We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers. - Martin Luther King Jr
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 202, 23 October 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



TWO HOUSES OF NEW PARLIAMENT MEETING SEPARATELY. The two chambers
of the new USSR Supreme Soviet (the Council of the Union and
the Council of the Republics) have decided that they will in
future generally meet apart, Interfax reported on October 22.
Joint sessions will be convened only to consider decisions of
exceptional importance, TASS said, such as amending the constitution,
endorsing the budget, declaring war, and admitting new states
to the Soviet Union. (Elizabeth Teague)

PARLIAMENT POSTPONES ELECTION OF NEW LEADERS. Because the man
who previously held the post of parliamentary speaker, Anatolii
Lukyanov, is under investigation for his part in the attempted
coup, there is at present no chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet.
In addition, the chambers of the new parliament decided on October22
to postpone voting on new leaders for the two houses, in order
to give Ukraine time to decide whether it wants to take part,
Interfax reported that day. Ukraine is the largest of the five
republics that sent no representatives to the opening session
of the new parliament on October21. (Elizabeth Teague)

SUPREME SOVIET SOUNDING OUT UKRAINE. The Council of the Union
on October 22 mandated one of its deputies, Boris Vasil'ev, to
sound out Ukrainian leaders and determine whether they are willing
to participate in the election of parliamentary leaders, Interfax
reported. (Elizabeth Teague)

RSFSR PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES ROLE OF CP IN COUP. On October 22,
hearings took place in the RSFSR Supreme Soviet on the involvement
of the CPSU and RCP in the attempted coup. TASS quoted RSFSR
Prosecutor-General Valentin Stepankov as saying that the RSFSR
prosecutor's office is investigating the role of individuals,
not of entire organizations, in the August attempted coup. The
agency also quoted first secretary of the RCP Central Committee
Valentin Kuptsov as criticizing the Russian parliament for failing
to invite to the hearings any of the officials of the Central
Committees of the CPSU and RCP. (Vera Tolz)

CPSU SUPPORT TO WORKERS' PARTIES CRIMINAL, MINISTER SAYS. Speaking
at the same hearings at the RSFSR Supreme Soviet, the republican
Justice Minister, Nikolai Fedorov, said that documents in his
possession on the financial activities of the CPSU indicate that
some of the Party's financial operations were criminal. Fedorov
said that most of the operations concerning the CPSU's financial
support to the so-called workers' parties abroad were illegal.
TASS quoted him as saying on October 22 that these operations
were conducted in secrecy and were completely uncontrolled. (Vera
Tolz)

DETAILS OF FINANCIAL OPERATIONS GIVEN. A member of the RSFSR
parliamentary committee on links with public organizations and
study of public opinion, Aleksandr Evlakhov, said that the financing
of foreign movements was conducted through the so-called Fund
for the Assistance of International Workers' Organizations, set
up by an order of the CPSU CC Politburo. The CPSU CC International
Department was in charge of the distribution of monies that were
kept in the USSR's Foreign Economic Bank (Vneshekonombank). Evlakhov
said the money was usually given in cash to representatives of
workers' movement abroad by KGB agents. (Vera Tolz)

GRACHEV ACCUSES MASS MEDIA OF COUP DISINFORMATION. Gorbachev's
press secretary, Andrei Grachev, said during a briefing at the
Foreign Ministry that the mass media are distorting the facts
when they accuse Gorbachev's staff of having leaked coup investigation
records to Der Spiegel, TASS reported on October 22. Grachev
cited articles in Kommersant, Ogonek, Literaturnaya gazeta and
Moskovskii Komsomolets. He stressed, however, that the newspapers
have a right to their own opinion on the case. (Victor Yasmann)


KRYUCHKOV, YAZOV AND PAVLOV ON RUSSIAN TELEVISION. On October
20 and 21, Russian TV screened videotapes of the interrogations
of Dmitrii Yazov, Vladimir Kryuchkov and Valentin Pavlov that
had been given to the state television by the German weekly Der
Spiegel. The tapes were handed over with the condition that they
be shown without cuts. Russian viewers were able to see and hear
former KGB chairman Kryuchkov say that, "We neither gave orders,
nor planned actions against the RSFSR government and Boris Yeltsin,
because we realized that no force can counter such tremendous
support," and Marshal Yazov say that he regretted the deaths
of the three young men killed during the coup. (Victor Yasmann)


WIVES OF COUP LEADERS INTERVIEWED. Central and Russian TV broadcast
a film on October22 consisting of interviews with wives and children
of those arrested in connection with the coup. The wife of former
KGB chief Vladimir Kryuchkov refused to be filmed. All the other
wives emotionally defended their husbands, saying that they were
just trying to save the country. "Look how wise and warm the
words of the GKChP resolutions were!" the wife of Yanaev exclaimed.
The daughter of CPSU CC secretary Oleg Shenin said she hopes
for the help of God: she is an Orthodox believer and regular
churchgoer, having been baptized three years ago at the age of
sixteen without asking her parents' permission. (Vera Tolz)

LIGACHEV ACCUSED OF INVOLVEMENT IN THE COUP. A member of the
RSFSR parliamentary commission investigating the activities of
the junta, Aleksei Surkov, told the hearings that Egor Ligachev
was probably linked to the attempted coup. TASS (October 22)
quoted Surkov as saying that, according to documents in the possession
of the commission, if the coup had been successful, Ligachev
might have been appointed to replace Gorbachev as CPSU general
secretary. (Vera Tolz)

SURKOV DEMANDS OPENING OF ALL CPSU ARCHIVES. In his speech, Surkov
also called on the parliament to insist that the CPSU hand over
to the RSFSR prosecutor's office all documents concerning its
illegal activities. Surkov said that before the attempted coup,
the former head of Gorbachev's personal secretariat, Valerii
Boldin, transferred all the most sensitive Politburo documents
to the special presidential fund (using the fact that Gorbachev
was both the Party's general secretary and the Soviet president).
Surkov said that access to these documents, which are currently
in possession of Gorbachev, is impossible. (Vera Tolz)

SOBCHAK INTERVIEWED BY IZVESTIA. In an interview in Izvestia
on October 22, St. Petersburg mayor Anatolii Sobchak rejected
as absurd speculations that the RSFSR parliament might adopt
a law banning former KGB and CP officials from occupying administrative
positions. Sobchak said that such a law would result in a civil
war. Sobchak also said that a famine in Russia is improbable,
but he claimed that severe economic problems could be solved
only if some kind a union exists between the remaining twelve
republics. (Vera Tolz)

MOSCOW WILL NOT ABOLISH PROPISKI. Moscow's deputy mayor Yurii
Luzhkov told Izvestia (October 15) the city can not comply with
the call of the USSR's constitutional watchdog for the abolition,
on January 1 next year, of residence permits. (The USSR Committee
on Constitutional Oversight said the "feudal" permits infringe
human rights and hinder the development of a market economy.)
Leading members of the Russian government agree with this verdict,
but say the old system must be retained for the immediate future.
Otherwise, the officials warn, cities such as Moscow and St.Petersburg
will be flooded with refugees and migrants from other parts of
the Soviet Union. (Elizabeth Teague)

SOVIET JEWISH DISSIDENTS TO BE EXONERATED? A Western
Jewish leader quoted Soviet Prosecutor General Nikolai Trubin
as saying that his office plans to exonerate and apologize to
Jewish dissidents imprisoned in the 1970's. Trubin's assurance
was given to Irwin Cotler, Canadian Chairman of the World Jewish
Congress at a meeting in Moscow earlier this month, a Western
news agency reported October 23. Cotler said that the Soviet
Prosecutor specifically referred to Natan Sharansky, Ida Nudel
and Yosef Begun among some 25 other Jewish political prisoners
whose sentences will now be reversed. (Carla Thorson)

RUTSKOI AGAINST CREATION OF SIBERIAN REPUBLIC.
In an interview with Sibirskaya gazeta, RSFSR Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi rejected the idea of creating a Siberian Republic.
Such an idea has been advocated by unofficial political groups
in the area. Radio Moscow quoted Rutskoi on October 21 as calling
such separatist tendencies within the RSFSR "a game of statehoods"
(igra v gosudarstvennost'). The Russian vice president supported,
however, the creation of structures to defend Siberia's economic
interests. Such structures started to be formed last year, when
seventeen regions of Siberia set up an economic association called
"Siberian Agreement" (Sibirskoe soglashenie). (Vera Tolz)

CALL FOR CREATION OF FAR EASTERN REPUBLIC. The recently appointed
governor of the island of Sakhalin, Valentin Fedorov, was quoted
by TASS on October 21 as saying he favored the establishment
of a Far Eastern republic to preempt the return of the disputed
Kurile Islands to Japan. (Elizabeth Teague)

WHERE IS PUGO BURIED? Argumenty i fakty (No.40, 1991) reveals
that the body of Boris Pugo, who committed suicide when the coup
collapsed in August, was cremated, but that Pugo's relations
have not yet claimed the ashes. If the ashes are not collected
within the next two months, they will be buried at the crematiorium
along with other unclaimed ashes. (Elizabeth Teague)

STATE COUNCIL SUSPENDS KGB LAW. The sovereign states composing
the USSR have exclusive jurisdiction over their republican Committees
for State Security, according to an official statement of the
USSR State Council disseminated by TASS on October 22. Three
"central organs of government" will be the created on the basis
of the old KGB: the Central Intelligence Service responsible
for foreign intelligence "in the interests of the USSR and the
republics"; an interrepublican Security Service for coordination
of internal security services in the republics; and a Joint Command
Border Troops Committee. The State Council also suspended the
law on the KGB, but left in force some of its provisions. (Victor
Yasmann)

COURT DECISION ON HASSIDIC MANUSCRIPTS PROTESTED. On October
15, Sovetskaya Rossiya contained an extensive article on the
dispute over the Hassidic manuscripts known as the Shneerson
Collection. (See Daily Report, September 9 and October 8.) The
decision of the State Arbitration Court on October 8 that this
collection must be returned to the Hassidic community has been
appealed. Now the Highest Arbitration Court of the RSFSR must
decide the fate of this unique collection. (Oxana Antic)

PATRIARCH ALEKSII II TO VISIT ENGLAND. TASS reported on October
22 that Patriarch Aleksii II will visit England from October
23 to 30 as a guest of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Patriarch
will participate in a session of the presidium of the Conference
of European Churches, which he chairs. He is also scheduled to
meet Queen Elizabeth II and other religious and political figures.
(Oxana Antic)

YELTSIN WARNING ON CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. On October 22, TASS reported
that rebellious Chechens have rejected Boris Yeltsin's October
19 demand that they surrender their arms. The Russian president
had warned the executive committee of the Congress of the Chechen
People that if they did not stop the illegal actions in the republic,
the RSFSR take measures to normalize the situation. The TASS
report quoted a Chechen leader, Iles Arsanukaev, as calling Yeltsin's
demand an ultimatum and saying it was illegal. (Bess Brown)

TRADE TIES WITH CUBA SHAKY. Interfax reported October 18 that
trade between the USSR and Cuba has fallen off dramatically in
1991. According to information from an unidentified official
at the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, the termination
of food supplies, especially grain, from the Soviet Union, has
hit Cuba the hardest. In an effort to counteract the problem,
Cuba has cut back on sugar supplies to the USSR in order to earn
hard currency on the world market. The Ministry official also
mentioned there has been some discussion in the USSR of buying
sugar from Brazil, but that this option will likely not be used.
(Suzanne Crow)

GRACHEV EXPLAINS SOVIET STANCE ON HONECKER. Soviet Presidential
Spokesman Andrei Grachev told RIA October 22 that the USSR's
hesitation to return former GDR leader Erich Honecker to German
authorities stems from a feeling of complicity. "We must consider
all aspects of the Honecker question," Grachev said. "From a
political and moral point of view, we cannot react in a completely
detached manner to what happened in the GDR, which also happened
while defending the Warsaw Pact's border. For this reason, we
cannot react rashly on this question without clarifying our responsibility
for what happened during the Cold War years," ADN reported October
22. (Suzanne Crow)

KAL WRECKAGE DISCOVERED. Izvestia reported October 23 that the
wreckage of KAL flight 007, shot down by the Soviet Union in
September, 1983, was discovered in the Tatar Strait on October
22 at 6:00a.m. The discovery was aided by an autonomous diving
apparatus referred to as "Tinro-2." Izvestia said certain objects
from the KAL wreckage were brought to the surface, but offered
no details on the identity of these objects. (Suzanne Crow)

DETAILS ON MADRID. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev will travel
to Madrid October 28 to attend the official opening of the Mideast
peace conference. He will meet with President George Bush on
October 29 and will also hold talks with Spanish leaders. Gorbachev's
delegation will include Foreign Minister Boris Pankin, Gorbachev
adviser and Gosteleradio Chairman Yegor Yakovlev, and Vladimir
Lukin, Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Committee for International
Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations. TASS's October 22 report
also mentioned that some experts from the USSR Ministry of Foreign
Affairs would attend as well. (Suzanne Crow)

PANKIN CONFIDENT OF USSR'S ROLE. Speaking to reporters prior
to his flight from Cairo to Paris, Foreign Minister Boris Pankin
said the Soviet Union is confident of maintaining its high profile
in the international political arena. "All understand perfectly
well that all our troubles and all our problems are problems
of maturing. The union of sovereign states remains and will continue
to be a great power. The world needs it," TASS reported October
22. (Suzanne Crow)


USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS


NORTH OSSETIAN SUPSOV DEBATES SITUATION IN SOUTH OSSETIA. On
October 22, the North Ossetian Supreme Soviet debated an appeal
by the South Ossetian Oblast Soviet to raise with the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet the question of uniting North and South Ossetia within
the RSFSR, TASS reported that day. Interfax reported the same
day that the RSFSR parliament may impose economic sanctions on
Georgia if Georgia fails to take measures to end the conflict
in South Ossetia, where over 300 people have been killed in clashes
over the past two years. (Liz Fuller)

8+1 APPEAL TO UKRAINE. Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and
the leaders of eight republics, including Boris Yeltsin, have
addressed a joint appeal to the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet to join
in the work of drafting a treaty of Union of sovereign states,
TASS and Western news agencies reported October 22. The appeal
states that Ukraine's role in the development of the country
is "irreplaceable" and that "we do not imagine the Union without
Ukraine." In addition to Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the document
was signed by leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kirghizia, Azerbaijan,
Belorussia, Turmenia, and Tajikistan. (Roman Solchanyk)

DRAFT LAWS ON UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES. The Ukrainian SupSov yesterday
adopted five draft laws covering the creation of a Ukrainian
army,navy, air force, national guard, and border troops, Radio
Kiev and Western news agencies reported October 22. The moves
come in defiance of Gorbachev's threat on Monday to annul such
legislation. Atyester-day's session of the Ukrainian Supreme
Soviet-Ukrainian leader Leonid Kravchuk also announced the promotion
of Ukrainian Minister of Defense Konstantin Morozov to the rank
of col.general. (Roman Solchanyk)

ANTI-BALTIC PICKETS IN MINSK. According to a RFE-RL correspondent
in Minsk, on October 17 Russian-speaking residents of the Baltic
states were picketting near the Belorussian SupSov building to
demand that Belorussia annex Vilnius, Klaipeda, and three regions
of Latvia. In March, 1990, in response to Lithuania's declaration
of independence, the Presidium of the Belorussian Supreme Soviet
issued a statement in support of Belorussia's claim to Vilnius
and several districts in Lithuania. The picketers have been joined
by members of Slavyanskii sobor and Belaya Rossiya, two extremist
Slavophile groups that have enjoyed the tacit approval of the hardline
Belorussian Central Committee. (Kathy Mihalisko)

BAN ON RELIGIOUS PARTIES LIFTED IN TAJIKISTAN. TASS reported
on October 22 that the Tajik Supreme Soviet has voted to lift
the ban on religious parties that was contained in the republican
law on freedom of conscience. The decision removes the main obstacle
to the registration of the Islamic Renaissance Party, which has
been functioning as a part of the democratic coalition which
has forced a measure of liberalization in the republic, but remained
illegal. (Bess Brown)

DUSHANBE STATE OF EMERGENCY WAS ILLEGAL. The chairman of the
USSR Constitutional Compliance Committee, Sergei Alekseev, was
quoted by TASS on October 21 as saying that the declaration of
a state of emergency in Tajikistan in September was illegal.
The decision on the legality of the action had been requested
by Tajikistan's Supreme Soviet, which had ordered the state of
emergency in reaction to demonstrations by opposition political
groups demanding the restoration of a ban on the republican Communist
Party. Alekseev commented that use of a state of emergency in
a political struggle is impermissible. (Bess Brown)

AKAEV SPEAKS TO UN. Kyrgyzstan's president Askar Akaev told the
UN General Assembly on October 22 that the USSR as a state has
ceased to exist, RFE/RL's UN correspondent reported that day.
Akaev said that a confederation similar to the British Commonwealth
would be an ideal solution for the former Soviet republics, and
that treaties among them would have to be based on international
law. He added that Kyrgyzstan has no immediate plans to join
the UN. (Jeff Endrst/Bess Brown)

RESERVE OFFICERS TO STAFF MOLDAVIAN NATIONAL ARMY. A delegation
of Moldavia's recently established League of Reserve Officers
was received by President Mircea Snegur, Infonova reported October
17. Snegur accepted the League's offer to help train and staff
Moldavia's planned national military forces. On the same occasion,
sources close to Moldavia's State Department for Military Affairs
told RFE/RL of cases of ethnic Russian officers with USSR military
units stationed in Moldavia who, concerned over the prospect
of demobilization or withdrawal from Moldavia, are offering to
join the republic's planned force. Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN PREMIER BIDES TIME ON ECONOMIC TREATY. The Moldavian
leadership has cabled Gorbachev that it agrees "in principle"
with the economic community treaty but objects to some of its
provisions, Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi told Moldavian TV
as cited by TASS October 22. Particularly concerned that "someone
in the center is trying to give this economic treaty a political coloration,"
Moldavia will determine its position after further examination
of the text and of the annexes to be negotiated. Cautioning against
"dramatizing the issue," Muravschi noted Moldavia's heavy reliance
on the USSR and Russia for fuel imports and as markets for Moldavian
produce. (Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER SSR" APPEALS FOR MEMBERSHIP IN USSR. The self-styled
SupSov of the "Dniester SSR," proclaimed by Russian communists
in eastern Moldavia, has appealed to the SupSovs of the USSR
and its constituent republics for acceptance as a constituent
republic of the Union, TASS reported October 22. Recalling that
its area was--as the "Moldavian ASSR"--included in Ukraine prior
to World War II and has formed part of the Moldavian SSR since,
the Dniester leaders said that the area could no longer form
a part of either Moldavia or Ukraine since the two republics
had declared their independence of the USSR. (Vladimir Socor)


BALTIC STATES



GERMANY, DENMARK TO AID BALTIC STATES. On October 22, Germany
and Denmark decided to help the new Baltic democracies and called
for urgent aid to the USSR, RFE/RL's correspondent in Bonn reported
that day. The decision was announced in a joint statement following
a conference in Rostock of Danish and German envoys to countries
of the Baltic region, as well as Norway and Iceland. German Foreign
Minister Genscher also added that everything must be done to
create decent living conditions to stem westward migration. Noting
a recent increase in Baltic cooperation, he said that a new union
of 31 Baltic cities had been formed. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIA NOT TO SHARE IN USSR'S DEBT. Audrius Azubalis, press
spokesman for the Lithuanian Supreme Council has refuted recent
reports by the Lithuanian news agency ELTA that Lithuania intends
to take on a share of the Soviet Union's foreign debt, according
to a Baltfax dispatch of October 21. (Dzintra Bungs)

PRISONERS IN LATVIA WANT AMNESTY. Mikhail Aleksandrovich was
quoted in Diena on October 21 as saying that a strike in two
sections of the strict regime labor camp OC78/13 near Jekabpils
which started on October 18 is continuing, but strikes have not
spread to other place of detention. Arguing that they were sentenced
under Soviet laws that are no longer valid, the prisoners want
their cases to be reviewed by Latvian courts and are demanding
amnesty by November 18, Latvia's Independence Day. It is not
clear how many prisoners are detained in OC78/13, where they
come from (in the past prisoners were brought from other republics
to serve sentences in Latvia) and on what charges they were convicted.
(Dzintra Bungs)


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