Words that open our eyes to the world are always the easiest to remember. - Ryszard Kapuscinski
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 183, 25 September 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



PARTY OF DEMOCRATIC REFORMS CREATED. A group of participants
in a constituent session of the Movement for Democratic Reforms
(MDR) has established a Party for Democratic Reforms of Russia
(PDR), RFE/RL learned on September 24. The new party held its
first congress on September 24. The most important leaders of
the MDR, Shevardnadze and Yakovlev, are not members of the new
party, which consists of far less well known supporters of the
MDR. The organizers of the party said they based their decision
to establish a party on the results of an opinion poll which
showed that almost 50% of the MDR's members favored the creation
of a party instead of a movement. The newly-created PDR announced
that it will become part of the MDR, which also includes the
Republican Party of Russia and the Party of Communists for Democracy.
The Democratic Russia movement has not joined the MDR. (Vera
Tolz)

YABLOKOV APPOINTED RSFSR STATE COUNSELOR. The ecologist and co-founder
of the Interregional Group of USSR deputies, Aleksei Yablokov,
has been appointed RSFSR State Counselor for Science, Education
and Culture, USSR Supreme Soviet deputy Arkadii Murashov told
the RFE/RL Research Institute on September23. Yablokov (b. 1933)
holds a doctorate of biological sciences and is a corresponding
member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1990, he became deputy
chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet's Committee for Ecology and
Rational Use of Natural Resources. His appointment as RSFSR State
Counselor follows those of Shakhrai (legal affairs), Stankevich
(social affairs), and Skokov (republican affairs). A state counselor
for economic affairs will soon be nominated. (Alexander Rahr)


YAKOVLEV INTERVIEWED. The new USSR State Counselor for special
assignments, Aleksandr Yakovlev, told Novosti on September 24
that the KGB was behind the events in the Baltics in January
and the attempt to oust Gorbachev at the April 1991 plenum. He
stressed that the KGB had journalists with information. Yakovlev
also stated that he thinks that most of the republics can't survive
on their own and will rejoin the union. He added that only the
Balts may be capable of surviving on their own. (Alexander Rahr)


PRAVDA PROTESTS CONFISCATION OF PROPERTY. On September 24, a
group of Pravda staffers sent an open letter to President Gorbachev
and the State Council protesting the confiscation of all the
daily's property and monetary funds by the Moscow city authorities.
The statement said that Pravda is ready to exist under conditions
of open competition with other newspapers, but the confiscation
of all its resources puts it in a disadvantage in comparison
to other periodicals. Strictly speaking, Pravda has never had
its own property, being itself the property of the CPSU. (Vera
Tolz)

GORBACHEV MEETS WITH ACADEMICIANS. President Gorbachev met September
24 with members of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences,
TASS reported the same day. They discussed the elaboration of
various agreements between sovereign republics on close collaboration
in the sphere of science. The need for such agreements was stressed
at the Fifth USSR Congress of People's Deputies by Academician
Yevgenii Velikhov. The president and the academicians also discussed
plans for the creation of an RSFSR Academy of Sciences. Many
members and rank-and-file employees of the USSR Academy now think
that the all-Union body should be simply transferred to the jurisdiction
of the Russian Federation, since the majority of its members
and almost all of its institutes are located in the RSFSR. (Vera
Tolz)

MEETING IN DEFENSE OF MOSCOW MAYOR. A demonstration is to be
held September 25 in defense of Moscow mayor Gavriil Popov, who
has been accused of an authoritarian leadership style by deputies
of the Moscow city Soviet. Today's demonstration was organized
by the Moscow branch of the Democratic Russia movement, which
called on Muscovites to resist "a campaign to discredit the first
legally elected mayor and vice-mayor of Moscow." The constituent
session of the Movement for Democratic Reforms and its leaders
Shevardnadze and Yakovlev supported the idea of such a demonstration.
In contrast, top leaders of Democratic Russia, Yurii Afanas'ev
and Tel'man Gdlyan, spoke against the demonstration, which they
said would deepen the confrontation between democratic forces
in Moscow, during a Central TV broadcast on September 24. (Vera
Tolz)

SIGN OF NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN? An article in the September
24 issue of Komsomol'skaya pravda describes how political leaders
use mafia clans in inter-ethnic conflicts in order to preserve
their power. The disturbances in Dushanbe in 1990 are cited as
an example--according to the article, Komsomol'skaya pravda was
warned three months in advance of the troubles by a man characterized
as "an ideologue of the local mafia." The article claims that
many small businesses have been set up by criminals and that
in Moscow alone as many as 300 officials belong to criminal groups
and in Odessa the mafia's capital turnover equals the city budget.
(Victor Yasmann)

PUTSCHISTS COULD NOT HAVE LAUNCHED NUCLEAR STRIKE. During the
coup, President Mikhail Gorbachev had to relinquish his nuclear
command briefcase to his deputy Gennadii Yanaev, but some Gorbachev
loyalists managed to "empty the briefcase" so that the putschists
could not have used it, according to USSR nuclear scientist Gennadii
Pavlov. Western agencies quoted Pavlov on September 25 as saying
that in addition to emptying Yanaev's briefcase, loyalist officers
also destroyed the links between the putschists and all nuclear
launch control centers. Pavlov's revelations that "some officers"
managed to interfere in the nuclear weapons launch process indicate
that the nuclear command systems are far from being as strictly
controlled as had been believed. (Alexander Rahr)

STATE COMMISSION AGAINST DISBANDING OF KGB. TASS reported on
September 24 that the state commission investigating the activities
of the KGB has concluded that the agency should not be disbanded,
because it would not be possible to create a new security system.
Instead, the radical reorganization of the present system is
in the interests of the republics and the Union as a whole. One
of the reform tasks reform will be demonopolization and decentralization
of the state security organization, with powers devolved to the
republics. (Victor Yasmann)

CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER ADMINISTRATION DISBANDED. The KGB Administration
"Z" for the Protection of Constitutional Order has been disbanded
by a directive of Vadim Bakatin, TASS reported September 24.
The officers of the Administration will be transferred to other
KGB divisions or will get other jobs. Administration "Z" was
responsible for monitoring the religious, cultural, economic
and social activities of non-govermental organizations. The officers
of the Administration privately complained that their duties,
as conceived by the former political leadership, would have been
appropriate only for the KGB as a whole. (Victor Yasmann)

ECONOMIC UNION TREATY SOON? At his first press conference in
his new job, presidential spokesman Andrei Grachev announced
that it is hoped that a draft treaty on economic union will be
ready by the end of this week, "TV-Inform" and Western agencies
reported September 24. The agreement follows two days of "intensive
talks" between Gorbachev and republican representatives. In the
light of various statements during the past few weeks, it seems
likely that any draft economic union document will be tenuous
at best. For instance, several republics have aired their opposition
to a unitary monetary and banking system. (Keith Bush)

EXPORT CREDIT GUARANTEES LIBERALIZED. US Agricultural Secretary
Edward Madigan announced September 24 that the USDA has liberalized
the terms on the remaining export credit guarantees it has offered
the Soviet Union, RFE/RL's Washington office reported that day.
The Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation
will now guarantee 100% of the principal on loans for sales made
to the USSR and will guarantee interest equal to the prevailing
rate for 52-week Treasury Bills. (Previously, it guaranteed only
90% of the principal and about half of the interest). The USDA
came under fire September 24 at a House Agriculture Committee
hearing for doing too little to help the USSR. (Robert Lyle/Keith
Bush)

EC SUMMIT ABANDONED. Dutch Premier Ruud Lubbers, whose country
currently holds the European Community presidency, sent a letter
September 24 to EC leaders informing them that plans for a special
summit to discuss aid for the USSR have been dropped, Western
agencies reported that day. The EC had announced the summit plans
in the wake of the attempted coup in August and had said that
it would invite Messrs. Gorbachev and Yeltsin to participate.
It appears that the EC is collectively dismayed, nay flabbergasted,
by the disparate and exorbitant requests for aid that have been
issuing from the USSR in recent days. (Keith Bush)

SOLTON COMMENTS ON IRAQ. A Radio Moscow World Service commentary
by Yurii Solton (September 24) chided Iraq for "deliberately
provoking a new armed conflict in the region, evidently hoping
at least morally to get revenge for the loss of the war." Solton,
however, urged the United States to bide its time saying: "a
well-balanced approach is necessary here." (Suzanne Crow)

GERMANY OFFERS SURPLUS TRUCKS. During his meetings with Soviet
President Mikhail Gorbachev, German Finance Minister Theo Waigel
offered to give the USSR 7,000 trucks formerly belonging to the
East German military. DPA on September 24 said most of the trucks
would go to the Central Soviet authorities as well as 800 to
Ukraine and 500 to Kazakhstan. (Suzanne Crow)

PANKIN APPEALS AGAIN FOR AID. Foreign Minister Boris Pankin met
with US President George Bush on September 24 and made an appeal
for immediate humanitarian relief and "massive" long-term economic
assistance. Bush said Pankin did not specify how much the USSR
expected to receive, but Soviet officials had previously referred
to $14.7 billion in humanitarian aid as necessary to make it
through the winter, Western agencies reported. (Suzanne Crow)


PANKIN ON ZIONISM RESOLUTION. Foreign Minister Boris Pankin called
for the repeal of the UN General Assembly resolution identifying
Zionism with racism. His reference to the 1975 resolution came
during remarks to the UNGA September 24. He said that the USSR
has begun normalizing relations with Israel, Western agencies
reported. (Suzanne Crow)


USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS


GAMSAKHURDIA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY. On September 24, Georgian
President Gamsakhurdia declared a state of emergency in Tbilisi
to take effect the following day in response to what he termed
"a military and civic putsch," Western news agencies reported
September 24. What measures this involves is not clear. Gamsakhurdia
said he would try to eject opposition forces occupying the Tbilisi
TV studios but ruled out further arrests of opposition figures.
Gamsakhurdia refused to negotiate with the opposition, whom he
called criminals orchestrated by Moscow; he threatened to impose
presidential rule unless the opposition abandoned its efforts
to compel him to resign. (Liz Fuller)

CONFRONTATION CONTINUES IN TAJIKISTAN. The Union of Democratic
Forces, composed of the three main opposition forces in Tajikistan,
has appealed to the republic's population to engage in civil
disobedience in order to force the Tajik Supreme Soviet to dismiss
its newly-elected chairman and acting president of the republic,
former Communist Party chief Rakhman Nabiev. TASS on September24
quoted Democratic Party Shomon Yusupov on developments in Dushanbe,
where an estimated 10,000 people have joined on-going demonstrations.
The democrats have appealed to Gorbachev and Russian democrats
for support in reversing the Supreme Soviet's "coup." (Bess Brown)


KAZAKHSTAN, UKRAINE TO PAY PART OF SOVIET DEBT. Kazakhstan has
pledged to cover its share of Soviet foreign debt, Western agencies
reported September 24. In a meeting with German Finance Minister
Theo Waigel, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev said he favored
dividing up Soviet foreign debt proportionally among the republics.
(What the proportions are based on is unclear.) Nazarbaev also
stated that he did not want an economic divorce from the Soviet
Union and favored a single currency. Kazakhstan joins Ukraine
as the second major (former) Soviet republic to signal its willingness
to cover a part of the Soviet debt. Ukraine, though, takes a
much more independent attitude towards an economic union. Ukrainian
prime minister Vitold Fokin who told Waigel that Ukraine intends
to issue its own currency. (John Tedstrom)

TRANSFORMATION OF UKRAINIAN KGB. The KGB of Ukraine no longer
exists, TASS and Radio Kiev reported on September 24. In accordance
with a decision made at a closed plenary session of the Supreme
Soviet, the KGB's functions will be taken over by the Service
of National Security of Ukraine [SNBU]. The decision was announced
at a press conference on that date by Vasil' Durdinets, chairman
of the Ukrainian parliamentary commission on defense and state
security, and Mykola Holushko, former Ukrainian KGB head and
acting head of the SNBU. Employees of the former republican KGB
will remain in place while the new service is being structured.
KGB archives, with the exception of latest operational documents,
will be transferred to the Ukrainian state archive. (Kathy Mihalisko)


MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENT INVITES HUMAN RIGHTS INSPECTION. Moldavian
president Mircea Snegur has appealed to "all international human
rights bodies" to send delegations to inspect human and ethnic
rights in Moldavia. Snegur told a news conference in Kishinev
that allegations of Moldavian communities are "a well-planned
campaign to discredit Moldavia in the eyes of public opinion
and to retard the international recognition of Moldavia's independence,"
Izvestia reported September 18. (Vladimir Socor)

RSFSR DEPUTIES AGAIN DISAVOW "DNIESTERSSR." The delegation of
RSFSR deputies empowered by Boris Yeltsin to ascertain the situation
of Russians in Moldavia (see Daily Report, September 19 and 20)
told a news conference at the close of their visit that the "non-existent
Dniester SSR" represented an attempt by "pro-communist," "far-right
political forces to stay afloat and make a comeback," Izvestia
reported September 19. Terming the blockade of Moldavian railroads
"a barbarous, anti-human action," the RSFSR deputies said that
the Dniester leaders had "committed criminal offenses . . . against
Moldavia's laws and territorial integrity" long before the recent
coup d'etat, which they "cheered on." (Vladimir Socor)

SOVIET GARRISONS IN EASTERN MOLDAVIA INSIST ON STAYING. Reacting
to Moldavia's declaration of independence and to appeals from
the Russian leaders of the "Dniester SSR," a number of Soviet
Army units in eastern Moldavia have announced their intention
to remain in the area irrespective of the outcome of negotiations
between Moldavia and the USSR on the withdrawal ofSoviet troops
from the republic. Such decisions by military units in the Dniester
area have been reported by Izvestia, AFP, and TASS on September19,
22, and 23, respectively. It is unclear whether higher military
authorities colluded in the units' decisions. The command of
the Odessa military district has supported the Dniester leaders
all along. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE, SPORTS FEDERATIONS WITHDRAW FROM
USSR ARENA. Moldavia's Olympic Committee and sports federations
have decided at a joint meeting to withdraw from the USSR Olympic
Committee and sports federations and from USSR championship competitions,
the Moldavian youth newspaper Tineretul Moldovei reported September
13. In line with the state independence proclaimed by Moldavia,
its athletes and teams will seek to participate in international
competitions under Moldavian colors. The Moldavian Olympic Committee
will petition the International Olympic Committee for Moldavia's
participation in the Olympic Games under the Olympic flag, pending
international recognition of Moldavian independence. (Vladimir
Socor)


BALTIC STATES


USSR DELEGATION FOR TALKS WITH BALTIC STATES. On September 24,
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's new press spokesman, Andrei
Grachev, said at his first press briefing that the composition
of a Soviet delegation to hold talks with the three newly independent
Baltic states would be named soon, TASS reported that day. The
USSR has so far failed to establish diplomatic relations with
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania and seems reluctant to agree to
Baltic demands that the withdrawal of the Soviet armed forces
from their states should begin immediately and not on January
1, 1994. (Saulius Girnius)

BALTIC TALKS WITH INTERNATIONAL FINANCIERS. On September 24,
delegations of the three Baltic states, headed by their Prime
Ministers, Gediminas Vagnorius (Lithuania), Ivars Godmanis (Latvia)
and Edgar Savisaar (Estonia), continued talks in Tallinn with
the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Nordic
Investment Bank about concrete financial support for economic
reform, Radio Lithuania reported that day. EBRD President Jacques
Attali said that the each of the Baltic states had agreed to
purchase 1,000 shares in the bank, each costing 10,000 ECUs ($12,000).
It was decided that the Baltic premiers would again meet with
the major international financial organizations in Bangkok in
the middle of October. (Saulius Girnius)

BALTIC COUNCIL MEETING. The three premiers also continued the
Baltic Council meeting in Tallinn that decided to form a Baltic
Customs Union, Radio Lithuania reported. The founding documents
are to be prepared by December and signed early next year. They
also agreed to cooperate on joint projects dealing with telecommunications,
a Baltic automobile highway, acquisition of oil, expansion of
the energy system, and gas storage facilities for which they
hope to obtain foreign financial support. They also discussed
the question of establishing joint Baltic representations in
foreign countries as a method to reduce expenses. (Saulius Girnius)


LITHUANIAN CURRENCY TO BE STRONGER THAN RUBLE. Lithuanian Economics
Minister Albertas Simenas predicted that his nation's planned
new currency, the litas, would be stronger than the Soviet ruble,
Western agencies reported September 24. He said that the litas
would be underpinned by the Lithuanian economy, noting: "We'll
back our currency with our products." He estimated that Lithuania's
economy was contracting 4 to 5% a year and it would take 3 or
4 years before it would begin to expand. The date of the currency's
introduction was a state secret, but "it will not be before the
new year." (Saulius Girnius)

POLAND COUNTERS LANDSBERGIS'S STATEMENT. On September 24, PAP
reported that Polish government spokesman Andrzej Zarebski had
rejected criticism of Polish media contained in the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Chairman's statement of September 23. Recalling
that Poland had supported Lithuania's independence aspirations
from the very beginning, he said that while "continuing this
policy we cannot forget the rights of Polish minority in that
country." Zarebski also expressed hope that the incidents would
soon cease and would not harm further relations between the two
countries. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

NEW RUSSIAN NEWSPAPER IN LATVIA. A new Russian language newspaper,
Russkii put' (Russian Way), has been started with a press run
of 30,000 copies, the independent information service INFO reported
September 24. The goal of the newspaper, published by Russkaya
Obshina Latvii (Russian Community of Latvia), is the unity of
the Russian speaking population in the republic on the basis
of Russian culture, expansion of joint activities with Russia,
and a search for the solutions to problems of Russians in Latvia.
(Saulius Girnius)


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