To get rid of an enemy, one must love him. - Leo Tolstoy
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 201, 22 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



SUPREME SOVIET SESSION CONTINUES. The two chambers of the USSR's
new, post coup parliament, the USSR Supreme Soviet, met in separate
sittings last night to consider long agendas for the present
session. The RSFSR delegation decided that it would not nominate
a representative of the Russian Republic for the post of head
of the Council of the Republics--one of the new parliament's
two chambers, Interfax reported October 21. Russia's representatives
are sensitive to charges that the RSFSR is "usurping" too much
power. (Elizabeth Teague)

COMMUNIST PARLIAMENTARIANS STILL ACTIVE. Soviet historian and
USSR people's deputy Roy Medvedev was quoted by Radio Russia
on October 21 as saying that the Communist group within the USSR
Supreme Soviet is continuing to work despite the ban on the CPSU.
Medvedev said Communist deputies to the Supreme Soviet met during
the course of the Supreme Soviet's first day and decided that
the suspension of Com-munist Party activities does not apply
to them. (Elizabeth Teague)

RSFSR SUPREME SOVIET PRESIDIUM MEETS. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet
presidium met October21 to discuss preparations for the fifth
emergency Congress of RSFSR People's Deputies. Radio Moscow reported
that day that at the Congress Yeltsin is planning to deliver
an appeal to the peoples of the RSFSR, rather than a formal report
on the situation in the republic. The presidium also discussed
a legal reform plan as proposed by the parliament's Subcommittee
for Reforming the Courts. The plan includes the revival of the
institution of the jury. (Vera Tolz)

YELTSIN APPEALS TO RSFSR PARLIAMENT ON ELECTIONS. On October
21, Yeltsin sent a letter to the RSFSR Supreme Soviet explaining
why he had to veto the republican law on "The Election of Heads
of Administrations," TASS reported. Yeltsin said the elections,
if held December 8 as required by the law, will hamper the implementation
of economic reforms in Russia. In its turn, the presidium of
the parliament said the same day that the dispute over elections
should be clarified before the Congress of the RSFSR People's
Deputies starts its session. The presidium said that Yeltsin
and the parliament should either seek a compromise over the issue
or the parliament should give in to Yeltsin's demands in order
to avoid further destabilization of the republic. (Vera Tolz)


STRIKES IN RSFSR. Bus drivers went on strike October 20 in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
in the Soviet Far East. Moscow Radio said the drivers went back
to work when they were promised higher wages and spare parts
for their buses. On October 21, TASS reported, geologists at
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky's Institute of Volcanic Geology launched
a hunger-strike to demand the dismissal of the institute director.
On October 21, TASS reported, 100,000 medical workers staged
a 2-hour strike in Kemerovo in Western Siberia to protest long
working hours and low wages, and the present shortage of medicines.
Also on October 21, TASS reported, inmates at a prison camp in
Bashkiria began a hunger-strike to demand legal reforms. (Elizabeth
Teague)

STUDENTS STRIKE IN MOSCOW AND NOVOSIBIRSK. On October 21, students
of the Novosibirsk Pedagogical Institute picketed the building
of the oblast Soviet, Moscow Radio reported. They were calling
for the transfer to the institute of a recently finished building
originally promised to the local High Party School. Mean-while,
students of the former Moscow High Party School have been on
hunger strike for six days in protest against the transfer of
the institute's building to the newly created Russian-American
University ("Vesti," October 21). (Elizabeth Teague and Vera
Tolz)

STRIKE THREAT BY RSFSR UNIONS. The official trade union federation
of the RSFSR, the FNPR, is calling on workers in the Russian
Republic to hold meetings this week (October 21-26) to demand
the creation of safety nets to protect workers during the transition
to a market economy (Radio Moscow, October 20). The official
union federation is threatening that, if the RSFSR government
does not agree to this demand, it will call a one-hour strike
throughout the Russian Federation on November 13. (Elizabeth
Teague)

COUP INVESTIGATION TO BE COMPLETED NEXT MONTH. The procurator
general of the RSFSR, Valentin Stepankov, told USSR Radio on
October 21 that, despite difficulties, he hopes to complete his
investigation of the August coup by the end of November. Stepankov
said one of the difficulties he faces is that a few dozen former
KGB officials are trying to discredit the investigation; he did
not name the officials. He added that the investigation has been
hindered by the publication in the German magazine Der Spiegel
of some of the protocols of the investigation. (Jean Riollot)


THREE WRITERS' UNIONS TO COEXIST? 1,300writers living in the
Russian Federation gathered in Moscow October 21 to announce
the creation of the Union of Russian (Rossiiskii) Writers, TASS
reported that day. This union is planned as a counterweight to
the RSFSR Writers' Union, headed by hard-liner Yurii Bondarev.
(The RSFSR Writers' Union supported the attempted coup.) Commenting
on the situation, "Vesti" said October21 that now three writers'
unions will coexist in Moscow--the USSR Writers' Union, the RSFSR
Writers' Union and the Union of Russian Writers. (Vera Tolz)


US SENATE AND CPSU CELLS COMPARED. The "TV-Inform" (former "Vremya")
correspondent in Washington told the viewers on October 14 that
the Thomas hearings reminded him of "an examination of a private
affair in a [primary] Party cell." Such public washing of colleagues'
dirty linen was an everyday feature of Soviet life in the early
1950s and even later, and to a Soviet audience the comparison
would be amusing. Such an examination meant Party, Komsomol or
trade union interference in the private lives of private citizens,
but those holding high public office--such as Lavrentii Beria,
chief of Stalin's secret police--could be as promiscuous as they
pleased. (Julia Wishnevsky)

VAKSBERG SUGGESTS ESTABLISHMENT COVER-UP. On the front page of
Literaturnaya gazeta No. 40, Arkadii Vaksberg accuses Gorbachev
of putting pressure on those responsible for the investigation
of the August coup. Vaksberg says there have been attempts to
limit the number of those implicated in the coup, and the Soviet
media have sought to whitewash the junta. Vaksberg also suggests
that the now-disbanded CPSU Central Committee Administrative
Organs Department, which in the past exercised the infamous "telephone
justice," is still putting illegal pressure on law-enforcement
bodies. Vaksberg's accusations might be dismissed, if he were
not the most respected legal columnist in the Soviet Union. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

YELTSIN COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR RUSSIAN STATEHOOD. The chief administrator
of Kemerovo Oblast, Mikhail Kislyuk, was quoted by TASS on October
15 as saying that Russia must unite around the concept of Russian
statehood. He used the term "solidarism," which refers to a consolidation
of society and creation of a corporate state, describe this concept.
Industrialists and entrepreneurs are to push the Russian economy
forward. Kislyuk said that workers' committee in the oblast have
responded positively to the notion of "solidarism." Kemerovo
Oblast has been declared a Free Economic Zone. (Victor Yasmann)


ECONOMIC AUTONOMY FOR REPUBLICS ADVOCATED. In testimony before
a US Senate finance subcommittee on October 21, four US specialists
suggested that individual republics of the former USSR might
do better on their own than if they tried to recreate the union,
RFE/RL's Washington bureau reported October 22. Jeffrey Sachs,
Roger Robinson, Oleh Havrylyshyn, and Robert McConnell spoke
in favor of the reformist republics developing their own programs
without, if necessary, coordination with Moscow. The consensus
appeared to be that a single economic space and a single centralized
monetary system are useful but not a fundamental economic prerequisite
for success in transformation. (Robert Lyle and Keith Bush)

RYZHKOV ON GOLD SALES. Former USSR prime minister Nikolai Ryzhkov
has joined the debate on Soviet gold sales and reserves. In an
interview with Moskovsky komsomolets of October19, Ryzhkov said
that gold reserves as of January 1990 stood at 784 tons, and
that the Kremlin ordered the sale of 250 tons last year--far
less than Yavlinsky and other critics have charged. Ryzhkov claimed
that tight controls, including mandatory permission from President
Gorbachev, made illicit sales of gold by CPSU officials or others
virtually impossible. He suggested that the discrepancy in the
various totals being bandied around could be explained by differences
in accounting methods. (Keith Bush)

VOL'SKY ON FOOD SUPPLY AND UNEMPLOYMENT. In an interview with
Der Spiegel of October 21, Arkadii Vol'sky, the president of
the Scientific-Industrial Association of the USSR and deputy
chairman of the Committee for the Management of the Economy,
termed the food situation "chaotic" and warned of high unemployment
and runaway inflation. Vol'sky estimated the grain harvest to
be 170 million tons at best (other forecasts have gone as low
as 160 million tons), which he attributed to farmers who are refusing
to meet state orders and to republics who are refusing to cooperate.
Because of the Ukrainian ban on food exports, meat cost five
rubles a kilo a week ago on the Poltava kolkhoz market but fifty
rubles in Moscow. He predicted that 10-14 million could be unemployed
by the end of 1992. (Keith Bush)

GORBACHEV CANCELS EDICT ON ECONOMIC SABOTAGE. Mikhail Gorbachev
has annulled his edict on economic sabotage and economic crimes,
"TV Inform" reported on October 21. The edict, which was published
on January 26, 1991, gave the KGB broad responsibilities in the
economic field and led to the creation of the KGB Administration
for Combatting Corruption, Economic Sabotage and Organized Crime.
(Victor Yasmann)

KGB CONFISCATES 40 KILOGRAMS OF GOLD. The Magadan KGB administration
has confiscated a cache of gold nuggets at the local airport,
"TV Inform" reported on October 20. The owner of the 40 kilograms
of gold was the chairman of a cooperative and former MVD officer
who was bound for Moscow. The investigation is focusing on his
connections with gold miners in Kolyma, the KGB interrogator
said. (Victor Yasmann)

WEEKLY CALLS REFORM OF KGB "MYSTI-FICATION." The measures announcing
the disbanding of the KGB and the reorganization of the state
security apparatus insult the intelligence of the population,
according to Soyuz, No. 41. The weekly complains that many of
the statements of new KGB chief Vadim Bakatin are similar to
those of Vladimir Kryuchkov. At the same time, the millions of
voluntary KGB informers who made brilliant careers out of denunciation
continue to occupy leading positions in Soviet society. Soyuz
concluded that a cancer cannot be reorganized, it has to be removed.
(Victor Yasmann)

KESTON COLLEGE TO OPEN OFFICE IN MOSCOW. The October 10 issue
of Baptist Times that Keston College, the organization which
for many years alerted Western Christians to the problems and
sufferings of believers in the Soviet Union, is negotiating with
a Protestant publisher in Moscow to share office space. The opening
of a Moscow office would mark a dramatic step in the history
of this organization. (Oxana Antic)

YELTSIN GREETING TO CONGRESS OF GERMANS. TASS reported on October
19 that Boris Yeltsin had sent greetings to the participants
in the First Congress of Soviet Germans, and said that restoration
of a German republic would have to be a gradual process. The
first step would have to be renewal of the infrastructure, industry
and social conditions in the region of the former Volga German
ASSR. The same day, a telebridge between Saratov and Moscow discussed
the problems connected with restoration of the German republic
on the Volga. (Bess Brown)

GORBACHEV STRESSES ACTIVE FOREIGN POLICY. In the same speech
to the USSR Supreme Soviet, Gorbachev stressed that the USSR
must continue to participate in the disarmament process and stress
the humanitarian aspect of international security. Among the
tasks Gorbachev labelled as "extremely important" were the "maintenance
of the union's role as a world power in questions on an international
scale--above all the settlement of regional conflicts, the harmonization
of the foreign relations of the sovereign states belonging to
the Union," and the maintenance of a "coordinating role" for
the Union. (Suzanne Crow)

FORMAL WITHDRAWAL TALKS ON CUBA SOON. Soviet Foreign Ministry
sources told Interfax October 21 that talks on the withdrawal
of a Soviet brigade from Cuba will begin at the end of October
or beginning of November. Delegations would include diplomats
and military experts. Unidentified MFA officials said the first
Soviet servicemen will be pulled out of Cuba before the end of
1991. (Suzanne Crow)

PANKIN AND ARAFAT TO MEET. Officials of the Palestinian Liberation
Organization said October21 Foreign Minister Boris Pankin will
meet with PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Paris on October 22 for
talks on the upcoming Mideast peace conference. Both were in
Cairo October 21 for meetings with Egyptian leaders, Western
agencies reported. (Suzanne Crow)

EXPULSIONS IN NORWAY. Eight Soviet diplomats were expelled for
activities incompatible with their diplomatic status in Norway,
the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said October 21. Five have already
left the country, and three must depart before November 15. Bjoern
Blokhus, Press Spokesman for the Norwegian Foreign Ministry,
said Norway does not expect the USSR to take retaliatory actions,
Western agencies reported October 21. (Suzanne Crow)

SHAPOSHNIKOV TO GERMANY. USSR Defense Minister Evgenii Shaposhnikov
will travel to Germany November 11-13 at the invitation of Germany
Defense Minster Gerhard Stoltenberg, TASS reported October21.
The visit will include political talks in Bonn and visits by
the both the German and Soviet Defense Ministers to units of
Soviet forces stationed in eastern Germany. (Suzanne Crow)

GERMAN MINISTER PRESSES HONECKER ISSUE. German Justice Minister
Klaus Kinkel flew to Moscow October 21 to request the extradition
of former East German leader Erich Honecker. He met with RSFSR
Justice Minister Nikolai Fyodorov, USSR Justice Minister Mikhail
Vyshinsky, and Gorbachev adviser Aleksandr Yakovlev. Kinkel told
reporters after the meetings RSFSR officials had expressed an
interest in helping Germany obtain Honecker's extradition, but
that Soviet authorities were reluctant to let Honecker go, Western
agencies reported. Kinkel said in an interview with Germany's
ZDF television (October 21) that he did not expect a quick solution
to the case. (SuzanneCrow)

DEFENSE MINISTRY DENIES CUTS. Major General Gennadii Kashuba,
Head of the USSR Defense Ministry Press Center, denied rumors
that the USSR will reduce the number of its troops by three times
bringing total troop strength down to 1.5 million persons. A
total reduction of 700,000 is expected to take place over the
next few years, Kashuba told TASS October 21. Further cuts are
possible, but not on a unilateral basis, he added. (Suzanne Crow)




USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS




GORBACHEV WARNS ON PROLIFERATION OF ARMIES. Speaking at the October
21 SupSov session, Mikhail Gorbachev lashed out at the notion
of republican armies. Talk of privatizing or nationalizing the
armed forces is "dangerous," Gorbachev said. "Such impulses .
. . must be regarded as frivolous and irresponsible, unlawful
and illegal." Gorbachev went on to threaten: "I ask the people
to whom these words apply to draw the proper conclusions. Otherwise
measures of a constitutional nature will be taken," TASS reported
October 21. (Suzanne Crow)

MOROZOV RESPONDS TO SHAPOSHNIKOV. Defense Minister Shaposhnikov's
recent criticism of Ukraine's effort to establish its own army
has been rebuffed by Ukrainian Minister of Defense Konstantin
Morozov, Radio Kiev reported October 21. Morozov, according to
the report, rejected Shaposhnikov's insistence that military
personnel in Ukraine are bound to their oath of loyalty to the
USSR Constitution. Our boys, maintained Morozov, will swear loyalty
only to the constitution of independent Ukraine. (Roman Solchanyk)


KRAVCHUK ON ECONOMIC UNION. Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme
Soviet Leonid Kravchuk told a meeting of leading economists that
an economic union is a necessity, Radio Kiev reported October
21. Ukraine did not sign the document not because it is against
such a union, but because it must first be thoroughly analyzed,
said Kravchuk. (Roman Solchanyk)

NEW RELIGIOUS CONFLICTS IN LVOV DISTRICT. Koza reported on October
9 that new tensions have been created between Orthodox and Ukrainian
Greek-Catholics in Lvov Oblast by the arrival of a special commission
of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet. There are fears that because
some commission members are sympathetic to one faith the work
of this commission will not be objective. (Oxana Antic)

GORBACHEV CLAIMS SNEGUR SUPPORTS ECONOMIC TREATY. Following Moldavia's
decision to withhold its signature from the economic community
treaty, Gorbachev was cited by Interfax and The Guardian October
18 as claiming that Moldavian President Mircea Snegur had cabled
assurances that Moldavia supported and will sign the economic
treaty. Gorbachev added that he had in turn assured Snegur that
"Romania could also play a role in the accord." Gorbachev evidently
assumed that Romania's inclusion in the accord would provide
an incentive for Moldavia to join. (Vladimir Socor)

UNWARRANTED ASSUMPTION ABOUT MOLDAVIA'S POSITION. Gorbachev's
remark reflects a preconception that often seems to underlie
Moscow's attitudes toward Moldavia. Kishinev's concerns over
the treaty are wholly unrelated to the question of whether Romania
joins it (assuming that this were a possibility) or not--an issue
that Kishinev incidentally has not even considered. USSR leaders
have repeatedly showed themselves unaware of the fact that Kishinev
neither desires reunification with Romania, nor sees in Romania
an economic alternative to the USSR and its republics. (Vladimir
Socor)

MOLDAVIAN POPULAR FRONT PARLIAMENTARY GROUP SHRINKS. At a session
October 18, the remaining 65-odd (down from 140 in 1990) deputies
of the Popular Front Deputies' Club split over the question of
the Front's position on the coming presidential elections in
which Snegur seeks election by popular vote. Participants told
RFE/RL that about half of the deputies criticized the Front leadership's
decision to oppose Snegur and left the Front's Club, which now
consists of only 30 to 35 deputies and has elected former Prime
Minister Mircea Druc as its chairman. (Vladimir Socor)



BALTIC STATES



LATVIA AND AZERBAIJAN TO COOPERATE. On October 18 representatives
from Latvia and Azerbaijan signed a commercial accord for 1992.
Latvia would get tires, synthetic rubber, detergents, cables,
trailers, grapes, cognac, and tea, while Azerbaijan would received
in return microbusses, reserve parts, semiconductors, and other
manufactured goods. A similar accord is expected to be signed
in the near future with Kazakhstan, Baltic News Agency reported
on October 18. (Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY PROTESTS SOVIET INTERFERENCE. Radio
Riga reported on October 21 that earlier that day the Latvian
Foreign Ministry had sent a protest note to the Soviet authorities
responsible for turning away the Belgian Air Force plane bringing
Belgian Foreign Minister Mark Eyskens to Riga. Soviet officials
said that the incident occurred because the USSR Baltic Military
District leadership would not allow a plane that they considered
as being a foreign military plane to enter Soviet airspace. Eyskens
had planned a four-day visit to the Baltic States, but returned
home on the evening of October 21. (Dzintra Bungs)

IVANS ON NEW LATVIAN POLITICAL PARTY. Dainis Ivans, First Deputy
Chairman of the Latvian Supreme Council, told RFE/RL Latvian
Service on October 21 that he welcomes plans to create a centrist,
democratic political party in Latvia. He said that he would join
the party, but did not say when it would be founded. The party
would aim to attract leading politicians and Latvian and non-Latvian
intellectuals. Asked if the new party poses a direct challenge
to the People's Front of Latvia--Ivans was its first chairman--he
said that after the party is formed, the people will decide if
the PFL is still needed. Heretofore, PFL served as an umbrella
organization for parties and organizations favoring an independent
and democratic Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIAN DEPUTY PREMIER VISITS POLAND. PAP reported on October
19 that the Lithuanian Deputy Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila
visited Sejny and Punsk, areas in northeastern Poland with a
substantial population of Lithuanian ethnic origin. He was invited
by the Lithuanian Social and Cultural Society "to acquaint himself
with the conditions of life of the Lithuanian community in Poland,
particularly with the potential for cultural development and
to ascertain the need for any help Lithuania could possibly provide."
(Roman Stefanowski)

SAVISAAR MEETS SOBCHAK. Estonia's Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar
met unofficially with Soviet presidential envoy and St. Petersburg
mayor Anatoly Sobchak on October 21, according to TASS that day.
The two discussed procedural questions related to upcoming Estonian-Soviet
talks. Sobchak has been named chief negotiator for the bilateral
talks which are to cover Soviet troop withdrawals and other issues.
The two met at the RSFSR-Estonian border in the Estonian seaside
resort town of Narva Joesuu. (Riina Kionka)


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

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