Coleridge declares that a man cannot have a good conscience who refuses apple dumplings, and I confess that I am of the same opinion. - Charles Lamb
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 210, 05 November 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



GORBACHEV CRITICIZES YELTSIN'S PLAN. USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev
criticized Yeltsin's radical economic plan for its failure to
support the poor part of the Soviet population. In his address
to the USSR State Council, Gorbachev said that lifting restrictions
on prices was impossible without taking other measures, such
as dismantling state monopolies and adopting incentives to boost
production. Gorbachev also criticized leaders of the republics
for failing to take advantage of the "political capital" they
gained after the putsch and faulted them for now pushing further
towards disintegration of the country rather than trying to save
it, TASS reported November 5. (Alexander Rahr)

ECONOMIC COMMUNITY TO BE EXPEDITED. On November 4, the USSR State
Council told Grigorii Yavlinsky to speed up the formation of
the Economic Community, TASS reported that day. The Council gave
him one week to provide written proposals for implementing 22
accords discussed by the 12 republics on October 18 in Alma-Ata.
Yavlinsky told the meeting that major differences still remain
between republican and union leaders on basic issues. He said
that some republics continue mistakenly to believe that bilateral
agreements can substitute for an economic community treaty. (Keith
Bush)

SILAEV ON NEW CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. The head of the Interstate
Economic Committee (MEK), Ivan Silaev, outlined the structure
of his institution at the meeting of the USSR State Council,
TASS said November 4. Silaev said MEK will be subordinated to
an Assembly of leaders of governments of the republics which
signed the Economic Union. The MEK will consist of 5 major sectors
and 15 departments, and departments will take over the role of
the former ministries, Silaev said. He reiterated that by November
15, 80 all-union ministries will be abolished. The MEK will retain
control over communications, industrial safety regulations, power
and atomic energy. (Alexander Rahr)

DEMONSTRATION IN DEFENSE OF PUTSCHISTS. Some fifty friends and
relatives of the arrested members of the GKChP demonstrated near
the prison where the putschists are being held, "Vesti" reported
November 4. "Vesti" said several such demonstrations have already
taken place. (Vera Tolz)

USSR TO BUIILD NEW BLACK SEA NAVAL BASE. The Soviet Navy will
build a new base at the Black Sea in Krasnodar krai because its
former base in Sevastopol is now under Ukrainian jurisdiction,
TASS reported November 4. (Suzanne Crow)

USSR SUPREME SOVIET PASSES FIRST LAW. The two chambers of the
revamped USSR Supreme Soviet passed their first law--on amnesty
for those evading military service, TASS reported November 1.
The bill, presented by Gorbachev, was uncontroversial, and its
passage does not necessarily demonstrate the viability of the
new parliament. (Ann Sheehy)

MOSCOW AUTHORITIES BAN NOVEMBER 7 RED SQUARE DEMO. The Moscow
city authorities have rejected a request by Communist and workers'
organizations to mark the anniversary of the October Revolution
with a demonstration on Red Square, TASS reported November 1.
The military parade that traditionally was held in the square
on that day has already been cancelled and there are, of course,
no Communist Party slogans this year to mark the anniversary.
City authorities have told the groups they must hold their planned
demonstration in the evening, outside Moscow's ring road. (Elizabeth
Teague)

MORE ON FINANCIAL OPERATIONS OF THE CPSU. More than 5 billion
rubles and $14 million, previously belonging to the CPSU, were
confiscated during the past month in various Soviet banks and
organizations, "TV Inform" reported November 4. The same day,
"Vesti" reported that the RSFSR procurator's office had initiated
a criminal investigation against the CPSU leadership in connection
with the illegal export of money abroad. (Vera Tolz)

MOSCOW FACES HIGH WHITE-COLLAR UNEMPLOYMENT. Boris Yeltsin's
threat to abolish 80 USSR ministries and departments by mid-November
will exacerbate Moscow's already high white-collar unemployment.
Some 85% of Moscow's job vacancies are for blue-collar workers,
whereas 90% of the capital's unemployed are white-collar, many
of whom will not even consider taking a blue-collar job. To cope
with rising unemployment Moscow intends, as of January 1, 1992,
to exact a new tax of one percent of base salary on every working
person. The tax will mean that those with jobs, many of whom
are blue-collar, will be supporting those without jobs, most
of whom are white-collar. (Elizabeth Teague)

FEMALE UNEMPLOYMENT RISING. Moscow's growing army of unemployed
is not only 90% white-collar; but also 90% female, up 10% since
this summer, when registration first began. The director of the
Moscow Employment Center, Igor Zaslavsky, told Izvestia on October
30 that three-quarters of Moscow's unemployed have higher education.
But he blamed the USSR's system of technical training for the
fact that Moscow is experiencing a growing shortage of skilled
manual labor. (Elizabeth Teague)

COST OF LIVING RISING IN MOSCOW. Zaslavsky said that, on average,
Moscow's unemployed are receiving 266 rubles in monthly benefit.
But he noted that some sources [he seemed to have in mind the
official Russian trade unions] are saying that the minimum sum
necessary to live on in the capital is now over 500 rubles. (Elizabeth
Teague)

GAIDAR'S PRESCRIPTION. Yegor Gaidar, the head of the Institute
for Economic Policy, who is tipped to become the senior economic
minister in Yeltsin's new government, is quoted by the BBC and
The Financial Times (November 4) as saying he believes that the
Union is finished and Russia must treat all other republics as
sovereign states, charging them hard currency for its exports.
The Russian Bank should be transformed into a central bank issuing
a Russian currency and that it should assume responsibility for
the total Soviet foreign debt, as it is the only republic with
appreciable hard currency earnings capability. (Keith Bush)

YELTSIN ON ARMS SALES, EXPORTS TO CUBA. Yeltsin was quoted by
TASS October 31 as saying the Russian military-industrial enterprises
should earn money by exporting weapons to such countries as India.
He added that he received a letter from Fidel Castro in which
the Cuban leader agreed to buy oil and grain from Russia at world
market prices. (Alexander Rahr)

FOOD SHORTAGES IN MOSCOW AND YEKATERINBURG. The Moscow city government
has decided to limit bread sales because of shortages in some
parts of the city. A city government press spokesman told USSR
Radio November 4 that customers will be limited to about two
kilograms a day. The chairman of Yekaterinburg's regional administration
has written to Yeltsin asking for special powers to cope with
food shortages and requesting that the city be permitted to make
foreign sales of weapons and rare metals to buy food. (Keith
Bush)

FOOD AND FEED ON THE WAY. Canada is to ship four million tons
of grain to the Soviet Union by February, 1992, Western agencies
reported November 1. Credit for the purchase in addition to some
humanitarian aid will be extended. Saudi Arabia is considering
sending most of its surplus stocks of 3-4 million tons of wheat
to the Soviet Union, Western agencies reported October 31. France
agreed on October 31 to barter meat andcereals in exchange for
Soviet oil and gas, The Washington Post reported November 1.
And Hungary will sell the Soviet Union half a million tons of
feed, according to Interfax of October 31. (Keith Bush)

THREATENED STRIKE CALLED OFF. The Independent Russian Trade Unions'
Federation has called off a republic-wide strike scheduled for
November 13, Interfax said November 1. A telephone poll of union
representatives from 77 regions of the republic determined that
the union's main demands had been met, including rules for privatizing
state property and housing, and the publication of a program
aimed at solving Russia's crisis. (Keith Bush)

US-SOVIET TV COMMITTEE. "TV Inform" reported November 4 the creation
of a committee consisting of Soviet and American TV experts aimed
at improving the quality of central Soviet TV, especially its
news programs. "TV Inform" quoted American participants as praising
the variety of subjects currently covered by central Soviet TV
news programs, but also calling for more attention to interethnic
conflicts in various parts of the former Soviet Union. (Vera
Tolz)

TWO SOVIET TELECOM DEALS. Cable and Wireless PLC of Britain has
signed agreements for equal partnership joint ventures with Soviet
telecommunications firms in the Soviet Far East. The London-based
company claims telephone, fax and data communications services
will start operating early next year in the city of Nakhodka
and the island of Sakhalin, a Western agency report November
4. (Vera Tolz)

MOVEMENT "COMMUNISTS FOR CIVIL RIGHTS" HOLDS CONFERENCE. Another
grass-roots organization of Communists was set up in St. Petersburg,
Radio Moscow-1 reported November 4. At its November 4 press conference,
"Communists for Civil Rights," led by former member of the CPSU
CC and a deputy of the St. Petersburg City Council, Evgenii Krasnitsky,
called for the recreation of the RSFSR CP. The movement unites
former unorthodox Marxist Roy Medvedev and orthodox Bolshevik
Nina Andreeva. (Vera Tolz)

RSFSR CONGRESS ON MINORITIES, UNITY. On November 2 the RSFSR
Congress of People's Deputies adopted an appeal to the parliaments
of the other 14 erstwhile Union republics to speed up the conclusion
of bilateral treaties guaranteeing the rights of minorities originating
from the RSFSR, TASS reported November 2. It also issued an appeal
to the citizens of Ukraine, Belorussia, and Russia appealing
for the unity of the Slav republics and asked the RSFSR Supreme
Soviet to adopt a law ensuring the territorial integrity of the
RSFSR. (Ann Sheehy)

CHECHEN-INGUSH ELECTIONS POSTPONED. Teleinform said November
4 the official elections of a new Chechen-Ingush Supreme Soviet
and the referendum on whether Checheno-Ingushetia should be divided
into two republics will now be held on December 8 instead of
November 17. (Ann Sheehy)

CONSERVATIVES IN ROSTOV OBLAST HOPED TO PLAY "COSSACK" CARD.
According to Komsomol'skaya pravda of October 26, the conservative
majority in the Rostov Oblast soviet have been staging a comeback.
Democratic deputies only prevented the reinstatement of the former
chairman of the soviet Leonid Ivanchenko, who had been removed
for supporting the coup, by walking out and depriving the session
of a quorum. The newspaper says this action also prevented an
even more serious threat, namely the implementation of a plan
to declare the oblast a Don Cossack republic with Ivanchenko
as ataman, and thus separate the territory from democratic Russia.
(Ann Sheehy)

POST OF PRESIDENT OF KALMYKIA REMAINS VACANT. The repeat elections
for the post of president of Kalmykia on November 3 resulted
in neither candidate obtaining a majority, TASS reported November
4. The present premier of Kalmykia got 45.3% of the votes, and
the chairman of the supreme soviet 40.4%. At the next session
of the supreme soviet deputies will have to decide whether to
hold another vote or drop the matter. (Ann Sheehy)

SOVEREIGNTY ASPIRATIONS OF KORYAKS AROUSE OPPOSITION. A session
of the Koryak okrug soviet has decided that the Koryak autonomous
okrug should secede from Kamchatka Oblast and be a republic in
the RSFSR, Moscow radio reported November 3. The decision is
said to have provoked an ambivalent reaction from the inhabitants
of the peninsula. (Ann Sheehy)

KARIMOV ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF POPULAR-DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF UZBEKISTAN.
The Popular-Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the successor to
the Uzbek Communist party, held its constituent congress on November
1 and elected Uzbek president and former Communist party first
secretary Islam Karimov chairman, "Inform-TV" reported November
1. The party is said to have over 350,000 members, of whom 300,000
are former Communists. (Ann Sheehy)

17 ECOLOGICAL DISASTER ZONES IN THE USSR. A study by the USSR
Academy of Sciences' Geographical Institute, published in the
latest edition of Moscow News, cites 17 "ecological disaster
zones" throughout the former Soviet Union, TASS reported October
31. Chernobyl, the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Donbass
and Kuzbass coal mining centers, and industrial areas in the
Urals and in Azerbaijan are on the list. The study found that
20% of the Soviet population and 40% of the urban population
live in badly polluted regions. (Jean Riollot/ Keith Bush)

HEALTH OF SOVIET CHILDREN CALLED "CATASTROPHIC." The director
of the All-Union Center for Hygiene and the Prevention of Children's
Diseases, Galina Serdyukovskaya, has called the state of children's
health in the Soviet Union "catastrophic." Interviewed in the
latest edition of Argumenty i fakty, Serdyukovskaya said that
90% of all children suffered vitamin deficiency last year because
of food shortages and high prices. Fewer than one in ten school
children showed normal physical development and only about 15%
of Soviet Army conscripts could be considered healthy. Up to
35% of children had chronic illnesses and 45% showed abnormalities
that could develop into serious illnesses. (Keith Bush)

ATAT'YANA KORYAGINA ON BLACK MARKET. Vast quantities of consumer
goods produced in the Soviet Union never made it to stores because
they were hidden in black-market depots throughout the USSR,
economist Tat'tyana Koryagina claimed in Sovetskaya Rossia, October
31. The "black-marketeers" even exported goods to Eastern Europe,
Koryagina, a former Gosplan employee said. Such practices led
to the destruction of the Soviet economy. (Victor Yasmann)


USSR-OTHER REPUBLICS


KIEV ADOPTS LAW ON NATIONAL GUARD. On November 4, as reported
by Radio Kiev and news agencies, the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
gave final approval to laws creating a national guard, border
troops, and defining the state border. The national guard will
consist of approximately 30,000 citizens of Ukraine and will
initially be drawn from troops of the Soviet Interior Ministry.
Its duties will include protection of Ukraine's sovereignty and
territorial integrity as well as protection of the president,
embassies, and government buildings. Members will enjoy medical
and housing benefits and will have first priority in gaining
entrance to Ukraine's higher military schools. (Kathy Mihalisko)


FOKIN ON RUSSIAN PRICE REFORM. Boris Yeltsin's recently proposed
economic reform package for the RSFSR, which would include the
freeing of prices, is being widely discussed in Ukraine. Prime
Minister Vitold Fokin told Radio Kiev on November 2 that price
liberalization in Russia would put Ukraine in a complicated position.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE POLL. An opinion poll conducted in various
parts of Ukraine continues to show that a majority of the population
is expected to support the August 24 declaration of Ukrainian
independence, Radio Kiev reported November 4. The highest positive
responses, as expected, were in Western Ukraine. In Lvov Oblast
86% supported independence and in Ternopil' 92%. But 83% in Odessa
Oblast also favored independence. In Donetsk the result was 65%,
Zakarpattya 76%, Kiev 88%, Crimea 53%, Chernivtsi 76%, and Chernihiv
60%. (Roman Solchanyk)

MORE ON CONFEDERATION OF MOUNTAIN PEOPLES. A Kabardian, Yuri
Shanibov, was elected president of the confederation of mountain
peoples of the Caucasus, set up by the Third Congress of the
Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus on November3, "Vesti" reported
November 4. The Chechen, Yusup Soslambekov, a deputy chairman
of the rebel Executive Committee of OKChN, was chosen as chairman
of the Caucasian parliament, which includes three representatives
of the 14 peoples signing the treaty. He also heads the Defense
Committee of the Caucasus. The congress came out unambiguously
for the independence of the peoples of the North Caucasus and
Abkhazia, and gave its support to the Chechen "revolution." (Ann
Sheehy)

MOLDAVIA TO INTRODUCE OWN MILITARY DRAFT. Moldavia's Higher Security
Council, chaired by President Mircea Snegur, resolved at a session
November 1 to introduce a republican military draft in order
to raise troops for Moldavia's Ministry of Internal Affairs and
the border guard. (The draft into the planned "national army"
is being handled separately.) The Council also decided to create
military training centers for draftees and for Moldavian reservists,
Moldovapres reported that day. It also mandated Snegur to issue
a presidential decree on the disposition of USSR military assets
located in Moldavia, apparently intending to claim republican
jurisdiction over those assets. The Council also resolved to
institute a special commission to negotiate with the USSR over
these issues. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN POPULAR FRONT CALLS FOR REUNIFICATION WITH ROMANIA.
A rally by some 10,000 supporters of the Moldavian Popular Front,
held in Kishinev on November 3 and addressed by the Front's leaders,
demanded reunification with Romania and the immediate introduction
in Moldavia of the Romanian currency lei in place or the ruble,
AFP, TASS, and Radio Bucharest reported that day. The participants
also denounced Snegur for opposing reunification with Romania.
Snegur has recently insisted that an overwhelming majority of
Moldavians oppose reunification. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIA PREPARED TO RETALIATE AGAINST RSFSR'S "ECONOMIC WARFARE."
In the second part of his interview with AFP, released by Moldovapres
November 1 (see Daily Report, November 4), Moldavian First Vice
Prime Minister Constantin Tampiza denounced the RSFSR's threats
to charge world prices in hard currency for its fuel and energy
exports to republics not joining the economic union. Accusing
the RSFSR of resorting to "economic warfare," Tampiza said that
Moldavia can retaliate by asking for world prices and hard currency
for its agricultural exports to the RSFSR and also for the labor
of the many thousands of Moldavians employed on contract in Siberia
and the Far North. (Vladimir Socor)

ROMANIA OPTS FOR SOVIET OVER MOLDAVIAN CONSULATE. A new General
Consulate of the USSR opened November 1 in the city of Iasi,
capital of Romania's rump province of Moldavia, near Romania's
border with the USSR. The consulate is headed by a diplomat from
Moldavia but is subordinated to the USSR Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. The decision is bound to disappoint Kishinev which had
for nearly two years insisted that the consulate represent Moldavia
and not the USSR. After procrastinating, Bucharest seems finally
to have bowed to countervailing pressure from Moscow. (Vladimir
Socor)


BALTIC STATES


PARATROOPERS NOT LEAVING YET. There has been no movement of paratrooper
units based in Voru and Viljandi in Estonia, BNS reported on
November 4. Paevaleht, quoting Krasnaya zvezda, had reported
plans to begin moving the units on November 3. (Riina Kionka)


SCHLUETER IN ESTONIA. Danish Prime Minister Paul Schlueter begins
a two-day official visit to Estonia on November 5, Western agencies
reported. Schlueter is set to meet his Estonian counterpart,
Edgar Savisaar, who visited Denmark six weeks ago. A Danish transportation
delegation is also scheduled to arrive in Tallinn November 5
to assess Estonia's transportation needs and make recommendations
on modernizing the system. (Riina Kionka)

LATVIA PREPARES FOR TALKS WITH RSFSR. On November 5, the Latvian
Supreme Council approved the composition of the delegation for
talks with the RSFSR, according to Radio Riga. Talks are to deal
with economic cooperation, minority rights, military issues and
other topics. The 22-member delegation includes 9 deputies, among
them Janis Dinevics. The legislators feel that, given the instability
in the USSR, Latvia must hold parallel talks both with Russia
and the USSR. The go-ahead for the talks, which may start November
10, was apparently given by RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin when
he telephoned Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs
on October 29.(Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN-SOUTH AFRICAN COOPERATION DISCUSSED. After visiting Estonia,
South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha spent November 3 and
4 in Latvia discussing economic cooperation and the establishment
of diplomatic relations. According to Radio Riga of that day,
Botha said Latvia was in the process of liberating itself from
its communist past and that what it needs now is economic and
political stability. (Dzintra Bungs)

CITIZENS' CONGRESS AGAINST PARLIAMENT'S CITIZENSHIP CONCEPT.
At its extraordinary session on November 2, the Latvian Citizens'
Congress denounced a resolution setting forth guidelines for
citizenship and naturalization in Latvia that was adopted by
the Supreme Council on October 15. According to a BNS dispatch
of November 2, the congress rejected the norms for naturalization
and criticized the parliament's concept as legalizing the status
of Soviet "colonists" in Latvia. The congress also announced
that it is the only body having legal authority to start a registry
of Latvia's citizens. The participants also decided that it was
impossible to try to work together with the Supreme Council.
(Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIANS CRITICIZE TRAVEL RESTRICTION TO POLAND. Latvian Supreme
Council deputies Linards Mucins, Valdis Birkavs, and Andrejs
Pantelejevs told Diena of November 1 that the Latvian government's
decision of October 29 to impose wide-ranging restrictions on
travel to Poland was undemocratic and contrary to the spirit
of the CSCE accords signed by Latvian representatives earlier
that month in Helsinki. Pantelejevs said that the Supreme Council
should see that the decision is revoked. Deputy Prime Minister
Ilmars Bisers said that the restrictions are temporary and were
coordinated with Lithuania to limit irregular commercial activities
with Poland. (Dzintra Bungs)


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