|The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. - George Bernard Shaw|
No. 157, 20 August 1991
USSR COUP IN USSR - SITUATION IN THE CENTER AND RSFSR YELTSIN ISSUES ULTIMATUM. In an ultimatum issued today to the chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Anatolii Lukyanov, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin made the following demands: 1) that he be allowed to meet within the next 24 hours with deposed USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev, in the presence of acting President Gennadii Yanaev; 2) that Gorbachev be given a medical examination, at the expense of the Russian government, within three days by doctors from the World Health Organization and that the results of the examination be made public; 3) that all restrictions on the RSFSR media be lifted; 4) that troops be withdrawn from Moscow and Leningrad; 5) that the Emergency Committee that yesterday seized power be disbanded. Details of the ultimatum were reported August 20 by CNN. (Elizabeth Teague) GORBACHEV BACK IN MOSCOW? Yeltsin's chief aide, Gennadii Burbulis, was quoted today by CNN as telling RSFSR people's deputies August 20 that Gorbachev was returned to Moscow late in the night of August 19 by plane from the Crimea. Burbulis said that several special military aircraft arrived at Moscow's Vnukovo airport at 9:45 P.M. Moscow time and that the RSFSR leadership believes Gorbachev was on board one of the planes. CNN noted that the story could not be confirmed; its Moscow correspondent commented that returning Gorbachev to Moscow, where he still enjoys considerable support, would not appear to be a very sensible move on the part of the coup organizers. (Elizabeth Teague) TANKS FROM ELITE DIVISION BACK YELTSIN. Soldiers manning ten tanks from the elite Taman Motor Rifle Division have apparently opted to support Yeltsin, according to CNN and Western news agencies today. The tanks have reportedly crossed barricades and taken up positions outside the Russian Parliament building. These same reports indicate that a number of armored personnel carriers and other military vehicles have also moved to defend the Russian President. RFE/RL Russian service correspondents claim that as many as thirty tanks and APC's from the Taman, Kantemirov, and Dzershinsky have defected to defend the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. (Stephen Foye) GENERAL KOBETS DEFECTS? According to this morning's (August 20) Washington Post, Lieutenant General Konstantin Kobets joined Yeltsin yesterday before the crowd gathered at the Russian Parliament building. Kobets reportedly said that soldiers were not obliged to obey the orders of superior officers during the present coup attempt. "Just because these officers and generals are wearing uniforms," he was reported as saying, "does not mean that the soldiers will support them." If true, Kobets' defection to Yeltsin is a significant one. He is currently chief of the RSFSR Defense Committee, and prior to that was a rising star within the Soviet General Staff, where he is believed to have close ties with General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev. His actions could indicate opposition within the High Command itself over the coup attempt. (Stephen Foye) MINERS IN SIBERIA AND VORTUKA FOLLOW YELSTIN'S STRIKE CALL. Coal miners in Artic Vortuka and the Siberia Kuzbass have begun a strike this morning (August 20) Western press agencies reported. In Vortuka, strike committee member Yurii Kovalenko said 5 out of 13 Vortuka pits are on strike and 26 pits in the Kuzbass have stopped work, according to an unnamed union spokesman from Kemerovo quoted by Western agencies. There are also unconfirmed reports of strikes in the mining areas of Belorussia and Ukraine. The Russian miners in the Kuzbass and Vortuka have been Yeltsin's firmest supporters. They held a two month strike in the spring of this year in support of further economic and political reform. (Sarah Ashwin) CONSTITUTIONAL WATCHDOG CHALLENGES SEIZURE OF POWER. In a statement read August 19 on the Vremya TV news program, the USSR Committee for Constitutional Oversight pointed out that, under the constitution, the right to declare a state of emergency belongs to the USSR Supreme Soviet. The constitutional watchdog body, whose recommendations have advisory force only, accordingly called on the members of the State Committee for the State of Emergency in the USSR to turn to the USSR Supreme Soviet. The Supreme Soviet is reportedly due to convene on August 27 or 28. The watchdog body is, therefore, casting doubt on the legality of the Emergency Committee's actions. (Sallie Wise and Elizabeth Teague) RSFSR FOREIGN MINISTER SENT TO WASHINGTON. CNN reported at 10:00 A.M. CEST today (August 20) that the RSFSR government is sending republican foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev to Washington to put its case to the Bush administration. Encouraged by US President George Bush's remarks that in the present situation he regards Yeltsin as the only legitimate leader in Moscow, the RSFSR President now seeks a firm alliance with the US against the hardliners in the Kremlin. (Alexander Rahr) YAZOV FLEW TO CRIMEA BEFORE GORBACHEV'S OUSTER. The New York Times reported today (August 20) that Soviet Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov flew to the Crimea to speak with Mikhail Gorbachev on August 18, just hours before the State Committee for the State of Emergency in the USSR announced that Yanaev had taken over from Gorbachev. The purpose of Yazov's trip is still uncertain. Two prominent theories are: 1) He wanted to give Gorbachev one last chance to join the group that formed the "emergency committee; and 2) He wanted to oversee Gorbachev's arrest/detention personally. (John Tedstrom) YAZOV CHAIRMAN OF EMERGENCY COMMITTEE. In a little noticed statement from Yanaev, he announced to the heads of foreign governments and the United Nations that "all powers in the country are transferred to the State Committee for the State of Emergency in the USSR chaired by Yazov. TASS carried a report of the message August 19. It may have been in his capacity as chairman of the committee that Yazov flew to the Crimea to speak with Gorbachev. (John Tedstrom) LENINGRAD UNDER MILITARY RULE. Leningrad is reported to be under the control of the Soviet military, according to an Interfax report transmitted this morning by the Japanese Kyodo news service. Colonel General Viktor Samsonov, the commander of the Leningrad military district, has instituted a state of emergency and ordered a curfew in Leningrad. He is also reported to have issued an order banning all strikes and demonstrations as well as some political parties and mass media. Workers have been forbidden to leave their jobs. Samsonov calls himself Chairman of the Leningrad State of Emergency Committee whose other members include regional CP First Secretary Boris Gidaspov, Deputy Mayor Vyacheslav Shcherbakov, and regional Supreme Soviet Chairman Yurii Yarov. According to RFE/RL's Russian service last night, however, Yarov and Shcherbakov protested the inclusion of their names the list of members of the Leningrad Emergency committee. They reportedly called the RSFSR SupSov and declared their support for Yeltsin. (Carla Thorson and Sallie Wise) SITUATION IN LENINGRAD. The Leningrad city council held an emergency session August 19 at which deputies expressed support for Yeltsin's decree and his appeal to the citizens of Russia. Thousands of people gathered at the Isaakii Square in front of the council's headquarters, Vremya reported yesterday. A demonstration and strikes against the conservative takeover and military rule in Leningrad are planned for today. Addressing Leningrad residents on local radio on August 19, the commander of the Leningrad military district, Colonel General Viktor Samsonov, who took over rule in the city, said that some political parties and public organizations would be disbanded in Leningrad. He said that members and leaders of these parties and organizations will be "forcefully employed at factories, enterprises and collective farms." (Vera Tolz) SOBCHAK CONDEMNS COUP. Leningrad mayor Anatolii Sobchak said August 19 that the "coup d' etat by a group of adventurers" staged against Gorbachev was illegal. Interviewed by an independent reporter at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, Sobchak said Gorbachev was not ill, as claimed by Yanaev. In an interview with RFE/RL's Russian service, Sobchak called for an immediate emergency session of the USSR Congress of People's Deputies and for emergency sessions of the parliaments of the republics. He said these sessions should condemn the anti-Gorbachev forces and remove them from power. Sobchak also called for an immediate nationwide strike which would last until the new rulers have stepped down. He urged army and MVD troops not to act against their own people. (Vera Tolz) YANAEV'S PRESS CONFERENCE. Yanaev gave his first official press conference on August 19; at his side were Defense council first deputy chairman Oleg Baklanov, Minister of Internal affairs Boriss Pugo, Vasilii Starodubtsev, and Aleksandr Tizyakov. His opening remarks were constructed to appeal to the broadest possible audience (which consisted of Soviet and foreign journalists), offering repeated assurances of the Emergency Committee's commitment to both democratic political and market-oriented economic reform, while simultaneously championing conservative causes. Yanaev called on all citizens to mobilize to bring in the harvest. He promised a nationwide discussion of the draft Union treaty, in which every citizen of the USSR would have a chance to speak and promised that the Emergency Committee would "clean the streets" of the "criminal element." Yanaev also warned the international community that "no one will ever be permitted to encroach upon our sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity." Yanaev closed his remarks by noting that all "constructive appeals" would be gratefully received. (Dawn Mann) YANAEV ON GORBACHEV. The first question concerned Gorbachev's whereabouts, to which Yanaev replied that Gorbachev was in the Crimea, resting: "After all these years, he is very tired and some time will be needed for him to regain his health." Yanaev said that the Emergency Committee and he personally hope that "my friend President Gorbachev" will return to his post, to continue the course begun in 1985, and that in the meantime, he was completely safe: "he's not a state criminal--this is a man who did everything to put us on the path of democracy." Yanaev refused to comment on Gorbachev's position as General Secretary, but he did say that Deputy General Secretary Vladimir Ivashko was ready to work. He added that a Central Committee plenum or CPSU Congress would decide the question. (Dawn Mann) YANAEV WARNS MUSCOVITES AND OTHERS NOT TO PROVOKE MILITARY. Yanaev interrupted the question and answer period at one point to tell his audience that all laws and resolutions that would be issued by anyone other than the Emergency Committee would be reviewed by the committee. He cautioned the leaders and citizens of the Russian Federation, warning that their acts--erecting barricades, and so on--could lead to a military provocation, the responsibility for which would rest with the republic's leaders. (Dawn Mann) YANAEV/TIZYAKOV ON ECONOMIC PLANS. Asked by a Pravda correspondent whether the Emergency Committee had a concrete economic program and whether it would observe laws already adopted, Tizyakov said the committee would not deviate from the reforms already begun, but considers it necessary to organize them at the highest administrative levels. Yanaev said the first step was to save the harvest, to be followed by a national inventory, after which the committee would tell the people just how it expected to resolve the housing problem. The third priority, Yanaev said, was to take care of energy and transport needs, so that the country would survive the winter. (Dawn Mann) EMERGENCY COMMITTEE WILL NOT FORCE REPUBLICS TO SIGN UNION TREATY. Yanaev said the Emergency Committee will respect the wishes of the population in the Baltic states, Moldavia, Georgia, and Armenia with regard to the draft Union Treaty: "We will respect the will of the people." (Dawn Mann) YANAEV TO ASK USSR SUPREME SOVIET FOR SUPPORT. One constitutional requirement that was overlooked by the Emergency Committee was the need for the approval of a two-thirds majority of the USSR Supreme Soviet for the introduction of a state of emergency. Yanaev told the reporters that the USSR Supreme Soviet will convene on August 27 (it was to meet on September 14) and a vote held. (Dawn Mann) YANAEV ON PRESS. Yanaev told reporters from Argumenty i fakty and Nezavismaya gazeta that the committee would not be closing any newspapers but would be "re-registering" them because much of the blame for the current chaos in the country lies with the media. He refused to comment on the criteria for re-registration. (Dawn Mann) CPSU NOT INVOLVED IN COMMITTEE'S FORMATION. Yanaev said that neither the Politburo nor the Secretariat had been consulted concerning the formation of the Emergency Committee, but that there would be consultations with them in the future, "based on the mood within the Party and society" for order. (Dawn Mann) RUTSKOI ISSUES APPEAL TO ARMY/YOUNG PEOPLE. RSFSR Vice president Aleksandr Rutskoi issued an emotional appeal on August 19 calling on the Soviet armed forces not to support the USSR State Committee for the State of Emergency. The appeal was distributed by the Russian Information Agency. Dawn Mann) MEDIA SUPPRESSED. RFE/RL's Russian service was told yesterday that the military had placed censors in all independent newspapers, such as Moskovskii komsomolets, Megapolis-Express, and Kuranty. TASS later reported August 19 that all but nine national newspapers have been banned. Those which can be published are: Trud, Rabochaya tribuna, Izvestia, Pravda, Krasnaya zvezda, Sovetskaya Rossiya, Moskovskaya pravda, Leninskoe znamya, and Sel'skaya zhizn'. Meanwhile, Soviet TV announced August 19 that RSFSR TV's programming has been cancelled and that it will henceforth carry the same programming as all other Soviet TV channels. Radio Mayak started broadcasting the Radio Moscow-1 program at noon yesterday, and Radio Rossii began broadcasting at noon yesterday without carrying its usual announcement. (Julia Wishnevsky and Sallie Wise) MORE ON SITUATION IN SOVIET MEDIA. Although Izvestia is among the central newspapers whose publication is allowed by the Committee for the State of Emergency, it did not appear on August 19, an independent journalist in Moscow told RFE/RL yesterday. The journalist said that workers destroyed the typeset issue that already had been set up because the issue failed to carry Yeltsin's appeal to the Russian people. Meanwhile, RFE/RL technical monitors have no evidence of any resumption of jamming of foreign radio broadcasts. (Vera Tolz) MOSCOW NEWS DEFIES THE BAN. In a sign that the State Committee's control of the situation is limited, Moscow News has reportedly been able to publish today's issue despite the ban. It is not clear in which publishing house the issue was printed. In an interview broadcast August 19 by the German TV's ARD program Moscow News's correspondent in Germany said that the weekly's office is occupied by the troops. He said that he has already received an instruction from the newspaper's editorial board to try to arrange the publication of the paper in Germany. (Julia Wishnevsky and Vera Tolz). MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI ISSUES BONNER STATEMENT. Although banned from publishing by the Emergency Committee, Moskovskie novosti published a statement from Yelena Bonner, the widow of Andrei Sakharov, calling on Muscovites to prove that they "are worthy of the name of residents of the capital and the state or are simply a mob interested only in sausage." "When Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov died, a half million Muscovites went out on the streets. If we repeat this today, we will win." (Dawn Mann) YAKOVLEV AND SHEVARDNADZE CALL FOR WESTERN SUPPORT AND NON-VIOLENT RESISTANCE. In response to yesterday's coup Alexander Yakovlev and Eduard Shevardnadze on August 19 called on the West to support democracy in the Soviet Union. In a statement made available to western news agencies, the two prominent reformers repeated RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin's call for a general strike and denounced the, "betrayal of the interests of the people, of freedom and democracy." (Carla Thorson) YELTSIN TURNS TO PATRIARCH. According to RFE/RL's Russian service yesterday, Yeltsin addressed Patriarch Aleksii II asking him to use "all of his authority" and not to stand aside from the events which are happening now. (Oxana Antic) SITUATION IN THE BALTIC STATES LITHUANIAN SUPREME COUNCIL SESSION. At an emergency session on August 19-20, the Lithuanian parliament unanimously ratified the Lithuania-RSFSR treaty, signed on July 29. The session issued a statement addressed to Yeltsin vigorously condemning the attempt to overthrow the democratically elected RSFSR government and expressing solidarity with "all progressive Russian forces." It also issued an appeal to the parliaments and governments of the world's democratic states calling on them to officially recognize the Republic of Lithuania and establish diplomatic relations with it. The appeal called on the CSCE to apply the conflict resolution mechanism envisaged by the Paris Charter and send a fact-finding mission to Lithuania. (Saulius Girnius) OTHER ACTIONS. The session adopted a resolution "inviting the people of Lithuania to begin a political strike for an unlimited period of time in enterprises and organizations" (except for health care, agriculture, communications, energy, food industry and transport) if the government was impeded from executing its duties. It also issued an appeal asking "all soldiers and officers of the Soviet armed forces which are in Lithuania not to make encroachments on the residents of Lithuania, their democratically elected leadership." (Saulius Girnius and Gytis Liulevicius) VAGNORIUS APPEALS TO LITHUANIANS. On August 19, Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius issued a statement warning of the possibility of Soviet military intervention in Lithuania. He emphasized, however, that the Lithuanian government will continue to function so long as conditions allow, and appealed to Lithuanians not to fall prey to any provocations or to organize "any actions that would cause an exacerbation of the situation." In the event that the Lithuanian leadership should fall, Vagnorius asked that local governments also cease to function, so as not to associate themselves in any way with the usurpers of power. (Gytis Liulevicius) LANDSBERGIS APPEAL. On August 19 parliament chairman Vytautas Landsbergis issued an appeal "to the nations of the world and the governments of free governments, to the UN and other international organizations." He noted that the danger of Soviet military violence threatened the lives of the people of the Republic of Lithuania and called for support for the legally-elected Lithuanian authorities. He called on governments before it is too late to declare that the introduction of Soviet military occupying rule would be a continuation and consolidation of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. (Saulius Girnius) Note: Information the five items above was obtained from the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania Bureau of Information on August 19 and 20. SOVIET MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN LITHUANIA. The Lithuanian Information Center reported that Soviet troops moved against media and communication facilities in Lithuania on August 19. They seized the Lithuanian TV and radio broadcast center in Kaunas and disconnected lines to the Juragiai TV transmitter and Sitkunai radio relay station. Soviet soldiers raided the main telephone exchange in Vilnius, but apparently did not sever communication links. The port of Klaipeda is under a blockade, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reported, with Klaipeda garrison commander Colonel Chernykh declaring himself to be in charge. About 80 tanks threatened the Lithuanian parliament shortly after 11 P.M. last night, where deputies were meeting in an emergency session with about 5,000 Lithuanians massed outside. The tanks withdrew after 20 minutes. (Gytis Liulevicius) KUZMIN VS. LANDSBERGIS. Baltic Military District Commander Fyodor Kuzmin announced that he would be implementing the decrees of the new Soviet leadership, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reported August 19. In a telephone call to Landsbergis, Kuzmin demanded that the National Defense Department be disarmed. Landsbergis rejected the demand by noting that Soviet orders have no validity on Lithuanian territory, and that the National Defense Department is not armed in the first place, so there can be no disarmament to speak of. (Gytis Liulevicius) RUBIKS CALLS FOR NEW GOVERNMENT IN LATVIA. In a previously scheduled morning press conference broadcast by Radio Riga on August 19, Alfreds Rubiks, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the hardline Latvian Communist Party, expressed satisfaction over the events in Moscow. He said that a new government would be formed in Latvia and that all political parties, except the LCP, would be disbanded. He said also that the radical deputies of the Supreme Council would be recalled; he singled out in particular Dainis Ivans, deputy chairman of the Supreme Council, and deputies Juris Dobelis and Odisejs Kostanda. According to Rubiks, a committee on the state of emergency would be formed in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs) LUKYANOV: NO STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LATVIA... Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs telephoned Anatolii Lukyanov, Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet to clarify the situation in Latvia. According to Lukyanov, no state of emergency had been declared in Latvia by the authorities in Moscow, reported Radio Riga August 19. (Dzintra Bungs) ...WHILE TROOPS SURROUND RIGA. In the meanwhile, Soviet troops, tanks, and armored vehicles were starting to take up key positions in and around Riga. Radio Riga reported late in the afternoon of August 19 troop concentrations at the main intersections on the outskirts of the Latvian capital, and in the evening noted that a column of tanks was moving from the base in Adazi to Riga. Unusual military activity had was noted around a communications center in Sigulda. (Dzintra Bungs) APPEAL TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. On August 19 the Supreme Council called on the local governments in Latvia 1) not to cooperate in any way with the USSR armed forces, KGB, MVD, CPSU, and group under the orders of the USSR state of emergency committee; 2) to stand apart from any illegal entities of state power and their activities; 3) to consider the orders and decisions of the formations stemming from the USSR state of emergency committee as having no legal force in Latvia; and 4) to obey under any and all circumstance the laws and decisions of the Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers of Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs) SOVIET NAVAL CAPTAIN CLAIMS TO BE IN CHARGE OF LIEPAJA. Radio Riga and Diena reported on August 19 that earlier that day Captain Stalev, commander of Soviet garrison in Liepaja, had announced to the Liepaja city council that he had been appointed Liepaja war commander by his chief, Admiral Ivanov of the USSR Baltic Fleet, and that power in the city had been taken over by a special committee comprised of military and civilian representatives. At the time, the city council was in session and everything had been functioning normally in the Latvian port city. The council decided to hold a special meeting at 5 P.M. local time to consider the announcement. (Dzintra Bungs) FIRST CASUALTIES IN LATVIA. Raimonds Salmins was killed around 10:30 P.M. local time on August 19 while driving a van in the vicinity of the Riga's main railroad station. A passenger, Janis Verpahovskis, was seriously injured and taken to the hospital. They were the victims of bullets fired by OMON, reported Radio Riga that day. Salmins was employed as a chauffeur by the Latvian Writers' Association. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIAN MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS SEIZED. Radio Riga reported on August 19 that late that afternoon Soviet forces had taken over the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as well as the Riga city department of internal affairs. Unconfirmed Western reports indicate that the main telephone and telegraph office in Riga has been seized by Soviet troops. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIAN TV AND RADIO SILENT. The Latvian TV building was taken over by OMON units and Soviet paratroopers during the afternoon of August 19 and consequently stopped all programming, reported Radio Riga that day. Radio Riga stopped shortwave broadcasts (possibly also all other broadcasts) at around 2:15 AM on August 20, presumably also as a consequence of a Soviet troop takeover. (Dzintra Bungs) TROOPS IN TALLINN. Over 100 armored vehicles were moving into Tallinn in three columns this morning (August 20), Estonian Radio reported. The convoy of some 90 troop transports and 20 military trucks crossed the Estonian-Latvian border at Murati last night. Deputy chairman of the Tallinn city council Andres Kork told the radio that the troops are returning to their barracks at Tondi, Kopli and the Dvigatel factory, and called on Tallinn residents to avoid any actions that could be provocative, allowing the troops to return to their barracks peacefully. Estonian Radio reported last night that a troop transport ship left Kaliningrad yesterday headed for Tallinn. Although the harbor was blocked briefly yesterday by Soviet military ships, it is open today, as is the airport. (Riina Kionka) MASS MEDIA HOLDING ON. Estonia is the only Baltic state where the mass media are still operating freely. Estonian Radio and Television continue broadcasting, and newspapers appeared today (August 20). But it is widely believed that the Estonian mass media will be shut off soon too, as the Latvian and Lithuanian mass media have been. Despite Kork's statements that the military convoy entering Tallinn is only headed for the barracks, many Estonians believe that the troops will close in on the radio and TV broadcasting center in the capital today. In a move signaling reconciliation between the Supreme Council and the alternate parliament, Supreme Council Speaker Ulo Nugis and Congress of Estonia Chairman Tunne Kelam jointly called on the population yesterday to defend the broadcasting center, and some 200 people responded as of last night. (Riina Kionka) ESTONIA CONDEMNS COUP, GRANTS POWERS, APPEALS TO WORLD. The Estonian Supreme Council yesterday (August 19) condemned the coup in Moscow, saying that the so-called State Committee for the State of Emergency was illegal and that any attempts to implement its program should be rebuffed. In a separate resolution, the Supreme Council granted emergency powers to a three-member Emergency Defense Council of the Republic of Estonia. The Emergency Defense Council, set up last January 13 and consisting of Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar, Speaker Ulo Nugis and Supreme Council Chairman Arnold Ruutel, is empowered to act in the state's behalf in restoring Estonian state independence "should the activities of the Supreme Council be obstructed." The Estonian Foreign Ministry sent RFE/RL the Supreme Council's resolutions. (Riina Kionka) ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS YELTSIN. The Estonian Government yesterday (August 19) issued a statement condemning the coup and supporting Yeltsin's call for a general strike. The government called on all democratic forces "in the current and former republics of the Soviet Union" to defend democracy and freedom. Also on August 19, Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar returned to Tallinn from Stockholm, where he was on a short visit. Foreign Minister Lennart Meri, however, traveled from Tallinn to Helsinki to assure that the government would be represented abroad, in case of emergency. Meri has orders to return only when the democratically elected government of Estonia summons him. Estonian Radio reported the government's actions on August 19. (Riina Kionka) PRO-SOVIET FORCES STILL TESTING THE WIND. The leaders of Estonia's non-Estonian population are guarded in their reactions to yesterday's developments. ECP (CPSU platform) Central Committee secretary Pavel Panfilov told the Estonian News Agency (ETA), as reported in Paevaleht of August 20, that his party has no plans to form a "national salvation committee." Supreme Council deputy and Inter-regional Council leader Vladimir Lebedev told ETA the same day that Gorbachev's ouster is not surprising, saying that Gorbachev had failed to guarantee citizen safety and to keep to the USSR constitution. TASS, however, reported that the strike committees in Estonia fully support the new leaders in Moscow: "only through joint and resolute action can we check the hunger, desolation and civil war that are advancing on our multi-national country." (Riina Kionka) REACTION IN THE REPUBLICS KRAVCHUK REACTION TO COUP. Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk appeared on republican television yesterday urging citizens to remain calm and patient, Radio Kiev reported August 19. Kravchuk's address, which was also carried by radio, noted that there was no state of emergency in Ukraine and that the overall situation in the republic was stable. The Ukrainian leader said that the appropriate evaluation of the situation and conclusions will be made by the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet and by the Supreme Soviet itself. Such serious political matters, he declared, preclude hasty actions. There was no doubt, he continued, that in a law-based state, "everything must proceed on the basis of the law, including the announcement of a state of emergency." (Roman Solchanyk) "RUKH" CALLS FOR GENERAL STRIKE. The Popular Movement of Ukraine, or "Rukh" yesterday called for a general strike in the republic to protest the ouster of Gorbachev. Representatives of the democratic opposition met yesterday in Kiev to discuss the situation and coordinate their action. Vyacheslav Chornovil, chairman of the Lvov Oblast Soviet, stated that he had been told that the commander of the Carpathian Military District warned that military rule would be imposed in the region in the event of disobedience. (Roman Solchanyk) REACTION IN UKRAINE TO COUP. Leaders of Ukraine's democratic forces reacted to the news of the coup in Moscow by convening a meeting yesterday afternoon in the building of the Ukrainian Writers Union. They strongly condemned what had occurred in the Soviet capital, called on the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet to do likewise, and decided to place the republic's democratic forces on full readiness for a general strike. (Bohdan Nahaylo) IMPLICATIONS FOR UKRAINE OF GORBACHEV'S DETENTION IN CRIMEA. A democratic member of the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, Les' Tanyuk, pointed out yesterday that Gorbachev has been detained in the Crimea, which is part of the Ukrainian SSR. With the Ukrainian KGB now under the control of the Ukrainian government, what right has the KGB from Moscow to detain the ousted Soviet leader on Ukrainian territory, he asked. This is one of the questions which was due to have been raised at this morning's emergency meeting of the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet. (Bohdan Nahaylo) GEORGIAN, ARMENIAN PRESIDENTS APPEAL FOR CALM. Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia, together with the republic's government and the presidium of the Supreme Council, issued an appeal August 19 to the population to stay at their workplaces and perform their duties "without yielding to provocation or taking unauthorized action." Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan warned in a Radio Erevan address that any self-motivated act or unconsidered step might cause distorted interpretations and "short-sighted reaction." (Liz Fuller) AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT CUTS SHORT IRAN VISIT. IRNA August 19 quoted Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov as stating that he welcomed Gorbachev's removal as "the natural consequence of the policies that had brought chaos to the Soviet Union over the past few years." IRNA subsequently reported that Mutalibov had cut short his official visit to Teheran and flown home to Baku; it quoted travellers at the Soviet-Iranian border point of Astara as saying that tanks were patrolling the streets of Baku August 19, but that there had been no clashes in the city. (Liz Fuller) SITUATION IN KAZAKHSTAN AND UZBEKISTAN. In the course of the August 19 press conference, Yanaev cited Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as examples of regions where there was no need to declare a state of emergency. TASS reported in the evening of August 19 that Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev had appealed to the people of the republic for calm and for support, and cited the need to avoid confrontation, because emotional actions could lead to serious social upheaval. The probability of a confrontation with the military is heightened by the peace march which is moving toward Semipalatinsk, intent on preventing the Ministry of Defense from conducting the nuclear test planned for August 29. In his appeal, Nazarbaev also stated that no state of emergency will be introduced in Kazakhstan by outside forces, reiterating his commitment to strengthening the republic's sovereignty and continuing the reform process. (Bess Brown)
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