|As courage endagers life even so fear preserves it. - Leonardo Da Vinci|
No. 214, 11 November 1991
USSR--ALL-UNION TOPICS AND RSFSR YELTSIN DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY IN CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. On November 8, RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree declaring a state of emergency in Checheno-Ingushetia for one month, beginning at 0500 hours on November 9, Soviet media reported November 8. Yeltsin called for a curfew, the banning of public rallies and strikes, and the handing in of all weapons. He also named an interim administration to be headed by Akhmed Arsanov, earlier appointed his representative in Checheno-Ingushetia. The decree said that a state of emergency was being introduced in connection with the acute deterioration of the situation in the republic. (Ann Sheehy) DUDAEV DEFIANT. Rebel ex-general Dzhakhar Dudaev, president of the self-styled Chechen republic, predictably rejected Yeltsin's declaration, Soviet and Western media reported November 9. He annulled the curfew and declared martial law "to defend the freedom of the people." He also called on Arsanov to resign by midday. TASS and Western agencies reported that thousands of demonstrators had poured into the streets and turned the city into an "armed fortress." Members of Dudaev's national guard took control of several hundred interior ministry troops who had landed at a military base; on November 10 they were bussed out to North Ossetia. Airfield runways and roads were blocked, and rail traffic was stopped for twenty-four hours. RSFSR Vice-President Aleksandr Rutskoi said that on no account was force to be used, and there was no sign of any attempt to implement the state of emergency. (Ann Sheehy) RSFSR SUPSOV DEBATES CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. Yeltsin's decree declaring a state of emergency faced major opposition in the RSFSR Supreme Soviet on November 10, Radio Rossii and Western agencies reported. RSFSR KGB chairman Viktor Ivanenko called the decree a "dramatic error," while Chechen deputy Aslanbek Aslakhanov--currently chairing the Committee for Legality and Law Enforcement--criticized Yeltsin for issuing the decree without consulting parliament. Ivanenko had taken sharp issue with Rutskoi in an earlier debate on October 10 over the advisability of using force. Rutskoi defended the decree, saying the state of emergency would not be lifted until all weapons were laid down. The debate continues November 11. (Ann Sheehy, Victor Yasmann) DIFFERENT POSITIONS ON YELTSIN'S DECREE ON CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. At its 2nd Congress, the Democratic Russia Movement appealed to Yeltsin to suspend his decree introducing a state of emergency in Checheno-Ingushetia, TASS reported November 10. In contrast, the three parties that announced their break with the movement expressed strong support for Yeltsin's move and said they were in favor of the RSFSR president's actions "aimed at providing law and order in the country." (Vera Tolz) SPLIT IN DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA MOVEMENT. The three parties that made up the Democratic Russia Movement--the Democratic Party of Russia, the Party of People's Freedom, and the Christian Democratic Movement--announced their break with the umbrella organization at the movement's Second Congress on November 10. TASS said the three parties disagree, among other things, over the willingness of the Democratic Russia Movement's leadership to support the right of the RSFSR's autonomous republics to declare complete independence. The three parties, in contrast, think that Russia should be "united and indivisible," TASS reported. The three break-away parties announced their intention to set up their own "Coalition of Democratic Forces of Russia." (Vera Tolz) PRAVDA TO CONTINUE CAMPAIGN AGAINST GORBACHEV? The November 9 issue of Pravda contained a letter by Vadim Bakatin, accusing the newspaper of having launched a smear campaign against President Gorbachev and the USSR State Council. Bakatin referred to a front-page article that appeared in Pravda on November 6. It said that a senior employee of the office of USSR General Prosecutor--Viktor Ilyukhin--had brought a charge of "High Treason" against Gorbachev based on the State Council's recognition of the independence of the Baltic States. Bakatin viewed this publication as a "manifestation of the extreme displeasure of the reactionary forces...which lost the coup." In reply, Pravda's editors wrote that they were going to publish Ilyukhin's explanations of his action, as well as a comment of legal experts on whether or not Ilyukhin's charge corresponds with provisions of Soviet law. (Julia Wishnevsky) SOVIET REACTION TO NATO SUMMIT. Soviet Foreign Minister Boris Pankin said the NATO countries "took a step in the right direction" by calling for cooperation with former Warsaw Pact nations, Western agencies reported November 9. His RSFSR counterpart, Andrei Kozyrev, expressed the view that NATO is "turning more and more into a potential and real partner" for the Soviet Union. Kozyrev said it would be desirable for both the USSR and the sovereign republics to receive an "invitation to cooperate" from NATO, TASS reported November 9. (Suzanne Crow) RSFSR STATE COUNCIL DISSOLVED. The RSFSR State Council has been dissolved following the transfer of RSFSR State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis to the RSFSR government. An official of the RSFSR State Council told the RFE/RL Research Institute on November 11 that the institution of State Counsellors will remain in place. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin has named six State Counsellors so far, including Sergei Shakhrai (legal affairs), Konstantin Kobets (defense), Sergei Stankevich (ties with social and political organization), Yurii Skokov (local affairs), Aleksei Yablokov (ecology) and Aleksandr Granberg (economy). (Alexander Rahr) RSFSR STATE COUNSELLOR SAYS RUSSIA WILL REPAY SOVIET DEBTS. Aleksandr Granberg, RSFSR State Counsellor for Questions of Economic Association and Interrepublican Relations, told TASS on November 9 during his visit to the Netherlands that Russia is prepared to take responsibility for all Soviet debts if it is granted priorities in cooperation and credits from the West. Granberg said that Russia has always been more open to Western business activities than the former center. He stressed the consolidating role played by Russia in forming a new union of sovereign states. (Alexander Rahr) SOBCHAK FAVOURS POLITICAL UNION. St Petersburg mayor Anatolii Sobchak told the Portugese weekly Espress on November 10 that an economic union of former Soviet republics is not enough and that the emergence of small totalitarian states on the former territory of the Soviet Union can only be prevented by the formation of a political union. Sobchak pointed out that the republics face the danger of national-socialism and national-fascism. In a political union, the role of the republics will be stronger than that of the center, he said. Sobchak emphasized that a political union is necessary to fulfill the tasks of the former Soviet Union in the international sphere. (Alexander Rahr) SOBCHAK CRITICIZES YELTSIN PLAN. St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii Sobchak criticized the Yeltsin plan to free prices, Radio Mayak reported November 8. Sobchak said that prices should not be freed without real land reform and a program to supply food. He suggested that if prices for basic goods are not fixed, this could lead to a "social explosion." The mayor also said that the state must prevent severe hardship and guarantee a social safety net. (Carla Thorson) FALIN DENIES REPORTS ON CPSU FINANCIAL OPERATIONS. Former CPSU CC secretary for international affairs, Valentin Falin, has denied allegations that the CPSU CC International Department was controlling the CPSU's financial aid to Communist Parties abroad. Falin told TASS on November 10 that when he was in charge of the department, "not a single kopek" was given to foreign CPs. At the recent hearings on the CPSU activities in the Russian Parliament, republican officials quoted from documents kept in the CPSU CC archives, proving that the CPSU CC's international department was conducting illegal financial operations. (Vera Tolz) SHAKHRAI DEFENDS BAN ON COMMUNIST PARTY. Interviewed by Russian Television's "Vesti" on November 8, RSFSR State Secretary Sergei Shakhrai defended last week's edict in which Boris Yeltsin disbanded the CPSU and the Russian Communist Party (RCP). Answering charges that, under USSR law, a political party can be disbanded only by decision of its own members or, if it can be shown to have engaged in criminal activity, by the courts, Shakhrai argued, not very convincingly, that neither the CPSU nor the RCP was "a party in the civilized sense of the word" and that both had used illegal methods. (Elizabeth Teague) ST PETERSBURG WORKERS CALL FOR CLASS WAR. According to Radio Moscow (November 9), industrial, transport and communications workers met recently in St Petersburg and called on all workers to unite to defend their interests during the period of economic reforms. (Elizabeth Teague) YAVLINSKY (AGAIN) ON GOLD. In an interview scheduled to appear on CTV November 9, Grigorii Yavlinsky returned to the subject of the USSR's gold production, reserves, and sales. He stated that Soviet state coffers now contain only 193 tons, and that the level is not expected to exceed 240 tons by the end of the year. He stressed that the 193-ton-figure was virtually the entire gold stock of the country, and that there were no secret hoards held by the Party, the army, or the KGB. Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan had a few tons that they had refused to transfer to the state coffers. (Keith Bush) RSFSR TV TO COMPETE WITH "VZGLYAD"? A less interesting version of "Vzglyad," once the most popular Soviet TV show, has reappeared after a nine-month absence. Now, RSFSR TV has launched a new one-hour show run by one of former "Vzglyad's" moderators, Artem Borovik, called Sovershenno sekretno (Top Secret). It first aired on November 9 and contained: an interview with Aleksandr Yakovlev; a segment from the institute that stores the brains of Lenin, Stalin and other prominent Soviet personalities; an interview with a former employee of the "Alfa" KGB regiment (recalling atrocities committed by the unit in Afghanistan); and an interview with a representative of the military-industrial complex speculating on its role in the coup. (Julia Wishnevsky) NORWEGIAN EXPORT GUARANTEES. The Norwegian government on November 8 proposed $277 million in state export guarantees for Norwegian companies that sell on credit to the USSR, Western agencies reported that day. The guarantees would be offered through the country's State Guarantee Institute for Export Credit, and will have to be approved by parliament. (Keith Bush) PART OF EC LOAN FOR TRIANGULAR TRADE. An unnamed European Community official told Western agencies November 8 that the USSR can spend one quarter of its 500-million-ECU EC loan on buying foodstuffs from East European countries. The loan was offered in December 1990, but has yet to be used. The committee in charge of organizing the loan had not yet decided what Moscow would be allowed to buy, according to the official. Paris traders are quoted as saying that the money will be used for purchases of grain, meat, vegetable oil and milk powder from East European countries and from the Baltic states. (Keith Bush) SOVIET-SOUTH AFRICAN CONSULAR TIES. Visiting South African Foreign Minister Pik Botha and USSR Foreign Minister Boris Pankin signed accords November 9 establishing consular ties, TASS reported that day. Pankin dampened euphoria, saying: "a long road" lies ahead before full diplomatic ties can be re-established. Moscow broke relations in 1956 over Pretoria's racial policies. (Suzanne Crow) AFGHAN RESISTANCE TEAM IN MOSCOW. A delegation of the main Afghan resistance groups arrived in Moscow November 10, TASS reported that day. Meetings are scheduled with both the Soviet and RSFSR foreign ministers, Boris Yeltsin, and possibly RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, himself a veteran of the Afghan war, Western agencies reported. Talks are expected to focus on the return of Soviet POWs in Afghanistan. The question of continuing Soviet arms supplies to the Afghan government is also likely to be discussed. (See Daily Report, November 4, 1991.) (Suzanne Crow) MILITARY CHIEFS BEGIN, END VISITS. Soviet Defense Minister Evgenii Shaposhnikov arrived in Bonn on November 11, where he will meet with leading German political and military leaders. Among the topics scheduled for discussion are the Soviet troop withdrawal from Germany, continuing detente in Europe, and the creation of European security structures. November 10 TASS reported that this is Shaposhnikov's first trip abroad. Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Naval Forces, Admiral Vladimir Chernavin, returned on November 10 from a visit to the United States, where he met with top-ranking U.S. military chiefs. (Stephen Foye) USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS GAMSAKHURDIA DISAPPROVES, COSSACKS APPROVE STATE OF EMERGENCY. Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who supports Dudaev, has sent an appeal to Yeltsin asking him to revoke the state of emergency in Checheno-Ingushetia and to respect the Chechen people's will for self-determination and freedom, Radio Rossii reported November 10. Delegates to the Second Congress of the Union of the Cossacks of Russia in Stavropol', on the other hand, expressed full support for Yeltsin's actions vis-à-vis Checheno-Ingushetia, TASS reported November 10. Cossacks in Checheno-Ingushetia have been asking for some form of autonomy or to have their areas of settlement transferred to Stavropol' krai (Ann Sheehy) ARMENIA DECLARES ENERGY EMERGENCY. On November 9, Armenia declared a state of emergency in its energy sector, TASS announced. The decision by the Armenian Council of Ministers provides for suspending operation at all Armenian enterprises except for plants responsible for priority supplies to other republics and meeting domestic orders. The measure includes strict regulations on the use of electricity. Armenia is now producing only 40% of its electricity requirements, according to the head of its fuel and energy resources department. (Kathy Mihalisko) KRAVCHUK ON ECONOMIC UNION. Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk told a press conference on November 8 that the fact that Ukraine validated the economic union treaty does not mean that "Ukraine is directly tied to implementing its statutes," Radio Kiev reported. According to the Ukrainian leader, lengthy negotiations will likely be needed to resolve 25 demands presented by Ukraine. The agreement itself, he said, can only be implemented after its ratification by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet and the parliaments of all the other signatory states. (Roman Solchanyk) KRAVCHUK ON UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE. Kravchuk also expressed his conviction that the people of Ukraine will support Ukrainian independence in the December 1 referendum, Soviet Central television reported November 8. Kravchuk said that he very much wanted 85% of the population to vote yes in the referendum. He also asserted that Ukraine will never sign a treaty that even hints at any kind of administrative central organ. As for the economic agreement, he maintained that it was not "a political noose on the neck of independent Ukraine." In any case, argued Kravchuk, bilateral treaties will be more important that the economic union. (Roman Solchanyk) UKRAINIAN UNITY. Chairman of the Ukrainian parliamentary Commission on Questions of Defense and State Security Vasyl' Durdynets' told Rude Pravo that Ukrainian territory is indivisible, Radio Kiev and TASS reported November 8. Durdynets' rejected the statements of "certain right-wing forces" in the CSFR regarding the need to reexamine its eastern borders. Zakarpattya, he asserted, is an inseparable part of Ukraine. Any attempts to proclaim the sovereignty of this territory or annex it to another country constitute a gross intrusion into the internal affairs of Ukraine. (Roman Solchanyk) HUNGARIAN AUTONOMY IN ZAKARPATTYA. The December 1 referendum in Ukraine will be accompanied by a local survey in the Berehovo Raion of Zakarpattya regarding the formation of a Hungarian Autonomous District, Radio Kiev reported November 8. The idea is supported by other Hungarian communities in Zakarpattya. (Roman Solchanyk) KAZAKHSTAN WILL BE FORCED TO RAISE PRICES. Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbaev said November 8 that, when the RSFSR raised its prices, Kazakhstan would be forced to follow suit, Moscow radio reported November 8. Otherwise, Nazarbaev said, Yeltsin's action would allow "sharp operators" from other parts of the Soviet Union to buy up all Kazakhstan's food and industrial goods for resale at a profit. (Ann Sheehy) MOLDAVIA SEEKS U.S. RECOGNITION. Moldavian foreign minister Nicolai Tsiu called on the United States November 8 to recognize Moldavia's independence, Western agencies reported November 9. Tsiu, who was on a three-day visit to Washington, said that, as there was no Soviet Union any more, the West must deal directly with the republics. (Ann Sheehy) SNEGUR SOLE CANDIDATE FOR MOLDAVIAN PRESIDENCY. Moldavian president Mircea Snegur will be the sole candidate in the forthcoming popular elections of the Moldavian president, TASS reported November 8. The other two candidates, former Moldavian CP first secretary, Grigorii Eremei, and the leader of the Greens, writer George Malarchuk, have withdrawn from the race in view of Snegur's clear lead. (Ann Sheehy) SNEGUR ASKS FOR PROTECTION FROM EXTREMIST ATTACKS. Snegur has asked the Presidium of the Moldavian parliament for protection from attacks by the extremist wing of the Popular Front because of his rejection of the idea of union with Romania, Radio Mayak reported October 8. According to Radio Moscow of October 8, the Moldavian procurator asked parliament to sanction the arrest of a deputy who led a group of demonstrators shouting "Snegur is a traitor" outside Snegur's house, but the presidium confined itself to condemning the unsanctioned demonstration. (Ann Sheehy) MOLDAVIAN PREMIER DENIES RSFSR PRESSURE. Moldavian premier Valerii Muravsky has denied rumors that Moldavia signed the treaty on an economic community because Yeltsin put pressure on the republic by halting deliveries of oil products, TSN reported November 8. Muravsky said Moldavia's signature was dictated by the reality that the West was not welcoming Moldavia with open arms. (Ann Sheehy) CRITICAL FUEL SITUATION IN MOLDAVIA. The Director of Moldavia's Power and Electrification Production Association Valerii Ikonnikov said November 9 that because of a shortage of various fuels electricity consumption would have to be drastically reduced, TASS reported November 9. Kishinev and other large cities would be divided into zones, which would receive electricity in turns. Hospitals, schools, and enterprises with a continuous production cycle would not be affected, but electricity for street lighting and advertising would be cut, and shops trading in manufactured goods would operate only in daylight hours. Ikonnikov said he was asking the government to cut TV broadcasts. (Ann Sheehy) BALTIC STATES RETAIL PRICE HIKES IN LITHUANIA. The retail prices for many food items were scheduled to rise on November 11, Baltfax announced November 10. There will be a 50% increase in the price of meat, and 25% rise in the price of dairy products. The prices of fish products, candies, beer, soft drinks, vegetables, and fruit will also go up. Price controls on some other goods will be lifted on November 15. Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius announced the price changes last week, and said that ration coupons will be issued to help people buy a minimum amount of the affected goods at fixed prices. The decision to raise prices in Lithuania was taken before RSFSR President Yeltsin announced price liberalization in his republic. (Keith Bush) BRITAIN WANTS SOLUTION ON BALTIC GOLD. Following meetings with Estonian and Latvian delegations, a British Foreign Office spokesman said on November 8 that "We want a mutually acceptable settlement as soon as possible" regarding Baltic gold. The gold was deposited by the Baltic States in the Bank of England before World War II and sold in 1967 under an agreement with the USSR. The money was used to compensate Britons who lost assets invested in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania before World War II, reported Western agencies on November 8. A Lithuanian delegation is due to talk with British officials on November 13. (Dzintra Bungs) BRAZIL WANTS TO DEVELOP RELATIONS WITH BALTIC STATES. While visiting Riga, Brazilian envoy Teresa Machada Cuantella talked with Latvian Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs about the specifics of renewing diplomatic relations with Latvia. She told the Baltic News Service on November 8 that Brazil wants to develop closer ties with the Baltic States and that a group of experts will be coming soon to evaluate modes of cooperation. She said also that for the time being Brazil will delegate a single visiting envoy to the three Baltic States. (Dzintra Bungs) BALTIC PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY FORMED. Radio Riga reported on November 8 that deputies from the Supreme Councils of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania met in Tallinn that day to discuss forms of cooperation. Initial reports indicate that the participants decided that the assembly should be a consultative body. The Latvian delegation had wanted to accord the assembly greater authority. The next session of the assembly is scheduled for January. (Dzintra Bungs) POLISH ENVOY PROTESTS LATVIA'S TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS. According to Diena of November 8, Jaroslav Lindenberg, Poland's envoy to Latvia, submitted a note to the Latvian government in connection with its recent decision to limit travel by residents of Latvia to Poland. The decision is intended to stop the sale of goods already in short supply in Latvia for hard currency in Poland. Lindenberg said that such a decision restricts free travel to Poland of about 60,000 Poles living in Latvia. He urged Latvia to review its decision; the decision has also been protested by Latvian lawmakers as being contrary to the CSCE accords. (Dzintra Bungs)
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