. Radio Mayak, quoting Novosti, reported
on August 13 that the Communist Party organization of Kyrgyzstan's
Ministry of Internal Affairs is holding a conference to discuss
the question of whether Party committees should be removed from
the law enforcement agency. According to the same report, Communists
in the Kirgiz KGB are discussing a draft appeal to republican
president Askar Akaev to issue a decree on the removal of Party
committees from all law enforcement agencies in the republic.
(Bess Brown)

KIRGIZ STUDENTS TO STUDY IN TURKEY. Pravda reported on August
9 that a group of students from the Kirgiz State University are
being sent to Turkey to study Turkic culture at the University
of Istanbul. Their stay is being financed by the Turkish Fund
for the Study of the Problems of the Turkic World. Studies of
other groups of students from Kyrgyzstan will be subsidized by
Arab states, Japanese and Dutch sponsors--the last-named are
enabling Kirgiz to study agriculture in the Netherlands. Sending
students to study abroad is a pet project of Kyrgyzstan's physicist-president
Akaev. (Bess Brown)

UKRAINE-KIRGIZSTAN EXPAND ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Ukrainian Prime
Minister Vitold Fokin is in Kyrgyzstan on an official visit,
Radio Kiev reported on August 13. The main purpose of his visit
is to sign an agreement on economic cooperation between Kyrgyzstan
and Ukraine for 1992. (Natalie Melnyczuk)

MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT REAFFIRMS OPPOSITION TO UNION TREATY. Meeting
August 12 in Kishinev with a Romanian trade union delegation,
Moldavian President Mircea Snegur was cited as "stressing once
more Moldavia's firm determination not to sign the union treaty,
but to expand cooperation with other republics in all fields".
Snegur said that Moldavia will stay its course despite pressures
from "the central leadership and extremists in the republic,"
Moldovapres reported August 13. (Vladimir Socor)

MORE ON MOLDAVIA-RSFSR AGREEMENT. Expressing his satisfaction
with the economic agreement just signed by Moldavia with the
RSFSR (see Daily Report, August 13), Snegur told the Russian
Information Agency August 13 that the document confirmed Yeltsin's
earlier reassurances to Moldavia that cooperation between the
two republics will not be hindered by Moldavia's nonparticipation
in the union treaty. RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silaev, who signed
the agreement in Kishinev, told Moldovapres the same day that
the RSFSR's cooperation with Moldavia "is considerably more successful
than is the case with other republics". Moreover, RSFSR-Moldavian
cooperation will facilitate the resolution of the problems of
Russians in Moldavia and Moldavians in the Russian Federation,
Silaev said. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIA INCHING TOWARD OWN FINANCIAL SYSTEM. Moldavia's law
on "The National Bank and Banking in the Republic" went into
effect August 13, Moldovapres reported the same day. Under the
law, the Moldavian National Bank is empowered to "work out the
unitary state policy of the Republic of Moldavia with respect
to monetary circulation" and set the exchange rate "of Moldavia's
currency in relation to foreign currencies". The Moldavian National
Bank will have a specialized department handling financial operations
connected with foreign investments in Moldavia. The republican
government is on record for favoring the introduction of a republican
currency. (Vladimir Socor)


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

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