|[America,] it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time. - Thomas Wolfe|
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)
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