|A tablecloth restaurant is still one of the great rewards of civilization. - Harry Golden|
No. 160, 23 August 1991
USSR COUP AFTERMATH--SITUATION IN THE CENTER AND RSFSR COUP LEADERS IDENTIFIED. In an interview with RFE/RL yesterday (August 22), RSFSR People's Deputy Vladimir Lysenko, who was a member of the RSFSR delegation that escorted USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev back to Moscow, identified four officials who tried to coerce and threaten the USSR President on August 18. They were Oleg Baklanov, Anatolii Luk'yanov, Vladimir Kryuchkov, and Dmitrii Yazov. At his press conference earlier yesterday, Gorbachev refrained from naming these people who have emerged as the ringleaders of the coup, rather than Gennadii Yanaev. Lysenko confirmed that Gorbachev had been particularly hurt by the role played in the junta by Yazov and Kryuchkov, whom Gorbachev admitted he had trusted blindly. (Julia Wishnevsky) MORE ARRESTS TO FOLLOW. Vremya of August22 reported that the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium, meeting earlier that day, had approved the request of the USSR General Prosecutor to lift the immunity of USSR People's Deputies involved in the coup. They were two members of the GKChP, Vasilii Starodubtsev and Oleg Baklanov, as well as Gorbachev's former chief of staff Valerii Boldin, Politburo member and Party Secretary Oleg Shenin, and first deputy Defense Minister Valentin Varennikov. Baklanov and Starodubtsev today are reported to have been arrested, according to Western agencies. According to Vesti of the same day, the Moscow City Soviet agreed to lift the immunity of Yurii Prokof'ev, first secretary of the Moscow Party Committee and a member of the CPSU Politburo. (Julia Wishnevsky and Dawn Mann) PAVLOV DISMISSED. Gorbachev formally dismissed Valentin Pavlov on August 22 as USSR Prime Minister, TASS reported the same day. No acting prime minister was named, nor was any mention made of Vitalii Doguzhiev, who took over as acting prime minister when Pavlov was suddenly taken ill earlier this week. (Dawn Mann) LUK'YANOV SUSPENDED. Anatolii Luk'yanov, whose involvement in the abortive coup d'état is being investigated, has been suspended as chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Radio Rossii reported August 22. The August 22 session of the USSR Sup-reme Soviet Presidium was chaired by Ivan Laptev, chairman of the Council of the Union, who will, together with Rafik Nishanov, chairman of the Council of Nationalities, temporarily act as head of the Supreme Soviet. The Presidium also decided that Laptev and Nishanov will chair the Supreme Soviet session scheduled to meet August 26. Vremya reported last night that the Presidium had agreed on the agenda of the next session. Among other things, legislators are to discuss the role played in the coup by members of the USSR Supreme Soviet. (Dawn Mann and Julia Wishnevsky) MOSCOW SOVIET LAUNCHES INVESTIGATIONS. Radio Rossii reported on August 22 that a working commission charged with investigating the activity of local officials during the coup was created at a joint session of the Moscow regional soviet executive committee and presidium held the same day. Local people's deputies suspected of complicity will be stripped of their parliamentary immunity, if necessary. Moscow regional soviet chairman Ivan Cherepanov, the only deputy to have abstained from an otherwise unanimous decision to support RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin (adopted on August 19), will be one of the first to be examined. (Dawn Mann) CPSU CC TO INVESTIGATE COUP PARTICIPANTS. The CPSU Central Committee Secretariat yesterday denounced those of its members who participated in the failed coup, TASS reported. In a report, the Secretariat claimed that their actions were carried out "secretly" from the CPSU leadership and did great damage to both the Party and the country. The Secretariat ordered the Party's Central Control Commission to investigate CC members who were involved in the coup and to "adopt appropriate decisions." It is worth recalling, however, that the CPSU remained silent during the coup until it was virtually over. (Sallie Wise) GORBACHEV TO MEET REPUBLICAN LEADERS TODAY. Gorbachev announced in his address on Soviet television on August 22, and at his press conference, also carried by Soviet TV yesterday, that he would be meeting the leaders of nine republics today (August 23) to discuss urgent matters. He told viewers that he had already discussed future plans with republican leaders, and a new date for signing the Union treaty was likely to be fixed in the near future. Gorbachev said that there should be no slippage in the timetable for adopting a new constitution and a new electoral law and for holding parliamentary and presidential elections. He added that events had shown that any drawing out of the transitional period would be dangerous for democratic transformations. (Ann Sheehy) GORBACHEV NAMES TEMPORARY DEFENSE, KGB, AND MVD CHIEFS. Gorbachev moved quickly August 22 to replace coup leaders who headed three key institutions: the Ministry of Defense, the KGB, and the MVD, Soviet media reported yesterday. Chief of the General Staff General Mikhail Moiseev was named temporary acting Minister of Defense; Deputy KGB Chairman Leonid Shebarshin was appointed acting KGB chief; and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Vasilii Trushin was named temporary Internal Affairs Minister. (Sallie Wise) MOISEEV APPOINTED ACTING DEFENSE MINISTER. Gorbachev's appointment of Moiseev as a temporary replacement for General Dmitrii Yazov comes as something from a surprise. The fifty-two year-old Moiseev has, since his surprise naming as General Staff Chief in December of 1988, emerged as an outspoken opponent of Gorbachev's domestic reform policies, and particularly of the liberal media and independence movements on the periphery. He was an ally of Yazov in Defense Ministry efforts to slow the military reform process, though he was not as militant as Yazov on a number of other issues. He has also criticized "new thinking" in foreign policy although, of late, he has participated increasingly in arms control negotiations with the US and appears to be a proponent of the process. The Moiseev appoint-ment represents more a policy of continuity than one of change in the Defense Ministry. (Stephen Foye) MOISEEV'S ROLE IN THE COUP: NON-PARTICIPANT. The appointment is also surprising because of speculation that Moiseev played either an active or passive role in the recent coup. US intelligence sources reportedly believe Moiseev was not involved, and Radio Rossii on August 22 appeared to confirm that view. On the same day, Interfax reported that Moiseev had told liberal Interregional Group member Konstantin Lubenchenko that the coup had taken him unawares, and that he was disgusted by the actions of its leaders. According to Radio Moscow, Moiseev said in the August 22 Komsomolskaya pravda that he had no authority to order troops against the people, and that the army should not be held responsible for the coup. (Stephen Foye) A BEHIND THE SCENES ROLE? According to Radio Moscow and Vesti of August 22, however, an Izvestia report of that day casts suspicion on this interpretation. The report refers to a conversation with the Moscow Military District Chief of Staff, a General Lieutenant Zolotov, held several days before the coup was launched. The context of the conversation is not clear in the Radio report, but apparently Zolotov was asked if the military had formulated plans for seizing various buildings, and he replied that "oral" orders had been given by Deputy Defense Minister Vladislav Achalov, while coded telegrams to the same effect had been issued by Moiseev. Vesti interpreted the report to mean that during the coup a troop division had been deployed to Moscow on the secret orders of Moiseev. (Stephen Foye) WHO IS ACHALOV? Colonel General Vladislav Achalov, the former commander of Soviet Airborne Troops, was appointed to a newly created Deputy Defense Ministry post in December of last year with "unspecified responsibilities." In the Izvestia article, Zolotov identifies him as "Deputy Defense Minister for Emergency Situations." This designation would fit some of Achalov's earlier press statements on his new duties, and would also be consistent with his earlier profile as Airborne Forces Commander, where he was active in the deployment of troops in the Baltic republics and in other trouble spots. While his name has not been mentioned as a conspirator, he seems a likely candidate to have been involved. (Stephen Foye) GOVOROV OUSTED, NEW CIVIL DEFENSE CHIEF APPOINTED. According to Western agencies August22, Gorbachev's first official act upon arriving in Moscow was to fire the Deputy Defense Minister for Civil Defense, Army General Vladimir Govorov. Govorov has not been mentioned as a conspirator, and reportedly was being transferred to another post rather than being arrested. He was appointed in 1986, and is a USSR People's Deputy from the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. Colonel General Boris Pyankov has been named to replace Govorov. Commander of the Siberian Military District since the spring of 1989, the fifty-six year-old Pyankov is also a USSR People's Deputy (from Novosibirsk). He is a former First Deputy Commander of the Odessa Military District, and subsequently served in Afghanistan. (Stephen Foye) YELTSIN ORDERS ARMY'S PARTY CELLS DISBANDED. Yeltsin issued a decree on August 22 that ordered the disbanding of Communist Party cells in all army units located in the RSFSR, Western news agencies reported yesterday. "Party leaders in the armed forces directly supported the coup d'état and took part in it," the decree reportedly said. Earlier fears that Yeltsin would ban Party cells in the army is thought to be one of the reasons that Monday's coup attempt was launched. (Stephen Foye) OFFICERS WANT COMMANDERS OUSTED. TASS reported on August 22 that army, KGB, and Internal Ministry soldiers and officers who had defended Yeltsin have sent the RSFSR President an appeal to remove those high-ranking officers participating in the coup. The appeal also called for immediate removal of Party cells from the military, KGB, and MVD. (Stephen Foye) WHAT'S THE ROLE OF NIKOLAI STOLYAROV? Soviet TV viewers could recognize Nikolai Stolyarov, reformist chairman of the RSFSR CP Control Commission, among members of the RSFSR delegation that accompanied Gorbachev back to Moscow. Apart from his position in the RSFSR Communist Party, Stolyarov is rumored to be proposed for the leadership of the Democratic Communist Party of Russia and may be a personal friend of Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi. Stolyarov wore his uniform of Soviet Army Colonel. Was he that because he had defended the Russian White House as a military man or because of his role as a Party reformer? (Julia Wishnevsky) PRAVDA CONDEMNS POSITION OF POLITBURO. The working collective of Pravda issued a statement, carried in the newspaper's issue for August 23, saying that it [the collective] demands the transformation of the daily into an organ of all Communists of the country. The statement said that the newspaper should cease to be the main organ of the CPSU CC, since the CPSU leadership (including the Central Committee and the Politburo) failed to take a principled stand during the coup. The statement proposed discussing the issue at the 29th Party Congress, TASS reported the evening of August 22. (Vera Tolz) TASS DENIES THAT IT RECEIVED GKChP DOCUMENTS IN ADVANCE. On August 22 TASS denied an allegation, reported in Nezavisimaya gazeta the same day and repeated by RSFSR TV, to the effect that the management of the main government agency received all the GKChP's main documents as early as the night of August 17-18. TASS said that in fact Deputy Director General of TASS Gennadii Shishkin was summoned to the Kremlin at 5:00 a.m. on August19 and was ordered to distribute the material at 6:00 a.m. TASS's Director General Lev Spiridonov was on vacation at the time. (Vera Tolz) CENTRAL TV EMPLOYEES DEMAND DEPAR-TIFICATION. Many journalists working at Central Soviet TV held a meeting on August 22 to support their demand for the prompt implementation within their organization of Yeltsin's decree on departification. RSFSR TV reported that the journalists also demanded an investigation of the role in the coup of the head of Central TV, Leonid Kravchenko, and his deputies. The journalists also demanded that Central TV be subordinate to "a Council set up of the country's prominent people." Yesterday, Yeltsin stated that until the situation in the country is clarified, he has transferred central TV to the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. (Vera Tolz) KRAVCHENKO IS OUT! TSN reported this morning (August 23) that it had investigated contradictory reports on who is in charge of Soviet radio and TV at the moment. RSFSR TV had reported yesterday that although Yeltsin issued a decree ordering Kravchenko's dismissal, he was still performing his duties. (Kravchenko is not subordinate to Yeltsin and therefore he apparently ignored the decree.) TSN quoted First Deputy Chairman of the State TV and Radio Company Vitalii Lazutkin as saying that he, Lazutkin, is presently serving as the company's acting chairman in accordance with Yeltsin's decision. (Julia Wishnevsky and Vera Tolz) IZVESTIA STAFF VOTES TO SACK EDITORS. Journalists voted to sack top editors of Izvestia for their collaboration with the plotters of the coup. Interfax reported the news on August 22 and Izvestia itself on August 23. The staff of the newspaper voted to sack editor-in-chief Nikolai Efimov and two editorial board members, Sevruk and Mamleev. (The staff sharply protested when the three men were appointed.) The newspaper's staff also voted to dissociate it from the USSR Supreme Soviet, whose Presidium is the official founder of the paper. (Vera Tolz) RSFSR TV CRITICIZES SOME OF GORBACHEV'S STATEMENTS. In his remark at his press conference yesterday about his adherence to the socialist course, Gorbachev demonstrated that he remains faithful to his traditional stand, RSFSR TV's Vesti news program observed August 22. Vesti also criticized Gorbachev for his positive comment about Politburo member Aleksandr Dzasokhov's stand during the coup. In fact, Vesti emphasized, it was Dzasokhov who demanded the demotion of Central TV commentator Sergei Medvedev, who expressed support for Yeltsin on the Vremya newscast on the first day of the coup. (Vera Tolz) WESTERN ECONOMIC AID RESTORED. In the wake of the abortive coup, the USSR Government sent an appeal to its Western trade partners to refrain from all steps that would curtail economic relations, a German government spokesman disclosed August 22. Later that day, US President George Bush declared that the US is lifting its freeze on economic help to the Soviet Union (although nobody seemed to know what programs had been legally frozen). The European Community reinstated its billion-dollar aid package. The Australian government restored a $390 million line of credit to the USSR, and Japan signified its readiness to renew an offer of $100million in loans to the Soviet Union for emergency food purchases. (Keith Bush) WESTERN ASSISTANCE TO BE STEPPED UP? German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher said Western nations must give Moscow large-scale aid to prevent another coup attempt. British Prime Minister John Major promised that he will press the G-7 nations to speed up help for Soviet economic reforms. Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky declared that more help for the USSR was necessary and that it should not be delayed until the USSR completes its transition to the market. The European Community signalled that it may push for quicker Soviet integration into international financial institutions. And the EBRD debated whether to raise its limit of $126 million in loans to the USSR over the forthcoming three years. (Keith Bush) IMF ASSOCIATE STATUS FOR REPUBLICS? TASS of August 22 cites the Japanese Kyodo news agency to the effect that the IMF may shortly be asked to grant the individual union republics of the USSR special associate status in the IMF and World Bank, in view of their greater influence in the wake of the abortive coup. This status, which was proposed by the G-7 summit members for the USSR as a whole, would give the republics access to technical assistance and advice but not to funding. A Japanese deputy foreign minister is reported to be en route to the US and Western Europe to discuss the proposal. (Keith Bush) PLANS FOR PAPAL VISIT TO USSR WILL GO AHEAD. Western agencies on August 22 cited Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro as saying that it is more important than ever for Pope John Paul II to visit the USSR. He added that the present crisis in the USSR will not affect plans for a papal trip to USSR which might occur next year. (Oxana Antic) SITUATION IN THE BALTIC STATES VILNIUS TV PROGRAMS RETURN. After more than 7 months of occupation, the Soviet army left the Vilnius TV studios and transmission tower on August 22, Radio Independent Lithuania reported. As troops began to withdraw from other, more recently seized installations, Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis contacted Moiseev to inquire about the possibility of returning buildings seized in January. Moiseev promised to call Landsbergis back, but did not. Instead, Landsbergis asked the newly-appointed commander of the Vilnius garrison Colonel Valery Frolov to begin the withdrawal, and he did. Broadcasts from the TV facilities began later that day. (Gytis Liulevicius) LITHUANIAN COMMUNIST PARTY OUTLAWED. The Lithuanian parliament banned the Lithuanian Communist Party on August 22, Radio Independent Lithuania reported August 23. The resolution cites the Party as having attempted to overthrow the government in January, and having followed the USSR coup leaders' orders on Lithuanian territory. The parliament recognized that "illegal Lithuanian Communist Party activity continues," and decided to "prohibit such activity on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania." The resolution calls for obtaining documentary material from the USSR relating to the Lithuanian Communist Party. The Lithuanian prosecutor-general is to investigate the "legal responsibility" of people who participated in the January events or the August coup. (Gytis Liulevicius) COMMUNIST PARTY PROPERTY. In accompanying legislation, the parliament passed a law "on the seizure of Lithuanian Communist Party property," Radio Independent Lithuania reported August 23. "The property of the Lithuanian Communist Party and the CPSU illegally functioning on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania is transferred without compensation to the Republic of Lithuania," according to the law, and anyone attempting to obstruct its execution will be prosecuted.Early that morning the Lithuanian authorities hadalready taken control over the Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee building in Vilnius. (Gytis Liulevicius) DECISION ON SOVIET ARMED FORCES. On August 22 the Lithuanian parliament passed a decision on the military presence in Lithuania, Radio Independent Lithuania reported August 23. It demanded that the USSR government fulfill its pledges to increase trust with Lithuania and remove as soon as possible all its army structures, paratrooper units, KGB and MVD troops from the republic. The Lithuanian government was authorized to implement immediately the dissolution of the KGB and MVD units and to take over all documents and other archives of the NKVD, MVD, and KGB on their activities in Lithuania. The decision also authorized the Lithuanian Prosecutor to conduct investigations on the criminal activities of these units made after March 11, 1990. (Saulius Girnius) ESTONIA TO PUNISH COUP SUPPORTERS. Estonia's Prime Minister has ordered Estonia's Prosecutor General to start criminal proceedings against those in Estonia who supported the coup "in words and deeds." According to the Estonian Foreign Ministry on August 23, Savisaar signed the order yesterday to sack the heads of several all-Union controlled factories, to punish those municipal leaders in primarily Russian-speaking northeastern Estonia who supported the coup, to close down the Soviet Navy-Intermovement radio station "Nadezhda," which broadcast in support of the coup, and to order local governments to take similar actions. The government order also created a number of special investigative commissions to look into the role of the military, various political parties and work collectives in supporting the coup. Savisaar also told reporters on August 22 that Estonia would demand the dismissal of military commanders who supported the coup, would seek an end to all KGB activities in the republic, and would begin work toward a treaty governing the stationing of troops there. (Riina Kionka) ESTONIAN MINISTER SUSPICIOUS. Estonia's Minister without portfolio responsible for Nationality Relations Artur Kuznetsov is suspicious of Gorbachev's role in this week's putsch. Kuznetsov told Western agencies August 22 that he could not understand why Gorbachev, as Chief of the Soviet armed services, was unable to rally the military around him or why the Soviet President's personal security failed to act. "It is clear to me that this was no authentic putsch," Kuznetsov said. Kuznetsov's remarks came before Gorbachev's press conference on the evening of August 22, in which he explained the circumstances of his three-day detention. (Riina Kionka) LATVIAN LEADER FEARS OMON ATTACK. Deputy Chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council Andrejs Krastins told World Federation of Free Latvians representative Roberts Dambergs in Canadaon August 22 that OMON units may be preparing to attack the Latvian government and Supreme Council. He said that OMON troops in Latvia had been acting as if no one were in control since the coup attempt in Moscow failed. Krastins called on USSR President Gorbachev to prevent any plans for an attack, according to a WFFL report of August 22. Radio Riga reported on August 23 that Soviet war veterans were urging pedestrians in Riga to support OMON and noted that rumors were being spread that somebody was planning to blow up the OMON bases. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY DECLARED TO BE OUTSIDE THE LAW. Voting 96 to 2, the Latvian Supreme Council declared this morning (August 23) that the Latvian Communist Party was unconstitutional in Latvia. The deputies also decided that LCP property must be returned to its rightful owners--the people of Latvia; to start legal proceedings against those LCP members who had actively support the coup in Moscow; to order all banks in Latvia to freeze LCP accounts; and to transfer party documents and archives to the State Archive. Radio Riga also reported on August 23 that local LCP organizations and organizations subordinate to the party had started either to remove their archives or to burn them. The Supreme Council appointed a committee, headed by Deputy Eduards Berklavs, to look after the question on party property and archives. (Dzintra Bungs) LATVIAN SUPREME COUNCIL DISCUSSES FUTURE OF KGB. The Latvian Supreme Council today started to discuss a proposal, drafted by Deputy Juris Bojars, to place the Latvian SSR KGB organization under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Latvia until such time that the issue is completely resolved. Present at the session was the republican KGB chairman Edmunds Johansons, who said that he could comment on the issues involved in detail only in a closed session of the Supreme Council. The deputies are now meeting in a closed session to hear what Johansons has to say. (Dzintra Bungs) ESTONIA SEEKS DIPLOMATIC RECOGNITION. Estonia's Foreign Minister Lennart Meri is making a formal appeal to all CSCE countries to recognize Estonia's declaration of independence. The Estonian Foreign Ministry reported on August 22 that Meri has begun sending identical appeals for recognition, along with copies of the Estonian Supreme Council's August 20 declaration of full independence, to all 34 CSCE member countries. Meri, who traveled to Helsinki with orders to form a government-in-exile if necessary when the coup began on Monday, plans to return to Tallinn today, August 23. (Riina Kionka) ESTONIA RECOGNIZES LATVIAN INDEPE-NDENCE. Chairman of the Estonian Supreme Council Arnold Ruutel sent a message to the Latvian Supreme Council on August 22 saying that Estonia is ready to restore diplomatic relations with its southern neighbor. "The Republic of Estonia recognizes the restoration of the Republic of Latvia as an independent state and as a subject of international law, and considers the legitimate power on the territory of the Republic of Latvia to be solely vested in the Supreme Council of the Republic of Latvia and its bodies of government," the statement said. ETA reported the declaration on August 22. (Riina Kionka) GORBUNOVS ASKS FOR INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF BALTIC STATES. Addressing the North American, Eastern and Western European parliamentarians taking part in the conference on "The Baltic States in the New Europe," Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs said that the conference was not called merely to observe the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but rather to seek a solution to the injustices stemming from the pact. He asked the participants to work actively for the de facto and de jure recognition of the Baltic States by their own countries. Despite the uncertain situation in the Baltics and the USSR during the past days, the conference started, as planned, in Tallinn on August 21, moved to Riga on August 22, and will end in Vilnius today (August 23), reported Radio Riga on August 22. (Dzintra Bungs) SENTIMENT FOR RECOGNITION OF BALTICS GROWS. On August 22 Denmark's Minister of Foreign Affairs Uffe Ellemann-Jensen discussed with his Latvian counterpart Janis Jurkans procedures for Denmark's recognition of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as independent states, reported Western agencies that day. Copenhagen, reportedly, would establish ties with the Baltic states once their independence has been agreed with the USSR government. Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke told the press on August 23 that while his country has not yet recognized the independence declarations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, such action now was "inevitable." (Dzintra Bungs) PRESSURE INCREASES IN GERMANY TOO. Pressure for recognition of the Baltic declarations of independence is growing in Germany. Chairman of the Free Democratic Party Otto Graf Lambsdorff told the Deutsche Welle on August 22 that there could be no return to the old power structures in the Soviet Union, and that the West would have to reconsider its position on the Baltic states in the wake of the failed coup. Lambsdorff said that it was not only the people of Moscow and Leningrad who went into the streets and opposed the coup, but those of Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius as well. The same day, German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher said the attempted coup had moved the Baltic States closer to independence, and again urged independence negotiations between the Balts and Moscow. Genscher did not mention the repeated refusal of the USSR to conduct bona fide talks with the Baltic states since last year. (Riina Kionka) SITUATION IN THE REPUBLICS NAZARBAEV LEAVES POLITBURO AND CC. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev, outraged at an attempt to get him, as a Politburo member, to sign a CPSU Central Committee declaration supporting the GKChP, has resigned from both the Politburo and the CPSU CC, according to a TASS report of August 22. He declared that the CPSU CC Secretariat had thoroughly discredited itself during the crisis by sending out documents indicating support for the coup, and that he had rejected an attempt to call a CC plenum on August 20. Nazarbaev also announced that he intends to propose to the republican CP that it break with the CPSU. (Bess Brown) KAZAKHSTAN DEPOLITICIZES. At the same time that he resigned from his posts in the central structure of the CPSU, Nazarbaev issued a decree ordering the immediate cessation of the activities of existing organizations of political parties and mass movements in the republican prosecutor's office, law enforcement and security agencies, judicial agencies including the courts, and the customs service. The decree requires that law enforcement officials follow only the laws of Kazakhstan and prohibits discrimination on grounds of political activity. Nazarbaev's decree was reported by TASS on August 22; the previous day, Kirgiz president Askar Akaev issued an even wider-ranging depoliticization decree. (Bess Brown) AKAEV'S ATTACK ON CP CONTINUES. The central television news show TSN has just reported (August23) that Kyrgyzstan's president Askar Akaev has followed up his August 21 decree banning Party organizations from state agencies by nationalizing the building of the republican Communist Party. Akaev has been battling the strongly anti-democratic republican Party organization since his election last winter. The failure of the Moscow coup provides him with an opportunity to settle scores with hardline Communists in his own republic. (Bess Brown) KARIMOV LEAVES POLITBURO. Not to be outdone by Nazarbaev, Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov has also resigned from the CPSU Politburo, according to a TASS announcement of August 23. A statement of the republican CP buro in support of Karimov's decision explained that it was motivated by "the cowardly and unprincipled position of the orthodox part of the leadership of the CPSU Central Committee and Secretariat," which not only failed to condemn the anti-constitutional actions of the GKChP but tried to "disorient" members of the Uzbek CP and get them to support the coup. (Bess Brown) UKRAINE TO CONSIDER NATIONAL GUARD, CONTROL OVER ARMY. Ukraine's Parliamentary leadership met in Kiev August 22 and called for its own National Guard and control over the Soviet army on its territory, reported the official Ukraina News Service that same day. The Parliamentary leadership, chaired by Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid Kravchuk, called for a special session of Parliament on August 24 to discuss strengthening Ukraine's drive for sovereignty. The issue of Ukraine minting its own currency will once again be discussed at the meeting. (Natalie Melnyczuk) TRANSCAUCASIAN LEADERS' REACTIONS TO COUP. Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan told reporters in Erevan yesterday that Gorbachev facilitated this week's coup by making too many concessions to hard-liners. He was pleased that the coup had failed, but said the world should not confer on Gorbachev "laurels that only Boris Yeltsin deserves," Radio Erevan reported August 22. In a statement relayed by the Georgian presidential office to RFE/RL August 22, Georgian President Gamsakhurdia called upon the West to recognize the independence of those republics that have refused to sign the Union treaty. Gamsakhurdia said that the authorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, both of which oppose Georgian secession, had supported the coup. Azerbaijani President Mutalibov sent a telegram of congratulation to Yeltsin, Radio Moscow reported August 22. (Liz Fuller) ARRESTS IN AZERBAIJAN. Radio Rossii reported August 22 that the leaders of the democratic movement in Azerbaijan had been arrested, and that a demonstration in support of Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been brutally suppressed. (Liz Fuller) MOLDAVIA SUSPENDS REPUBLICAN CP PRESS, TASS OFFICE. The Moldavian Parliament's Presidium issued a decree August 22 suspending publication of the Communist press organs in the republic that supported the Moscow coup. The decree suspends, effective immediately, the Moldavian CP dailies Cuvantul and Sovetskaya Moldova and a number of other communist dailies and weeklies, including those of the would-be Dniester and Gagauz SSRs. The Presidium found that these publications printed the GKChP's decisions and messages of support to the junta, and misinformed about resistance to the coup. Editors of the publications affected may apply for registration of new publications in accordance with republican legislation. The decree also suspends until further notice the activity of the TASS office in Moldavia, accused of spreading disinformation favorable to the plotters. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIA EXTENDS HELPING HAND TO MOSCOW LIBERAL PRESS. Banned by the GKChP during the days of the coup, Moskovskie novosti and Nezavisimaya gazeta were invited by two weeklies in Kishinev to publish there. As a result, the current issues of MN and NG are being published in the Moldavian capital by Glasul Natiunii and Molodezh Moldavii, respectively. (Vladimir Socor) MOLDAVIAN VICTORY RALLY. A resister from the first hour, the Moldavian leadership made a triumphant appearance August 22 at a farewell rally for tens of thousands of rural volunteers, headed for home after helping protect Kishinev against the threat of military intervention during the days of the coup. Thanking the volunteers for their services, President Mircea Snegur, Parliament Chairman Alexandru Mosanu, and Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi also urged them not to retaliate against collaborators with the GKChP but to let the judicial process take its course. Snegur vowed "to continue the work of establishing genuine democracy and preparing the conditions for the real independence of the Republic of Moldavia," Moldovapres reported. (Vladimir Socor) USSR AND BALTIC STATES--OTHER NEWS MATYUKHIN ON UNION TREATY. The chairman of the RSFSR Central Bank, Georgii Matyukhin, told a London press conference August 22 that the planned Union Treaty is an ineffective compromise and must be reworked, Western agencies reported that day. He was quoted as saying: "I don't know why Yeltsin decided to sign it. He must have been afraid of the kind of events that occurred." Matyukhin described the idea that republics could leave the USSR's integrated economic system as an illusion. He thereby added his voice to the position held by USSR Gosbank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko and to recommendations made by the IMF, EBRD, and other institutions. (Keith Bush) MATYUKHIN ON THE USSR'S FOREIGN DEBT. Matyukhin told the same press conference that the Soviet debt service ratio was not excessive, but that a short-term liquidity problem existed because half of the total debt had a maturity of less than one year. He offered four solutions to the liquidity problem: a rescheduling of maturities; debt for equity swaps associated with privatization of state enterprises; the use of gold as collateral for loans; and the issue of long-term government bonds to substitute for debt which would be convertible to hard currency. Matyukhin stated that the RSFSR is prepared to take on 55-60% of the USSR's total foreign debt, which he estimated at $60 billion. (Keith Bush) NEW PRIME MINISTER APPOINTED IN GEORGIA. Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia has appointed former deputy Minister of Culture Vissarion Gugushvili acting Georgian Prime Minister, Interfax reported August 22. Gugushvili replaces Tengiz Sigua who resigned August 17. (Liz Fuller) FLAMING BALTIC WAY. People in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are preparing to observe the 52nd anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact this evening (August 23) by lighting bonfires along a path from Vilnius through Riga to Tallinn. The first fire is to be lit in the vicinity of the TV towers in Vilnius at 8:00 p.m.. The fires are to be extinguished one hour later, and participants will then proceed to meetings held in local centers, reported Radio Riga on August 23. (Dzintra Bungs)
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.