|A host is like general: calamities often reveal his genius. - Horace|
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)
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.