We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us. - George Eliot
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 221, 21 November 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION AND RSFSR



GORBACHEV ADDRESSES USSR SUPREME SOVIET. Soviet President Mikhail
Gorbachev addressed the USSR Supreme Soviet on November 20 following
the G-7 meeting with republican leaders and appealed to the leaders
of the twelve former Soviet republics to sign the new Union treaty,
TASS reported November 20. He said that the Soviet Union is headed
toward economic and political catastrophe if the Union is not
renewed. He cited the growing budget deficit as the main reason
for the USSR's economic decline, giving a figure of 300,000 million
rubles combined Union and republics deficit for this year. Gorbachev
also told deputies that industrial production was expected to
fall by 7% compared with last year, and agricultural output by
9%, while imports were down by 42% and exports by 31%. (Carla
Thorson)

STATE COUNCIL ON ARMED FORCES. The USSR State Council adopted
a resolution on November19 that called for maintenance of a unified
armed forces and for preservation "of the present status of the
Soviet armed forces on the territories of the sovereign republics,"
according to TASS and Western agencies. On the same day Gorbachev
also issued a decree that established a new service branch, the
Strategic Deterrence Forces, that would concentrate all strategic
forces under one command (see November 19 Daily Report). These
two actions, combined with the Defense Ministry announcement
on protecting army property (see below), indicate a renewed effort
by All-Union forces to maintain control over the armed forces.
(Stephen Foye)

ARMY WILL DEFEND ITS PROPERTY. Facing mounting efforts by republican
governments to dismember the armed forces, a Soviet Defense Ministry
spokesman on November 20 was quoted in The Washington Post as
saying that such efforts "cannot be tolerated any longer" and
that "the armed forces have every [legal] right to defend themselves
and their property." His remarks followed the issuance of a joint
statement by the Defense and Interior Ministries on November
19 that denounced attempts to divide up army property and said
that the armed forces are empowered to take all the necessary
steps, including use of arms, to protect army property. The action
would appears to be aimed at Ukraine, Moldavia, Georgia, and
Azerbaijan in particular. (Stephen Foye)

SHEVARDNADZE: "NO RIGHT TO STAND ASIDE." In an interview with
Komsomolskaya pravda published on November 21, Eduard Shevardnadze
said he agreed to run the Soviet Ministry of External Relations
because the USSR is in a crisis, and "if a man can do something
useful, he has no right to stand aside." But, Shevardnadze also
said the decision to come back was more difficult than his decision
to quit in December, 1990. Radio Rossii (November 20) cited Shevardnadze
as saying one of the first items of business on his agenda is
to visit the capitals of the Soviet republics and hold negotiations
with leaders there. He said he is open to dialogue with all of
his opponents. Shevardnadze was appointed by a Presidential decree
to head the Soviet foreign affairs apparatus on November 19.
His predecessor, Boris Pankin, was named ambassador to Great
Britain, TASS reported November 19. (Suzanne Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE OPPOSES SANCTIONS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA. In an interview
with Russian Television on November 20, Shevardnadze said regarding
European Community (EC) economic sanctions on Yugoslavia: "I
do not believe in sanctions. I do not think that all the possibilities
for negotiations are exhausted." (Suzanne Crow)

YELTSIN TO GERMANY. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin will meet chancellor
Helmut Kohl and heads of major political parties on the first
day of his 3-day visit to Germany, which begins November 21, TASS
reported on November 20. He will discuss the establishment of
direct relations between the foreign ministries of Russia and
Germany. Yeltsin is also scheduled to meet President Richard
von Weizsaecker and leading businessmen. On the third day, he
will visit the "Daimler Benz" enterprises in Stuttgart and then
fly to Potsdam and Wuensdorf to inspect the Western Group of
Forces. Yeltsin will be accompanied by all the top Russian government
officials, including Gennadii Burbulis, Egor Gaidar, Andrei Kozyrev,
Pavel Grachev and Yurii Petrov. (Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN INTERVIEWED ON GERMAN TV. In interviews broadcast on
channels I and II of German TV on November 20, Yeltsin said that
he is not coming to Germany to beg for money, emphasizing that
Russia is strong enough to survive on its own. Asked whether
Russia was considering handing Erich Honecker over to Germany,
he replied that the former GDR leader should move to Chile. Yeltsin
firmly rejected the idea of recreating a German autonomous republic
in the region of Volgograd. He said Germans should settle in
another area where nobody lives today. Yeltsin urged German businessmen
to invest in Russia, saying that all barriers to foreign trade
have been lifted by his latest decrees. (Alexander Rahr)

VOLKOGONOV ON REFORM OF POLITICAL ORGANS. General Dmitrii Volkogonov,
appointed to head a commission overseeing the elimination of
the army's military-political organs following the August coup,
announced on November 19 a series of measures aimed at transforming
the former Main Political Administration. According to "Vesti,"
320 of 345 generals formerly serving in the MPA would be discharged,
while the corps of political officers as a whole would be cut
by 40-45%. The number of military-political academies is also
slated to be cut drastically. Volkogonov, himself at one time
a hard-line MPA ideologist, has in recent years emerged as one
of the armed forces most high-profile reformers. (Stephen Foye)


LOPATIN ON MILITARY LEADERSHIP. Colonel Vladimir Lopatin, a long-time
Defense Ministry critic and a leading military reformer presently
serving in the RSFSR government, said on November 19 that the
military leadership was divided by an internal struggle for power.
As reported by Western agencies, Lopatin also expressed concern
over what he said was the continued presence in the High Command
of a number of generals involved in the August coup. (Stephen
Foye)

SHAPOSHNIKOV ON KURILE ISLANDS. Without providing details, TASS
on November 20 reported that Soviet Defense Minister Evgenii
Shaposhnikov supports efforts by the RSFSR government to solve
the dispute with Japan over the Kurile Islands. Shaposhnikov's
remarks came during a November 19 meeting in Moscow with Japanese
ambassador Sumio Edamura. On November 12 a report surfaced that
the USSR Defense Ministry was taking a hard line on the Kurile
Islands issue (see November 14 Daily Report). (Stephen Foye)


SOVIET NAVY UNPREPARED FOR BATTLE? A former Soviet nuclear submarine
captain, Anatolii Gorbachev, Nezavisimaya gazeta of November
19 that the Soviet navy is in such disarray that it would lose
85% of its fleet if war were launched. His remarks were summarized
by Western agencies. Gorbachev also claimed that Soviet submarines
were up to 50 times noisier than their US equivalents, and that
their radars were 10 times weaker. (Stephen Foye)

YELTSIN MEMBER OF USSR DEFENSE COUNCIL. Boris Yeltsin is a member
of the USSR Defense Council according to a decree on the council
published in Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR, No. 41. The other
members of the Defense Council, which is chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev,
are the Director of Interrepublican Security Service (MSB), Vadim
Bakatin; the Chief of the General Staff, Vladimir Lobov; the
USSR Minister of External Relations, Boris Pankin; and the USSR
Minister of Defense, Evgenii Shaposhnikov. The decree called
for the drafting of the Defense Council statutes by November
1. (Victor Yasmann)

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE (GCC) IS INTELLIGENCE COLOSSUS.
According to the statutes of the new Government Communications
Committee attached to the USSR President (Vedomosti Verkhonogo
Soveta SSSR, No. 42) the GCC will be responsible for all types
of "sigint" (signals intelligence), counter-intelligence electronic
monitoring, and protection and licensing of Government, industrial
and commercial communications throughout the USSR. The GCC will
have three main administrations, several functional administrations
including one for the RSFSR, a military-construction department,
and scientific and military training academies. There will be
16 division chiefs: 1 army general; 3 colonel generals; 8 lieutenant
generals and 4 major generals. Their status will range from the
equivalent of first deputy USSR defense minister to commander
of a military district. (Victor Yasmann)

MORE ON GCC. The GCC will cooperate with commercial and market
institutions making use of closed communication channels; the
cost of GCC's services will range from 30 to 80 thousand rubles
a year, GCC Chairman, Lieutenant-General Alexander Vladimirovich
Starovoitov, told Russian Television on November 19. The GCC
has taken over the former KGB's Eighth Main Administration for
Communications and Cryptography, its Sixteenths Administration
for Communications Interception and Sigint, and the KGB Troops
and Administration responsible for Government communications.
There are more than 200 corresponding members of the USSR Academy
of Sciences or doctors of the science on the GCC's staff. (Victor
Yasmann)

NUCLEAR WEAPONS RESEARCH CENTERS. The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri
Shimbun reported on November 17 that some 700,000 Soviet citizens
live in ten "special closed areas" where nuclear arms research
and development are conducted. According to Western agencies,
the newspaper claimed to have received the information from a
high-ranking Soviet military source. It said that the cities
are surrounded by barbed wire and are guarded by special Interior
Ministry Forces. (Stephen Foye)

DETAILS OF UPCOMING DDR CONGRESS. Delegates from 14 of the former
union republics--except Moldavia--are to attend the founding
congress of the Democratic Reform Movement in Moscow on December
14 and 15, TASS said on November 20. Eduard Shevardnadze will
open the congress; Aleksandr Yakovlev will make a major political
address, while another DDR activist, Aleksandr Vladislavlev,
is expected to report on the movement's draft rules. Nikolai
Petrakov is expected to speak on economic policy, Gavriil Popov
on reform of the power structures, and Anatolii Sobchak on legal
matters and democratization. Founded in July, the DDR today has
over a million supporters, TASS noted. (Julia Wishnevsky)

GAS PRODUCTION UP--PRICE HIKES COULD FOLLOW. According to an
official of the "Gazprom" concern, gas production in the USSR
was 3.2 billion cubic meters higher in January-October than in
the same period last year. Demand for gas was also up--a sign
of increasing economic activity? There are tentative plans to
quadruple natural gas prices in the foreseeable future. The remarks
were carried by TASS on November 18. (John Tedstrom)

INFLATION COULD HIT 650-700%. According to the weekly Kommersant,
the monthly inflation rate has increased by four times since
the beginning of the year. Reviewing the Kommersant article,
TASS said cash in circulation had increased by some 35 billion
ruble in the last two months. If that estimate is correct, it
puts the increase of cash in circulation since the beginning
of the year at some 83 billion rubles or 63%. The economics and
business weekly predicts that the annual inflation rate could
reach 650-700% by the end of 1991. (John Tedstrom)

GORBACHEV ON URBAN-RURAL FOOD CRISIS. Interviewed on November
13 on Central Television, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
said that while food is in extremely short supply in large industrial
cities, most rural areas have enough because agricultural products
remain in the villages. Gorbachev compared the current food situation
to the one faced by Stalin on the eve of forced collectivization
in 1929. At that time, the agricultural surplus was brutally
expropriated from the peasants to benefit the urban population.
Under the new market conditions, Gorbachev said, other ways must
be found to reestablish trade and food exchanges between the
cities and villages. (Victor Yasmann)

NEW DATA ON PRIVATE FARMING. New data released by Goskomstat
(scheduled for liquidation soon) indicates that the "private"
agricultural sector continues to produce an increasing share
of total agricultural production in the former USSR. There are
some 38 million personal farms in the USSR, some 12 million city
workers have their own large gardens, and an additional 6.5 million
families with smaller collective gardens. Non-state agriculture
accounts for about 22% of all cattle, 33% of all cows, 22% of
the pigs, and 35% of the poultry in the USSR. The non-state sector
produces a full 31% of meat and 28% of milk. The largest problem,
according to a TASS dispatch summarizing the Goskomstat statistics
issued on November 18, is that privatization (or even destatization)
of land is proceeding too slowly. (John Tedstrom)

EIGHT AMBASSADORS LEAVE POSTS. Gorbachev relieved the following
ambassadors from their posts on November 19: Aleksandr Baryshev
(Guinea-Bisseau), Leonid Zamyatin (Great Britain), Lev Voronin
(EC). The following ambassadors were assigned "other work" by
Gorbachev on the same day: Yurii Dubinin (France), German Gventsadze
(Ireland), Anatolii Slyusar (Greece), and Nikolai Uspensky (Sweden),
TASS reported on November 19. These ambassadors were recalled
following the coup for suspected sympathy with the coup organizers.
The same TASS report noted that Yurii Pavlov (Chile) was relieved
of his duties in connection with his retirement. Pavlov recently
"defected" to accept a teaching position at the University of
Miami. (Suzanne Crow)

STATE COUNCIL MEETING ON MER. TASS reported on November 19 that
the State Council Meeting of November 14 decided the transformation
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs into the Ministry of External
Relations (MER) would take place before January 1, 1992. Cadres
will conduct analytical research in the area of foreign policy
and foreign economic policy, and the MER will be structured on
the basis of the Moscow State Institute for International Relations.
(Suzanne Crow)

METROPOLITAN KIRILL ON VATICAN-MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE SPLIT. Metropolitan
of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Kirill, who is head the Department
of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, said
at a press-conference in Bonn on November 19 that representatives
of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) will not
participate as observers in a synod of bishops of the Roman Catholic
Church in Europe to be held at the end of November-beginning
of December in Rome, TASS reported on November 19 (see October
14 Daily Report). The metropolitan criticized "categorically"
the activities of the Vatican on the territory of the USSR. (Oxana
Antic)

RATIONING IN ST. PETERSBURG. St. Petersburg Mayor Anatolii Sobchak
told Interfax on November20 that rationing of all food in state
stores would begin on December 15. He said that a coupon system
would be introduced and that St. Petersburg residents would be
able to use these coupons to purchase food only in certain shops
near their homes. Sobchak noted that the city is only receiving
50% of the food it needs. (Carla Thorson)

BALKAR REPUBLIC PROCLAIMED. On November18 the first congress
of the Balkar people in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkar
republic in the North Caucasus, adopted a declaration on the
national sovereignty of the Balkar people and the formation of
a Balkar republic in the RSFSR, central television reported on
November 18. This is only the latest of many such declarations
in the North Caucasus, and will further raise tensions. (Ann
Sheehy)




USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS




INTERRELIGIOUS FORUM IN THE UKRAINE. TASS reported November 20,
that an all-Ukrainian Interreligous Forum had taken place in
Kiev. Representatives of the sixteen religious denominations
in the Ukraine gathered for the first time in seventy years to
discuss improving relations between believers of different faiths.
In his speech to the conference, the chairman of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet of the Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, stressed the
guilt of the state before all religious denominations and said
he believes that all church buildings, temples, and prayer-houses
should be returned to believers. He added that efforts should
be made to construct new church buildings since efforts to regain
buildings causes interreligious conflict. (Oxana Antic)

KAZAKHSTAN MUFTI AGAINST ISLAMIC PARTIES. The Mufti of Kazakhstan
Ratbek Nysanbaev has resolutely refused to support the idea of
the creation of an Islamic party in Kazakhstan, Izvestia reported
on November 13. Nysanbaev said the creation of an Islamic party
would no doubt encourage pan-Turkic ideas, which could inflame
animosity between supporters of different religions. The official
Muslim clergy in the Central Asian republics took a similar stance
earlier, but have changed their attitude in Tajikistan in face
of the popularity of the until recently banned Islamic Renaissance
Party. (Ann Sheehy)

MOLDAVIA INVITES FOREIGN OBSERVERS FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
The Moldavian Parliament's Presidium has decided to invite foreign
observers for the presidential election scheduled for December
8, Moldovapres reported November 19. The incumbent President,
Mircea Snegur, who was elected in 1990 by parliament, is seeking
election by popular vote and is the sole candidate remaining
in the race. According to Moldovapres, the Parliament's Presidium
hopes that the USA, Britain, the Baltic states, Romania, and
other countries will respond to the invitation. (Vladimir Socor)


SNEGUR HOLDS OUT LIMITED AUTONOMY FOR LEFT BANK, GAGAUZ AREA.
In an interview in Komsomolskaya Pravda of November 13, Snegur
said that he stood for "a united and indivisible [Republic of]
Moldavia" but favored "national-cultural autonomy for the Gagauz"
and "the status of a free economic zone" for the left bank of
the Dniester. Snegur added that although "we are Romanians, the
same people, with the same language," Moldavians were not prepared
for reunification with Romania and that the Moldavian Popular
Front's demands in that regard were "unrealistic." While coming
out for closer economic and cultural ties with Romania, Snegur
reaffirmed his adherence to Moldavian independence as opposed
to reunification. (Vladimir Socor)

MOLDAVIA TO FORM PROFESSIONAL ARMY. The Director General of Moldavia's
Department for Military Affairs, Nicolae Chirtoaca, told TASS
on November 19 that Moldavia has decided to form a professional
army of 12,000 to 15,000 men. Its mission will be defined in
law as defending the republic's territorial integrity and constitutional
order. The republic will also institute a general military draft
for six months of service which will be followed by two or three
periodical retraining courses for all young men, enabling Moldavia
to raise a volunteer force of a few hundred thousand at short
notice if necessary. Legislation on military service and on the
social rights of servicemen is being drafted. (Moldavia has already
enacted a law on conscientious objection). (Vladimir Socor)



BALTIC STATES



INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS FORUM BEGINS. Estonian government officials
began off an international conference on Baltic economic development
on November 20, Mare Balticum '91, BNS reported that day. Some
400 participants from the former Soviet Union and 150 Westerners
gathered in Tallinn to discuss transportation development, investment
and privatization, establishment of a Baltic market, and other
issues related to economic development. Mare Balticum '91 is
scheduled to end on November 22. (Riina Kionka)

TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. Estonia's Prime Minister Edgar
Savisaar believes that Estonia has already gone through its most
difficult period of transition to a market economy. Savisaar
told reporters at Mare Balticum '91 that "Estonia has already
survived shock therapy and now we must face grim reality." BNS
reported Savisaar's remarks on November 20. (Riina Kionka)

RSFSR PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR RATIFICATION. A group of deputies
in the RSFSR Supreme Soviet on November 19 recommended that the
parliament ratify agreements concluded months ago with the Baltic
states, BNS reported the next day. Chairman of the Supreme Council
Committee for Inter-republican Relations task force Vladimir
Lisin told BNS, citing Interfax, that ratification of the treaties
would form a solid foundation for negotiations with Estonia,
Latvia and Lithuania regarding the future of Russians living
there. The RSFSR Supreme Soviet is scheduled to discuss ratification
of the agreements in early December. (Riina Kionka)

MORE KGB DISCLOSURES. The Lithuanian press has disclosed that
one of Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis's closest
advisors worked for the KGB. Respublika, quoted by Western agencies
on November 17, said that Virgiljus Cepaitis, a gray eminence
in Lithuanian government circles, worked for the KGB under the
code name "Josef" from 1980 to mid-1990. Cepaitis was most recently
in charge of drafting laws on dealing with KGB officers and informants.
(Riina Kionka)

BALTS FOR COMMERCIAL COUNCIL. Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian
representatives to an international economics conference in Tallinn
have formed a Baltic Commercial Council, BNS reported on November20.
Director of Estonia's International Commercial Fund Hillar Kala
told BNS that the Council seeks to increase Baltic industrial
cooperation and unification, and to coordinate laws governing
stock and commodity exchanges in the three states. (Riina Kionka)





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