[America,] it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time. - Thomas Wolfe
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 198, 17 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



REVAMPED USSR SUPREME SOVIET MAY OPEN WITHOUT QUORUM. The first
session of the revamped Supreme Soviet, set to start on October21,
could open without a quorum, Western agencies and TASS reported
October 16. Members of the interrepublican committee in charge
of preparing the session said only six republics--the four Central
Asian republics, Kazakhstan, and Belorussia--had approved or
appointed their delegations. They said Armenia was to discuss
the matter on October 17, while Ukraine would not do so until
October 22. They were pessimistic about Georgia and Moldavia
participating. The RSFSR has yet to decide on only 16 of its
nearly 200deputies, and these were expected to be chosen by October
17. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN MEETS WITH RUSSIAN PARLIAMENTARY LEADERS. On October
16 Yeltsin met with members of the presidium and the heads of
the committees and commissions of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, TASS
and Radio Moscow reported the same day. Yurii Voronin, head of
the budget and planning committee, said the talks focused on
relations between the presidential structures and the parliament.
Voronin said that Yeltsin agreed that a mechanism should be worked
out for the parliament to examine presidential decrees, many
of which ran contrary to the existing laws. Voronin said Yeltsin
did not give the names of his candidates for the post of RSFSR
prime minister, but he did float the idea of choosing a non-economist.
(Ann Sheehy)

SOVIET ECONOMIC SLIDE GATHERS PACE. The report of the Soviet
central statistics office for the first nine months of 1991 showed
that the country's economic situation was continuing to deteriorate,
Central Television and Western agencies reported October 16.
National income fell 13%, gross national product 12%, industrial
production 6.4%, exports 30%, and imports 45%. According to preliminary
estimates, the average grain yield was just over 16 centners
a hectare, and the grain harvest was expected to be only 160million
tons, 26% down on 1990. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN'S HUNDRED DAYS. October 17 marks RSFSR President Yeltsin's
first 100 hundred days in office. RSFSR television marked this
date with a documentary broadcast October 16, portraying Yeltsin
as a great fighter able to stand firm against both Gorbachev
and the junta. The filmmakers acknowledged, however, that so
far Yeltsin has been less successful in improving Russia's economy.
(Julia Wishnevsky)

SITUATION IN CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA DETERIORATING. In an interview
with TASS on October 16, RSFSR Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs
Anatolii Anikeev, who is currently in Groznyi, said that the
situation in the republic was getting worse rather than better.
National guards continued to blockade the TV and radio studios
and a number of public buildings, supporters of the Executive
Committee headed by Dudaev continued were meeting continuously
in the center of Groznyi, and the Executive Committee had refused
to disband the national and home guards. Vakha Ibragimov, the
acting minister of internal affairs appointed by the Russian
MVD, had met Dudaev. The Executive Committee did not recognize
his status, but Anikeev said there was a hope that these two
people, the only ones with real power in the republic, might
reach a compromise. (Ann Sheehy)

DUDAEV CALLS ON POPULATION TO PREPARE FOR WAR. On October 15
retired air force general Dzhakhar Dudaev, chairman of the Executive
Committee of the all-National Congress of the Chechen People,
called on the population of Checheno-Ingushetia to prepare for
war, Radio Rossii and Interfax reported October 16. Speaking
on local radio and TV, Dudaev said war was inevitable, and that
there were troops around the republic, particularly in Dagestan
and North Ossetia, that were ready to attack the republic. Dudaev
said that 62,000 people had joined the national and home guards.
Dudaev said he had scientific warnings about a coming earthquake
and suggested Russia could provoke one to put pressure on the
republic. He also said that he did not trust the RSFSR delegation
currently in the republic. (Ann Sheehy)

PICKETING OF TATARSTAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING CONTINUES. Moscow
Radio reported October 16 that the picketing of the Tatarstan
parliament building by advocates of independence for the republic
was continuing in spite of heavy rain. TASS reported October
16 that a group of deputies of the Tatar Supreme Soviet had proposed
that the session interrupt its work until the situation in Kazan'
stabilized. It was decided to hold no plenary sessions for the
time being, but to continue work in the committees and commissions.
(Ann Sheehy)

KALMYK TERRITORIAL CLAIMS. In an interview with "Vesti" on October
16, the chairman of the Kalmyk Council of Ministers Mikhailov
said that, as a result of the RSFSR law on the rehabilitation
of repressed peoples, Kalmykia was hoping that the material damage
done to the Kalmyk people when they were deported in 1943 would
be made good. They also wanted back two raions of Astrakhan oblast'
and 215,000 hectares of Dagestan that were not given back to
Kalmykia when their autonomy was restored in 1958. Mikhailov
said the problem was being discussed by a state commission of
the RSFSR Council of Ministers, Kalmykia, and the leadership
of Astrakhan oblast and Dagestan. (Ann Sheehy)

NORTHERN INGUSH REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED. A decision has been taken
to proclaim the Northern Ingush Republic with its capital on
the right bank part of Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia,
"Info-9" (Novosti) reported October 16. This was stated by the
chairman of the "Executive Committee of Ingushetia" Issa Kodzoev,
who said the republic would be part of the RSFSR. An unofficial
poll of Ingush living in the Prigorodnyi raion of Northern Ossetia
and the right bank part of Vladikavkaz is being taken. This action
by the Ingush to regain territory they lost to North Ossetia
when they were deported in 1944 is bound to raise existing tensions
in the area. (Ann Sheehy)

GROWTH OF ECONOMIC CRIMINALITY IN RSFSR. The new administration
in the RSFSR makes almost no effort to prevent economic crime,
Aleksandr Gurov, chief of the USSR MVD's Main Administration
to Combat Corruption and Organized Crime, has said, according
to a TASS report on October 16. As examples of embezzlement operations,
Gurov cited the creation of sham enterprises, firms and banks,
which later file fake bankruptcy claims; the fabrication of bank
documents; and illegal transfer of capital abroad. Gurov accused
the legendary entrepreneur, Artem Tarasov, of machinations involving
the export of petroleum products. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet has
rejected Gurov's proposal to ban deputies' involvement in business
activity. (Victor Yasmann)

CRUDE EXPORTS COULD CEASE. According to a study done by the Vienna-based
International Business Research Organization and the Moscow Institute
for the World Economy and International Relations, the Soviet
Union could halt exports of crude oil in 1992. The study forecasts
a sharp decline in Soviet oil production in 1992 and a fall of
crude output to 460 million tons, down from 607 million tons in
1989. Among the problems causing declines in oil production are
outdated extraction techniques, insufficient investment due to
hard currency shortages, and poor labor productivity owing to
political and economic upheavals in the USSR, Western agencies
reported October 16. (Suzanne Crow)

RSFSR CONTROLS KURILE ISSUE. RSFSR Deputy Foreign Minister Georgii
Kunadze said October 16 the government of the RSFSR is in charge
of negotiations on the Kurile Islands dispute, Kyodo reported
October 16. This marks the first official RSFSR assertion of
its control over the issue, despite numerous suggestions that
this is the case, (See Daily Report September 30). (Suzanne Crow)


SOVIET-JAPANESE TALKS END. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Nakayama's
visit to the USSR ended inconclusively on October 16, but left
Japan with some hope of settling long-standing disputes. According
to an unidentified Japanese official quoted in the Western press
October 17, Japan is "a little more optimistic" about the settlement
of the dispute than prior to Nakayama's visit. "Clearly we haven't
made any breakthroughs on the issue at this juncture," the official
said, hastening to add that Japan was heartened by Gorbachev's
and Yeltsin's evident receptivity toward resolving the dispute.
(Suzanne Crow)

MORE ON MURDER OF FATHER ALEKSANDR MEN'. Argumenty i fakty, No.
39, reports that shortly before his axe-murder Father Aleksandr Men'
received information compromising the highest levels of
the Orthodox hierarchy, the Party and state administrations,
and the KGB. These materials were supposed to have been in Father
Aleksandr's attache case, which disappeared after the murder.
According to Argumenty i fakty, this story came from "a former
employee of the Orthodox department of the KGB." (It is not clear
what the term "Orthodox department" refers to.) (Oxana Antic)


GREAT RUSSIAN SAINT BEING HONORED. TASS reported on October 15
that the Russian Orthodox Church has begun religious festivities
in connection with the centenary of the death of Amvrosii of
Optin, an elder of the famous Optina Monastery. The monastery
was returned to the Church in 1987. (Oxana Antic)

SERGII OF RADONEZH HONORED. On October 8, Sovetskaya Rossiya
published an article by Valentin Rasputin on St. Sergii of Radonezh.
This is the first of series of articles about the founder of
the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra. In connection with 6OOth anniversary
of the saint's death, UNESCO has declared 1992 to be the year
of Sergii of Radonezh. Sovetskaya Rossiya announced that a range
of publications dedicated to the great Orthodox elder will appear.
(Oxana Antic)



USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



ARMENIAN ELECTION. Soviet and Western news reports say that preliminary
figures on the October16 presidential election in Armenia indicate
that about 70% of the electorate voted. Early returns suggest
that Supreme Soviet chairman Levon Ter-Petrosyan will obtain
a landslide victory. (Bess Brown)

RUSSIAN AND KAZAKH OBSERVERS ARRIVE IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. TASS
reported on October 16 that a group of observers from the RSFSR
and Kazakhstan has arrived in Stepanakert after consultations
with the leadership of Azerbaijan and Armenia. The group is to
divide up and visit various raions in order to become acquainted
with the situation on the ground. (Bess Brown)

CRIMEAN JOURNALIST BEATEN UP BY 'SPETSNAZ'. Vyacheslav Savchenko,
Crimean correspondent for Koza (formerly Komsomol'skoe znamya)
was taken to hospital on October 5 after receiving a brutal beating
in his home from two men in spetsnaz uniforms, according to the
October9 issue of Koza. The incident was connected to material
that appeared in the first issue of Slovo Tavridy, an independent
Crimean newspaper published by Savchenko. The material, written
by Senior Lieutenant Igor' Bolotov of the 1561th motorized MVD
division (a spetsnaz unit that has seen action in the Caucasus),
described reactions among commanders to the attempted coup and
the confinement of Gorbachev in nearby Foros. Savchenko was planning
to publish more material on support in Crimea for the junta in
the second issue of Slovo Tavridy. (Kathy Mihalisko)

NEW BELORUSSIAN PROSECUTOR IS NAMED. On October 15, for the first
time in Belorussian history, a new republican Chief Prosecutor
was appointed not by Moscow but by the Supreme Soviet of Belorussia.
He is Mikalai Ihnatovich, who became famous in the 1980s for
his investigation of the so-called "Vitebsk Affair" involving
the fabrication of criminal cases against fourteen innocent men
on charges of serial killings. As a member of the USSR Supreme
Soviet, Ihnatovich was also on the committee to investigate allegations
of using illegal investigative methods leveled against the USSR
Procuracy group headed by Tel'man Gdlyan. Ihnatovich replaces
Hryhor Tarnauski, whose term of office had run out. The new Prosecutor
will have the immediate task of investigating Belorussian Party
support for the August coup. (Kathy Mihalisko)

KIEVO-MOHYLYANS'KA ACADEMY REOPENS. A ceremony took place on
October 16 in Kiev to mark the reopening of the famous Kievo-Mohylyans'ka
Academy, which has been shut for more than 175 years. The Academy
will function as a private university with a four-year curriculum.
It will admit paying students who already have two years at another
institution of higher learning and are proficient in both Ukrainian
and English, according to an October 17 AP report. Literary scholar
Professor Vyacheslau Brukhovits'kyi, who conceived the project,
was quoted by AP as saying that the Academy aspires to be a center
of education and science on the level of the great Western universities,
preparing "the best sons of Ukraine to work for the new [independent]
state." (Kathy Mihalisko)

DRAFT LAW ON UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES. As reported on October 16
by Radio Kiev and Ukrinform-TASS, Ukrainian newspapers have published
the text of a draft law on the armed forces of Ukraine. The document
states that the armed forces have the task of defending Ukraine's
independence and territorial integrity. In a commentary, people's
deputy of Ukraine Oleksandr Yemets said that in all the countries
that border Ukraine (Yemets most likely had Russia uppermost
in mind), there are political forces raising the specter of territorial
claims against Ukraine. (Kathy Mihalisko)

MOROZOV ON CONCEPT OF UKRAINIAN ARMY. Speaking at a press conference
in Lvov on October 16 summarized that day by Radio Kiev, Ukrainian
Minister of Defense Konstantin Morozov said that a national army
capable of defending Ukraine's interests would come into being
over the next two years. The Ukrainian military would not be
under the influence of any political party and would not be used
for the resolution of "internal conflicts," he added. Morozov
said the army would be guided by a strictly defensive doctrine.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN NEWSPAPERS CHANGE NAMES. In keeping with the radically
altered political situation, several daily newspapers in Ukraine
have changed their names. On October 8, the former Party organ
Radyans'ka Ukraina (Soviet Ukraine) went to kiosks with the new
name Demokratychna Ukraina. The last issue of the Russian-language
Komsomolskoe znamya (Komsomol Banner) was published on September24;
the republic's most popular newspaper borrowed four letters from
its old name and is now called Koza (Goat). Leninskoe znamya, the former
USSR Defense Ministry organ in Ukraine, changed in September to Narodnaya
Armiya, and, significantly, as of October 12 the army daily began
publication as an organ of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

UZBEKISTAN OUTRAGED AT CENTRAL NEWS MEDIA. The authorities in
Uzbekistan are angered at the portrayal of the republic in the
Moscow press and broadcast media; in its October4 issue, republican
daily Pravda Vostoka carried a declaration by the press service
of the republican president complaining about "TSN" reports that
200 deputies in the Uzbek Supreme Soviet had expressed a lack
of confidence in president Islam Karimov. This followed a number
of complaints in the same publication about Izvestia articles
portraying Uzbekistan in a negative light. (Bess Brown)

EX-COMMUNIST PARTY PUBLISHES DRAFT PROGRAM. Despite having been
banned for a second time by the Supreme Soviet of Tajikistan,
the republican Communist Party, renamed the Socialist Party of
Tajikistan, has published a draft program in the republican press,
according to TASS on October 16. The party obviously intends
to go ahead with a "founding congress" under its new name. (Bess
Brown)

MOLDAVIAN LEADERSHIP APPROVES NATIONAL ARMY BLUEPRINT. A session
of Moldavia's Higher Security Council, chaired by President Mircea
Snegur, on October 15 approved the outline of a plan to create
a "national armed force," Moldovapres reported October 16. The
creation of the force had been decided in principle earlier this
year and was decreed by Snegur September 3. The approved plan
rules out Moldavia's participation in a "common military space
of a possible new Union" and defines the mission of the force
as "defending the republic's independence and territorial integrity."
The plan calls for a negotiated withdrawal of USSR forces from
Moldavia and the prompt transfer to the republic of all Moldavian
military personnel currently serving in USSR forces outside Moldavia.
(Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN-BASED REGIMENT DECLARES LOYALTY TO "DNIESTER SSR."
The Director-General of Moldavia's State Department
for Military Affairs, Colonel Nicolae Chirtoaca, told the Bucharest
political weekly Expres of October 8-14 that the command staff
of a Soviet Army regiment based in Rabnita on the left bank of
the Dniester recently decided to remove the unit from the hierarchical
chain of command and to declare the regiment a part of the "armed
forces of the Dniester SSR." Chirtoaca said that he expected
USSR Defense Minister Shaposhnikov to take "disciplinary measures"
against the regiment. (Vladimir Socor).

MOLDAVIAN LEADERS ON ABSENCE OF IRREDENTIST SENTIMENT IN MOLDAVIA.
To illustrate popular attitudes in Moldavia toward the question
of political reunification with Romania, Snegur told Ogonyok
(no. 41) that the peasants in his native village (located in
a purely Moldavian region) have let him know that "he would not
get a single vote in the presidential election" if he came out
in favor of reunification. In a similar vein, Ion Hadirca, First
Vice-Chairman of the Moldavian Parliament and former chairman
of the Popular Front, told a session of the Front's Executive
Committee last week that the voters in his purely Moldavian circumscription
"would run him out of the villages" if he came out for reunification,
participants in the session told RFE/RL. (Vladimir Socor)



BALTIC STATES



IMF TO ADMIT THE BALTIC STATES BY APRIL? Henning Christophersen,
Vice President of the European Community Commission told the
press on October 16 in Bangkok that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
could become full members of the International Monetary Fund
as early as April 1992, Radio Riga and Western news agencies
reported that day. (Dzintra Bungs)

EC COMMISSION PREPARES FOR TRADE ACCORDS WITH THE BALTIC STATES.
According to Western agency dispatches of October 16, the European
Commission has agreed to the terms of a directive requested by
the External Relations Commissioner Frans Andriessen concerning
trade and cooperation accords with the Baltic States. Now the
document has to be endorsed by the governments of the EC member
states. The trade and cooperation accords would ultimately facilitate
Baltic membership in the European Community. Trade and cooperation
accords exist between the EC and East European countries; heretofore
the Baltic States were covered by the EC accord with the USSR.
(Dzintra Bungs)

ESTONIAN LEGISLATURE ON CITIZENSHIP. On October 15 the Estonian
Supreme Council discussed a draft citizenship law that grants
Estonian citizenship to those who had it before 1940 and their
descendants and offers citizenship to those who have subsequently
moved to Estonia, know the Estonian language and have lived in
Estonia for at least three years. Free instruction in Estonian
would be provided for applicants for citizenship. The draft law
bars dual citizenship and gives Estonians living abroad one year
to choose between renewing Estonian citizenship or retaining
foreign citizenship, according to Western agency and RFE Estonian
Service reports of October 16. (Dzintra Bungs)

CRITICISM OF THE LATVIAN CITIZENSHIP LEGISLATION. The Latvian
Supreme Council decision of October 15 outlining the principles
for granting citizenship was criticized by two radical groups.
The Ravnopravie group of deputies, who until recently supported
the idea of Latvia remaining an integral part of the USSR, criticized
the legislation as bringing apartheid to Latvia and violating
widely accepted norms of human rights. The Committee of Latvia,
on the other end of the political spectrum, argued that the Supreme
Council had no authority to pass such legislation since it was
elected by Soviet citizens and at a time when Latvia was not
independent, according to Diena of October 16. On that day the
Supreme Council considered a project for a draft law on citizenship
that was prepared by a group of deputies, headed by Juris Bojars.
The document was sent back to committee for changes and will
be discussed again next week. (Dzintra Bungs)

FRENCH-BALTIC ECONOMIC CONTACTS TO EXPAND. After completing his
visit to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on October 10, senior
French foreign trade official Jean-Noel Jeanneney said that France
would send soon experts to the Baltic States to develop trade
relations with them. Jeanneney also said that the French experts
would evaluate the investment guarantees in the Baltic States
before making any real investments, reported French and Latvian
media on October 14 and 15. Dzintra Bungs)


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

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