Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man. - Leon Trotsky
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 161, 26 August 1991





COUP AFTERMATH--SITUATION IN THE CENTER AND RSFSR



USSR SUPSOV OPENS. The session of the USSR Supreme Soviet originally
aimed at approving the GKChP opened this morning (August 26)
in Moscow to condemn it. At least three members of the hardline
"Soyuz" group of deputies attempted to justify the coup. Poet
Evgenii Evtushenko suggested that USSR General Prosecutor Oleg
Trubin should not investigate the case of the GKChP since in
the past Trubin had justified the use of the army against civilians
in Novocherkassk, Tbilisi, and Vilinius. The session is to evaluate
the role of the CPSU and other forces in the coup. The letter
of resignation of former SupSov chairman Anatolii Luk'yanov,
widely suspected of involvement in the coup, was read. Luk'yanov
is present in the hall, and it was said that no charges have
been brought against him so far. (Julia Wishnevsky)

USSR CONGRESS TO CONVENE NEXT MONDAY. The USSR Supreme Soviet
at today's (August 26) session voted to convene an extraordinary
session of the USSR Congress of People's Deputies on September
2, Central TV reported. The CPD session, called at the request
of RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and a number of republic Supreme
Soviets, is to discuss the attempted coup. (Julia Wishnevsky)


GORBACHEV'S REPORT TO SUPREME SOVIET. In his report to the USSR
Supreme Soviet today, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said
that last week's putsch was not unexpected--there had been plenty
of warning that conservative forces were going to move against
the reform program. He said that he himself was guilty of having
been too tolerant of reactionary tendencies and having ignored
the warnings in the liberal press. He added that people who should
have been on the same side of barricades--that is, supporters
of democratization--had been divided, but now there will be no
compromise with reactionary forces. (Bess Brown and Julia Wishnevsky)


YAKOVLEV AND SHEVARDNADZE SUGGESTED FOR HIGH POSTS. Speaking
at the USSR SupSov on behalf of a large group of deputies, Aleksandr
Vladislavlev suggested that Gorbachev nominate Aleksandr Yakovlev
for the post of USSR Vice President and Eduard Shevardnadze for
that of Foreign Minister. (Julia Wishnevsky)

CPSU SECRETARIAT STATEMENT. After Gorbachev announced his resignation
as CPSU General Secretary on August 24, the CPSU Secretariat
issued a statement defending its actions last week and proclaiming
that it had no advance knowledge of the coup. The statement,
as carried by TASS on August 25, calls for a plenum of the Central
Committee at which the question of the disbanding of the CC--as
recommended by Gorbachev--should be examined. (Dawn Mann)

CPSU CC MEMBERS CONDEMN PARTY. Seven members of the CPSU Central
Committee, including Otto Latsis and Nail Bikenin, issued a statement
on August 25, carried by TASS, in which they said that the CPSU
should accept its moral responsibility not only for the coup
but for the creation of the present political and state system
as well. The CPSU should disband, relinquish its property, and
reformist members of the party should form a new party in cooperation
with the Movement for Democratic Reforms, the Democratic Party
of Communists of Russia, and others. (Dawn Mann)

DPCR CALLS ON UNTAINTED COMMUNISTS. The Democratic Party of Communists
of Russia, led by RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, issued
an appeal on August 25 calling on Communists who did not "spoil
their names by cooperating with the putschists" to leave the
CPSU and join the DPCR, TASS reported the same day. The DPCR
expressed approval for Yeltsin's decree suspending the activities
of the RSFSR Communist Party but said that the rights of Communists
"who remained true to the constitution" should be protected.
(Dawn Mann)

YELTSIN ON UNION TREATY, FEDERATION COUNCIL. Speaking on Soviet
TV August 25, Yeltsin said that the Union treaty should not be
signed on different dates. The signing of the treaty should be
delayed until the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet decides on September
15 whether or not to sign it. Yeltsin said it should be the treaty
of a federation, not a confederation. As regards the present
Federation Council, due to disappear under the terms of the draft
treaty, Yeltsin said it was not necessary. In his view the leaders
of all nine [union] republics signing the treaty should be included
in the Security Council and examine strategic questions there.
In other words, the leaders of the former autonomous republics,
currently full members of the Federation Council, would be excluded.
(Ann Sheehy)

COMMISSION TO SELECT NEW USSR CABINET. On August 24 a commission
was set up to nominate a new USSR Cabinet of Ministers, TASS
reported. RSFSR Prime Minister Ivan Silaev (whom Gorbachev may
nominate as USSR Prime Minister) will chair the commission, whose
members include Grigorii Yavlinsky, an economic adviser to Yeltsin;
Arkadii Vol'sky, head of the Scientific and Industrial Union;
and Yurii Luzhkov, the deputy mayor of Moscow. (Dawn Mann)

RSFSR TAKES CONTROL OF ECONOMY. In a series of decrees dated
August 24, the RSFSR Council of Ministers moved to take operational
and juridical control over all-Union economic ministries. The
decrees transfer the property and responsibilities of the USSR
Gossnab and USSR Ministry for Economics and Forecasting to RSFSR
control. One decree also condemns the "active participation"
of the USSR Cabinet of Ministers in last week's failed coup attempt,
and declares RSFSR leadership over all USSR economics ministries
until a new cabinet can be created. The texts of the decrees
were carried by TASS August 24. (John Tedstrom)

YELTSIN PURGES REGIONAL LEADERSHIP. On August 23, Yeltsin issued
a presidential decree giving himself the authority to appoint
and dismiss regional officials, Interfax reported the same day.
In addition to the four regional executive committee leaders
dismissed on August 23, Yeltsin fired a number of lower-ranking
officials in Ulyanovsk, Nizhni Novogorod, Ryazan, Tambov, Lipetsk,
Amur, and Vladimir. The dismissals precede investigations of
the officials, which are to be conducted by the RSFSR Ministry
of the Interior, KGB, and Procuracy. (Dawn Mann)

HIGH COMMAND TO BE REPLACED EN MASSE. Defense Minister Evgenii
Shaposhnikov told Soviet TV on August 25 that 80% of the High
Command will be replaced and that younger men less likely to
act against the Soviet constitution would be advanced to leadership
positions. In a statement appearing in Izvestia the same day,
Shaposhnikov said that the armed forces would never again be
used against their own people. He also said that he has left
the Communist Party because the Party leadership failed to stand
behind Yeltsin. Shaposhnikov was a member of the Communist Party's
Central Committee. His nomination as Defense Minister is scheduled
to be confirmed by the USSR Supreme Soviet today (August 26).
(Stephen Foye)

GORBACHEV BANS POLITICAL ACTIVITY IN ARMED FORCES. In a decree
broadcast by Vremya on August 24, Gorbachev called for the termination
of political activity by all parties and movements within the
USSR armed forces, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the
KGB. Members of political parties and movements were ordered
to practice their political activities outside of these agencies
and in their spare time. Gorbachev's decree follows a similar
order issued by Yeltsin on August 22 that forbade political activities
within the armed forces on the territory of the RSFSR. (Stephen
Foye)

AKHROMEEV COMMITS SUICIDE. Sixty-eight year-old Marshal Sergei
Akhromeev, Gorbachev's adviser on military affairs and the former
Chief of the Soviet General Staff, killed himself on August24,
Soviet and Western sources reported the next day. While he has
not yet been tied to the coup attempt, Akhromeev had long been
an outspoken opponent of liberalization. Reports vary on the
details of the death, but Akhromeev apparently hanged himself
after leaving a note that said everything he had devoted his
life to was being destroyed. (Stephen Foye)

CONTROL OF SOVIET NUCLEAR ARSENAL. Reports surfaced over the
weekend of concern in the US over evidence that the coup plotters
had taken secret codes for Soviet nuclear missiles from Gorbachev.
Last week The Washington Post quoted a Russian legislator as
saying that coup leaders had seized the briefcase with the Soviet
codes. Bush Administration officials sought to play down the
issue, however, saying that they saw no cause for alarm. Russian
Defense Minister Konstantin Kobets said on August 24 that there
was never a danger of Soviet nuclear arms being used, and that
the Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces had
"proved to be a reliable person" during last week's events. (Stephen
Foye)

MILITARY SPOKESMAN TRIES TO SHIFT BLAME. A Deputy Defense Minister,
General Yurii Yashin, told reporters on August 23 that military
leaders were surprised by the coup, and that the Defense Ministry
Collegium was the first state institution to move against the
conspirators. According to the August 24 Financial Times, Yashin
said that the Collegium--composed of the military's top commanders--met
on Wednesday, August 21 and decided to withdraw troops in Moscow
and cancel the curfew. It also recommended that Defense Minister
Yazov withdraw from the emergency committee. "TSN" opined on
August 23 that the Top Brass was trying to shift blame for the
coup to middle level officers. (Stephen Foye)

RSFSR TAKES OVER KGB GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS. On August 24,
Yeltsin issued a decree putting under RSFSR control all types
of government communication lines run by the KGB. This includes
cryptographic, coded and space channels of Kremlin communications.
The same decree transferred the entire system of the all-Union
Ministry of Communications to the jurisdiction of the RSFSR SupSov
Committee for Communications, Informatics and Space. This gives
Yeltsin's administration control over telephone, computer, fax,
and telegraph communications and their satellite channels. (Victor
Yasmann)

. . . AND NATIONALIZES PARTY AND KGB ARCHIVES. In two other edicts,
Yeltsin transferred the CPSU and KGB archives to the control
of RSFSR archive administrative bodies. The Party archives include
the holdings of the Institute of Theory and History of Socialism
(the former CC Institute of Marxism-Leninism), the current Archive
of the CC General Department, the archives of the Moscow and
Leningrad city organizations, and archives of regional Party
organizations. Another edict provided the same measures for archives
of the central and regional KGB administrations. The decrees
justified the measures saying it is necessary for the state to
keep the archives to prevent their illegal destruction, as well
as to grant access to them for scientists and historians. (Victor
Yasmann)

BARANNIKOV IS NEW USSR MVD MINISTER. On August 23, at a meeting
at KGB headquarters Yeltsin announced the appointment of Victor
Barannikov as new Minister of Internal Affairs. Barannikov, who
has worked for the MVD since 1961, since July 1990 was RSFSR
First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs for General Matters.
Before that, in June 1988 he was named First Deputy Minister
of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan, and earlier was chief of the
USSR MVD department for combatting hard currency violations.
After the murder of Russian Orthodox priest Alexander Men' in
September 1990, Yeltsin appointed Barannikov to head the investigation,
which to date has yielded no results. Last year he declared that
his Ministry favored broad cooperation with the Russian Orthodox
Church in fighting crime and drunkenness. (Victor Yasmann)

KRYUCHKOV'S FIRST DEPUTY DETAINED. Victor Grushko, Chief of the
KGB Second Main Administration for Counterintelligengce, was
detained under suspicion of involvement in the coup, TASS reported
August 25. Grushko was one of former KGB Chairman Vladimir Kryuchkov
closest associates and was responsible for all domestic activities
of the KGB. (Victor Yasmann)

PAVLOV PLEADS IGNORANCE. Former Soviet Prime Minister Valentin
Pavlov claimed that during his work on the Emergency Committee
he had no idea that he was engaged in a plot. Pavlov gave an
interview to Vesti on August 25 during his arrest. Pavlov asserted
that former Vice President Gennadii Yanaev also was not fully
informed of what had happened and at first refused to sign decrees.
He stressed that the composition of the committee was not discussed
in principle. Pavlov named Anatolii Lukyanov as the person who
knew more than others about Gorbachev's whereabouts. Pavlov said
that if "some fool" hadn't brought tanks into the city, the committee
would still be in power. (Alexander Rahr)

MOSCOW PARTY BOSS DETAINED. Yurii Prokof'ev, First Secretary
of the Moscow city Party committee, has been detained by the
RSFSR prosecutor's office, Interfax reported August 23. Proko'fev
was detained after Moscow authorities lifted his parliamentary
immunity. His role in the coup is being investigated. (Dawn Mann)


YELTSIN ORDERS SUSPENSION OF PRAVDA. Yeltsin ordered August 23
a suspension of Pravda and five other CPSU newspapers: Sovetskaya
Rossiya, Glasnost', Rabochaya tribuna, Moskovskaya pravda, and
Leninskoe znamya. (Yeltsin made the order on the basis of his
decree putting all institutions located on the territory of the
RSFSR under the jurisdiction of the RSFSR government.) Izvestia
reported the same day that chief editor of Sovetskaya Rossiya,
Valentin Chikin, had been relieved of his post. On August 24,
Pravda and the five other suspended papers failed to appear.
Deputy chief editor of Pravda Gennadii Seleznev called the ban
on the Communist papers unconstitutional, TASS reported August
24. (Vera Tolz)

HEAD OF TASS AND NOVOSTI DISMISSED. On August 23, Yeltsin also
issued a decree ordering the dismissal of Director General of
TASS Lev Spiridonov and the head of Novosti, Albert Vlasov, for
spreading disinformation during the coup (Interfax, Vremya, August
23). The same day, journalists at TASS issued a statement saying
that the coup demonstrated the need to create "truly independent
mass media, and to move from glasnost' to the freedom of the
press." The statement proposed setting up a temporary council
of TASS employees to run the agency instead of its discredited
management. (Vera Tolz)



SITUATION IN THE BALTIC STATES

BORDER UNDER LITHUANIAN CONTROL. The Lithuanian government on
August 25 issued an order that at midnight of August 26 Lithuanian
customs officials would take over the functions of USSR customs
in Lithuania. USSR customs workers, except senior officials,
were told temporarily to carry out their functions unless otherwise
instructed. A coordinating committee of Lithuanian government
and USSR customs officials is to be set up to settle within one
month issues pertaining to the employment, social and living
conditions of USSR customs officials as well as to "issues of
the customs regulations of the USSR with the regard to Soviet
goods, citizens, enterprises, and organizations during the transition
period." Lithuania is introducing its own visa system and will
begin to distribute Lithuanian passports to its citizens on August
26. (Saulius Girnius)

KGB IN LITHUANIA. On August 23 the Lithuanian government issued
a decree ordering the end of KGB activity in Lithuania and the
creation of a commission made up of representatives of the Lithuanian
government and the Soviet KGB to coordinate the process. Later
that day Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila and Deputy Chief
of the Soviet KGB Valery Lebedev signed an agreement establishing
a 30-day transition period, Radio Independent Lithuania reported
that day. The KGB promised not to carry out any activities aimed
against the Republic of Lithuania which in turn agreed to guarantee
the social, political, and civil rights of KGB workers. KGB officials
have abandoned all their facilities including the Vilnius headquarters
although Soviet troops still guard it. On August 25, members
of the commission were named with Vaisvila heading the Lithuanian
team. (Saulius Girnius)

OMON DISSOLVED IN LITHUANIA. On August 25 OMON troops in Vilnius
finally abandoned their barracks and the Lithuanian Police Academy
building seized on January 12 and withdrew to the Soviet army
base in the northern part of Vilnius. The decision was partially
unexpected, for on the previous day USSR Deputy Internal Affairs
Minister Nikolai Demidov, who had just flown to Vilnius, maintained
an uncompromising line in talks with Lithuanian officials. Yeltsin
told Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis that OMON
in Vilnius was being dissolved with its members being reassigned
to units in the RSFSR, Radio Independent Lithuania reported August
26. (Saulius Girnius)

ARREST WARRANTS FOR LITHUANIAN CP LEADERS. Early in the morning
of August 23 Soviet army troops barred Lithuanian police from
entering the Lithuanian CP headquarters in Vilnius and escorted
officials to the local army base, Radio Independent Lithuania
reported that day. When the police were allowed to take over
the building, they noticed the smell of burnt paper. Landsbergis
telephoned Vilnius garrison commander Col. Valerii Frolov to
protest the action and demanded he turn over any CP leaders that
might be at the base. On August 25 Lithuanian Prosecutor General
Arturas Paulauskas sent a telegram to the USSR Defense Ministry
asking it to issues order to Frolov to hand over to the Lithuanian
authorities LCP leaders Mykolas Burokevicius and Algimantas Naudziunas
who were hiding at the army base in Vilnius, Lithuanian radio
reported August 26. Arrest warrants have also been issued against
Juozas Jermalavicius and other LCP figures. (Saulius Girnius)


NO NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN LITHUANI. At a press conference on August
25 broadcast live over Radio Independent Lithuania, Landsbergis
said that he had frequent telephone conversations with Yeltsin
in the previous days. Yeltsin had told him that all the nuclear
weapons that had been stored in Lithuania had been removed. Landsbergis
said that he believed Yeltsin and thought that progress was being
made in making Lithuania part of a Baltic nuclear free zone.
(Saulius Girnius)

LATVIAN CP LEADER ARRESTED; PROPERTY TAKEN OVER. On August 23,
after declaring the Latvian CP unconstitutional, the Latvian
Supreme Council endorsed the Supreme Court's proposal to bring
criminal charges against party leader Alfreds Rubiks. Shortly
thereafter a Supreme Council committee took control of the LCP
CC headquarters and local authorities started to claim party
property throughout Latvia. Rubiks and Secretary Ojars Potreki
announced their resignation from the LCP and desire to establish
a new political party. This, however, did not stop the Latvian
authorities from arresting Rubiks in the afternoon of August
23, reported Radio Riga that day. (Dzintra Bungs)

ANTI-INDEPENDENCE ORGANIZATIONS SUSPENDED. On August 24, the
Latvian Supreme Council decided to suspend the activity of four
organizations that have been campaigning against Latvia's independence--Interfront,
Council of Work Collectives, Council of War and Work Veterans,
and the Komsomol--and investigate their role in helping to implement
the decisions in Latvia of the coup organizers in Moscow. In
addition, Latvian volunteer guards have been asked to keep watch
on DOSAAF property to prevent it being taken away, reported Radio
Riga on August 24. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN LEADERS IN MOSCOW. A Latvian Supreme Council delegation,
headed by chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs, talked with Yeltsin,
the USSR ministers of defense and internal affairs, and the KGB
chairman on August 24. The Latvians wanted to define relations
between Latvia, on the one hand, and the RSFSR and Soviet institutions
on the other, and to cooperate in the post-coup processes. According
to Radio Riga of August 25, the Soviet institutions agreed that
the presence of Soviet troops in Latvia needs to be discussed;
to help bring about the end of OMON activities in the Baltics
and the return of weapons and other materials seized by OMON
and other Soviet forces in Latvia; and to establish treaty relations
with Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

OMON ISSUES THREAT. Citing a Diena dispatch, Radio Rossii reported
August 24 that the Riga OMON leaders had said that they are aware
they are being considered enemies of the Latvian people and that
for them there is nowhere to retreat. They said that if any actions
are taken against them, they would fight to the end. (Dzintra
Bungs)

RSFSR RECOGNIZES LATVIA. Yeltsin issued a decree recognizing
Latvia as an independent state, authorizing diplomatic relations
and talks between RSFSR and Latvia on topics of common concern,
and calling upon Gorbachev and the international community to
recognize Latvia. The text, almost identical to the one he issued
about Estonia, was signed in Moscow on August 24 in the presence
of a Latvian parliamentary delegation headed by Gorbunovs. (Dzintra
Bungs)

LATVIA STARTS LIQUIDATION OF THE KGB. Following a decision of
the Latvian Supreme Council on August 24 to eliminate the Latvian
SSR branch of the KGB, Latvian police started to guard the KGB
headquarters in Riga and local authorities began guarding the
KGB's branches. Special attention was paid to prevent the destruction
of archives. That same day, Latvian officials met with new KGB
chairman Bakatin, and it was agreed that a group from his office
would come to Riga to cooperate with Latvian authorities in the
dismantling of the KGB in Latvia, reported Radio Riga on August
24 and 25. (Dzintra Bungs)

USSR BALTIC MILITARY DISTRICT COMMANDER REPLACED. Reporting
to legislators on August 25 about the Latvian delegation's trip
to Moscow on August 24, Gorbunovs said that he had talked with
new USSR Minister of Defense Shaposhnikov about Baltic Military
District commander Colonel General Fedor Kuzmin's support for
the coup. Gorbunovs said that Kuzmin had threatened to arrest
him if he did not carry out his (Kuzmin's) orders. The Soviet
authorities acted promptly and already on August 25, according
to Gorbunovs, a new Baltic military district commander had been
sent to Riga. He is Lieutenant General Valery Mironov from Leningrad,
according to Radio Riga of August 25. (Dzintra Bungs)

RSFSR RECOGNIZES ESTONIA. On August 21, Yeltsin verbally recognized
Estonia's state independence and called for restoration of diplomatic
relations. On August 24, Yeltsin signed a decree to the same.
In a statement that day, Yeltsin called on Gorbachev to recognize
the Baltics on behalf of the Soviet Union. (Riina Kionka)

KGB CONFUSED. The Estonian KGB has declared that it is subordinate
to the republic government, Rahva Haal reported on August 23.
KGB Chairman Rein Sillar initially took the stand that the KGB
is subordinate to the all-Union KGB, and that the Estonian government
and the all-Union organization should come to an agreement. When
advised of an Estonian government order terminating his agency's
activities, Sillari formally halted activities, but later said
his agency was under republic control. The KGB's current standing
remains unclear. The KGB's role in the coup remains unclear too.
Sillar had claimed innocence early last week when he told reporters
that he had received no prior notice of the coup and no instructions
for carrying out the orders of the Emergency Committee in Moscow.
The August 24 Rahva Haal interview bolsters the suggestion Sillar
and his deputy Vladimir Pool were prepared to carry out orders
had they received any from Moscow. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA OUTLAWS CPSU, ECP OK. On August22, the Estonian government
outlawed the CPSU, saying that the party was illegal within Estonia
because it had not been registered. The government also ordered
the prosecutor to begin investigations about the activities of
the ECP (CPSU platform). No action was taken against the independent
ECP. On August 23, the government outlawed the activities of
parties, movements and organizations in the workplace. The moves
against the party were reported in Rahva Haal on August 24. (Riina
Kionka)

RECOGNITION OF THE BALTICS GAINS MOMENTUM. Recognition of Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania as independent states has been extended
by Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and Argentina, according to Western
and Baltic media reports of August 26. Leading officials from
Finland, Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, the United States,
Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Sweden, and Japan have
expressed support in various degrees for the recognition of the
Baltic States and establishment of diplomatic relations with
them. (Dzintra Bungs)

SOME HOPE FOR THE BALTS. The USSR Supreme Soviet deputies at
today's session have agreed (albeit yet unofficially) to include
formal recognition of the independence of the Baltic States in
the agenda of the Congress of People's Deputies next week. (Julia
Wishnevsky)


SITUATION IN THE REPUBLICS


UKRAINE DECLARES INDEPENDENCE. An extraordinary session of the
Ukrainian Supreme Soviet on August 24 adopted a declaration proclaiming
the independence of Ukraine, Radio Kiev and Western news agencies
reported the same day. The declaration is subject to approval
by a republic-wide referendum scheduled for December 1, at which
time the President of Ukraine will also be elected. The independence
declaration was adopted by a large majority of deputies, although
there are conflicting reports as to the exact voting results.
The Ukrainian parliament also adopted a package of legislative
acts, including the nationalization of all-Union property on
the territory of the republic and the depoliticization of the
republican procuracy, KGB, Ministry of Internal Affairs, state
institutions and structures, and radio and television. (Roman
Solchanyk)

KRAVCHUK RESIGNS FROM LEADING PARTY ORGANS. Chairman of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk announced at the extraordinary
session of the Ukrainian parliament on August 24 that he has
resigned from the CPSU Central Committee and the Central Committee
and Politburo of the Communist Party of Ukraine, Ukrinform-TASS
reported August 24. The decision was taken, explained Kravchuk,
because of the activities of a group of CPSU Central Committee
secretaries during the attempted coup. (Roman Solchanyk)

BELORUSSIA DECLARES INDEPENDENCE. The Belorussian Supreme Soviet
on August 25 adopted a law on the state independence of the republic,
Belta-TASS reported the same day. A parliamentary spokesman said
that the law passed by "a large majority." The Belorussian parliament
also temporarily suspended the activities of the Communist Party
of Belorussia and adopted a resolution on the depoliticization
of state bodies and institutions. A special commission has been
set up to evaluate the activities of the Presidium of the Belorussian
Supreme Soviet and leading political figures during the attempted
coup. The Belorussian parliament also accepted the resignation
of its chairman, Nikolai Dementei, whom opposition leaders have
accused of supporting the coup. (Roman Solchanyk)

MOLDAVIA TO PROCLAIM INDEPENDENCE. In a statement August 25,
Moldavian Parliament Chairman Alexandru Mosanu announced that
a meeting of the Parliament's Presidium that morning decided
to call an extraordinary session of the Parliament and a "Grand
National Assembly" in Kishinev on August 27 to discuss and vote
on the question of the independence of the Republic of Moldavia.
Sources at the Presidium told RFE/RL by telephone that a declaration
of independence and related documents are already being drafted
by a preparatory committee comprised of Presidium members and
leaders of the Popular Front and other democratic groups. Also
on August 25, the Presidium cabled congratulations to "the Ukrainian
people, our brothers," on Ukraine's decision to proclaim independence.
(Vladimir Socor)

PRO-JUNTA "DNIESTER SSR," "GAGAUZ SSR" ORGANIZERS ARRESTED. On
August 23, Moldavian police arrested two top leaders of the would-be
Gagauz SSR and five members of the leadership of the would-be
Dniester SSR, areas in Moldavia controlled by Communist hardliners.
The police was acting under a law passed by the Moldavian parliament
on August 21, mandating judicial proceedings against officials
who supported the coup d'etat. Those arrested and other Dniester
and Gagauz leaders saluted the coup and placed themselves at
the disposal of the GKChP through congratulatory cables, statements
in the local media, and resolutions passed by public meetings
and special sessions of local soviets. Some of those documents
have been made public by the Moldavian media in recent days.
(Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER SSR," "GAGAUZ SSR" LEADERS PROTECTED BY ARMY. Moldavian
President Mircea Snegur cabled Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and the USSR
Ministry of Defense on August 23 charging that the command of
the Odessa Military District was protecting the leaders of the
would-be Dniester SSR and Gagauz SSR indicted by the Moldavian
authorities for their support of the coup. The military provided
some of those leaders with military guards and communications
equipment, sheltered some of them on military bases, and prevented
Moldavian law-enforcement bodies from carrying out their investigations.
(Vladimir Socor)

DEMONSTRATIONS, ARRESTS IN AZERBAIJAN. Fifty people were injured
and several hundred arrested August 23 when Azerbaijani security
forces dispersed a rally convened by the Azerbaijan Popular Front
in Baku to demand the resignation of Azerbaijani President Ayaz
Mutalibov, Interfax reported August 23. Those detained were released
August 25. Former Azerbaijani CP first secretary Geidar Aliev
called August 24 for a special parliamentary session to debate
Mutalibov's apparent support for the coup, and for the post-ponement
of presidential elections slated for Sept.8, Western agencies
reported August24. (Liz Fuller)

GEORGIAN NATIONAL GUARD REVOLTS? Soviet TV reported August 24
that 15,000 members of the Georgian National Guard under their
former commander Tengiz Kitovani had left Tbilisi and announced
that they are no longer subordinate to Georgian President Zviad
Gamsakhurdia. Gamsakhurdia had issued a decree August 20 abolishing
the post of commander of the National Guard and subordinating
the guard to the Georgian MVD in accordance with the decree issued
by the State of Emergency Committee on August 18. The National
Guard has distributed leaflets in Tbilisi condemning the republic's
leadership for not denouncing the putsch. (Liz Fuller)

KIRGIZ CENTRAL COMMITTEE DISSOLVED. Radio Moscow reported on
August 25 that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of
Kyrgyzstan had held a plenum to discuss its buro's statement
of support for the putsch in Moscow. The buro had resigned the
previous day. The plenum voted to dissolve the CC apparatus and
set up a committee to organize a new Party congress. Yesterday's
(August 25) Vremya reported on a demonstration in Bishkek organized
by Democratic Kyrgyzstan, the most influential non-Communist
group in the republic. According to Vremya, criminal proceedings
have been instituted against members of the republican CP buro
for having is-sued the statement supporting the coup. (Bess Brown)


REACTIONS IN UZBEKISTAN. On August 19, the day the Moscow coup
was announced, Uzbek authorities detained Uzbek Popular Front
Birlik cochairman Abdurrakhim Pulatov and others, according
to information given RFE/RL's Uzbek service by an official of
Tomaris, Birlik's women's organization. Radio Moscow reported
on August 25 that a meeting of the Erk Democratic Party has called
for Uzbekistan to declare its independence. (Bess Brown)


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

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