|Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal. - John F. Kennedy|
No. 213, 08 November 1991
USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR COMMUNISTS AND ANTI-COMMUNISTS DEMONSTRATE. Communists and anti-communists held demonstrations in Moscow on November 7 to mark the anniversary of the October revolution, Soviet and Western media reported. Some 400 anti-communist protesters gathered outside the Lubyanka headquarters to mourn victims of the Soviet regime, while several thousand Communists gathered near the Kremlin to celebrate the revolution's anniversary. Communists condemned Yeltsin's decree banning CPSU activities in Russia and denounced the "traitorous Gorbachev-Yeltsin clique." Tens of thousands rallied in St. Petersburg to celebrate the victory of democratic forces and the restoration of the city's original name. (Vera Tolz) VARIOUS ATTITUDES TO NOVEMBER 7. On November 7, "TV Inform" interviewed cultural and political figures regarding the October Revolution. Academician Dmitrii Likhachev said it should not be a prerogative of a state to exercise ideological control. Historian General Dmitrii Volkogonov noted roots of the country's current problems in the October Revolution. But Nina Andreeva, leader of the Bolshevik Platform in the CPSU, said that the revolution was "the main point in Russia's history." She said that Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and other leaders who defeated Communism would be punished sooner or later. (Vera Tolz) COMMUNISTS OPPOSE YELTSIN'S DECREE. The unofficial committee "For the Union of Communists," set up on October 1, sent a formal statement to TASS protesting Yeltsin's decree of November 6 that banned the CPSU and RCP activities in the RSFSR. On November 7, TASS quoted the statement as saying that the decree was aimed at suppressing political opposition and establishing a new dictatorship in the Russian republic. In fact, the RSFSR leadership has taken no action against Communist groups that were created in the RSFSR after the dissolution of the CPSU ruling bodies. (Vera Tolz) GORBACHEV APPROVES NEW STATE SECURITY CHIEFS. Mikhail Gorbachev formally appointed Vadim Bakatin as the Chief of the Inter-Republic Security Service (MSB); Evgenii Primakov as the Director of the USSR Central Intelligence Service (TsSR) and Ilya Kalinichenko as the Chairman of the Committee for Protection of the USSR State Border and the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Troops, TASS reported on November 6. In the coming weeks, the new state security chiefs must submit to the USSR President a proposal on statutes for their services. (Victor Yasmann) STOCK EXCHANGE CONGRESS ABOUT PROPERTY OF CPSU AND KGB. The Congress of the Stock Exchange (an organization of about two hundred Soviet brokerage firms) published a statement in Moskovskaya pravda on November 6 claiming that property, capital, and real estate controlled by the CPSU and the KGB is actively involved in commercial operations in domestic and foreign markets. The volume of the CPSU and KGB capital engaged in such operations well exceeds official figures. The Congress expressed concern that various political parties are making claims on this property, arguing that distribution along partisan lines can lead to a "new ideologization" of the capital. (Victor Yasmann) SKULLDUGGERY AT MINFIN? According to Izvestia of November 6, government auditors discovered 45.4 billion rubles in two accounts at the USSR Gosbank that the USSR Ministry of Finance had not declared to the USSR President or to the legislature, Western agencies reported on November 7. One of the accounts, with 40 billion rubles, belonged to the USSR Ministry of Finance and had been opened in 1939. Izvestia did not say who started the other account. Acting USSR Finance Minister Vladimir Raevsky told Izvestia that he was unaware of the accounts until recently. The chairman of the government auditing commission suggested transferring the money to the agricultural sector. (Keith Bush) G-7 READIES AID PACKAGE. Western agencies reported on November 7 that the Group of Seven industrialized nations are preparing a package of measures to help the Soviet Union over its current liquidity problems. The package is expected to be unveiled shortly. Among its possible provisions are: a deferral of repayments of principal, but not interest; a bridging loan from the BIS; and the provision of a safety net under Vneshekonombank. (Keith Bush) DEFENSE BUDGET FOR 1992. Ivan Silaev, chairman of the Committee for the Operational Management of the Economy, called a meeting on November 6 to discuss the urgent problem of the 1992 defense budget in the absence of a single all-Union budget, TASS reported that same day. USSR Defense Minister Evgenii Shaposhnikov and the head of the committee's defense department Soslan Guchmazov presented a draft agreement on defense expenditures for 1992. One proposal was that each republic should contribute the same percentage of its budget or national income. Aleksandr Shelkanov, chairman of the Council of the Union's Commission for the Armed Forces, told TASS on November 6 that the problem might be solved after Shaposhnikov had visited the republics. (Ann Sheehy) EAST GERMAN EXPORT GUARANTEES TO CEASE. The German Economics Ministry said November 7 that the 100% government guarantee for East German exports to the USSR will no longer be provided after this year, Western agencies reported that day. Future exports will be subject to the normal terms that apply to German exports to other countries. As a result, Soviet customer enterprises will have to make a 15% down payment on products acquired from the former East German states, and Soviet firms will no longer receive other special credit terms. (Keith Bush) MAXWELL'S CORPORATION LISTED AMONG ID'S "FRIENDLY FIRMS." Pergamon Press, which belonged to media tycoon Robert Maxwell, was listed among firms considered "friendly" by the CPSU CC's International Department. According to a list published by Argumenty i Fakty (No. 42), which appeared two weeks before Maxwell's death, the ID had a debit of 500,000 hard currency rubles in transactions with Pergamon Press. (Victor Yasmann) PARTY OF BUSINESSMEN REGISTERED. The so-called Bourgeois Democratic Party became the first party of Russian businessmen to be officially registered in Moscow, "Vesti" reported on November6. The television quoted the party's leader E. Butov as saying the aim of the party is to defend the rights of small- and middle-sized businesses. There is another party of businessmen in Moscow--the Party of Free Labor. Set up in Moscow last year, this party is not, however, officially registered yet. (Vera Tolz) CONFERENCE OF LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF THE USSR. The Liberal Democratic party of the USSR, headed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, held a conference over the weekend of November 2-3, TASS reported on November 2. The party is criticized by the RSFSR's democratic forces as being neither liberal nor democratic. Addressing the congress, Zhirinovsky sharply attacked proclamations of independence by former Union- and autonomous republics. He also criticized Gorbachev and Yeltsin. Zhirinovsky ran unsuccessfully against Yeltsin in the RSFSR presidential elections last June. (Vera Tolz) CONGRESS OF INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION OF JOURNALISTS. A congress of a recently created independent trade union of journalists was held in Moscow over the weekend of November 2-3, "TSN" reported on November 2. The trade union is headed by former political prisoner, independent journalist, and publisher Sergei Grigoryants. Grigoryants was quoted by "TSN" as saying the drastic decrease in print runs of periodicals will soon result in widespread unemployment of journalists. The union will seek to defend the rights of journalists as the situation deteriorates. (Vera Tolz) ATTEMPTS TO REVIVE KOMSOMOL. About forty people met in St. Petersburg on November 7 to discuss the establishment of a new Communist youth organization. The organization is to replace the All-Union Komsomol which disbanded itself at the end of September. TASS reported that day that representatives of all parts of the USSR came. (Vera Tolz) GAIDAR APPOINTED RSFSR DEPUTY PREMIER. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin appointed Egor Gaidar as Deputy Chairman of the RSFSR Government in charge of the economic section, TASS reported on November 7. Gaidar will coordinate the work of 13 ministries, responsible for implementing Yeltsin's radical reform. Gaidar previously worked as director of the Institute for Economic Policy and headed a group of young economists who prepared Yeltsin's reform program. He is close to RSFSR First Deputy Premier Gennadii Burbulis who shares the view that Russia should seek a separate path and break with the USSR. Gaidar is reportedly at odds with another Russian radical reformist, Grigorii Yavlinski, who is fighting to preserve the Union. (Alexander Rahr) SHOKHIN APPOINTED RSFSR DEPUTY PREMIER. Yeltsin also appointed Aleksandr Shokhin as Deputy Chairman of the RSFSR Government in charge of the social policy section, TASS reported on November 7. Shokhin will coordinate the work of the RSFSR ministries of health, labor, education, culture, and social security. Prior to this appointment, Shokhin served as RSFSR Minister of Labor. Shokhin is one of the leaders of the Russian Social-Democratic Party. His nomination indicates that Yeltsin seeks consensus with other political parties through forming a government of national trust. (Alexander Rahr) RUSSIA TO ERECT BORDER POSTS. Galina Starovoitova, an adviser to RSFSR President Yeltsin, told Western agencies on November 7 that Russia will soon start erecting customs posts along some of its borders. The posts will be set up in two or three months' time on borders where other republics have already established such facilities; she mentioned the Baltic states. Starovoitova explained that the posts will be part of a process to strengthen Russian autonomy and that Russia is concerned about an influx of rubles from other republics. (Keith Bush) NORTH OSSETIAN PARLIAMENT REPLIES TO GAMSAKHURDIA. Replying to a protest by Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia at the North Ossetian parliament's having discussed South Ossetia's request for incorporation in North Ossetia, the chairman of the North Ossetian Supreme Soviet Akhsarbek Galazov said that, in the face of the Georgian parliament's policy of solving "the Ossetian problem" by force of arms, the North Ossetian parliament had to take measures to prevent the physical destruction of the Ossetians in Georgia, TASS reported on November 7. (Ann Sheehy) REBEL CHECHEN PARLIAMENT NATIONALIZES UNION, RSFSR PROPERTY. The parliament of the self-styled Chechen parliament has nationalized all the enterprises, departments, and associations of Union and RSFSR subordination on its territory, Moscow Radio reported on November 7. The president, ex-General Dzhakhar Dudaev, has also been appointed head of the cabinet of ministers and a national security service has been set up instead of the KGB. The radio reported that the conflict between various groupings, parties, and movements in Checheno-Ingushetia was intensifying. (Ann Sheehy) POPE BLESSES RUSSIAN PERFORMERS. Izvestia published on November 2 a report from Rome about the first performance in the Vatican of the International charity program called "New Names," founded by the Soviet Fund of Culture and the Soviet Peace Fund. Pope John Paul II was among those present at the concert given by the Russian National Symphonic orchestra as part of this program. The pope thanked the musicians in Russian. (Oxana Antic) USSR-OTHER REPUBLICS NOVEMBER 7 IN KIEV. The traditional November 7 holiday in Kiev ended with scuffles between supporters and opponents of the "Socialist choice," Radio Kiev reported on November 7. Several hundred veterans of the Communist Party and its functionaries marched down Kiev's main thoroughfare and laid flowers at Lenin's statute. This was followed by a meeting at the Republican Stadium, where the fight broke out. (Roman Solchanyk) NOVEMBER 7 IN MINSK. A newly-formed front organization for the suspended Belorussian Communist Party, called "Workers of Belorussia for Democracy, Social Progress, and Justice," marked the November 7 holiday with a rally on Lenin Square in defiance of a ban imposed by the Minsk city council, according to an RFE/RL correspondent in the Belorussian capital. (Kathy Mihalisko) GAMSAKHURDIA ORDERS SEIZURE OF SOVIET MVD PROPERTY. Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia on November 7 ordered his Interior Ministry to commandeer all weapons, equipment, and bases belonging to USSR Interior Ministry troops on Georgian territory. Gamsakhurdia's decree, broadcast on that date by Radio Tbilisi, said that "they are now the property of the Republic of Georgia." Thousands of Soviet MVD troops are concentrated in South Ossetia, the scene of violent confrontations between Georgian forces and the local population. In addition, TASS on November 7 carried a statement from the Presidium of the Georgian parliament saying that Georgia deserves to be compensated for the involvement of Soviet troops on its territory. (Kathy Mihalisko) CLASH IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH. TASS said on November 7 that Armenian guerrillas clashed with Azerbaijani police in an unidentified part of Nagorno-Karabakh, reportedly resulting in several deaths and the burning of a village. In other news, Interfax reported on that date that Azerbaijani Interior Ministry troops had entered the local militia headquarters in Stepanakert in an effort to make the militia turn over its weapons. Residents surrounded the headquarters and prevented the attempt. Negotiations are said to be under way to end the impasse. The Azerbaijani parliament recently passed a law declaring all military munitions and equipment on its territory to be state property. (Kathy Mihalisko) BAKERY IN YEREVAN ATTACKED. Shoppers attacked a bakery in Yerevan and had to be dispersed by MVD troops, TASS reported on November 7. They seized freshly baked bread, trampled loaves underfoot, and damaged some of the bakery's equipment. TASS attributed the shortage of bread in Yerevan to the closure of a pipeline by Azerbaijan two days ago which supplied gas throughout Armenia. (Keith Bush) MOLDAVIAN DEPUTIES PROTEST REFUSAL TO HOLD EXTRAORDINARY SESSION. Over 100Moldavian deputies have accused the parliament's presidium of a gross violation of the constitution on the grounds that it had refused to hold an extraordinary session of the parliament although one was requested by over one third of the deputies, TASS reported on November 7. The extraordinary session was to discuss the referendum on the independence of Moldavia in connection with the demand by the right wing of the Popular Front for the unification of Moldavia and Romania. (Ann Sheehy) MOLDAVIA'S PARLIAMENTARY PRESIDIUM OUTLAWS DNIESTER ELECTION. The Presidium of the Moldavian parliament said November 7 that plans by officials in the breakaway Dniester region to hold a presidential election and independence referendum in December are illegal, TASS reported on November 7. The presidium accused the Russian-speaking region of continuing to provoke tension by its illegal activity and of hampering Moldavian efforts to resolve the Dniester issue. (Ann Sheehy) BALTIC STATES BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION REMEMBERED IN RIGA AND MOSCOW. A few thousand people gathered in Riga's Victory Square to mark the October Revolution. Although the gathering was not sanctioned and November 7 is not a holiday in Latvia, the authorities took no action against the demonstrators. In a related development, a crowd of October Revolution demonstrators in Moscow went to the Latvian Representation and shouted slogans urging freedom for the detained OMON officer Sergei Parfyonov and respect for the rights of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia, Radio Riga reported on November 7. (Dzintra Bungs) US PEACE CORPS TO THE BALTICS. US Peace Corps Director Elaine Chao said that an advance team from the Peace Corps should leave for the Baltic States by the end of the month, Western agencies reported on November 7. The team would visit towns in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to determine where Peace Corps volunteers are needed. She said that an English-teaching program, a project to develop small businesses, and an environmental program are being considered. (Dzintra Bungs) GORBUNOVS INVITES YELTSIN TO HELP START OF TALKS. On November 7 Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs sent a letter to RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin urging him to encourage the start of Latvian-Russian talks. Gorbunovs also informed Yeltsin of the composition of the Latvian delegation for the talks. The delegation, consisting of 9 Supreme Council deputies, 11 deputy ministers, and Latvian permanent representative in Moscow Janis Peters, is headed by Deputy Janis Dinevics, Radio Riga reported on November 7. (Dzintra Bungs) GORBUNOVS: PRIORITIES FOR LATVIA. In an interview published by Neue Zuercher Zeitung on November 7, Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs discussed the situation of the various nationalities living in Latvia and pointed out that all of them enjoy cultural autonomy in the best European tradition. He also delineated three major tasks for Latvia: securing the authority and proper functioning of the bodies of state authority before the next elections; revamping the economy so that it is less tied to the East and better integrated with the West; and stimulating production and productivity, especially through privatization, thus increasing earnings and a sense of personal responsibility. (Dzintra Bungs) CUBA WANTS DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH LATVIA. A Cuban delegation, headed by Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Ricardo Cabrisosa, presented a personal letter from Fidel Castro to Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs. The Cubans expressed interest in developing direct economic and diplomatic contacts with Latvia, according to Radio Riga of November7. (Dzintra Bungs) ATTACK ON LITHUANIAN CUSTOMS POST. Lithuanian Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius told the Lithuanian Supreme Council on November 7 that the attack the night before on the customs post at the Belorussian-Lithuanian border was a political act, but did not elaborate. Three men drove up to the Sumska customs post and threw explosives which injured one Lithuanian officer. Two of the three attackers are in custody in Vilnius, according to RFE/RL Lithuanian Service. Earlier this year there was a spate of attacks on customs posts in Lithuania and Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs) USSR-ESTONIA DISENGAGEMENT TALKS TO RESUME. Estonia's Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar and St. Petersburg mayor Anatolii Sobchak will hold talks on November 10 in Estonia, according to an RFE/RL interview. The two, who first met three weeks ago, are still discussing procedural matters related to planned USSR-Soviet negotiations. Last month, Soviet President Gorbachev named Sobchak chief negotiator for talks with Estonia. (Riina Kionka) SOME PARATROOPERS LEAVING ESTONIA. Some paratroopers based in Voru in southern Estonia have left the country, Rahva Haal reported on November 7. Those in Viljandi still remain. On October 3, Soviet Defense Minister Shaposhnikov pledged to remove all paratroopers from Estonia in a month's time. (Riina Kionka) NARVA CELEBRATES. BNS reported the following on November 7 without commentary: "Today at noon, veterans of the Great Patriotic War laid flowers at the Lenin statue on Peter's Square at the center of Narva. The REFAK news agency reports that festive meetings to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the Great Socialist October Revolution were held in many housing complexes in Narva." (Riina Kionka)
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