The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 155, 16 August 1991



BALTIC STATES



DALLAS TO HOST BALTIC AID CONFERENCE? A delegation of Dallas
citizens, including deputy mayor John Evans, arrived in Riga
on August 11 to discuss closer cultural, educational, and medical
cooperation between the two sister cities. Dallas Mayor Annette
Straus has proposed that an international conference be held
in her city in 1992 on how the United States can help the Baltics.
During the Riga visit, plans for the conference are to be hammered
out, Radio Riga reported on August 15. (Dzintra Bungs)

CATHOLICS THRONG LATVIAN BASILICA. On August 15, Catholics in
Latvia gathered at the Aglona Basilica to celebrate the Assumption
of Mary, Radio Riga reported that day. This year the number of
participants apparently exceeded all previous records--this would
indicate that well over 100,000 people were there. The main mass
was celebrated by Archbishop Janis Pujats in Latvian, Latin,
German, Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian. Given the strong Marian
tradition in Latvia, Assumption Day has been a favorite holiday
for all Catholics in Latvia. Recently, it has also become a time
for Latgallians to gather and consider not only their religious,
but also their national interests. (Dzintra Bungs)

BUSH LETTER TO VAGNORIUS. On August 14, President George Bush
replied to a letter from Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas
Vagnorius concerning the murders at the Medininkai customs post
on July 31, Radio Independent Lithuania reported that day. Bush
expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and
wrote: "We will continue to press the Soviet government to exercise
control over the actions of its forces in the Baltic states and
to make clear our belief that Moscow is ultimately responsible
for acts committed by its personnel." Bush also noted that he
had told Gorbachev that "the US attaches great importance to
progress toward freedom for the Baltic states, and that our support
for the people of the Baltic states will remain constant." (Saulius
Girnius)

LITHUANIA-ARMENIA TREATY SIGNED. On August 14 a delegation from
Armenia, including Supreme Soviet Chairman Levon Ter-Petrosyan,
First Deputy Prime Minister Gevorg Vardanian, and Foreign Minister
Ashot Egiazarian, flew to Vilnius, Radio Independent Lithuania
reported that day. Ter-Petrosyan and Lithuanian Supreme Council
Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis signed a bilateral five year treaty
recognizing both republics as sovereign states and calling for
the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in economy,
culture, health care, ecology and other sectors. Lithuania is
preparing similar treaties with Moldavia and Georgia. (Saulius
Girnius)

SOVIET SOLDIERS POSTED AROUND KGB BUILDING. Eight Soviet paratroopers
armed with machine guns have been posted outside the KGB headquarters
on Gediminas Avenue in Vilnius, Radio Independent Lithuania reported
August 14. On August 12, Vilnius residents had begun to picket
the building calling for the withdrawal of the KGB from Lithuania
and placed a plaque on the building commemorating the Lithuanian
guards murdered at the Medininkai customs post on July 31. On
August 14 various banners put up by the picketers the previous
day were torn down and the building was roped off. There have
not been any incidents between the picketers and the paratroopers,
who on the following day did not wear their bullet-proof vests.
(Saulius Girnius)

LOW DRAFT TO SOVIET ARMED FORCES. The Soviet military commissar
in Lithuania, Major General Algimantas Visockis, told journalists
in Vilnius on August 14 that in Lithuania only 1,500 of the 11,500
youths (13 percent) drafted to the Soviet armed forces had actually
joined, Radio Independent Lithuania reported August 15. He said
that about 600 of the new recruits were Lithuanians, 450 were
Poles, and the remaining were Russians and other nationalities.
Visockis also repeated that the USSR does not recognize duty
in the Lithuanian National Defense Department as alternative
military service. (Saulius Girnius)



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS



YAKOVLEV TO BE EXPELLED FROM CPSU. On August 15, the Buro of
the Presidium of the CPSU Central Control Commission recommended
that former Politburo member and Party Secretary Aleksandr Yakovlev
be expelled from the CPSU, according to TASS and radio and TV
reports of that day. Yakovlev was accused of making "statements
intended to split the CPSU as well as to remove the CPSU from
the political scene"--i.e., participating in the creation of
the Movement for Democratic Reforms. At the CC plenum three weeks
ago, conservatives attempted to expel Yakovlev, but their motion
was overwhelmingly rejected. The Control Commission's recommendation
is to be implemented by Yakovlev's primary Party unit, the CPSU
CC General Department. As Yakovlev is widely reputed to be the
architect of Gorbachev's reforms, his expulsion may put the General
Secretary in a very vulnerable position. (Julia Wishnevsky)

"YOUNG COMMUNISTS" FACTION. RSFSR Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi
met on August 14 with the RSFSR People's Deputies who belong
to the "Young Communists" faction in the republican Supreme Soviet,
TASS reported the same day. The group decided that it must establish
an official young people's faction, although not a separate organization,
within the Democratic Party of Communists of Russia, which Rutskoi
leads. The "Young Communists" do not want to form an opposition
party; they want to work with the Komsomol to further the progress
of reform. (Dawn Mann)

CPSU SECRETARIAT DISCUSSES IMPLEMENTATION OF YELTSIN DECREE.
The CPSU Secretariat met on August 15 to discuss the implementation
by the RSFSR Communist Party of republican president Boris Yeltsin's
decree on de-politicization, TASS reported the same day. CPSU
Secretary Yurii Manaenkov reported that a survey of 450 enterprise
directors in Moscow revealed only two who think that they do
not need a CPSU organization in their enterprise. (Dawn Mann)


ANDROPOV'S SECRETARY SLINGS MUD AT MDR LEADERS. Oleg Zakharov,
who served as secretary to Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko,
appears in the CPSU Central Committee weekly Glasnost' No. 32
with recollections of Yurii Andropov. The sole purpose of this
page-long memoir seems to be a desire to discredit two of the
founders of the Movement for Democratic Reforms--Arkadii Vol'sky
and Aleksandr Yakovlev. Zakharov claims that he once overheard
a conversation between Brezhnev and Andropov, in which Andropov
categorically opposed Brezhnev's suggestion that Yakovlev be
brought back into the Central Committee apparat from his ten-year
exile as the Soviet ambassador to Canada. Andropov argued, according
to Zakharov, that during his term abroad Yakovlev had "been reborn"
(pererodilsya): he had come under foreign influence and his views
were now "alien to our ideology." (Julia Wishnevsky)

PRAVDA WARNS OF MEDICINE SHORTAGE. Pravda of August 14 cited
unnamed doctors as warning that thousands of sick people will
"inevitably" die unless the availability of medicines is drastically
improved. "There is a catastrophic shortage of medicines in the
country. Not only are drugstores empty, but hospitals lack the
most necessary items needed to carry out surgical operations,"
Pravda is quoted as saying by Western agencies. A recent issue
of Trud is also cited as stating that the Soviet pharmaceutical
industry produces only 34 percent of the medicines needed. Factories
that had produced one billion rubles' worth of drugs in 1990
had been closed on environmental grounds. The sum of $4.3 billion
had been earmarked for the import of drugs in 1991. (Keith Bush)


USSR GOSBANK OPPOSES UNION TREATY. Writing in the latest issue
of Moscow News, USSR Gosbank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko has
strongly criticized the monetary provisions of the new Union
Treaty, Western agencies reported August 14. He is quoted as
saying that the Treaty will make it "impossible to pursue a single
monetary and credit policy in the country... Consequently, it
will mean the break-up of monetary circulation with its harmful
effect on the entire economy and wellbeing of the population..."
Gerashchenko called for the relevant provisions of the Treaty
to be amended to the effect that republics be required to follow
a central monetary policy. Cf. John Tedstrom, "Soviet Fiscal
Federalism in a Time of Crisis," Report on the USSR, No. 31,
1991. (Keith Bush)

SOVIET ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE IN JULY. In contradiction to recent
claims by Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov that the economy
has begun to stabilize, Goskomstat figures for July indicate
that only the pace of deterioration has slowed somewhat, and
only in a few sectors. The strongest recovery seems to have been
in the mining and natural resources industries, according to
a TASS review August 14. The average daily production of oil
was the same in July as it was in June. The fall in production
in some manufacturing sectors has slowed--at least for now--as
well. Industrial production is off by 6.2 percent compared to
the first seven months of 1990. These trends are too weak and
too new to be characterized as a stabilization. If performance
continues along these lines for another two or three months,
Pavlov might have a case. (John Tedstrom)

DIRECTORY OF SOVIET ENTERPRISES. The USSR Goskomstat plans to
publish a six-volume directory with details of some 45,000 Soviet
enterprises, TASS reported August 12. The volumes will each cost
around $1,000, and the first will go on sale in October by subscription
from TASS. The declared aim of the publication is to help potential
foreign investors. (It will also make a lot of money for the
USSR Goskomstat and TASS). (Keith Bush)

FORD DEALERSHIPS IN THE USSR. The Ford Motor Company has opened
a joint venture dealership in Dnepropetrovsk and will open a
second in Tallinn later this year, Western agencies reported
August 14. Further Ford service centers are planned for Moscow
and Leningrad. These centers will sell and service European-made
Ford cars and trucks for hard-currency only. (Keith Bush)

NUMBER OF INFANT DEATHS DOWN. The number of deaths of infants
under the age of one in the USSR has declined from 129,793 in
1985 to 116,259 in 1989, and 106,585 in 1990, the USSR State
Committee on Statistics informed TASS August 14. The report does
not give the rate of infant mortality per 100,000 live births,
and the decline may not be as significant as might appear at
first sight if the number of live births has declined as well.
The report adds that the level of infant mortality in the USSR
is still more than twice as high as in the US, France, Great
Britain, Germany, and Japan. (Ann Sheehy)

SCHISM IN THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. Radio Rossiya reported
on August 14 that Patriarch Aleksii II had warned that a schism
has developed in the Russian Orthodox Church. On previous occasions,
he has used the term "schism" to apply to the actions of certain
Moscow parishes which have transferred themselves to the jurisdiction
of the US-based Russian Free Orthodox Church. (Oxana Antic)

SOVIET PILGRIMS AT WORLD YOUTH DAY. Western agencies reported
on August 15 on the participation of Soviet young people in the
World Youth Day celebrations in Czestochowa, Poland. Church sources
estimated that 50,000-70,000 pilgrims from the Soviet Union followed
the invitation of Pope John Paul II to come to the youth rally.
(Oxana Antic)

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE IN MOSCOW. A co-chairman of the
Uzbek Women's Association Tomaris has informed the RL Uzbek Service
that the tenth European Conference on Nuclear Disarmament is
being held in Moscow for the first time. The majority of the
Soviet participants, according to the Tomaris spokeswoman, are
members of democratic movements from across the USSR, including
Memorial, the Russian Social Democratic Party, and the Uzbek
Popular Front Birlik as well as her own organization. The August
16 session is a Women's Forum which is discussing the concerns
of mothers of Soviet servicemen. (Timur Kocaoglu/Bess Brown)


USSR--IN THE REPUBLICS



WITH SOME "IFS", PKP WILL REMOVE ITS CELLS, KUPTSOV SAYS. Valentin
Kuptsov, the new first secretary of the RSFSR Communist Party,
said on "Vesti" on August 14 that his Party will remove its cells
from state enterprises within a year in compliance with Yeltsin's
edict on "departification," if the USSR Committee for Constitutional
Compliance approves the decree. Kuptsov said that he and Yeltsin
had agreed on this during their meeting the previous day. On
the expulsion from the Party of RSFSR Vice-President Aleksandr
Rutskoi, Kuptsov said that his party sometimes made "ill-thought-out
decisions." On August 15, Kuptsov confirmed on Central Television
that the RKP Politburo had demanded that stern measures be taken
against Movement for Democratic Reforms founders Aleksandr Yakovlev
and Eduard Shevardnadze. (Julia Wishnevsky)

TRAVKIN FOR PRESERVATION OF THE SOVIET UNION. The leader of the
Democratic Party of Russia, Nikolai Travkin, said at a meeting
in the Moldavian city of Tiraspol' that his party is for the
preservation of the Soviet Union. Travkin stated that his party
seeks to become an all-Union democratic party which will challenge
the CPSU for power. Travkin started to cooperate with Eduard
Shevardnadze and other Reform Communists in setting up the Movement
for Democratic Reform some weeks ago but later quit the organizational
committee. Travkin denied in Tiraspol' that he wants to run for
the USSR presidency next year. (Alexander Rahr)

LUTHERANS DEMAND THEIR CHURCH CLOCK FROM KGB. Novosti reported
on August 14 that a Moscow authorities intend to return the Cathedral
of Peter and Paul in the center of the city to the Lutheran Church.
At present the cathedral houses a studio for the production of
slide-films. Lutheran circles in Moscow maintain that the big
clock on the front of the nearby KGB headquarters was removed
from the church when the building was confiscated. KGB representatives,
however, say that a photograph in the possession of the KGB shows
the facade of the building at the beginning of the century with
the clock in place. Lutheran believers insist that there were
two identical clocks and that the KGB expropriated the church's
clock when theirs was broken. (Oxana Antic)

SOPHIA CATHEDRAL IN NOVGOROD RETURNED TO THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX
CHURCH. Radio Rossiya reported on August 15 that the previous
day Novgorod's Sophia Cathedral and its icons were returned to
the Russian Orthodox Church. The Radio correspondent calls this
an important event for the whole country. Two monasteries which
house museums were also returned but an agreement was reached
under which these buildings may continue to be used as museums.
This agreement was greeted by the Radio as a "gorgeous example"
of alliance between the state and the Church. (Oxana Antic)

CHURCH DEMANDS RETURN OF CLOISTER OCCUPIED BY KGB. Vesti, the
Russian television news show, reported on August 14 that Bishop
Evlogii of Vladimir and Suzdal' is demanding the return to the
Church of the 800 year-old Rozhdestvenskii Monastery in Vladimir.
The building is occupied by the KGB administration for Vladimir
Oblast. The bishop wants to use it for the eparchal administration
and a seminary. According to the report, the oblast KGB has said
that it will move out "gladly" if another building can be found.
(Oxana Antic)

BOTTLING LAKE BAIKAL. "Water from Lake Baikal on Sale," is the
headline of an article in Izvestia of August 13. Bottled water
from the lake will shortly be on sale in some Soviet cities as
early as September, while Soviet and Western firms are looking
into large-scale bottling ventures. Officials in Irkutsk are
quoted as calculating that the sale of Baikal water would be
far more profitable--and ecologically beneficial--than the continued
operation of the huge pulp and paper mill on the lake's shore.
(Keith Bush)

COLONEL PRAISES SERAFIM OF SAROV. Soyuz No. 32 contains a report
by Izvestia correspondent Anatolii Ershov on the role of the
army in restoration work done at the Diveevo Convent in connection
with the return of the relics of Serafim of Sarov. Ershov interviewed
Colonel A. Raspopov, chief of the board of military construction
departments of the USSR ministry of the nuclear power industry,
who described the significance of St. Serafim for Russians and
said that the military construction specialists have finished
about 60 percent of the work on the convent. (Oxana Antic)

PERESTROIKA COMES TO GORBACHEV'S BIRTH-PLACE. Should Gorbachev
fail to win reelection in the presidential election scheduled
for next year, he could return to farming. He has just become
eligible to claim his late father's share (14.5 acres) in the
Yakov Sverdlov collective farm in the village of Privolnoe in
Stavropol Krai in south Russia, where Gorbachev himself was born.
On August 12, the collective farm was disbanded; it is being
replaced by a farmers' association, Novosti reported on August
14. (Elizabeth Teague)

UNIVERSITY OF COUNTRIES OF NORTHERN EUROPE TO BE CREATED IN KARELIA.
The local authorities of the Karelian republic have informed
the relevant departments of Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden
of their intention to create a university of the countries of
Northern Europe in the Karelian capital, Petrozavodsk, TASS reported
August 14. Initial reactions have been favorable, TASS said.
The new university will be based on the existing Petrozavodsk
university. It is proposed that the Scandinavian countries should
provide the university with modern equipment and allocate funds
for new construction, in return for which their students would
receive free tuition. (Ann Sheehy)

CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL RETURNED TO BELIEVERS. Ukrinform-TASS reported
on August 15 that the first festive mass has been conducted in
the Catholic cathedral of Odessa to celebrate its return by local
authorities after forty years. In recent years, more than 100
church buildings in Odessa Oblast alone have been returned to
believers. (Oxana Antic)

SOVIET INTERIOR MINISTRY TROOPS HELD HOSTAGE IN NKAO. Thirty-three
Soviet Interior Ministry troops were taken hostage August 13
and eight more August 14 by Armenian militants who wish to exchange
them for Armenians arrested in recent months, TASS and Interfax
report. The USSR MVD Deputy chief of staff, Major-General Valeri
Starikov, has threatened to use force to free the hostages, who
are being held in the Nagorno-Karabakh village of Aterk, which
is surrounded by interior ministry troops. Western news agencies
quote KGB chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov and USSR Minister of the
Interior Boris Pugo as threatening punitive measures if the hostages
are not freed. (Liz Fuller)

GEORGIA NATIONALIZES BANKS. Western news agencies quoting TASS
reported August 15 that the Georgian parliament has ordered the
nationalization of all local branches of all-Union banks on Georgian
territory. Georgian branches of the Soviet Central Bank will
constitute a national Bank of Georgia, while branches of other
federal banks will be transformed into state banks or Georgian-owned
commercial banks. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA LIFTS STATE OF EMERGENCY. The state of emergency imposed
in Armenia on August 29, 1990, after the shooting of a member
of parliament in Erevan by informal paramilitaries was lifted
at midnight on August 15 by order of the Armenian Supreme Soviet,
TASS and Interfax reported August 15. The Armenian parliament's
decision was prompted by the need "to guarantee democracy and
normal social conditions" in the runup to the referendum on secession
from the USSR scheduled for September 21. (Liz Fuller)

AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT TO VISIT IRAN. Azerbaijani President Ayaz
Mutalibov travels to Iran August 16 to begin an official visit
aimed at improving economic and cultural ties between Iran and
Azerbaijan, RL's Azerbaijani BD was informed August 15 by a Presidential
spokesman. (Liz Fuller)

CENTRAL ASIAN PRESIDENTS' AGREEMENT. TASS reported on August
14 that the meeting of Central Asian presidents in Tashkent ended
with the signing of several documents, the most important of
which creates an interrepublican council to oversee the implementation
of agreements among the Central Asian republics. The prime minister
of Azerbaijan, who also attended the meeting, declared that Azerbaijan
wants to become integrated into the Central Asian economy. An
article in the July 27 issue of Nezavisimaya gazeta noted the
progress of Central Asian leaders toward regional unification
and speculated that a "Greater Turkestan" could be in process
of formation. (Bess Brown)

NAZARBAEV REFUSES TO SIGN CHEVRON CONTRACT. In the latest development
in the Tengizchevroil saga, this week's issue of Moscow News
states that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has refused
to sign the contract giving Chevron development rights at the
Tengiz oil fields, APN reported August 14. Nazarbaev is quoted
as saying that the USSR government was not conscientious in negotiating
the transaction. He is drafting a decree declaring the oil fields
to be Kazakh property. This means that the Kazakh government
will conduct all further negotiations on developing the Tengiz
and other oil fields in Kazakhstan. The New York Times of August
16 carries a good survey of the Tengizchevroil dispute. (Keith
Bush)

NEW DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT IN KYRGYZSTAN. Members of the progressive
"For Democratic Renewal" faction in Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Soviet
have formed a new democratic movement, "Popular Unity," in Bishkek,
according to Slovo Kyrgyzstana of August 6. The new group, which
includes republican Vice-President German Kuznetsov, Bishkek
mayor Amangel'dy Muraliev and Pravda correspondent Yurii Razgulyaev,
says that it unites reformist members of the republican Communist
Party and of the national democratic movements of all nationalities,
and supports the all-Union Movement for Democratic Reforms. The
members of Democratic Kyrygzstan, the previously-formed democratic
movement, are primarily Kirgiz. (Bess Brown)

"DNIESTER SSR" TAKES ANOTHER STEP TOWARD SECESSION FROM MOLDAVIA.
The leadership of the would-be Dniester SSR in eastern Moldavia
has ordered all enterprises, institutions, and organizations
of republican subordination in the area, effective immediately,
to pass from Kishinev's jurisdiction to the jurisdiction of the
"Dniester SSR," TASS reported August 15. The move by the Russian
communist leaders of the would-be republic appears calculated
to pressure Kishinev into reconsidering its opposition to the
union treaty. (Vladimir Socor)


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