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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 212, 07 November 1991



USSR-ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR



NOVEMBER 7, 1991: GOOD-BYE COMMUNISM! On the morning of November
7, Central television devoted a mere 10 minutes to demonstrations
in Moscow both commemorating the anniversary of the Bolshevik
revolution and lamenting the millions of victims of the country's
communist past. (Last year, Central television devoted two hours
to the subject.) Later today, Central television will air a seven-part
series entitled Perezhitoe (Endurance) and a concert celebrating
renaming Leningrad St. Petersburg. (Julia Wishnevsky)

YELTSIN BANS THE CPSU. On the eve of the 74th anniversary of
the Bolshevik revolution, Boris Yeltsin signed an edict banning
the activities of the CPSU and Russian Communist Party on the
territory of the Russian Federation, "Vesti" reported November
6. According to the edict, the organizational structures of these
parties are to be disbanded. Following the abortive coup d'etat
on August 22, Yeltsin and Gorbachev decreed that the activities
of the CPSU be "suspended," pending the results of the investigations
of Party involvement in the coup. (Julia Wishnevsky)

TRUBIN FIRES PROSECUTOR. Soviet Prosecutor General Nikolai Trubin
fired his senior assistant, Viktor Ilyukhin, after halting treason
proceedings which Ilyukhin had ordered against Soviet President
Gorbachev, "Vesti" reported on November 6. Ilyukhin, the prosecutor
with responsibility for state security matters, had formally
initiated a treason case against Gorbachev for allowing the Baltic
states to declare independence. (See Daily Report, November6.)
(Carla Thorson)

UKRAINE AND MOLDAVIA SIGN ECONOMIC TREATY. On November 6 Ukraine
and Moldavia signed the economic community treaty that Soviet
President Gorbachev and his team have been promoting so earnestly.
Ten of the original Soviet republics have now signed the teaty.
Apart from the now independent Baltic States, only Georgia and
Azerbaijan have not signed. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

YELTSIN FORMS NEW RSFSR GOVERNMENT. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin
has signed a decree appointing himself Russia's new Prime Minister,
TASS reported on November 6. Yeltsin formally made the RSFSR
Council of Ministers the RSFSR Government which now consists
of 24 ministries. These ministries are divided into four sections--each
headed by a deputy chairman of the RSFSR Government. Yeltsin
himself takes over the control over the RSFSR ministries of defense,
interior affairs and the RSFSR defense ministry. The most powerful
post after Yeltsin's in the new executive structure is that of
First Deputy Chairman of the RSFSR Government which went to RSFSR
State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis. (Alexander Rahr)

BURBULIS BECOMES RUSSIA'S NUMBER TWO MAN. According to TASS of
November 6, Burbulis, the new Russian First Deputy Prime Minister,
is now in charge of organizing the work of the RSFSR's government
and has the right to sign government decrees in the absence of
Yeltsin. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi has been put in charge
of a newly created Center for Operational Control over Reform.
Yeltsin also decreed the formation of a Collegium of the RSFSR
Government which will consist of 10 members--Yeltsin, Burbulis,
three deputy premiers, the ministers of foreign affairs, interior
affairs, press and mass media, the RSFSR KGB chief, and Rutskoi.
(Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN TO MOVE ON REFORM MEASURES. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin
is set to move on at least two important economic reform measures,
TASS and Interfax reported on November 6. According to Yeltsin
spokesman Pavel Bashanov, one measure is designed to liberalize
foreign economic relations (see Daily Report of November 6) and
the other to protect low-income people from inflation that is
likely following expected price liberalization and monetary reform
measures. Yeltsin could sign the decrees as early as November
7. (John Tedstrom)

YELTSIN: RUSSIA TO PAY GEORGIAN, BALTIC DEBT SHARES. RSFSR President
Boris Yeltsin said on November 6 that Russia will pay the share
of USSR foreign debt falling on Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and
Georgia, Western agencies reported that day. He said that Russia
will honor its own foreign obligations and assume "responsibility
for payment of that share of the foreign debt of those four republics
that refuse to take part." It should be noted that while the
four have refused to join the new Moscow-sponsored economic union
treaty, they have not explicitly ruled out paying their share
of the debt. (Dzintra Bungs)

CANDIDATES FOR POST OF RSFSR ECONOMIC MINISTER. The Financial
Times of November 6 identified four candidates for the post of
economic minister in the new RSFSR government. They are: RSFSR
State Counselor Yurii Skokov, former economic minister Evgenii
Saburov and radical economists Egor Gaidar and Grigorii Yavlinsky.
Skokov is a representative of the military-industrial complex
and wants to conduct reforms in Russia and the republics separately,
while Yavlinski and Saburov insist of keeping reform at an all-union
level. Yeltsin is scheduled to announce his cabinet early next
week.(Alexander Rahr)

NOSKO RECONSIDERS. Anatolii Nosko, Deputy Board Chairman of Vneshekonombank,
has backed away from his warning of November 5 that the USSR
might run out of hard currency to pay debts in November. (See
Daily Report, November 6.) After visiting World Bank President
Lewis Preston said late payments would damage the Soviet Union's
creditworthiness, Nosko told Western agencies on November 6 that
means to pay would be found. He suggested that the additional
currency could be raised through extra exports of oil and gas,
commercial credits on international capital markets, or by borrowing
from the Soviet Union's private banking sector. (Keith Bush)


FREE HOUSING FOR MUSCOVITES. Moscow Mayor Gavrill Popov told
a press conference November 6 that apartments will be given free
of charge to Moscow residents, TASS reported that day. He said
that the sale of apartments under economic reform might strip
people of all of their money, which he called "inadmissible"
with the imminent lifting of price controls. It also seemed unprofitable,
according to Popov, to sell housing at a time when the ruble
is expected to decline in value. He announced that taxes on extra
square meters of housing space will be introduced later, after
unrestricted prices stabilize. (Keith Bush)

AMERICAN TRADE CONSORTIUM FALLING APART. According to The Journal
of Commerce of November 4, the American Trade Consortium, which
was set up three years ago to ease the entry into the Soviet
market for several major US corporations, is breaking up. The
ATC linked Chevron, RJR Nabisco, Johnson & Johnson, ADM, Eastman
Kodak, and Ford, with Mercator Corporation providing the linkage
and oversight for the consortium. The former members of the ATC
are said to be going into business on their own in the USSR.
The only major deal credited to ATC has been the Chevron project
in Tenghiz, but this has still not been finally approved by the
Kazakh authorities. (Keith Bush)

BOVIN TO BECOME USSR AMBASSADOR IN ISRAEL. Aleksandr Bovin, now
Izvestia's foreign policy observer, is expected to become the
USSR ambassador to Israel, "TV Inform" reported on November 6.
During the first years of Gorbachev's tenure, Bovin was the first
Soviet journalist publicly to have argued Soviet reconciliation
with Israel. Bovin also visited Israel earlier this month, immediately
after diplomatic relations were reestablished. Bovin is a friend
of many liberals in Gorbachev's entourage, particularly of Anatolii
Chernyaev who shared the hardships of the president's detention
in Faros during the August coup. (Julia Wishnevsky)

WITHDRAWAL FROM MONGOLIA SET. The last Soviet troops will be
out of Mongolia by September, 1992, Western agencies reported
on November 6 citing an unnamed Soviet military officer in Ulan
Bator. According to the Mongolian government, there are some
2,500 Soviet troops in Mongolia, primarily in the area surrounding
and north of the capital city. (Suzanne Crow)

MILITARY CONDUCTS OPINION POLL. Support of radical reductions
in Soviet nuclear weapons ranges from 91% of those polled in
Lithuania, 57% in the RSFSR, and 59% in Ukraine, according to
an opinion poll conducted by the Voennoinformatsionnoe agentstvo
(October 1991 bulletin). A favorable stance toward USSR membership
in NATO was registered by 59% of those questioned in the RSFSR,
56% in Ukraine, and 47% in Lithuania. Only 3% of the Soviet population--down
from 6% in 1990--see foreign aggression as the main threat to
the USSR. The major threats to stability in society are identified
by 60% as the lack of food products (1990: 61%), crime -- 63%
(1990: 47%), and 51% -- new inter-ethnic conflicts (1990: 44%).
(Alexander Rahr)

PATRIARCH ARRIVED IN ST. PETERSBURG. Moscow Radio reported on
November 6 that Patriarch Aleksii II arrived the day before in
St. Petersburg to participate in festivities and conduct a church
service in honor of the restoration of that city's historic name.
(Oxana Antic)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME TO GO COMMERCIAL. A spokesman for the Kazakhstan
Space Research Agency told TASS on November 7 that the Baikonur
space center will turn itself into a joint-stock company called
International Spaceport. The company will compete with US and
Chinese aerospace firms as well as the European Ariane consortium
in launching commercial payloads with Soviet rockets. The agency,
along with major commercial banks and space rocket associations
of the RSFSR and Ukraine will hold 80% of the shares. (Ann Sheehy)


RUSSIA RESTRICTS GASOLINE SUPPLIES TO LATVIA. On November 5 Latvia's
Energy Minister Auseklis Lazdins told Radio Riga that since September
Russia had practically stopped sending gasoline to Latvia forcing
it use its reserves. As of November 1, Russia has decided to
restrict its gasoline shipments to the Baltic States and to require
special licences. According to Diena of November 4, RSFSR Economics
Minister Evgenii Saburov claimed that he had no information about
the restrictions and asserted that " this is not an economic
war" but merely an episodic interruption in the supply process.
(Dzintra Bungs)

RSFSR LEADERSHIP EXTENDS SUBSCRIPTION ON ITS OWN PAPERS. The
RSFSR Ministry of Press and Mass Information has extended the
1992 subscription deadline for two papers, Rossiya (put out by
the Presidium of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet) and Rossiyaskaya gazeta
(put out by the RSFSR Supreme Soviet). Pravda (November 1) interviewed
an official from the Ministry who said the extension of the subscription
period is aimed at giving people more time to get acquainted
with the new periodicals. Pravda criticized the move saying it
resembled the time when Pravda and other important CPSU CC periodicals
were given advantage as regards subscription over other newspapers.
(Vera Tolz)

RSFSR KGB CONSIDERS ITS ACTIVITY AGAINST BALTIC STATES, GEORGIA.
The possible creation of a Russian intelligence network directed
toward the Baltic states and Georgia will depend both on the
status of relations between these countries and the RSFSR and
the potential threat from their secret services to the Russian
Federation, RSFSR KGB Chairman, Victor Ivanenko told Argumenty
i Fakty, No. 44. He also stressed the possibility of riots in
the RSFSR in December is increasing. Finally, he said that combatting
the Mafia in Moscow is a "very delicate matter," because the
Mafia has top officials in its ranks. (Victor Yasmann)


USSR-OTHER REPUBLICS


UKRAINE SIGNS ECONOMIC TREATY. Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitold
Fokin signed the economic union treaty on November 6, but warned
that he still had reservations about it, Western news agencies
reported that day. This move came after the vote on November
5 by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, by a margin of 236-96, in
favor of signing the economic treaty provisionally. The treaty
must be ratified by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet and members
of the former parliamentary opposition predict that it will be
rejected. The document will be submitted to the Ukrainian parliamentarians
for ratification after some twenty additional documents are agreed
upon. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN AGREEMENT. Ukraine and Russia signed a communique
on November 6 agreeing on the need for collective security and
the formation of a common defense strategy, Radio Kiev and Western
news agencies reported that day. The communique was signed by
Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk and
RSFSR President Boris El'tsin. On the same day, the two sides
initialed a trade and economic agreement. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINE CRITICIZES CENTRAL MEDIA. The Presidium of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet issued a statement on November 6 criticizing the
mass media of the former USSR for disseminating material discrediting
the Ukrainian parliament and government; instigating inter-ethnic
hostility; employing scare tactics regarding political and economic
chaos in connection with Ukrainian independence; and facilitating
rumours about an exchange of nuclear strikes between Ukraine
and Russia,Radio Kiev reported on November 6. (Roman Solchanyk)


PRESIDENTIAL RACE IN UKRAINE. The seventh candidate in the presidential
race in Ukraine has been registered, Radio Moscow reported on
November 6. He is Deputy Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
Vladimir Grinev. The other six candidates are Chairman of the
Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk, who is favored in the
polls; Chairman of the Lvov Oblast Soviet Vyacheslav Chornovil,
who is running second to Kravchuk; head of the Ukrainian Republican
Party Levko Lukyanenko; Ihor Yukhnovs'kyi, leader of the former
opposition in the Ukrainian parliament; Minister of Agriculture
Oleksandr Tkachenko; andhead of the People's Party of Ukraine
from Dnepropetrovsk Leopold Taburyanskyi. (Roman Solchanyk)

MILITARY INSTALLATIONS IN UKRAINE. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kravchuk indicated at a meeting at the main naval base of the
Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol in October that 1,330 enterprises
of the military-industrial complex are located in Ukraine, the
newly created Voennoinformatsionnoe agentsvo attached to Krasnaya
zvezda reported in its October bulletin. Speaking at the session
of the Supreme Soviet of the Crimean ASSR, Kravchuk stressed
that Ukraine maintains 176 rocket launching installations and
produces about 40% of the USSR's nuclear weapons. (Alexander
Rahr)

MOLDAVIA JOINS ECONOMIC UNION. Moldavian premier Valerii Muravsky
told reporters, after he had signed the treaty on an economic
community on November 6, that the treaty made it possible to
preserve the links previously established between the republics
and thus stabilize the situation in the economy and in society
as a whole, TASS reported November 6. He foresaw, however, possible
problems in drawing up the special agreements that accompany
the treaty. Muravsky reiterated that Moldavia was not planning
to join any political or military union. (Ann Sheehy)

TAJIK TRADE UNIONS ISSUE ULTIMATUM. Trade unions of the agro-industrial
complex and health service have given the Tajikistan leadership
two weeks to create a commission to review their demands linked
to the catastrophic worsening of the life of the workers, TASS
reported November 6. The statement said living standards were
falling rapidly, and social tension was rising in the rural areas.
If their demand was not met, the unions said they reserved the
right to act in accordance with the law to protect the workers'
interests. About two-thirds of the population of Tajikistan lives
in the rural areas where the average annual income has long been
below the poverty line. (Ann Sheehy)

MOLDAVIA TO INTRODUCE OWN CURRENCY. In a statement cited by Vechernii
Kishinev of November 4, as reported by Moldovapres the same day,
Moldavian National Bank chairman Leonid Talmaci said that the
Moldavian government has "practically decided" to introduce a
republican currency as an indispensable measure to defend the
republic's consumer market against the uncontrolled absorption
of Moldavian products by both the official and the black USSR
markets. The currency is planned to be introduced within the
next 12 to 18 months unless an emergency situation necessitates
faster action. The currency may be called either Moldavian leu
or ducats, both of which were used in Moldavia in past centuries,
with the leu becoming the currency of Romania. (Vladimir Socor)


MOLDAVIA HOSTS US JEWISH DELEGATION. Moldavian President Mircea
Snegur received on November 3 the leaders of the American Jewish
organization Joint Distribution Committee, Moldovapres reported
that day. They discussedthe opening of a JDC representation in
Kishinev and possibilities for economic cooperation between Moldavia
and the US Jewish community. (Vladimir Socor)

ROMANIAN TO GRANT SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MOLDAVIANS. Romania's Ministry
of Education and Science announced on November 4 through Rompres
that it is funding 1,400 high-school scholarships, 800 university
scholarships, and 200 post-graduate and doctoral scholarships
for Moldavians from the Republic of Moldavia and from Ukraine
studying in Romania in the current school year. The Ministry
did not specify the amounts of the grants but, according to Romanian
press reports, the Moldavian students are having to put up with
great material hardships in Romania. (Vladimir Socor)

UZBEK INTELLECTUALS ISSUE APPEAL ON EXODUS OF RUSSIANS FROM UZBEKISTAN.
Pravda Vostoka of November 6 published an appeal to the presidents
of Uzbekistan and Russia from a number of well-known scientists,
writers, and journalists of Uzbekistan expressing concern at
the continuing departure of the Russian-speaking population from
Uzbekistan, UzTag-TASS reported on November 6. The appeal called
for the creation of an Uzbekistan-Russian Friendship Society
to help stop the exodus. Russian-speakers account for an undue
proportion of specialists and skilled industrial workers in the
Central Asian and some other republics, and their departure can
have a damaging effect on the economy. (Ann Sheehy)

SILAEV ASKS BAKU TO RESTORE GAS TO ARMENIA. Ivan Silaev, chairman
of the USSR operative economic committee, has sent a telegram
to Azeri Prime Minister Gasan Gasanov calling on Azerbaijan to
restore gas supplies to Armenia, TASS said on November 6. Silaev
said the cut-off of supplies could have unforeseeable economic
consequences in the approaching winter months. (Kathy Mihalisko)


AZERI KGB CHANGES NAME. Azerinform-TASS reported on November
6 that Azerbaijan has passed a law reconstituting the KGB of
that republic into the Ministry of National Security. In another
change, the Ministry will be directly subordinate to the President
of the Azerbaijani Republic, not to the Cabinet of Ministers.
(Kathy Mihalisko)

UZBEK-BELORUSSIAN ACCORD. On November6, Uzbek president Islam
Karimov and Belorussian Supreme Soviet chairman Stanislau Shushkevich
signed an accord in Tashkent governing bilateral ties between
their two republics. The agreement covers cooperation on foreign
policy, trade, and other issues, TASS said. Uzbekistan and Belorussia
also recognized each other as sovereign states. (Kathy Mihalisko)


BELORUSSIAN CONSCRIPTS TO SERVE AT HOME. "Vesti" reported on
November 6 that a projected 94%-96% of new army conscripts in
Belorussia will perform military duties in their home republic.
The autumn call-up was issued later than usual in Belorussia,
the report said. (Kathy Mihalisko)


BALTIC STATES


ESTONIA DECIDES ON CITIZENSHIP. On November 6 the Estonian Supreme
Council voted 64 to 14 to adopt the 1938 citizenship law, Rahva
Haal reported the next day. The Supreme Council also gave the
government three weeks time to come up with a draft law on how
the 1938 law should be applied. Yesterday's decision puts the
onus on the government to draft regulations on naturalization,
an issue which has been at the center of debate over the citizenship
law for months. The Supreme Council will have to approve the
draft regulations when they are ready. (Riina Kionka)

DENMARK, ESTONIA SIGN TREATY. Danish Prime Minister Paul Schlueter
and his Estonian counterpart Edgar Savisaar signed a cooperation
treaty on November 6, news agencies reported that day. Schlueter
called the treaty, which is aimed at boosting business and investment,
"a vital contribution to a free-market economy." He also said
Denmark aims to sign similar agreements with Latvia and Lithuania.
(Riina Kionka)

SOUTH AFRICA WANTS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH BALTIC STATES. Following
the visit of its Foreign Minister Pik Botha to Estonia, Latvia,
and Lithuania, the South African government announced that it
intends to set up full diplomatic relations with the Baltic States
Botha said that he had reach agreement on full ties with all
three Baltic governments, according to Western agency dispatches
of November 6. (Dzintra Bungs)

LITHUANIA TO INTRODUCE NATIONAL CURRENCY. The Lithuanian Supreme
Council voted on November 5 to start preparations for the introduction
of the litas as Lithuania's official currency, Western agencies
reported November 6. Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis,
Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, and Lithuanian National Bank
Director Vilius Baldisius were appointed to head a committee
that is to set the date for the introduction of the new currency
and the official exchange to the ruble. The litas will be the
only legal tender in Lithuania after the committee decides on
a date to withdraw the ruble from circulation. (Dzintra Bungs)



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