I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. - Rev. Martin Luther King 1929-1968
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 187, 01 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR


REPUBLICAN PREMIERS MEETING IN ALMA-ATA ON ECONOMIC UNION. Representatives
of 12 of the 15 union republics of the former USSR have agreed
to meet in Alma-Ata October 1 to discuss the revised draft of
the treaty on economic union prepared by Yavlinsky, TASS and
Radio Moscow reported September 30. According to Radio Moscow,
the only absentees will be the Baltic Sates. The meeting will
be presided over by Ivan Silaev, chairman of the Interrepublican
Economic Committee. The radio said that if things went according
to plan the treaty could be signed in Moscow on October 9. This
seems somewhat optimistic given the reported opposition to the
Yavlinsky plan on the part of some of the republics. (Ann Sheehy)


GORBACHEV ON UNION TREATY. At a press conference September 30
after his talks with Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitsky, Gorbachev
said that he thought both the treaty on economic union and a
new Union treaty could be signed "in the main" in October, TASS
reported September30. Gorbachev suggested that not all republics
would sign at once, but the process would begin. He repeated
his threat to resign if the Union was not preserved, and said
that it must be a Union state and not some amorphous formation.
Vesti, citing Interfax, reported September 30 that
Gorbachev had discussed the future structure of the Union with
RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin, and their joint position on a
new Union treaty would be made known shortly. (Ann Sheehy)

PRIMAKOV APPOINTED CHIEF OF FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE. USSR President
Mikhail Gorbachev has appointed academician Evgenii Primakov
as Chief of KGB Intelligence [foreign intelligence] and KGB First
Deputy Chairman, TASS reported September 30. Primakov, who said
his appointment did not come as a surprise to him, declared his
intention to separate the foreign intelligence service from the
KGB and to create a new image for the organization. Primakov
said he intends to use outside experts for analytical projects,
although at the same time he will keep traditional intelligence
techniques, including "illegal" agents. Although TASS described
the appointment of a "scientist" and "politician" to the KGB
as a sensation, Primakov has been alleged to have ties to the
agency since he worked as a Pravda correspondent in the Middle
East in the early 1970s. (Victor Yasmann)

OFFICIAL RESPONSE ON ARMS OFFER. Foreign Minister Boris Pankin
said September 30, "I think it's time to say farewell to so-called
nuclear deterrence." Other Soviet officials also expressed enthusiasm
for the American arms reduction proposal. First Deputy Foreign
Minister Vladimir Petrovsky said September 30, "the Soviet side
is ready to get down to the proposals made by President Bush
constructively and without delay." Deputy Chief of Staff of the
Soviet Armed Forces General Bronislav Omelichev described the
US proposal as a "positive" step and said it parallels proposals
made by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986, Soviet and Western news agencies
reported September 30. (Suzanne Crow)

CALLS FOR TEST BAN. Petrovsky stressed that the issue of nuclear
testing should also be resolved. "The palate of these proposals
could be richer if that palate covered the issue of stopping
nuclear tests," Petrovsky said. He also proposed the immediate
resumption of negotiations on a nuclear test ban. (Suzanne Crow)


CUBAN TALKS SCHEDULED. Talks on the withdrawal of Soviet forces
from Cuba are set to begin sometime between October 20 and 30,
Deputy Foreign Minister Valerii Nikolaenko said September30.
He told TASS the same day that details of the withdrawal will
be discussed at the formal talks and did not specify their location.
(Suzanne Crow)

PANKIN MEETS MUJAHEDDIN. Foreign Minister Pankin met with a delegation
of Afghan resistance leaders at the UN in New York on September
30 to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. According to RFE/RL's
correspondent in New York, a spokesman for the delegation termed
their talks with Pankin on obstacles to settling the Afghan conflict
"frank and open," and said "we think that the Soviets are interested
in movement" on the Afghan issue. He said Pankin had invited
them to Moscow to continue the dialogue, and that the Mujaheddin
leaders would accept. (Sallie Wise Chaballier)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON KURILES. Soviet Defense Minister Evgenii Shaposhnikov
said in an interview with TASS September 30 that the resolution
of the Kurile Islands dispute should be handled according to
the ideas set forth by Yeltsin. Like Yeltsin, Shaposhnikov voiced
his objection to the notion that the islands would returned in
exchange for Japanese economic assistance. (Suzanne Crow)

SAKHALIN OFFICIALS OPPOSE KURILE TRANSFER. Meanwhile, on September
30 authorities on the island of Sakhalin stated their opposition
to any attempt to return the Kuriles to Japan. A TASS report,
cited by Western agencies the same day, quoted Valentin Fedorov,
head of the Sakhalin regional council's executive committee,
as declaring his committee a "headquarters of struggle for the
Kurile Islands." (Sallie Wise Chaballier)

YAVLINSKY'S GOLD FIGURE DISPUTED. In an interview with a Western
agency on September 30, USSR Gosbank Deputy Chairman Aleksandr
Doumnov disputed Grigorii Yavlinsky's estimate that total Soviet
gold reserves were down to 240tons (see Daily Report, September
30). Doumnov asserted that "the balance of the monetary gold
reserve remains at 374.4 tons," thereby restating the USSR Gosbank
balance sheet item published in Izvestia of July 16. Whichever
of these figures turns out to be the correct one, the amount
is far below what had been estimated previously and represents
a very meager cushion for the USSR's trading position. It is
to be hoped that final, definitive data will be made available
soon. (Keith Bush)

EC ASKS FOR AID REQUEST BREAKDOWN. At a meeting in Moscow on
September 30, the Economy Commissioner of the European Commission,
Henning Christophersen, asked USSR Deputy Foreign Minister Ernest
Obminsky for a full accounting of the Soviet request for $14.7
billion in aid, Western agencies reported that day. Christophersen
said that he had asked for the breakdown by October 3, and remarked
that unless the EC receives information about the USSR's "real
needs," no decision on aid could be made. (Keith Bush)

NEWS FROM THE RSFSR. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet Presidium has decided
to hold popular elections of the heads of local administrations
(Yeltsin's present envoys) on November 24, Radio Moscow reported
on September 30. It also released Mikhail Bocharov as head of
the RSFSR Economic Council in connection with the dismantling
of that institution. Inform-kuranty reported the same day that
former Leningrad Party boss Boris Gidaspov was offered the job
of RSFSR Minister for Environmental Protection. The RSFSR State
Council said it has received numerous reports of abuses of rights
in other republics of Russians and other nations having ethnic
ties to the nations of the RSFSR, according to TASS on September
30. (Alexander Rahr)

SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF RUSSIA MEETS. The board of the Social
Democratic Party of Russia opened a plenum in Moscow on September28,
TASS said. The plenum, which was addressed by the party's leaders
Oleg Rumyantsev and Boris Orlov, discussed the participation
of the party's candidates in the November election of heads of
local governments in the RSFSR and the party's cooperation with
the RSFSR leadership. (Vera Tolz)

POLITICAL COUNCIL OF MDR MEETS. The political council of the
Movement for Democratic Reforms, which includes among others
Eduard Shevardnadze, Aleksandr Yakovlev, Ivan Laptev, Nikolai
Petrakov and Pavel Bunich, met in Moscow September 28 to sum
up the results of the first conference of the movement which
was held in Moscow last week. TASS quoted the members of the
council as expressing concern over the increasing conflict between
executive (offices of mayors) and representative (local Soviets)
powers in Moscow and other areas of the Russian Federation. The
council issued a statement on "the situation in Tajikistan,"
expressing concern over possible violence in the region. The
council also announced that the first congress of the Movement
will be held on November 30-December 1. (Vera Tolz)

KOZYREV ON POSSIBILITY OF ANOTHER PUTSCH. RSFSR Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev said at an international economic seminar in Rome
that if political and economic reforms fail to be implemented
in the following two or three months, another putsch by conservative
forces may occur in the Soviet Union. TASS on September 30 quoted
him saying that the West should help the democratic forces in
the USSR, which are unexperienced and disorganized. He stressed
that the West must control the distribution of its financial
aid to the USSR to prevent it being diverted by conservative
forces. (Alexander Rahr)

BURBULIS GIVES RUSSIAN FLAG TO KGB HIGHER SCHOOL. RSFSR State
Secretary Gennadii Burbulis, in a solemn ceremony, presented
the USSR KGB Higher School with the nation's tricolor, Vremya
reported September 26. The chief of the School, Lieutenant General
V. Postnikov, said that the gesture does not necessarily mean
that his academy has been transferred to the jurisdiction of
the RSFSR. The new chief of the Moscow KGB Administration, Evgenii
Savost'yanov, added that the ceremony was a symbol of respect
for the republic, which is home for the KGB Higher School. (Victor
Yasmann)

KGB OFFICER AT USSR GENERAL CONSULATE IN MUNICH DEFECTS. The
KGB resident in the USSR Consulate General in Munich, Lieutenant
Colonel Vladimir Fomenko, has defected to Germany, TASS reported
on September 30, quoting an article published the same day in
Die Welt. Fomenko had worked in Munich under diplomatic cover
as the Vice Consul responsible for issuing visas. The German
intelligence service BND hopes that Fomenko will supply it with
information on the KGB network in Germany, which reportedly has
not stopped functioning since the demise of the GDR. (Alexander
Rahr)

EGOR YAKOVLEV: A COMPROMISE CHOICE? The St. Petersburg newspaper
Smena of September14 revealed a rumor that RSFSR President Boris
Yeltsin nominated its former chief editor Vikor Yugin for the
chairmanship of the USSRState Radio and Television Company. (At
the time Yugin was serving as chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet
Committee on Mass Media; later he was appointed acting head of
the St. Petersburg Radio and TV Company.) Gorbachev's choice,
Smena related, was chairman of the USSR Confederation of Journalists
Eduard Sagalaev. Gorbachev and Yeltsin thereupon agreed on Egor
Yakovlev, then editor of Moscow News as a "compromise figure."
All three--Yugin, Sagalaev, and Yakovlev--are noted reformers;
all acted bravely during the coup. But only one of the three--Eduard
Sagalaev--is a professional TV specialist with both journalistic
and managerial experience with Soviet television. (Julia Wishnevsky)


SOTSIALISTICHESKAYA ZAKONNOST' TO CHANGE NAME. In response to
the change in the country's political climate, Sotsialisticheskaya
zakonnost', an organ of the USSR Prosecutor's Office, has decided to change
its title. Issue No. 8 of the journal announced that the journal, which is
now jointly owned by the prosecutor's office and the periodical's staffers,
will be called simply Zakonnost'. (Vera Tolz)

SOLZHENITSYN ON GORBACHEV, YELTSIN. In a rare interview, published
in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard September 30, Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn said that he believes communism is now dead. He
criticized Gorbachev for failing to improve the country's economy
and added that Gorbachev is a "dubious personality." He stressed
that Yeltsin has thus far "sold himself quite well" but that
Yeltsin also might fail to solve the country's economic crisis.
Solzhenitsyn spoke out against the future inclusion of Russia
into the world economy because that would lead to price inflation.
He stressed the need for a spiritual revival of Russia and indicated
that he will return to Russia. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR SUPSOV COMMISSION ON IMPLEMENTING LAW ON REPRESSED PEOPLES.
The RSFSR Supreme Soviet Commission on national-state construction
and interethnic relations discussed September 30 a decree on
implementing the RSFSR law on rehabilitating the repressed peoples
in the RSFSR, Radio Rossii reported September 30. It was noted
that the implementation of the law in the North Caucasus was
difficult because of the rival territorial claims of the indigenous
peoples and the Cossacks, but a solution was urgently needed.
On October 1 the commission will discuss draft laws on the political
rehabilitation of the Cossacks and the deported peoples as well
as on national autonomy. (Ann Sheehy)

RSFSR TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF NATIVES OF RSFSR OUTSIDE REPUBLIC.
A document of the State Council of the RSFSR president,
distributed September 30, states that the RSFSR intends
to use all lawful means to protect the rights of Russians and
members of other RSFSR nationalities living outside the RSFSR,
TASS reported September 30. RSFSR deputy Aleksei Surkov, who
is chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet's subcommission for work
with national minorities and ties with fellow-countrymen abroad,
told Radio Rossii September30 that he had recently participated
in a roundtable of representatives of Russian-speaking communities
in the republics, in the framework of the CSCE conference, where
great concern had been expressed about the position of the Russian-speaking
population. (Ann Sheehy)

ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER BEING SET UP IN OMSK. Representatives
of the Islamic world, including the ambassadors of Algeria, Tunisia,
and Oman, diplomats, businessmen, and clergy from virtually all
parts of the world, have just spent three days in Omsk studying
the life of Muslims in Siberia, Vesti reported September 30.
The foundation stone was laid of a future Islamic cultural center,
and a business club was opened where representatives of the Islamic
world can conclude business deals and give aid to the needy.
(Ann Sheehy)

LEZGIN CONGRESS DIVIDED ON UNIFICATION OF LEZGIN PEOPLE. The
third Congress of the Lezgin People, recently held in southern
Dagestan, was sharply divided on the question of how to preserve
national unity, the language, culture, traditions, and customs
of the Lezgins, TSN reported September 30. About half the Lezgin
population lives in Dagestan, with most of the rest in Azerbaijan,
and there has long been a desire for unification. TSN said that
the majority view among the people was that "forceful pressure"
should not be exercised on the supreme authorities of the two
republics. (Ann Sheehy)

WHO IS A JEW? Issue 35 of Literator, a weekly of the Leningrad
Writers' Organization, reported on a new trend in the leaflets
of the anti-Semitic "Pamyat'" society. In the past, "Pamyat's"
leaflets, posted on a fence near Gostinyi Dvor, alleged that
all liberals are Jews and even ascribed Jewish names to them,
claiming that the "real" name of Yurii Afanas'ev is Rosenfeld,
that Anatolii Sobcahk is Finkelshtein, Aleksandr Yakovlev is
Epshtein, Eduard Shevardnadze is Tsakhes, etc. On August 26, Literator
discovered on the same fence a "Pamyat" leaflet "unmasking" members
of the State of Emergency Committee in the same anti-Semitic
way. According to it, Valentin Pavlov's name is Goldberg, Vladimir
Kryuchkov is Liberman, Dmitrii Yazov is Presman, Vasilii Starodubtsev
is Sheinson, Gennadii Yanaev is Shmuel Flakk, and Anatolii Luk'yanov
is Goldenshlyuger. (Julia Wishnevsky)

PRISONERS BAPTIZED IN CAMP. Khristianskoe slovo (the press organ
of the Union of Christian Baptists), No. 7 (July) reported the
baptism of 18prisoners in the settlement of Puksa, 300 km. from
Arkhangelsk. The prisoners were brought there from various labor
camps, some of them hundreds of miles away from Puksa. A transportable
baptistry for the ceremony was supplied by the Moscow mission
of the charity organization Euroevangelism. This appears to be
the first time that prisoners in the Soviet Union have had the
opportunity to be baptized. (Oxana Antic)



USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



GEORGIAN STALEMATE CONTINUES. Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia
stated September30 that if opposition forces surrender their
arms by noon on October 3, he will comply with their request
to convene parliament. He also undertook to lift the state of
emergency in Tbilisi if they vacate the TV center which they
have occupied for the past ten days. Several thousand Gamsakhurdia
supporters later followed his call at a rally in Tbilisi for
a peaceful march to the TV center, Western news agencies reported
September30. (Liz Fuller)

POPULAR FRONT DEMONSTRATION IN BAKU. The Azerbaijan Popular Front
convened a second rally September 30 in Baku to call for the
dissolution of the republic's Supreme Soviet, democratic elections,
and for a "mobilization of forces in order to ensure the security
of the Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh," Vesti reported
September30. (Liz Fuller)

STATE OF EMERGENCY LIFTED IN DUSHANBE. The Supreme Soviet of
Tajikistan voted September 30 to lift the state of emergency it
had imposed a week earlier in a vain attempt to stop demonstrations
in Dushanbe, according to Western agencies that day. TASS reported
that the session began with serious wrangling over an agenda
that includes the question of confirming a ban on the republican
Communist Party. According to reports of correspondents in Dushanbe,
some 10,000 demonstrators are still outside the Supreme Soviet
building. TASS reported on September 30 that a planned military
exercise in Tajikistan had been called off to prevent worsening
tensions. (Bess Brown)

TURKMENISTAN TO VOTE ON INDEPENDENCE. Western agencies reported
on September 30 that a special session of the Supreme Soviet
of Turkmenistan has voted to hold a referendum on independence
on October 26. Turkmenistan is one of the three union republics
which has not declared independence. The others are the RSFSR
and Kazakhstan. (Bess Brown)

UZBEK SUPREME SOVIET SESSION OPENS. The evening installment of
the Central TV news show TSN reported on September 30, quoting
Nezavisimaya gazeta, that a group of deputies in the Supreme
Soviet of Uzbekistan, which has just started a special session,
plan to demand that Uzbek President Islam Karimov resign. The
cautious Karimov has gained a reputation as a conservative, in
part because he has been unwilling to recognize opposition political
organizations such as the Popular Front Birlik and the Islamic
Renaissance Party. (Bess Brown)

KRAVCHUK AT UN. In his address on September30 to the UN General
Assembly, Ukrainian Supreme Soviet chairman Leonid Kravchuk hailed
President George Bush's recent arms reduction initiative as "an
important step to a safe future," and added that Ukraine intends
to be party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. As relayed
by TASS and Western news agencies, Kravchuk stressed that the
"liquidation" of the nuclear arsenal and bases presently located
in Ukraine is "a matter of time." (Kathy Mihalisko)

FEAR OF RUSSIA CITED IN UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR DEBATE. Summarizing
a report on September 30 in The Guardian, TASS drew attention
to Ukrainian reluctance to hand over nuclear weapons to the Russian
Federation. Deputy Supreme Soviet Chairman Ivan Plyushch, in
a seeming contradiction of Leonid Kravchuk's remarks at the UN,
said that destruction of the weapons was too expensive a proposition
for Ukraine but that he saw no reason to give them to Russia's
keeping. He called for a joint interrepublican organ to exercise
control over the nuclear arsenal. Supreme Soviet opposition deputies
told The Guardian that fear of Russian territorial ambitions
was leading to second thoughts about disposing of Ukraine's nukes.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIANS WANT ALTERNATIVE TO YAVLINSKY. Radio Kiev said on
September 29 that leading Ukrainian politicians are not satisfied
with the economic union proposed by Soviet economist Grigorii
Yavlinsky and accepted by Gorbachev's State Council. Opinions
are running against the draft because, according to Radio Kiev,
it "leads the republics into the same hole, only of more modern
design." The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers has called for an
alternative program based on economic cooperation between independent
states. (Kathy Mihalisko)

RSFSR DEPUTIES IN MOLDAVIA. A delegation of RSFSR deputies headed
by the progressive Nikolai Medvedev has arrived in Moldavia to
help mediate between Kishinev and the Russian communist leaders
on the left bank of the Dniester. Armed "workers detachments"
of the self-proclaimed "Dniester SSR," opposed to Moldavian independence,
continue to besiege the Moldavian police building in Dubasari,
one of the last Moldavian holdouts on the left bank of the Dniester.
(Vladimir Socor).

TRAVKIN IN MOLDAVIA. Russian Democratic Party leader and USSR
SupSov deputy Nikolai Travkin visited Tiraspol and Dubasari September28
under the protection of the Soviet military. Attending the founding
conference of his party's branch in the Dniester area, Travkin
spoke--as he did during his visit there in August--about the
imperative of preserving the "Russian state" (derzhava) in the
Dniester and other far-flung areas. "Our concept of Russia has
always extended beyond its geographical framework," he told Radio
Rossii September 29. Using the terms "Russia" and "USSR" interchangeably,
Travkin called for holding referendums on revising the borders
of republics which "separate themselves" from the USSR. (Vladimir
Socor)

TRAVKIN ON DUBASARI. Concerning the situation in Dubasari, Travkin
said that "a large part of the people there are our compatriots"
and told them from the screen of central TV: "Boys, we shan't
abandon you." (According to the Soviet census of 1989, the population
on the left bank of the Dniester is 25.5% Russian and that of
Dubasari raion is 88% Moldavian). (Vladimir Socor)



BALTIC STATES



DISBANDING OF KGB IN BALTIC STATES. Deputy Chairman of the USSR
KGB Nikolai Stolyarov told a press conference in Moscow after
returning from a two week visit to the Baltic republics that
the KGB would be dissolved in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
by early next year, Moscow Radio reported September 30. Moscow
will have to leave buildings, equipment, and weapons held by
the KGB in the three states worth millions of rubles. (Saulius
Girnius)

LITHUANIAN OFFICIALS TO SOUTH AMERICA. Deputy Chairman of the
Lithuanian Supreme Council Bronius Kuzmickas and the parliament's
Foreign Relations Commission Emanuelis Zingeris began a visit
to South America September 29, Radio Lithuania reported September
30. They intend to visit Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, where
there are large communities of Lithuanian emigres. They plan
to meet those countries' leaders and discuss possibilities for
the return of Lithuania's former diplomatic buildings for use
by the emigres. Lithuania has not decided whether to station
permanent representatives in South America, but sees the need
to expand economic ties there. (Saulius Girnius)

US OFFICIALS IN VILNIUS. Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius met
US representative to the UN Human Rights Commission Kenneth Blackwell
and other officials in Vilnius on September 30, Radio Lithuania
reported that day. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the
situation of national minorities in Lithuania, especially the
Poles. Vagnorius asserted that the removal of the councils in
the Vilnius and Salcininkai raions had been caused by their anti-Lithuanian
activities and that new elections to the councils would be held
next year. When asked whether ethnic Lithuanians had any special
rights, Vagnorius said that they did not and could only complain
that questions asked in the official state language were at times
not answered in Lithuanian. (Saulius Girnius)


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

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