The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 219, 18 November 1991




USSR--ALL-UNION AND RSFSR

OFFICE OF THE USSR GENERAL PROSECUTOR QUESTIONED. Citing the
RSFSR General Prosecutor Valentin Stepankov, TASS and Soviet
television reported on November 15 that USSR General Prosecutor
Nikolai Trubin had resigned and financial support for the office
of the USSR General Prosecutor ended on November 1. According
to Stepankov, the RSFSR General Prosecutor's office would assume
full control over all prosecutors in that republic. The office
of the USSR General Prosecution, however, cannot be abolished
rapidly because it is responsible for many important duties.
All legal action involving the military, for instance, is the
sole prerogative of the USSR General Prosecutor. (Julia Wishnevsky)


YAKOVLEV APPEALS TO THE WEST. Soviet presidential advisor Aleksandr
Yakovlev told business men and journalists in New York on November
15 that the survival of democracy in the Soviet Union depends
on the West welcoming the USSR as a full partner in the world
economic system, Western agencies reported that day. Yakovlev
said that without the ability to trade equally with the West,
and without emergency food and medical aid this winter, the USSR
could face food uprisings and another coup attempt. He said,
"we are not only talking about saving people, but about saving
democracy as well." (Carla Thorson)

WEST WORRIED OVER SPREAD OF SOVIET MILITARY TECHNOLOGY. Western
intelligence officials are growing increasingly concerned over
intensifying Soviet efforts to peddle arms abroad, The New York
Times reported on November 16. USDeputy Defense Secretary Donald
Atwood, just back from a visit to Soviet military factories,
said that the US hopes to end Soviet sales of advanced weaponry
"to countries that have unstable governments or have a history
of aggression, or terrorism." Western officials are also reportedly
concerned that Soviet scientists, left unemployed by the reeling
Soviet economy, will try to sell their expertise in weapons development
abroad. (Stephen Foye)

SHEVARDNADZE SAYS UNION MUST BE CREATED SOON. Eduard Shevardnadze,
co-chairman of the Democratic Reform Movement, said November
17 that there is still a chance for the country to form a new
Union of sovereign states, TASS reported on November 17. Shevardnadze
told TASS that he believes that a single economic space, a single
military-strategic space, and a single legal space will be preserved
and an agreed foreign policy carried out. However, "it must be
done very quickly or we will lose everything." (Ann Sheehy)

LOBOV ON NATIONAL ARMIES. General Staff Chief Vladimir Lobov
says in the November 16 Trud that "the national question" is
the most serious problem facing the Soviet armed forces today,
TASS reported. As he has in the past, Lobov argued that a single,
integrated armed forces remains the most effective way of ensuring
security for each of the sovereign republics. He said that military
reform and the creation of national military formations should
be aimed at consolidating state power, not dividing it. He also
proposed creation of special organs--at the center and in the
republics--which would oversee military spending. (Stephen Foye)


SRF CHIEF ON PARITY, UNIFIED COMMAND. Interviewed on the eve
of Strategic Rocket Forces day, SRF Commander in Chief Yurii
Maksimov said that the Soviet Union still faced a military threat
and that Soviet security policy should continue to be based on
military-strategic parity. His remarks, summarized by TASS, appeared
in the November 16 Krasnaya zvezda. Maksimov also reiterated
that Soviet nuclear weapons should remain unified under a single
command, and that only a unified system could insure the security
of each of the republics. (Stephen Foye)

KGB OFFICERS CONTROL FINANCIAL CAPITAL? Senior officers of the
KGB are heading many of stock, commodities, and financial exchanges,
according to TASS of November 14, and Stolitsa (40). Examples
abound. Senior KGB officer Mikhail Boldyrev is vice president
of an umbrella financial and bank alliance, "All-Russian Stock
Exchange Center," while another KGB officer, Igor Chukhalntsev,
is financial director of the same firm. The "Center," 75% of
whose staff is drawn from the state security officer corps, also
controls another organization, the "All-Russian Immobility Stock
Exchange." Also, KGB officer Alexander Sumskoy is president of
the "Inventory Resources Stock Exchange." Stolitsa added that
the KGB primarily launders its capital in Eastern Europe, and
especially Hungary. (Victor Yasmann)

SECRET MOVEMENTS OF SOVIET GOLD SPECULATED. TASS of November
15 reports that the editorial board of Izvestia is examining
documents it recently received about secret shipments of gold,
platinum, and other precious metals abroad in the last 45 days.
The documents indicate that the total shipments (on Aeroflot
planes destined for Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and other major
cities) totalled as much as 5,213 kilograms. The documents appear
to be fairly detailed, and list the flight number and type of
aircraft used. The most recent shipment seems to have gone to
London aboard Aeroflot 243 and carried 3,159 kilograms. The details
of the shipments and who authorized them are still not clear.
There seems to be some confusion over the tonnage of each shipment
in the TASS report, but a more complete article on the topic
appears in Izvestia of November15. (John Tedstrom)

RSFSR TAKES OVER SOVIET GOLD, DIAMOND INDUSTRY. RSFSR President
Boris Yeltsin signed a decree on November 15 taking full responsibility
for the Soviet gold and diamond industry, Western agencies reported.
Yeltsin told the Russian parliament that the Soviet gold storage
facility, Gokhran, had been liquidated and would be replaced
by Russian Gokhran. (Carla Thorson)

MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORMS PREPARES FOR CONGRESS. The political
council of the Movement for Democratic Reforms met on November
16 to discuss plans for its founding congress scheduled for December
14-15, TASS reported. The meeting was devoted largely to practical
questions. Eduard Shevardnadze, a founder of the movement, stressed
that the creation of a democratic front across the entire USSR
was the most important political issue facing the upcoming congress
and noted that almost all democratic parties and movements in
the republics have expressed willingness to cooperate with the
MDR. (Carla Thorson)

DEVELOPMENTS IN CHECHENO-INGUSHETIA. On November 15 Moscow Radio
reported that the Provisional Supreme Council, the body recognized
by the RSFSR Supreme Soviet as the sole legitimate body in Checheno-Ingushetia,
had disbanded itself. The radio gave no reason why, but it was
probably under pressure from Dudaev. First Deputy Chairman of
the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Sergie Filatov said on November 16 that
preliminary agreement had been reached that the RSFSR and Chechen-Ingush
delegations would be meeting without prior conditions, but there
is no sign that Dudaev has abandoned his demand that the RSFSR
first recognize the Chechen republic. TASS said on November 16
that Dudaev had appointed Yaragy Mamodaev as prime minister.
Mamodaev said food supplies for the winter and resistance to
a threatened economic blockade by Russia are his priority concerns.
(Ann Sheehy)

INGUSH REFRAIN FROM MARCH ON NORTH OSSETIA. Ingush leaders and
clergy have persuaded a rally of thousands of Ingush in Nazran
to abandon their planned march on North Ossetia, TASS reported
on November 17. Inform-TV reported on November 16 that the meeting,
which has been going on for many days, decided on November 7
to embark on a mass peaceful settlement of the territory if the
RSFSR took no action to return the Prigorodnyi raion of North
Ossetia to them by November 16. The Ingush have been forbidden
to settle in that region for several years now. Although the
meeting participants have abandoned their march, they have vowed
not to disperse until their demands are met. (Ann Sheehy)

RKP LEADERS TURN TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. Secretaries of the
RSFSR Communist Party have protested Yeltsin's edict banning
the activities of the CPSU and RKP and dissolving their structures
in the RSFSR. According to TASS, citing Sovetskaya Rossiya on
November 16, the former leaders of the RKP disputed the edict
to the RSFSR Constitutional Court, asking it to review the edict
for compliance with the norms of the RSFSR constitution and international
law. The fate of the CPSU appears to be the first case to come
before RSFSR Constitutional Court, which may be the first independent
court since communist destruction of an independent judiciary
in Russia as a "bourgeois" concept. (Julia Wishnevsky)

RSFSR PARLIAMENT ENDORSES DRAFT BILL ON CITIZENSHIP. The Russian
Supreme Soviet gave preliminary approval to a draft bill on citizenship,
the RL Russian service reported November 15. Under the proposed
law, all people living on the territory of the Russian Federation
who have not renounced Soviet citizenship will acquire Russian
citizenship. Dual citizenship would also be possible for people
living in other republics who want to acquire Russian citizenship.
(Carla Thorson)

YELTSIN SUSPENDS OIL EXPORTS. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin ordered
the suspension of Soviet oil export licences and ordered a review
to protect domestic supplies for the winter, Western agencies
reported on November 15. Russian economics minister, Yegor Gaidar,
told the Russian parliament that all export licences were suspended,
while another Yeltsin aid, Valery Grishin, told reporters that
some international export licences remain in force. Both men
said that these suspensions were necessary in order to prevent
severe domestic shortages this winter. (Carla Thorson)

YELTSIN APPOINTS REPRESENTATIVE TO KABARDINO-BALKARIA. Yeltsin
has appointed Aziratali Nokhovich Akhmetov his plenipotentiary
representative in Kabardino-Balkaria in the North Caucasus, Moscow
radio reported November 15. This action was taken to "ensure
cooperation between the supreme organs of executive power of
the RSFSR and the council of ministers of the Kabardino-Balkar
republic." (Ann Sheehy)

RSFSR MINISTERS APPOINTED. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin has
decreed the dissolution of the RSFSR State Council, Radio Rossii
reported on November 15. RSFSR State Counsellors will become
advisors in a Presidential Consultative Council--an institution
which existed when Yeltsin was head of the Russian parliament.
Eduard Dunaev was appointed Minister of Education, Andrei Kozyrev
as Foreign Minister, Boris Saltykov as Minister of Science, Mikhail
Poltoranin as Minister for Mass Media, Ella Parfimova as Minister
of Social Security, Nikolai Fedorov as Minister of Justice, Viktor
Ivanenko as KGB Chief, and Pavel Grachev as head of the Defense
Committee. A defense ministry will be formed later. (Alexander
Rahr)

COSSACKS OF SOUTHERN RUSSIA DECIDE TO FORM UNION OF COSSACK REPUBLICS.
The Great Council of Atamans of the Cossacks of southern Russia,
which met in Novocherkassk on November 17, send telegrams to
the USSR and RSFSR presidents demanding the immediate adoption
of a decree on the formation and arming of a national Cossack
guard in southern Russia, TASS reported November 17. If no action
is taken, the atamans said they would be forced to resolve the
question themselves. They also demanded the creation of a commission
in the presidential structures to deal with Cossack problems
and decided to set up a union of Cossack republics of the south
of Russia. The ataman of the Don Cossacks Sergei Meshcheryakov
was elected ataman of the new Union. (Ann Sheehy)

JOINT USSR-AFGHAN RESISTANCE STATEMENT. Talks between Afghan
resistance groups and Soviet officials ended on November 15 in
Moscow, according to TASS, quoting Xinhua on November 16. The
talks resulted in a joint statement calling for the release of
the first group of Soviet prisoners of war by January 1, 1992.
The statement also said that the Soviet Union "intends to halt"
arms shipments to the Kabul government by the same date. (Suzanne
Crow)

RSFSR AND USSR DISAGREE OVER HONECKER. The RSFSR government has
decided that former GDR leader Erich Honecker will be expelled
from the territory of the Russian Federation, Western agencies
on November 16. RSFSR Justice Minister Nikolai Fedorov said the
decision was made at a November 15 RSFSR government cabinet meeting
headed by Boris Yeltsin. Meanwhile, Gorbachev adviser Nikolai
Portugalov said Gorbachev opposes the return of Honecker based
on a "moral obligation" to the former leader. (Suzanne Crow)




USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



KRAVCHUK ON UNION TREATY. Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet
Leonid Kravchuk says that the talks in Novo Ogarevo on a new
Union treaty have no future, Central Soviet television reported
November 15. The same day, TASS reported that Kravchuk told Komsomolskaya
pravda that he did not believe that the Ogarevo talks would be
successful. According to the Ukrainian leader, the center has
compromised itself and everything has to begin anew. Kravchuk
reportedly said that problems must be solved jointly, but that
the center with its ministries and the presidential team are
necessary in order for this to be accomplished. (Roman Solchanyk)


KRAVCHUK ON ANTI-UKRAINIANISM IN MASS MEDIA. Chairman of the
Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Leonid Kravchuk told Soviet television
viewers last night that newspapers, the central press, and Soviet
television have been conducting a campaign to instigate Ukrainian-Russian
animosity. This has been particularly evident, said the Ukrainian
leader, since Ukraine declared its independence in August. Among
other things, Kravchuk cited a tendentious interpretation of
one of Taras Shevchenko's poems from the last century and the
dissemination of the notion that Ukraine is withholding food
supplies from Russia while wallowing in a sea of abundance. Kravchuk
said he had urged Gorbachev to take a stand on this matter, to
no avail. (Roman Solchanyk)

UKRAINIAN MINORITIES OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT INDEPENDENCE. The
Congress of National Minorities that recently ended in Odessa
overwhelmingly came out in favor of Ukrainian independence, Western
news agencies reported on November 17. The delegates passed a
resolution, with only three votes against, in favor of independence.
(Roman Solchanyk)

GAMSAKHURDIA EQUATES OPPOSITION WITH TREASON. Interfax reported
on November 16 that Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia had
reiterated in a televised address November 15 that Georgia will
sign neither the new Union Treaty nor the inter-republican economic
treaty. Gamsakhurdia further argued that market reforms serve
"only to impoverish the ordinary people and enrich corrupt dealers,"
and that while opposition is acceptable in a rich country, it
is "equal to treason" in Georgia as long as the country is "in
conditions of collapse and war." (Liz Fuller)

GEORGIA REFUTES RUTSKOI ALLEGATION ON MISSILES. Interfax reported
on November16 that the Georgian Presidential Press Service had
issued an official rebuttal of claims made on November 13 by
RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi that Georgia had begun
producing short-range missiles for the Chechen Republic. In the
rebuttal, Georgia denies having any plant, materials or technology
for producing such weapons. (Liz Fuller)

BELORUSSIA SETS UP DEFENSE MINISTRY. The Belorussian Supreme
Soviet voted November 15 to establish a republican ministry of
defense. The new ministry will be headed by a civilian, although
a military officer will be appointed for the transitional period,
according to agency reports on November 17. There is no information
yet on possible candidates. The parliament ruled against creating
a national guard for the time being. (Kathy Mihalisko)

BELORUSSIA TO ISSUE RATION COUPONS. As reported November 14 by
Reuter and November 17 by Interfax, the Belorussian Supreme Soviet
has voted to introduce ration coupons in the republic beginning
January 1. Under the plan, which appears similar to the system
that has been in place for one year in Ukraine, coupons would
be issued as a proportion of salaries. (Kathy Mihalisko)

ANTI-COSSACK MEETING IN TSELINOGRAD. Moscow radio reported November
17 that controversy over the Cossack question was not abating
in Kazakhstan. The radio said a well-attended, unsanctioned meeting
had taken place in Tselinograd to demand the suspension of the
activity of the Union of Cossacks association registered by the
local authorities on November 5. The participants at the meeting
said the association's activities were anti-constitutional and
liable to harm interethnic relations. Anti-Cossack feeling has
been running high among the Kazakhs since the Ural Cossacks celebrated
recently in Uralsk under the Russian flag the 400th anniversary
of their allegiance to Russia. (Ann Sheehy)

GAGAUZ FORMING ARMED UNITS, ATTACK MOLDAVIAN POLICE. Following
an armed raid by local black marketeers on a Moldavian customs
checkpoint, in which one attacker was killed and one police officer
injured, Gagauz residents in the raion center of Vulcanesti on
November 13 attacked the raion police station and courthouse
with submachine guns and Molotov cocktails and burned down the
two buildings. One Moldavian police officer was killed and 3
were injured. The police did not return the fire. A "Gagauz self-defense
unit commander" in the town telephoned to Kishinev the demands
that the recently established Moldavian customs service and the
Moldavian police be withdrawn from the raion. On November 15,
the self-styled "chief of the Gagauz SSR MVD" told Russian TV's
"Vesti" that theGagauz were forming "self-defense units" as per
a decision of "the Gagauz Supreme Soviet." (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIAN PREMIER ON GAGAUZ SITUATION. Interviewed by Moldavian
television on November14, Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi gave
an account of the incidents in and around Vulcanesti, based on
a report by the Moldavian Prosecutor's Office (as summarized
above). Commenting that the original incident at the customs
point was a common crime by black marketeers, which anti-Moldavian
forces were trying to turn into an interethnic conflict, Muravschi
also accused "forces among the central authorities" and "imperial
circles" of "trying to turn Moldavia into another Karabakh."
Calling for calm, Muravschi renewed assurances that "the Moldavian
leadership categorically opposes any resort to force in solving
nationality-related issues." (Vladimir Socor)

SNEGUR REBUTS GORBACHEV ON ECONOMIC COMMUNITY TREATY. In an interview
in Moldova Suverana on November 14, Moldavian President Mircea
Snegur rejected Gorbachev's position--as Snegur summarized it--that
an economic community of the sovereign states would have to be
paralleled by a political union. Snegur, whose government recently
adhered conditionally to the economic community treaty, reaffirmed
Moldavia's refusal to join any political union in any form. (Vladimir
Socor)


BALTIC STATES


ARMY TO PRIVATIZE ITS BALTIC PROPERTY? Representatives of Soviet
troops stationed in the Baltic told reporters on November 15
that they intend to sell off military property in the region
in order to finance their resettlement in the RSFSR, TASS and
Western agencies reported. According to Captain Valerii Shorin--chairman
of a Coordinating Council set up in the Baltic to represent the
troops--the military will liquidate some $100 billion in property,
including port facilities and airports, to finance education,
accommodations, buildings, and retraining programs for returning
troops. Shorin claimed to have the tacit support of the USSR
Defense Ministry for his plans. (Stephen Foye)

LITHUANIA WILL PAY ITS SHARE. Lithuania is prepared to assume
its share of the Soviet foreign debt, according to Prime Minister
Gadiminas Vagnorius, quoted in TASS on November 18. The announcement
follows similar statements by Belorussia, Russia, Ukraine, and
Kazakhstan. During his recent trip to Japan, Prime Minister Vagnorius
stated that Lithuania would shoulder its share, but the Supreme
Council subsequently denied the report. (Riina Kionka)

BALTS TO CONFER WITH G-7 ON USSR DEBT. On November 16 Chairman
of the Inter-Republican Economic Committee Ivan Silaev met Lithuanian
Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, envoy for Latvia's prime
minister Andris Gutnanis, and Estonia's deputy chargi d'affaires
Mehis Pilv, INTERFAX reported that day. The Balts agreed to send
their deputy foreign ministers as observers to the November18-20
meetings in Moscow between the Union republics' prime ministers
and the deputy finance ministers of the G-7 countries that will
discuss the problem of the USSR debt. (Saulius Girnius)

LATVIAN GOLD WILL SUFFICE. Return of the gold deposited abroad,
and compensation for sold gold will suffice for Latvia to introduce
its own currency. According to Latvian Foreign Minister consultant
Guntars Abols, the hard currency that Latvia will get from compensation
for gold deposited abroad, and return of the existing gold, will
suffice to set up a currency stabilization fund to back up its
own currency. BNS, quoting Diena, carried Abols's remarks on
November 15. (Riina Kionka)

ESTONIA FACES INFLATION. According to official Estonian statistics,
inflation in the fourth quarter of 1991 is running at about 130-140%
of the same period last year. TASS of November 15 reports that
the Estonian Ministry of Finance estimates the inflation rate
at roughly 2% per week for the first six months. For that reason
the Estonian government is planning the first six months of next
year's budget. In part because of "inflation imports" from the
former USSR, the 1992 budget is likely to be the last calculated
in rubles. (John Tedstrom)


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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