Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 220, 19 November 1991




USSR--ALL-UNION AND RSFSR

MASS PRIVATIZATION IN MOSCOW BEGINS WEDNESDAY. According to Soviet
media reports, Moscow mayor Gavriil Popov approved plans on November
18 to begin privatizing Moscow's economy on a wide scale as of
November 20. The Moscow City Council is scheduled to approve
the measure on November 19. The measure will privatize stores
throughout Moscow, but there are some catches. For example, if
someone buys a bakery, he must, for the first year, run the store
as a bakery. After the first year, the new owner is free to do
with it as he pleases. Following the privatization of stores,
services, transport, and industry will be privatized in that
order. Moscow's plans for privatization are arguably the most
ambitious yet to emerge in the USSR, and are likely to serve
as a model for other cities. (John Tedstrom)

MEETING WITH G-7 ENDS IN DISAGREEMENT, UNCERTAINTY. A meeting
on November 18 between officials of the G-7 countries and representatives
of the 12 remaining republics ended with confusion over how to
manage the USSR's $68 billion foreign debt, TASS and Vesti reported
the same day. The indecision is bound to raise doubts in Western
finance circles about the USSR's viability as a recipient of
credit and aid. Three weeks ago in a similar meeting, there seemed
to be agreement among the potential signers of the new Union
Treaty about the principles and mechanics of dividing and paying
the debt. Since then, Ukraine has apparently become less willing
to chip in, according to RSFSR vice premier Egor Gaidar who was
quoted by Izvestia on November 18. Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and
Turkmenistan all have some doubts as well. Further, over the
course of last week, the heads of the foreign economic departments
of the 12 republics failed to agree between themselves over how
to manage paying back the USSR's foreign debt. The RSFSR has
said it will cover all debts incurred after November 15. (John
Tedstrom)

COUP LEADERS IN JAIL: CONTRADICTING STORIES. RSFSR General Prosecutor
Valentin Stepankov and other officials investigating the attempted
August coup have claimed that coup leaders, including GKChP member
Vasilii Starodubtsev, are being held in prison virtually incommunicado,
and are not allowed to meet with anyone except lawyers and spouses.
But Trud of November 14 carries an interview with Dmitrii Starodubtsev,
brother of Vasilii Starodubtsev, that suggests otherwise. In
the Trud interview, citing a provincial newspaper Severnyi rabochii,
Dmitrii said that his brother continues to run the collective
farm of which he is chairman even while imprisoned. Moreover,
Vasilii Starodubtsev allegedly "meets his aides, signs [kolkhoz]
papers, and continues to act as the chairman the [USSR] Peasants'
Union." Trud quotes Dmitrii Starodubstev as saying that his brother
recently hosted--presumably, in his prison cell--a large group
of officials from his town of Novomoskovsk near Tula. (Julia
Wishnevsky)

NEW BRANCH OF THE ARMED FORCES CREATED. Rabochaya Tribuna of
November 19 reported that the Strategic Deterrence Forces had
been created by presidential decree. The new branch will be based
on the former Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF), and will include
the missile warning and anti-missile defense units that were
part of the Air Defense Forces, as well as those organizations
concerned with the military use of space. Strategic aviation
and the navy's strategic nuclear forces will be under the operational
control of the commander-in-chief of the new branch--Army General
Yu. Maksimov, who headed the SRF. President Gorbachev had announced
that such a new service would created during his October 5 response
to President Bush's recent unilateral nuclear arms initiatives.
(Doug Clarke)

IS COMMUNISM BECOMING POPULAR AGAIN? A number of new communist
parties have been formed in recent days. The founding congress
of Lenin's Socialist Party of the Workers' Class was held in
Novosibirsk on November 16, TASS reported that day. TASS named
a 43-year-old, Lyudmila Belousova, as the new Party's founder.
Three weeks earlier, another group of Marxist-Leninists, led
by former dissident historian Roy Medvedev, met in Moscow to
set up the Socialist Labor Party. In Leningrad, the well-known
Stalinist Nina Andreeva has founded the All-Union Communist Party
of Bolsheviks, whereas another group of St.Petersburg Bolsheviks,
led by Viktor Tyulkin, will hold the founding congress of their
party in Ekaterinburg on November 23. (Julia Wishnevsky)

MOSCOW DOWNED SWEDISH PLAN IN 1952. In a statement broadcast
by Soviet television on November 18, the USSR Defense Ministry
admitted that a Soviet fighter shot down a Swedish military aircraft
that disappeared over the Baltic Sea in 1952, Western agencies
reported. The Defense Ministry admitted that the action was "an
outright violation of . . . international law," and expressed
condolences to the families of the crew members who died in the
attack. (Stephen Foye)

OFFICIAL DENIES (SOME) CLAIMS ABOUT GOLD SHIPMENTS. Evgenii Bychkov,
an official of the USSR Ministry of Finance, denied reports made
yesterday by TASS and foreign news sources that the USSR had
secretly shipped precious metals to Switzerland. (See Daily Report
November 18.) According to a TASS report of November 18, Bychkov
did not refute reports that shipments had gone to other countries,
but couched those shipments in terms of normal transactions.
The editors at Izvestia continue to follow the story, and report
in the November 18 issue that some 300 kilograms of Palladium
in ingots and in powder were shipped from Moscow to Brussels
on Saturday, November 16. (John Tedstrom)

YELTSIN MEETS SOVIET GERMANS. On the eve of his visit to German,
RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin met representatives of the Soviet
Germans living in the RSFSR, TASS reported on November18. The
experience of creating German national districts in the eastern
regions of the republic was discussed, as well as a plan to restore
the Volga German republic in stages. In an interview with ADN
on November 18, Yeltsin said that the German republic would undoubtedly
be reestablished, and not only on paper. (Ann Sheehy)

YELTSIN ISSUES ECONOMIC DECREES. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin
published a set of decrees which assert greater control over
the economy, (TASS, November 17). In addition to those measures
announced on November 15 which assert RSFSR control over oil
exports and Soviet gold and diamond production, these decrees
provide for increasing salaries up to 90% for many workers and
a minimum wage of 200 rubles per month as of December 1. The
RSFSR will also take control of the printing of currency and
the determination of foreign exchange rates. Yeltsin ordered
the cancellation of foreign exchange rates set by the Soviet
government as of January 1. All enterprises will be allowed to
engage in foreign trade without special registration and licensed
banks will have the right to open hard-currency accounts for
all citizens. Beginning November 20, the RSFSR will stop funding
some 80 central government ministries. The buildings and property
of those agencies which cease to exist will be transferred to
the RSFSR government. (Carla Thorson)

YELTSIN CONTROL OVER NUCLEAR WEAPONS? The Independent reported
on November 18 that an officer carrying a black briefcase now
follows Boris Yeltsin where ever he goes. Sources in the Yeltsin
"White House," the report adds, claim that the case contains
codes for launching the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons and matches
the codes carried in a similar briefcase by an aid to Gorbachev.
The report provides more evidence that Yeltsin has indeed gained
veto power over Soviet nuclear weapons use--as he demanded after
the August putsch. The exact relationship between Yeltsin, Gorbachev,
and the presidents of the other republics with nuclear weapons
on launch procedures remains unclear, however. (Stephen Foye)


RSFSR MINISTERS APPOINTED. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin told
Radio Rossii on November 18 that the new Russian government consists
of one team (odna komanda) of specialists in order to avoid intra-governmental
disputes of earlier weeks. He stressed that the new government will conduct
an open dialogue with the trade unions and political organizations.
Yeltsin said that Russia has taken over the entire Soviet economy.
Radio Rossii reported that associates of former prime minister
Ivan Silaev, such as Oleg Lobov, Gennadii Kulik or Evgenii Saburov
will switch from the Russian government to the Interstate Economic
Committee. (Alexander Rahr)

DO TRADE UNIONS SUPPORT YELTSIN . . . Independent Russian trade
unions have welcomed Yeltsin's radical reform program directed
towards the introduction of a market system in Russia. The chairman
of the Federation of the Independent Trade Unions of Russia,
Igor Klochkov, told TASS on November 18 that Yeltsin has fulfilled
several of the trade union's demands, such as raising the salaries
of employees in cultural, scientific, and health organizations.
Klochkov also welcomed the idea of establishing an organization
attached to the RSFSR Ministry for Labor and Employment for arbitrating
labor disputes. Klochkov voiced criticism only that the program
lacked legal mechanisms for privatization of enterprises and
housing. (Alexander Rahr)

. . . OR NOT? The presidium of the Council of Independent Trade
Unions held a meeting on November 16, Radio Moscow reported.
The presidium announced its intention to launch protests against
the RSFSR government for its decision to allow the unrestricted
increase in prices. The announcement did not specify when these
protests would begin. (Carla Thorson)

STEPASHIN: "KGB WILL NOT SHARE THE FATE OF THE STASI." Disintegration
of the USSR does not means disbandment of secret services, Chairman
of the RSFSR SupSov Committee on Defense and Security Sergei
Stepashin told Krasnaya Zvezda on November 5. Stepashin said
that thousands of officers who have honestly fullfilled their
duties will continue to work for the benefit of a democratic
Russia. Russia will have its own foreign intelligence service--some
90% of the foreign intelligence officers still working under
supervision of Evgenii Primakov are ethnic Russians, Stepashin
observed. There will be no purges in the agency. Stepashin said
that both the RSFSR Supreme Soviet and President Boris Yeltsin
concur with these positions. (Victor Yasmann)

MORE ON STEPASHIN. In his Krasnaya Zvezda interview, Stepashin
also noted that military counter-intelligence ("Special Departments")
will remain under the aegis of the state security organs, although
the Soviet Army will have counter-intelligence units to avoid
a monopoly by the KGB. In the same issue, Krasnaya Zvezda provide
a political profile of Stepashin. Until his election to the RSFSR
Supsov in 1990, Stepashin was a lecturer in the Leningrad Higher
Political Academy of the USSR MVD. Stepashin currently serves
as coordinator of the parliamentary faction "Leftist Center"
and on the Chairman of the State Commission for investigation
of KGB activities. (Victor Yasmann)

MORE ON TENSION IN DAGESTAN. According to Radio Rossii of November
15, the strike by the inhabitants of the town of Khasavyurt and
Khasavyurt raion, now in its fourth week, was provoked by an
escalation of unpunished crime going back to 1990 when 200 armed
young men suddenly appeared to protest distribution of land for
private housing construction. Responsibility was claimed by the
Shamil Popular Front headed by republican deputy Gadzhi Makhachev.
The front has engaged in further illegal actions, all of which
have gone unpunished. The front claims to represent the interests
of the Avar people, but Radio Rossii said most Avars support
the strikers' demands for the resignation of the leadership of
the republic's law enforcement agencies. (Ann Sheehy)

GROZNYI DENIES THAT CONDITIONS FOR MEETING WITH RSFSR CHANGED.
Daud Akhmadov, aide to Dzhakhar Dudaev, president of the self-styled
Chechen republic, denied that Dudaev had agreed to drop his demand
that the RSFSR recognize the president and parliament of the
Chechen republic before he will start talks with the RSFSR, TASS
reported November 18. Akhmadov said that Yeltsin's adviser on
nationalities affairs had spoken on the telephone with Dudaev,
but no agreement had been reached on the composition of the delegations
and the time and place of the meeting. A final decision rested
with the Chechen parliament, Akhmadov added. (Ann Sheehy)

NORTH OSSETIA CREATES REPUBLICAN GUARD. In an interview published
in Pravda of November 18, the chairman of the North Ossetian
Supreme Soviet A. Galazov, said that North Ossetia was forming
a republican guard and self-defense committee because the Ingush
were persisting in their territorial claims on North Ossetia.
(Ann Sheehy)

REPORT: KUWAIT GIVES LOAN. According to a press briefing given
at the Kuwaiti embassy in Moscow (reported by DPA November 18),
Kuwait has promised a $500 million credit to the Soviet Union.
Kuwait has reportedly called on the USSR to help rebuild Kuwait
and free Kuwaitis imprisoned in Iraq. Meanwhile, TASS reported
on November 18 that talks between Mikhail Gorbachev and visiting
Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Jabir were held in an atmosphere of "mutual
understanding and trust." Jabir also met with Boris Yeltsin.
(Suzanne Crow)

HONECKER'S RETURN "MATTER OF DAYS, WEEKS." According to RSFSR
Justice Minister Nikolai Fedorov, the RSFSR government is firmly
determined to return Erich Honecker to German authorities. "If
there are no problems, this will be a matter of days or weeks,"
Fedorov said. DPA reported Fedorov's remarks on November 18.
(Suzanne Crow)

PATRIARCH ALEKSII ON US-SOVIET RELATIONS. On November 17, at
the end of his second official visit to the US, Russian Patriarch
Aleksii II told a TASS reporter that the barriers which divided
the two nations when he visited the US for the first time in
1963 no longer exist. The Patriarch thanked the American nation
for the help it had promised to "our country," which is facing
manyfold problems. TASS carried the interview on November18.
(Oxana Antic)



USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



UKRAINIAN PROTEST NOTE TO YUGOSLAVIA. Ukraine has issued a strong
protest to Yugoslavia after one of its tugboats came under artillery
fire near Vukovar, Radio Kiev reported on November 18. Two crew
members and the captain died as a result. Ukraine intends to
raise the question of security for shipping at the Danube Commission.
(Roman Solchanyk)

BELORUSSIA PROPOSES HALT TO ARMS PRODUCTION. As reported on November
18 by an RFE/RL correspondent in Minsk, the Belorussian Supreme
Soviet has sent an appeal to the parliaments of all the other
republics calling for a complete halt to weapons production throughout
the USSR. The appeal recommends that employees be paid through
1992 even after production stops. (Kathy Mihalisko)

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM SCHEDULED IN
UZBEKISTAN. The Uzbek Supreme Soviet decreed on November18 that
popular elections of the republic's president should take place
on December 29, UzTAG-TASS reported on November 18. The same
day a referendum is to be held on the state independence of the
republic. Uzbekistan is the last of the Central Asian republics
to schedule popular election of the president. Independent journalist
Anvar Usman told RFE/RL on November 18 that opposition parties
had wanted a three-month campaign. The Supreme Soviet was also
due to discuss the economic community treaty and the latest draft
of the Union treaty. (Ann Sheehy)

HARVEST FAILURE IN KAZAKHSTAN. Because of severe drought, the
1991 grain harvest in Kazakhstan came to only 12.5 million tons,
less than half that of 1990, Izvestia reported November 18. This
has led to a critical situation in animal husbandry. The Kazakh
cabinet is hoping to buy grain from abroad. (Ann Sheehy)

KYRGYZSTAN PRESIDENT INTRODUCES TOUGH LAND MEASURES. Kyrgyzstan
president Askar Akaev has issued a decree aimed at breaking resistance
to the implementation of the laws on land reform, Pravda reported
on November 14. Credits and material assistance to loss-making
and low-profit-making farms will all be abolished from February
1, 1992, and their land will be included in a special fund, on
the basis of which peasant farms will be established. Not less
than 50% of the irrigated land allocated for peasant farms will
be set aside for Kirgiz. Pravda sees this provision as a possible
source of interethnic tension, but probably the fairest solution,
given that the Kirgiz, as pastoralists, have not hitherto had
access to the best land in the valleys. (Ann Sheehy)

NIYAZOV TAKES OVER PREMIERSHIP AS WELL. Saparmurad Niyazov, president
of Turkmenistan, has temporarily taken on the direct management
of the government, Izvestia reported on November 14. The prime
minister Khan Akhmedov has been released from his post and appointed
head of the newly-formed Turkmen railways. (Ann Sheehy)

MOLDAVIAN POPULAR FRONT WANTS ROMANIAN CITIZENSHIP FOR MOLDAVIANS.
Moldavian Popular Front delegates, headed by MPF Executive Committee
Chairman Iurie Rosca, approached Romanian government and opposition
leaders on November 12 and 13 in Bucharest with the request that
Romania grant the residents of its former provinces Bessarabia
and northern Bukovina the right to regain Romanian citizenship.
The request capped recent appeals by Moldavia's National Alliance
for Independence, which groups a dozen political and civic organizations
allied to the Popular Front, for the restoration of Romanian
citizenship to Moldavians. At a press conference in Bucharest,
broadcast on November 15, Romanian President Ion Iliescu disclosed
that he had received the Moldavian delegates and turned down
their request as risky for Romania and inconsistent with Moldavia's
independence. Rosca, however, told a Popular Front rally in Kishinev
on November 17 that the matter would shortly be submitted to the
Romanian parliament. (Vladimir Socor)

SNEGUR CRITICAL OF THE PROPOSAL. Moldavian President Mircea Snegur
told an electoral rally on November 17 that the request for extending
Romanian citizenship to Moldavians was unlawful and incompatible
with Moldavia's independence. He said that Moldavians were interested
in consolidating their statehood with all its attributes, not
in merging with "any other state." Snegur commented that the
Popular Front's recent policy of "rushing to unify" with Romania
had cost the Front a great deal of its former popularity. (Vladimir
Socor)


BALTIC STATES


BALTIC TROOP WITHDRAWALS STALLED. The chairman of Estonia's parliamentary
committee for State Defense says that the USSR is violating agreements
regarding the withdrawal of two paratroop units. Enn Tupp told
BNS on November18 that paratroopers have left Voru, but have
simply gone to Tallinn instead of leaving the country. A small
unit has remained to guard the base, which was supposed to have
been turned over the Estonian authorities according to the terms
of a September agreement between Prime Minister Savisaar and
USSR Defense Minister Shaposhnikov. Tupp said the second paratrooper
unit in Viljandi shows no signs of leaving. "Moscow thinks it
has us cornered, since we haven't agreed on any on any guarantees
to fulfill concluded agreements," Tupp said. (Riina Kionka)

NEW CHAMBER OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY TO INCLUDE BALTS. The Chamber
of Trade and Industry of the USSR disbanded itself on November
18, and created a Confederation of Trade and Industry of the
former republics of the USSR, according to TASS of the same day.
Twelve of the former republics of the USSR took part in the agreement
which was reached at a conference in Moscow. Failing to participate
were Georgia, Armenia, and Tajikistan. The most interesting note,
however, was the participation of the three Baltic states. Their
interest in the Confederation underscores the economic ties that
still bind them to the other former republics. (John Tedstrom)


LANDSBERGIS ASKS ITALY FOR HELP. . . Chairman of the Lithuanian
Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis has requested Italian help
in getting Soviet troops out of Lithuania, according to agency
reports of November 18. A spokesman for Italian Prime Minister
Giulio Andreotti says Landsbergis had asked Andreotti to press
the Soviet Union to withdraw the troops as soon as possible,
"hopefully by the end of the month." (Riina Kionka)

. . . INVITES POPE. During his Rome visit, Landsbergis also invited
Pope John Paul to visit Lithuania, agencies reported on November
18. Since the failed coup attempt, Lithuania has been embroiled
in controversy with Poland--the Pope's homeland--over the rights
of Lithuania's large Polish minority. Last month, the two states
came to an agreement guaranteeing the rights of minorities living
in each country. (Riina Kionka)

LANDSBERGIS: KGB AGENTS SHOULD COME FORTH. The Lithuanian Supreme
Council Chairman has again called on former KGB agents to come
forth. According to a November 18 BNS report, Landsbergis said
that all those who stopped working for the KGB by March 20 and
who have not committed serious crimes should come forth. He said
they would not be followed and their names would not be made
public. Landsbergis said "confession, penance and purification
will give all of us the chance to render [the KGB] powerless."
Landsbergis made the plea during his regular Sunday evening televised
fireside chat. (Riina Kionka)


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

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole