Liberty of thought means liberty to communicate one's thought. - Salvador de Madariaga
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 158, 21 August 1991



USSR

COUP IN USSR - SITUATION IN THE CENTER AND RSFSR

YELTSIN REPORTEDLY ORDERS ARREST OF COUP LEADERS. CNN said at
1:20 p.m. CEST that there are unconfirmed reports from Moscow
that RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin has told the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet that leaders of the coup are trying to leave Moscow by
plane. Yeltsin associate Ruslan Khasbulatov suggested they might
be on their way to the Crimea to see deposed president Mikhail
Gorbachev; others speculate that they might be trying to flee
the capital. Yeltsin has ordered that the unnamed coup leaders
be arrested at Vnukovo airport if they try to leave. (Elizabeth
Teague)

COMMUNIST PARTY ENTERS THE FRAY--AGAINST THE COUP. Western agencies,
citing TASS, reported at midday CEST August 21 that a meeting
of the CPSU Secretariat has demanded that acting president Gennadii
Yanaev meet immediately with deposed president Mikhail Gorbachev,
believed to be under house arrest in the Crimea. The Party's
demand was said to be signed by Vladimir Ivashko who, as deputy
general secretary, is Gorbachev's second-in-command in the Party
hierarchy. Ivashko was quoted as saying that, until the Party
leadership met with Gorbachev, it could not instruct Communists
how to react to the GKChP (the Emergency Committee). (Elizabeth
Teague)

DELEGATION TO CRIMEA. Yeltsin told the RSFSR Supreme Soviet this
morning that a high-level delegation consisting of RSFSR Prime
Minister Ivan Silaev and President Aleksandr Rutskoi is to travel
imminently to the Crimea with a team of medical doctors to meet
with Gorbachev. Reporting this news at 12:30 P.M. CEST, CNN said
that originally KGB chairman Kryuchkov suggested that Yeltsin
should make the journey but that, fearing a trap, the RSFSR government
decided that Yeltsin should remain in Moscow and other high-level
emissaries should lead the delegation instead. (Elizabeth Teague)


COUP TURNS VIOLENT. The streets of Moscow are reported calm this
morning after a night of tension during which three people are
reported to have been killed. Demonstrators surrounded the RSFSR
parliament building throughout the night, defying the curfew
and torrential rain to defend Yeltsin, who was inside. Clashes
broke out during the night as demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov
cocktails at tanks, at least two of which were set afire. Audiences
throughout the world were able to follow developments as they
were reported by Western agencies still operating relatively
freely in the Soviet capital. The curfew will be in effect again
tonight. (Elizabeth Teague)

IS THE COUP UNRAVELING? There are signs that the group of eight
men who launched Monday's coup is beginning to fall apart. From
the outset, the coup has been conducted in a inept way. Now,
in a classic scenario whereby conspirators turn against one another,
its leaders are falling out. Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov and
Defense Minister Dmitrii Yazov are both said to have left the
group due to "ill health." A report that Kryuchkov has stepped
down was denied last night, but the rumor's very existence is
significant. What seems to be happening is that, as the coup
develops and popular opposition mounts, those members of the
group who lack the stomach for violence are discarded. As the
softerline leaders drop out, the real hardline forces behind
the group may be exposed. (Elizabeth Teague)

YELTSIN TAKES COMMAND OF ARMED FORCES. In a decree issued on
August 20, Yeltsin declared that he was taking immediate control
of all armed forces units on the territory of the RSFSR. He ordered
all units to remain at their permanent bases, and called upon
units presently deployed to return to base. Yeltsin also declared
all orders signed by Defense Minister Yazov and KGB Chairman
Kryuchkov invalid, and ordered RSFSR Vice President Rutskoi to
prepare proposals for the formation of an RSFSR National Guard.
Yeltsin said that the decree was the result of "criminal" actions
carried out by the coup leaders, arguing that their actions left
the armed forces without proper constitutional oversight. He
said that the decree would be in effect only until the USSR constitutional
order was restored. (Stephen Foye)

AND APPOINTS RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER. Yeltsin later appointed
General Konstantin Kobets as Russian Defense Minister. Kobets
had been serving as Chairman of the RSFSR State Committee for
Defense. According to Western agencies August 20, Yeltsin said
he made the appointment to ensure precise coordination with respect
to troop command and to prevent the use of troops against the
people. Kobets reportedly will serve "until the operation of
constitutional bodies is fully restored." (Stephen Foye)

RUMORS OF YAZOV'S RESIGNATION. Western agencies and CNN reported
yesterday evening that speculation had arisen concerning Yazov's
alleged resignation from the Emergency Committee--for reasons
of health. According to the unconfirmed reports, Yazov was to
have been replaced by General Staff Chief Mikhail Moiseev. But
a Politburo member, Major General Mikhail Surkov, later denied
that either Yazov or Kryuchkov had resigned. Surkov is Secretary
of the All-Army Party Committee and heads the Communist Party's
organization within the armed forces. (Stephen Foye)

MORE RUMORS: TOP COMMANDERS SUPPORT YELTSIN. Rumors and denials
continue to swirl about the High Command. On August 20 the Russian
Information Agency and Interfax reported that two senior Airborne
Forces commanders had defected--or tried to defect--to Yeltsin.
The speculation centered on Airborne Forces Commander General
Pavel Grachev, and on one of his Deputy Commanders, General Aleksandr
Lebed'. Grachev had allegedly been arrested for his insubordination.
Various Defense Ministry spokesmen rushed to deny the rumors,
however. Speaking on Radio Moscow, Colonel General Aleksandr
Ovchinnikov, First Deputy Chief of the MPA, "categorically" denied
the reports, saying that they had been spread deliberately in
order to sow discord within the High Command. (Stephen Foye)


LENINGRAD COMMANDER GOES OVER TO YELTSIN?. Leningrad mayor Anatolii
Sobchak and Lieutenant General Viktor Samsonov, the Commander
of the Leningrad Military District, have reportedly agreed that
soldiers deployed in the Leningrad district will not carry out
the orders of the Emergency Committee in Moscow, Interfax reported
on August 20. Samsonov earlier had disobeyed orders to deploy
his troops in the city center. Meanwhile, a Moscow journalist
told RFE/RL that Yeltsin has appointed his own military commander
in Leningrad -- Rear Admiral Vyacheslav Sherbakov. If true, Samsonov's
defection would be a significant loss for the High Command and
the Emergency Committee. (Stephen Foye)

DEFECTING MILITARY UNITS IN MOSCOW. An unidentified senior US
administration official told The Washington Post today (August
21) that the three units principally involved in policing Moscow
are the "Tula Quick Reaction Division," the Taman Motorized Rifle
Division, and an unnamed heavy tank division. Units in the first
two divisions, he said, have announced their loyalty to Yeltsin.
The same official discounted reports that the Dzerzhinsky Division
is playing a significant role in supporting the coup. Colonel
General Ovchinnikov told Moscow Radio August 20 that the Kantemirovsk
division, together with the Taman division and some Airborne
Troops, are active in Moscow. An RSFSR official, Vladimir Lukin,
had earlier told Western agencies that elements from the Ryazan
Airborne Division, the Sevastopol infantry regiment, and a battalion
from the Taman division, have moved to support Yeltsin. Military
authorities have denied reports of defections and Colonel Valerii
Ochirov, head of the USSR parliamentary defense committee, said
that "I exclude the danger of a split" [in the military]. Interfax
reported on August 20, however, that there is concern within
the General Staff over widespread support for Yeltsin among mid-level
officers. (Stephen Foye)

WHAT'S HAPPENED TO GORBACHEV? RFE/RL's Russian service yesterday
broadcast a tape of a speech by RSFSR State Secretary Sergei
Stankevich providing details of Gorbachev's arrest on August
19, including many names of people directly involved in the coup.
(Stankevich was addressing the crowd inside and outside the RSFSR
SupSov headquaters via local radio.) According to Stankevich,
Gorbachev was arrested by air defense troops led by supreme air
defense commander General Igor' Mal'tsev. KGB units were also
involved. According to Stankevich, the generals control all airspace
and the sea. At least 16 ships, Stankevich said, control all
the approaches to Gorbachev's dacha from the sea. Mal'tsev has
ordered the arrest of everyone who may come to visit "the former
USSR President" and to turn them over to the local KGB. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

WHO IS WITH GORBACHEV? Stankevich also listed the people held
under arrest with Gorbachev. They are General Medvedev (head
of Gorbachev's bodyguards), Gorbachev's advisers Anatolii Chernyaev
and Georgii Shakhnazarov, Shakhnazarov's wife Anna Grigor'evna
and their son, the prominent film director Karen Shakhnazarov.
(Julia Wishnevsky)

PAVLOV INDISPOSED. Last night's Vremya newscast reported that
Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov is suffering from high blood pressure
and is confined to bed. His responsibilities as Prime Minister
have been assumed by First Deputy Prime Minister Vitalii Doguzhiev.
Vremya did not say, however, whether Doguzhiev would take over
Pavlov's role on the Emergency Committee. (Sallie Wise, Julia
Wishnevsky and Elizabeth Teague)

DOGUZHIEV REPLACES PAVLOV. Vitalii Doguzhiev, who has taken over
from Pavlov, is a close associate of another member of the GKChP,
Oleg Baklanov. Both men closely worked together in the Ministry
for General Machine-Building in the 1980s and are representatives
of the military-industrial complex. Baklanov, first deputy chairman
of the USSR Defense Council, appears to have played a leading
role in the coup. (Alexander Rahr)

BESSMERTNYKH SAID TO BE ILL. USSR Foreign Minister Aleksandr
Bessmertnykh is said to be sick and thus uncapable of coming
to his office for the next two days, CNN reported August 20.
CNN cited foreign ministry employees as saying that Bessmertnykh
had been in his office the day before, in perfect health. Earlier
on August 20, Soviet television said that the USSR Cabinet of
Ministers met and approved the activities of the Emergency Committee.
Knowing Bessmertnykh, one would not be surprised had he been
the only dissenting minister in this cabinet, which could explain
his sudden illness. (Julia Wishnevsky)

LUK'YANOV MEETS "SOYUZ" DEPUTIES. According to an RFE/RL correspondent
in Moscow August 20, chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Anatolii
Luk'yanov met with ten USSR deputies of the conservative "Soyuz"
faction early yesterday evening. Deputy Oleg Borodin, who was
present, said that Luk'yanov claimed that Baklanov and other
members of the GKChP had been at Gorbachev's dacha on the eve
of the coup and Gorbachev had agreed to the Committee's program
of action, provided all its actions and its creation were sanctioned
by the Supreme Soviet. Luk'yanov said Gorbachev had changed his
mind about the Union treaty and decided to postpone its signing
and undertake certain preventive steps after he had received
an "extremely offensive" reply from Yeltsin to his invitation
to attend a meeting of the Federation Council on August 21, the
day after the Union treaty was to be signed. Yeltsin allegedly
had written that, since all Union organs of power would be abolished
immediately after the treaty was signed, he had no intention
of taking part in the meeting of the Federation Council. Yeltsin
had claimed earlier that Gorbachev had promised him that jurisdiction
over all enterprises in the RSFSR would be transferred to the
republic as soon as the treaty was signed, a claim that had drawn
an angry response from Pavlov. (Ann Sheehy)

LUK'YANOV ON CREATION OF COMMITTEE. Luk'yanov professed to believe
that Gorbachev was ill, saying that he had looked ill already
on August 13. He told the "Soyuz" deputies that he thought the
creation of the Committee was a necessary measure brought on
by the crisis situation into which the RSFSR leadership, and
Yeltsin in particular, had brought the country. Luk'yanov added
that he did not support all the Committee's actions, such as
the introduction of troops, and thought troops should be removed
from the cities and above all Moscow. Luk'yanov said he had declined
to be a member of the Committee. (Ann Sheehy)

LUK'YANOV: A "GREY EMINENCE" BEHIND THE COUP? Luk'yanov's allegation
of Gorbachev's involvement in the plot against himself, the same
source told RFE/RL a few hours later, contradicts all available
evidence. Luk'yanov is not a member of the GKChP and therefore
is the only leader on the all-Union level who could not be formally
accused of a state crime. As chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet,
Luk'yanov would take over the leadership if Yanaev also were
to fall "ill." (Julia Wishnevsky)

LENINGRAD LEADERSHIP APPEALS TO CIVILIANS AND SOLDIERS. The Leningrad
city and oblast Soviets held a joint emergency session August
20, a Leningrad journalist told RFE/RL yesterday. The meeting
adopted an appeal to residents of Leningrad and oblast and to
soldiers. The appeal was signed by Leningrad's mayor and deputy
mayor, as well by as chairmen of the Leningrad city and oblast
Soviets. The appeal proclaimed all resolutions of the self-proclaimed
Emergency Committee illegal and called on people to obey orders
of the RSFSR leadership. (Vera Tolz)

RALLY IN LENINGRAD. Yesterday morning, Sobchak led a rally of
about 200,000 people in Palace Square in the center of Leningrad,
Interfax reported. The rally was also addressed by Academician
Likhachev, Leningrad City Soviet chairman Belyaev, and a local
priest, Radio Moscow-1 reported. The meeting adopted a resolution
in support of the RSFSR leadership. An independent journalist
in Leningrad also told RFE/RL yesterday that many enterprises
in the city have said they are ready to hold strikes for an indefinite
period until organizers of the coup are arrested. (Vera Tolz)


RSFSR OBLASTS SUPPORT YELTSIN. Governments in the Soviet Far
Eastern oblasts of Kamchatka, Magadan, and Sakhalin have declared
their support for the position adopted by Yeltsin, Interfax reported
August 20. Radio Vilnius in Lithuanian reported that Volgograd,
Smolensk, Kirov, and Chelyabinsk oblast deputies also adopted
support for Yeltsin. The radio quoted Lithuania's media representative
in Moscow as saying the RSFSR president is also backed by the
city Soviets of Leningrad, Moscow, Petrozavodsk and Novgorod.
(Vera Tolz)

KOMSOMOL CONDEMNS COUP. Vremya and Radio Moscow reported August
20 that the Central Committee of the Komsomol issued an appeal
calling on the leaders of the republics, the USSR Supreme Soviet,
and all political parties and movements to find a political solution
to the crisis and to avoid the use of force. According to the
official media, the Komsomol asked citizens, especially young
people and young soldiers, to refrain from acts that could be
considered provocative. Indepedent journalists in Moscow told
RFE/RL, however, that the summary of the text of the appeal carried
by the official media was inadequate, failing to cite the main
points. The journalists, who obtained the full text of the appeal,
said it strongly condemned the change of power in Moscow as unconstitutional
and criticized the ban on the publication of the main Komsomol
newspaper, Komsomol'skaya pravda. (Dawn Mann and Vera Tolz)

UNION OF JOURNALISTS CONDEMN MEDIA CRACKDOWN. On August 20, Vremya
presented an inadequate summary of the statement made by the
USSR Union Journalists in connection with the change of power
in Moscow. Vremya quoted the statement simply as saying that
the Union is concerned that the publication of some periodicals
is temporarily stopped. In fact, according to independent journalists
in Moscow who obtained the text of the statement, the Union strongly
condemned the coup and demanded that measures taken against the
media be revoked. The Union called on journalists working at
those papers whose publication is permitted "to tell only the
truth." Meanwhile, on August 20, Soviet newspapers which are
allowed to publish carried nearly identical front pages, reprinting
official communiques from the GKChP. The inside pages, composed
mostly of TASS reports, were also similar. (Vera Tolz)

RUSSIAN TV AND RADIO OFFICIALLY BANNED. Central Soviet TV reported
August 20 that the new authorities have officially banned RSFSR
Television and Radio. And yet on August 20, RSFSR TV managed
to go on the air for a short time. It reported on the meeting
in Leningrad at which several hundred thousand people were reportedly
present. The TV also broadcast a videotape of Yeltsin's speech
which he delivered standing on the tank on August 19. On August
20, Russian TV representatives also filmed a new appeal by Yeltsin
from the barricaded Russian parliament building, calling for
support. A copy of the broadcast was made available to the international
news films agency, VISNEWS. (Vera Tolz)

BANNED PAPERS APPEAR IN MOSCOW. The Moscow newspapers Megapolis-express,
Kuranty, and Moscow News were published on August 20 despite
the ban. Copies were distributed to residents of the city and
posted in subway stations and other places. A member of Moscow
News' editorial broad told RFE/RL that access to all publishing
houses is virtually blocked, and therefore journalists prepare
special issues of banned newspapers using typewriters and xeroxes.
A Moscow journalist told RFE/RL that the independent Moscow radio
station "Ekho Moskvy" went on the air at 2:00 P.M. yesterday,
but was again switched off in the evening. A new underground
radio station called "M" was set up in Moscow yesterday and manages
to broadcast from time to time. Reformist journalists are planning
to meet in Moscow today to discuss how to continue getting information
to the public despite the ban. (Vera Tolz)

RADIO BROADCASTS FROM RSFSR PARLIAMENT. A radio station has been
set up within the RSFSR Supreme Soviet building, TASS in English
reported yesterday. Chairman of the RSFSR Parliament's Foreign
Relations Committee, Vladimir Lukin, said it would begin broadcasts
the same day. Gennadii Burbulis, a spokesman for Yeltsin, said
the equipment brought into the building will enable them to broadcast
"to most of Europe." (Carla Thorson)

BANNED NEWSPAPERS TO PUBLISH JOINT ISSUE. Eleven liberal newspapers,
banned by the August 19 resolution of the GKChP, prepared a new
joint paper which is to be distributed in Moscow this evening
(August 21). Deputy chief editor of Moscow News, Stepan Kiselev,
told RFE/RL today that the paper was printed outside Moscow.
He said the paper contains all the information on the current
situation that could be gathered. (Vera Tolz)

EXCEPTION MADE FOR ULTRANATIONALIST PAPERS. RFE/RL was told yesterday
that two literary newspapers were published August 20 with the
blessing of the GKChP in addition to the eight listed as officially
permitted. They were Literaturnaya Rossiya and Den', both known
as mouthpieces of hardline Russian nationalists in the USSR and
RSFSR Writers' Unions. As far as is known, all other cultural
and literary periodicals, even the weekly Sovetskaya kul'tura
published under the auspices of the CPSU Central Committee, are
banned by the GKChP. (Julia Wishnevsky)

MEDIA IN LENINGRAD. All Leningrad newspapers, except for the
organ of the city soviet, Vechernii Leningrad, were published
yesterday, a local journalist told RFE/RL. These include such
outspoken newspapers as the local Komsomol periodical, Smena,
and the newly created organ of the local Soviet, Nevskoe vremya.
The independent Leningrad radio station, "Svobodnyi gorod," was
also able to resume broadcasting on August 20. According to Radio
Mayak, it has been broadcasting documents issued by the RSFSR
leadership. (Vera Tolz)

FOREIGN CURRENCY SALES HALTED. The USSR Gosbank announced August
20 that the sale of foreign currency to individual Soviet citizens
who were planning to travel abroad on private trips would be
temporarily halted, starting August 21, TASS reported August
20. The decision was attributed to foreign currency difficulties
caused by the failure of some enterprises to meet their commitments
to repatriate foreign currency revenues from their exports. (Keith
Bush)

PATRIARCH APPEALS TO GKChP. TASS reported on August 20 that Patriarch
Aleksii II said in an appeal that it is necessary to hear Gorbachev's
voice in order to learn his opinion about present events. The
Patriarch stressed that the circumstances of Gorbachev's removal
remain unclear, which upsets millions of citizens who are faced
with the question of the legality of the newly formed Emergency
Committee. The Patriarch called in his appeal upon "all children
of the Russian Orthodox Church, to all of our nation, especially
to our military to show control at this crucial moment and not
to let bloodshed occur." (Oxana Antic)

SITUATION IN THE BALTIC STATES

ESTONIA'S TV TOWER TAKEN OVER. Some 50-60 paratroopers took over
the Tallinn TV tower this morning, Estonian Radio reported. Five
TV workers were blockaded on the 22nd floor and were unharmed.
There were no reports of injuries to the troops or to some 100
people who turned out to protect the tower. Paratroopers allowed
the tower director to enter the building and work in his office,
under guard. The attackers did not make any demands, saying that
they were waiting for further orders from superiors. Tallinn
deputy city council chairman Andres Kork spoke to the troops
today, but was unable to persuade them to leave the tower. TV
broadcasts are only viewable within Tallinn and with the aid
of a small room antenna, but Estonian Radio continues to broadcast,
and newspapers appeared today. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA ENDS TRANSITION PERIOD, DECLARES INDEPENDENCE. The Estonian
Supreme Council last night declared full independence, thereby
ending the transition period begun on March 30, 1990. The declaration
calls for the establishment of a Constitutional Assembly to write
a new constitution which would be put to a referendum. The Assembly
itself will be appointed jointly by both the Supreme Council
and the Congress of Estonia, a move that finally closes the gap
between the two opposing movements. The declaration also called
for elections to a new parliament in 1992. (Riina Kionka)

WARNING STRIKE IN ESTONIA. Estonian Radio reported August 21
that many enterprises are planning to take part in the warning
strike set for today from 12:00 noon to 2:00 P.M. local time.
Tallinn's buses and streetcars are planning to participate, as
are a number of other sectors and enterprises. The strike is
being organized in Estonia by an ad-hoc organization that calls
itself the Republic of Estonia Committee for a Political General
Strike. The committee will decide after the test strike whether
to go along with Yeltsin's call for an extended general strike,
Estonian Radio reported. (Riina Kionka)

BALTIC GOVERNMENTS-IN-EXILE PLANNED. Estonian Radio reported
on August 20 that the three Baltic governments had authorized
representatives abroad to form exile governments in case the
elected governments find it impossible to function. Estonian
Radio, quoting the Baltic News Service, said that Estonian Foreign
Minister Lennart Meri, Deputy Chairman of the Latvian Supreme
Council Dainis Ivans, and Lithuania's Foreign Minister Algirdas
Saudargas were given the authority in light of developments in
the Baltic states. Meri is currently in Helsinki, Ivans is in
Stockholm, and Saudargas is in Warsaw. (Riina Kionka)

KOZYREV SUPPORTS THE BALTS. During a stopover visit to Paris,
RSFSR Foreign Minister Kozyrev called on Western states to take
advantage of the state of flux to grant formal recognition to
the Baltic States. Kozyrev's remarks came in an August 20 interview
with the BBC. (Riina Kionka)

TROOPS WILL NOT FIRE ON CIVILIANS. Estonian Radio reported on
August 21 that Chairman of the Supreme Council Arnold Ruutel
had reached an agreement with local military authorities by which
soldiers would not fire on civilians. The agreement was the result
of negotiations that began between Estonian state authorities
and the military yesterday. (Riina Kionka)

TROOPS SEIZE BROADCASTING POSTS. Early on August 21 Soviet troops
seized the broadcast facilities at Siauliai, Panevezys, and Viesintos.
Shortwave broadcasts in Lithuania have also been halted, but
medium wave radio from at least 3 facilities and a low power
TV station at the parliament building are still operating. (Saulius
Girnius)

LITHUANIAN CUSTOMS POSTS. Soviet military activity expanded to
include attacks on Lithuanian customs posts on August 20, Radio
Independent Lithuania reported that day. Soviet forces raided
the Panemune post near the Kaliningrad oblast, dragging the prefabricated
post with them across the border. Troops also attacked and destroyed
the Kybartai post on the same frontier. The Lazdijai post on
the Polish border was hit as well. No injuries have been reported
thus far. (Gytis Liulevicius)

CASUALTIES RISE IN LATVIA. Radio Riga reported on August 20 that
Juris Bekeris died of injuries sustained when Soviet troops seized
the Riga Radio Building. Another man also died in a Riga hospital
after his minibus had collided with a Soviet armed vehicle on
a bridge spanning the Daugava River; his name was not reported.
The first victim of Soviet violence was Raimonds Salmins, a driver
for the Latvian Writers' Association, who died from OMON bullets
on August 19 in Riga. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN PM STILL WORKING. Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis told
Radio Riga this morning (August 21) at 2:00 A.M. local time that
he and the Council of Ministers are continuing to work and that
the building is protected by forces loyal to the Latvian government.
Earlier, Western media had reported that Godmanis and Latvian
Security Department chief Janis Baskers had been arrested and
that the Council of Ministers building had been taken over by
Soviet forces. These reports probably stemmed from that fact
that on the evening of August 20, the Council of Ministers had
received anonymous threats and a call from Kuzmin that he was
sending his men over to collect weapons, presumably because some
of the guards were armed. (Dzintra Bungs)

PEOPLE'S FRONT OF LATVIA ADVOCATES STRIKE. The People's Front
issued a statement on August 20 adding its support to the decision
of the Latvian Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers calling
for a political strike and demonstrations today (August 21) against
the Soviet occupation forces. At the same time, the PFL cautioned
against provocations and conflicts with the military. (Dzintra
Bungs)

SITUATION IN THE REPUBLICS

KRAVCHUK REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE GKChP. Leonid Kravchuk, chairman
of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, is reported to have telephoned
Luk'yanov this morning, saying that personally he does not and
never will recognize the State Committee on the State of Emergency.
The report comes from Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, co-chairman of the
Council of Advisers to the Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme
Soviet, who spoke with Vladimir Grinev, deputy chairman of the
Ukrainian Supreme Soviet earlier today. Kravchuk also told Lukyanov
that the Ukrainian parliament will convene an extraordinary session,
probably on August 23, and that he was confident that it would
not recognize the legitimacy of the GKChP. Further, the Ukrainian
leader said that the USSR Supreme Soviet cannot be convened in
the absence of Gorbachev and that an appeal to the citizens of
Ukraine to ignore decisions taken by the emergency committee
will be released immediately. (Roman Solchanyk)

PRESIDIUM OF UKRAINIAN SUPREME SOVIET ISSUES STATEMENT. The Presidium
of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet yesterday issued a statement
after discussing developments in the republic and the country
following the formation of the State Committee on the State of
Emergency, Radio Kiev reported August 20. Key aspects of the
statement were described by Kravchuk in an interview with Radio
Kiev yesterday. They are: (1) a full analysis of the situation
will be made by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet after the extraordinary
session of the USSR Supreme Soviet adopts its decisions; (2)
a state of emergency in Ukraine has not been introduced and the
Presidium of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet sees no justification
for its introduction; (3) decisions of the emergency committee
have no legal force in the republic prior to decisions adopted
by the USSR Supreme Soviet; and (4) the Presidium of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet will continue to defend the state sovereignty
of Ukraine, human rights, and the democratic achievements initiated
in 1985. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN CP POSITION. First Secretary of the Communist Party
of Ukraine Stanislav Hurenko said that the republican Party organization
fully supports the position taken by Kravchuk in his statement
on August 19, Ukrinform-TASS reported August 20. In his statement,
Kravchuk called on citizens to remain calm. (Roman Solchanyk)


SOVIET TROOPS MOVE INTO KIEV. As Ukraine's Parliamentary leadership
was meeting in an emergency session yesterday, a column of more
than 30,000 Soviet troops were seen moving towards Kiev, reported
Western agencies. The troops had appeared to stop their advance
momentarily last night, but an RFE/RL correspondent in Ukraine
today reported that late last evening troops had moved within
the city limits of Kiev. Ukrainian Parliament Deputy Levko Lukyanenko
believed the columns included the Chernigov Tank Division, the
Special Troops Division based in Kremenchug, and divisions from
Bela Tserkov. (Natalie Melnyczuk)

GEORGIAN PRESIDENT APPEALS TO WEST. In an appeal received August
20 by RFE/RL, Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia has called
on the West to support democracy, pluralism and democratically-elected
presidents and parliaments in the USSR, and to recognize the
independence of those republics such as Georgia which have democratically
elected governments, which he claims now face "direct military
aggression." (Liz Fuller)

NAZARBAEV DENOUNCES COUP. Yesterday evening, TASS issued a statement
by Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev, denouncing the GKChP
as illegal and its coup as a betrayal of the USSR's effort to
become a law-based state. Nazarbaev acknowledged that he had
been impatient with Gorbachev's unwillingness to intervene decisively
to end the economic crisis in the country, but made clear that
he had wanted Gorbachev to take more radical steps. When the
GKChP acted without the approval of the USSR Supreme Soviet and
the republics, it undermined the republican declarations of sovereignty
and ignored the decision to introduce a market economy. Nazarbaev
demanded to hear the opinion of Gorbachev, and called not only
for a session of the USSR Supreme Soviet, but also for the Congress
of Peoples' Deputies to meet within ten days to set a date for
the popular election of the president of the USSR. (Bess Brown)


AZAT MOVEMENT APPEALS FOR CALM. Yesterday the RFE/RL Kazakh service
learned that Kazakhstan's largest non-Communist political movement,
Azat, has appealed to the republican population for calm, because
any disturbances could be used as the pretext for the imposition
of a state of emergency. The group also warned of the possibility
of a repetition of the events of December, 1986, in Alma-Ata.
Last week Azat members staged a hunger strike to protest Nazarbaev's
intention to sign the Union Treaty. Faced with the coup in Moscow,
the group seems to have rallied behind Nazarbaev, whose resignation
they had sought earlier. (Bess Brown)

KIRGIZ DEMOCRATS SUPPORT YELTSIN. The Kirgiz Democratic Movement,
Kygyzstan's most largest democratic group, informed the RFE/RL
Kirgiz service that yesterday the organization sent a telegram
to Yeltsin, condemning the unconstitutional removal of Gorbachev
and supporting Yeltsin's refusal to accept the rule of the self-proclaimed
emergency committee. The telegram also expressed assurance that
by working together, the democratic movements and the legal governments
of the sovereign republics will protect democracy. (Hakim Oezgen)


KIRGIZ DEMOCRATS' APPEAL TO REPUBLIC. On August 20, the Kirgiz
Democratic Movement issued an appeal to the people of Kyrgyzstan.
A representative read the text to the RFE/RL Kirgiz service.
The appeal linked the unconstitutional coup in Moscow to fears
that the signing of the Union treaty would have meant limits
on the power of the military-industrial complex. The appeal called
on republican law enforcement agencies to prevent the formation
of illegal power structures such as the GKChP, and demanded the
reinstatement of Gorbachev and the implementation of the Union
treaty. It also demanded that action be taken against the leaders
of the coup, and that the republican government should ignore
the orders of the GKChP. (Hakim Oezgen)

MOLDAVIANS VOW TO RESIST COUP, CALL FOR INDEPENDENCE. A rally
by over 100,000 people in Kishinev's central square August 20
was addressed by President Mircea Snegur, Parliament Chairman
Alexandru Mosanu, government and parliamentary officials, and
representatives of political parties and movements. Snegur in
his speech vowed "not to budge one iota from the policy line
aiming for complete independence". He and the other speakers
attacked the GKChP, vowed to resist any attempt by its representatives
or the military to take control in Moldavia, and strongly affirmed
Moldavia's support for the Baltic States, Yeltsin, "Democratic
Russia," Popov, Sobchak, and the people of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Representatives of several recently established, democratic groups
of Russian-speakers in Moldavia addressed the rally endorsing
Moldavian aspirations. The resolution adopted by acclamation
demanded: dissolution of the "reactionary junta" and criminal
prosecution of those responsible for the coup; release of Gorbachev
and his reinstatement as USSR President; an early declaration
of independence by the Moldavian parliament; and a ban on the
CPSU in Moldavia and confiscation of its assets. (Vladimir Socor)


MOLDAVIAN POPULAR MOBILIZATION TO DEFEND INSTITUTIONS. Beginning
in the afternoon of August 19 and still continuing, tens of thousands
of Moldavians have massed in front of government buildings, television
and radio studios, telecommunications centers, newspapers offices,
local administration buildings in various towns, and other potential
prime targets of military seizure. Barricades of heavy vehicles
have also been deployed around many such buildings. Individual
contingents arriving from rural areas have each been assigned
specific buildings to guard by a specially constituted command
(see below). (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN LEGISLATION VOIDS GKChP's MEASURES IN REPUBLIC. On
August 20, Snegur issued a decree declaring all of the Emergency
Committee's decisions and legislation as null and void in Moldavia,
reconfirming the precedence of Moldavian law over all-union law
and over Emergency Committee decisions, and stipulating that
any Moldavian officials complying with Emergency Committee decisions
would face criminal prosecution. On the same day, Snegur decreed
the establishment of a Moldavian "Security Council" with the
mandate to coordinate the civilian population's assistance in
defending the republic. Chaired by Snegur, the Security Council
is comprised of the Chairman of Parliament, the Prime Minister,
the Ministers of Internal and of External Affairs, the head of
the government's Department for Military Affairs, and the chief
of the Moldavian KGB (who is considered loyal to the republic).
(Vladimir Socor)


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Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
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Updated: 1998-11-

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