Treat your friends as you do your pictures, and place them in their best light. - Jennie Jerome Churchill
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 225, 27 November 1991



USSR--ALL-UNION AND RSFSR



YELTSIN AND THE UNION TREATY. Soviet and Western media reports
of November 26 and 27 confirm that the main bone of contention
in the Union treaty discussions in the USSR State Council on
November 25 was whether the Union should be a confederative state
or merely a Union, and that it was Yeltsin who raised objections
to a confederative state. In Sovetskaya Rossiya of November 26,
the chairman of the Council of the Union, Konstantin Lubenchenko,
said that the president of one republic he did not name offered
a surprise series of amendments. In The Los Angeles Times of
November 27, RSFSR Deputy Premier Gennadii Burbulis is quoted
as saying that Yeltsin objected strongly to the draft when he
found new elements in it. Burbulis said that Yeltsin had worked
out his own draft. (Ann Sheehy)

DRAFT TREATY TO BE DISCUSSED IN COUNCIL OF UNION NEXT WEEK. Lubenchenko
told USSR deputies that the Council of the Union would start
discussing the draft of the Union treaty early next week, TASS
reported on November 26. TASS issued the latest draft of the
treaty on the afternoon of November 26. This draft shows some
changes compared with that published by Izvestia in its Union
edition of November 26. These presumably reflect decisions made
at the State Council on November 25. (Ann Sheehy)

MILITARY REFORM BILL AGAIN REJECTED. The Council of the Union's
committee for defense matters has again rejected a draft law
on the status of servicemen prepared by the USSR Ministry of
Defense, Radio Moscow reported on November 26. In a November 25
meeting, the committee decided that the draft law failed to reflect
on-going changes in the country since the August coup. The draft
law, which proposes maintenance of a unified armed forces, was
also rejected this past summer. A new working group has reportedly
been formed to resolve problems with the draft law. (StephenFoye)


SOVIET-AFGHAN BORDER PROBLEMS. The press service of the USSR
Border Troops has denied a report published in Pravda on November25
alleging an incursion by an armed Afghan opposition group into
Tajikistan, according to Radio Rossii on November 26. The radio
station reported that from November 20-25 seven intruders had
been detained at the Soviet-Afghan border, and that since the
beginning of this year, some 893 people had been arrested--double
the number for the same period last year. (Stephen Foye)

SHEVARDNADZE MEETS JAPANESE BUSINESSMEN. "Only economic reforms
can alleviate the threat" of another coup, Minister of External
Relations Eduard Shevardnadze said during talks with Japanese
businessmen on November 26. He urged Japanese assistance in converting
Soviet military industries to civilian use and in developing
Soviet oilfields and agriculture. Shevardnadze stressed that
the biggest task facing the MER is to "remove all obstacles"
to developing relations with foreign countries, Western agencies
reported on November 27. But, Shevardnadze did not make specific
reference to the return of the disputed Kurile Islands to Japan.
(Suzanne Crow)

NEW USSR ENVOY TO IRELAND. Nikolai Kozyrev has been appointed
USSR ambassador to Ireland, the Irish Foreign Ministry said on
November 26. He replaces Guerman Gventsadze, one of the ambassadors
recalled for questionable behavior during the coup attempt and
assigned to unspecified "other work" by Gorbachev on November
19. (See Daily Report, November 21.) Kozyrev is a career diplomat
with experience in the Middle East. He also served on the Soviet
negotiating team for talks on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
(Suzanne Crow)

NEW INFORMATION ON RAOUL WALLENBERG PROMISED. Chairman of the
All-Union Security Service, Vadim Bakatin was quoted by "TSN"
on November 25 as saying that substantial information on the
plight of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is kept not in the
KGB, but in the CPSU Central Committee archives. According to
the official Soviet version, Wallenberg who was arrested by the
Soviets in Budapest at the end of World War II, died in a Moscow
prison in 1947. Recently the KGB handed over to Wallenberg's
relatives the KGB archival documents, supporting this version.
The documents, however, failed to satisfy those concerned with
Wallenberg's fate. On November26, TASS reported that the Yeltsin
government promised to help in the investigation of the case.
(Vera Tolz)

ACADEMICIAN ARBATOV SUGGESTS US-SOVIET INTELLIGENCE PACT. The
CIA and the Soviet foreign intelligence agencies must reach an
agreement on their reciprocal activities in the post Cold War
period, academician Georgii Arbatov told Russian TV on November
27. The agencies must abandon covert operation techniques and
stop recruiting the citizens of the other side as agents. According
to Arbatov, former Chancellor of Germany Willy Brandt had pursued
a positive political course, which was blocked after his personal
secretary, Guenter Guillaume was exposed as an East German agent.
To prevent such occurrences, the intelligence services must focus
on overt analytical work, while the counter-intelligence branches
must deal with verification of international treaties, said Arbatov.
(Victor Yasmann)

MVD ANTI-CORRUPTION CHIEF FORCED TO GO. The leadership of the
USSR MVD has forced the Chief of the Sixth Administration for
Combat with Corruption and Organized Crime, General Alexander
Gurov, to leave the agency, reported Literaturnaya gazeta on
November 27. Gurov, who is also a People's Deputy of the RSFSR,
had introduced to the RSFSR Supreme Soviet a law forbidding business
activity by people's deputies. The law was rejected. (See Daily
Report, October17.) Gurov said that efforts to fight corruption
were blocked by the fact that many people, well established politically,
were connected with the criminal world or were being manipulated
by it. He added that he had been offered (by Vadim Bakatin) the
position of Deputy Chief of the Main Administration for Combat
with Organized Crime within the newly created Interrepublic Security
Service. (Victor Yasmann)

RSFSR PROTOCOL WITH IRAN. The Russian Federation and Iran signed
a Memorandum of Cooperation on November 26 covering political,
economic, cultural and scientific cooperation. RSFSR Deputy Premier
Egor Gaidar, the RSFSR's signatory to the Memorandum, said, "we
want to preserve existing ties between Iran and the USSR," and
described the protocol as an "important document" which would
serve as the basis for developing relations between Iran and
Russia, TASS reported on November 26. (Suzanne Crow)

STANKEVICH ON HIS TALKS IN WASHINGTON. In an interview aired
by RFE/RL Russian Service on November 22, RSFSR State Counsellor
Sergei Stankevich said that he, together with Aleksandr Yakovlev
and the head of Soviet foreign intelligence Evgenii Primakov,
had discussed the problem of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons
with the Bush administration in Washington. He pointed out that
the US had objected to the creation of new nuclear states from
the disintegrating USSR and feared that Soviet nuclear technologies
might be transferred illegally to other states. He stressed the
need to keep the Soviet military under unified control and criticized
Ukraine for building an disproportionately strong army of its
own. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR KGB REORGANIZED. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin has issued
a decree on November 26, transforming the Russian KGB into an
Agency of Federal Security (Agentstvo Federalnoi Besopasnosti
/AFB/), Radio Moscow reported on November 27. The new director
of the Agency will be the former head of the RSFSR KGB, Viktor
Ivanenko. Ivanenko is a professional KGB officer who made his
career in the Tyumen region. In the 1980s he worked in the central
KGB apparatus and in 1991 became head of the RSFSR KGB. Vladimir
Podelyakin has been appointed First Deputy Director of the AFB.
(Alexander Rahr)

YELTSIN ON PRICE LIBERALIZATION. RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin
briefed his plenipotentiaries in Moscow on November 26. It was
said to be the first such assembly since their appointment three
months ago, according to Inform-TV on November 26. Yeltsin said
that it was necessary to liberalize prices in December: to leave
it for one or two months longer would be too late. (This contradicts
previous reservations aired by, inter alia, Burbulis and Izvestia).
He repeated a list of items whose prices would continue to be
controlled, including fuel for heating, milk, some kinds of bread,
salt, and matches. Yeltsin reckoned that retail prices would
rise by a factor of 3-5. (Keith Bush)

MOSCOW MAYOR CANCELS RATIONING. An unconfirmed report by Interfax
of November 26 said that Moscow Mayor Gavriil Popov told city
employees that day that no food coupons or other forms of rationing
will be introduced in December. (He had earlier this month announced
that Muscovites would be issued with ration coupons for meat,
milk, butter, sausage, and eggs). Popov was also reported to
have signed orders on the same day for the privatization, commencing
next month, of the capital's retail stores and restaurants. No
explicit explanation for the cancellation of rationing was given,
and it was not clear whether the Moscow measures had been coordinated
with RSFSR plans. (Keith Bush)

BURBULIS MEETS RSFSR DEPUTIES. RSFSR First Deputy Premier Gennadii
Burbulis met with RSFSR deputies and urged them not to hinder
Yeltsin's radical reform program, Vesti reported on November
26. He appealed to the deputies not to spend their time on revising
Yeltsin's decrees but to concentrate on their own sphere of legislation
and adopt necessary laws for a smooth transition to the market
system. Burbulis said that prices would be liberalized after
demonopolization in production and distribution had taken place.
He added that new decrees will be issued in the "next two days"
on privatization of trade and services. (Alexander Rahr)

RSFSR SUPREME SOVIET INCREASES MINIMUM WAGE. The RSFSR Supreme
Soviet reportedly passed a law raising minimum wage in all sectors
of the economy to 342 rubles per month, the Radio program "Novaya
Volna" reported on November 26. The measure, which would take
effect on December 1, will also raise student stipends and establish
a minimum pension for the elderly. This minimum wage is substantially
higher than the 200 ruble per month figure included in a decree
issued by RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin on November 17. (Carla
Thorson)

UNION OF COMMUNISTS HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE. The Union of Communists,
which wants to serve as an umbrella organization to all Communist
and Marxist groups set up in the RSFSR after the attempted coup,
held a press conference in Moscow on November 26. The union is
headed by former CPSU CC member Aleksei Prigarin, who used to
be a leader of the Marxist platform in the CPSU. Prigarin said
that the Union was set up on the basis of the platform. TASS
quoted Prigarin as saying at the press conference that the country
embarked on a wrong political course in 1987 and that his organization's
main aim was to restore "soviet power" in the entire former Soviet
Union. (Vera Tolz)

RUTSKOI PLEADS FOR EX-COMMUNISTS. RSFSR Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi said that some CPSU members were being thrown out of
their jobs despite the fact that they had given years of honest
work. In an interview with Selskaya zhizn of November 26, Rutskoi
said that the people responsible for firing them were acting
under the influence of "the old system" with its lack of respect
for human beings. Rutskoi said there could be no democracy without
respect for the rights of every person--only totalitarism again,
this time under the flags of democracy. (Vera Tolz)

NEW PARTY SET UP IN RSFSR. Yet another party has been set up
in the Russian Federation, TASS reported on November 26. Called
the Republican Humanitarian Party (RHP), the organization is
headed by Moscow philosopher Yurii Bokan. One of the main aims
of the new party is to find a solution to problems of refugees
and army draftees.(Vera Tolz)

FIRST MARITIME PRIEST. Archimandrite Avgustin from St. Petersburg
has become the first Russian Orthodox priest to accompany sailors
on their journeys. The new position of the priest was duly recorded
in his passport, according to TASS of November 23. (Oxana Antic)


HANUKKAH CELEBRATED IN RSFSR. TASS reported on November 26 that
minister of foreign affairs of the republic, Andrei Kozyrev,
declared that the RSFSR government supported the idea of celebrating
the Jewish religious holiday Hanukkah on December 1. The minister
wrote in his statementthat the Russian government supports this
idea which is witnessing the revival of the spiritual and moral
values of all peoples in our country. (OxanaAntic)



USSR--OTHER REPUBLICS



KRAVVHUK HOPES FOR EARLY RECOGNITION OF UKRAINE. While the Bush
administration continues to debate how to proceed if Ukraine
affirms its independence in the referendum on December 1, Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet chairman Leonid Kravchuk has been sounding an
optimistic note. According to news agencies, he told a press
conference in Kiev on November 26 that he was confident that
Ukraine's citizens will vote overwhelmingly for independence
and that this will persuade the United States, Canada, and Ukraine's
East European neighbors not to delay their recognition of Ukraine's
independence. As for Russia's reaction, Kravchuk was shown that
same evening on the Vesti newscast saying that: "I don't think
that if Russia does not recognize the independence of Ukraine,
the latter will cease to exist, and I don't see any reasons for
Russia to take such a position." Should Russia decide to declare
its independence, Kravchuk added, Ukraine will promptly recognize
it. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

KRAVCHUK REAFFIRMS UKRAINE'S OPPOSITION TO UNION TREATY. Reiterating
his opposition to any new political Union, Ukrainian Supreme
Soviet chairman Leonid Kravchuk has called President Gorbachev's
draft Union treaty a fraud. "I don't want to take part in the
deception," the Ukrainian leader told Izvestia on November 26.
"A confederation and a unitary state are incompatible, mutually
exclusive things," he explained. "When are we going to stop deceiving
our people?" he asked. Kravchuk also criticized Russian president
Boris Yeltsin for identifying Russia with the Union and assuming
that Russia should remain the "center" with "new states orbiting
around it." (Bohdan Nahaylo)

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKERS ANGERED BY CENTER'S "ANTI-UKRAINIAN CAMPAIGN."
Irritated by what they see as President Gorbachev's statements
aimed at undermining Ukraine's push for independence and a similar
position taken by the central Soviet media, Ukrainian lawmakers
are speaking out. Radio Kiev of November 26, for instance, cited
two deputies, Larysa Skoryk and Tetyana Yekheyeva as strongly
condemning the center's attempts to interfere on the eve of Ukraine's
December 1 referendum on independence. In their comments, they
denounced what the Ukrainian press has dubbed as the center's
"anti-Ukrainian" campaign. Kravchuk himself warned in his Izvestia
interview of that same day: "If someone wants through his negative
statements to try to influence the outcome of the referendum,
this will have precisely the opposite effect." (Bohdan Nahaylo)


BELORUSSIA AND THE UNION TREATY. Meeting on November 26 in Minsk
with Europarliament deputies, Belorussian Supreme Soviet chairman
Stanislau Shushkevich predicted that his republic would sign
the Union treaty at the end of 1991 or early next year, BelTA-TASS
reported that day. He said Belorussia cannot by itself rectify
the Chernobyl radiation problem or the current economic crisis.
Shushkevich told the deputies, however, that he does not agree
with the desire of his West European colleagues to deal only
with Moscow. In connection with the recent establishment of a
republican Ministry of Defense, Shushkevich reassured his guests
that nuclear weapons would remain in central hands. (Kathy Mihalisko)


BELORUSSIAN CP CANNOT BE RESUSCITATED--YET. As reported on November
26 by BelTA-TASS, Mikalai Ihnatovich, the General Procurator
of Belorussia, has ruled that the temporary suspension of Belorussian
Communist Party activities cannot be lifted without a special
Supreme Soviet resolution. Nonetheless, Ihnatovich gave the green
light to a proposed congress of the Initiative Committee for
the Renewal of Communist Party Activities, which is set to take
place in early December. Ihnatovich said that the congress must
be considered legal, although participants must not use the funds
or facilities of the suspended CP. (Kathy Mihalisko)

CALL FOR A CRISIS ASSEMBLY OF ALL BELORUSSIAN FORCES. The United
Democratic Party of Belorussia has called for the convening of
an assembly of all political, social, religious, and other groups
in the republic that are of liberal orientation, BelTA-TASS said
on November 26. The goal would be to work out a common program
for the transformation of Belorussian society that would incorporate
but not be limited to the ideals of national rebirth. (Kathy
Mihalisko)

UKRAINIAN CURRENCY DUE SOON. Oleksandr Savchenko, the deputy
director of the State Bank of Ukraine, told G-7 financial leaders
in Tokyo on November 26 that coupons will come into circulation
in the next two months that will function as Ukrainian money.
Elaborating on the plan in a TASS interview that day, Savchenko
added that in six months the coupons will be equal to the ruble.
At the end of a certain period, a financial reform will be carried
out that will see the disappearance of the ruble and the introduction
of the new official monetary unit, the hryvna. (Kathy Mihalisko)


AZERBAIJAN SUPSOV ABOLISHES NAGORNO-KARABAKH'S AUTONOMY . . .
Meeting in special session on November 26, the Azerbaijan Supreme
Soviet voted unanimously to abolish the autonomous status of
the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast in response to popular
demand for retaliation against Armenia, Western agencies reported
the same day. The name of Stepanakert (the NKAO capital) was
changed to Khankendi. USSR People's Deputy Galina Starovoitova
is quoted by today's New York Times as calling for the deployment
of UN peace keeping troops to prevent full-scale war in the Transcaucasus.
(Liz Fuller)

. . . AND HANDS OVER POWER TO NATIONAL COUNCIL. The Azerbaijani
parliament further voted to transfer its powers to the National
Council, which was created a month ago at the insistence of the
Azerbaijani Popular Front. Half of its 100 members are opposition
representatives and half members of the republican leadership.
The National Council has taken over the remaining Supreme Soviet
agenda. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIAN, AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENTS TO MEET IN MOSCOW. The Presidents
of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Levon Ter-Petrossyan and Ayaz Mutalibov,
are to fly to Moscow today for talks with Soviet President Gorbachev
and other republican leaders aimed at preventing an escalation
of tensions over NagornoKarabakh, Western news agencies reported
on November 26. (Liz Fuller)

SOUTH OSSETIA ORDERS GENERAL MOBILIZATION. Russian radio reported
on November 26 that the South Ossetian oblast soviet has ordered
the mobilization of all men aged 18-60 in concern over a rumored
imminent attack by Georgians on the region. Georgian military
units equipped with APCs, tanks, rocket launchers and artillery
were reported to be converging on the oblast capital of Tskhinvali.
(Liz Fuller)

BAKU IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS ON SALE OF FOOD AND CONSUMER GOODS.
TASS reported on November 26 that the Baku City Soviet has decided
to limit sales of food and consumer goods to holders of a Baku
residence permit as from December 1 in order to prevent the export
of such goods to other parts of the USSR. (Liz Fuller)

ROMANIANS IN NORTHERN BUKOVINA FORM POLITICAL MOVEMENT. Romanian
community representatives in northern Bukovina have set up a
"Christian-Democratic Alliance of Romanians in Ukraine," Rompres
reported on November 26. The inaugural conference in Chernovtsy
defined the Alliance as "a national movement for the protection
of the legitimate rights and freedoms of Romanians in northern
Bukovina and other parts of Ukraine" (the other parts being southern
Bessarabia and Ticevo raion in Transcarpathia). The Alliance
will "defend human rights in keeping with internationally recognized
standards." The Alliance endorsed the recent appeals by Romanian
cultural societies in northern Bukovina for abstention from Ukraine's
impending presidential elections and referendum on independence.
(Vladimir Socor)



BALTIC STATES



LATVIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZED. On November 19 and 20 the Latvian
Supreme Council approved the nominees of Prime Minister Ivars
Godmanis for the following positions in the reorganized government:
Minister of Economic Reforms Arnis Kalnins; Minister of Industry
and Energy Resources Aivars Millers; Minister of Foreign Trade
Edgars Zausajevs; Minister of Maritime Affairs Andrejs Dandzbergs;
Minister of Forestry Kazimirs Slakota; Minister of Welfare Teodors
Enins; Minister of Internal Affairs Ziedonis Cevers; Minister
of Defense Talavs Jundzis; and Minister of State Janis Dinevics.
According to BNS of November 22, the new appointments would streamline
the government structure and ensure closer cooperation between
the government and the Supreme Council. (Dzintra Bungs)

LAW ON RETURNING TO OWNERS PROPERTY IN LATVIAN CITIES. On November
20 the Latvian Supreme Council adopted a law regulating the return
of land and buildings, nationalized by the Soviet regime, to
their rightful owners. Claims of ownership must be submitted
to the Latvian authorities by June 20, 1992, reported BNS of
November 22. (Dzintra Bungs)

PARTICIPATION IN FAILED COUP INVESTIGATED IN LATVIA. On November
21 the Latvian Supreme Council heard the report of Deputy Andris
Ligotnis, chairman of the commission investigating those suspected
of complicity in the failed August coup. BNS reported on November
22 that initial results suggest that members of Ravnopravie,
the pro-Moscow oriented minority faction of the Supreme Council,
were not directly involved in criminal actions against the state.
(Dzintra Bungs)

VAGNORIUS IN JAPAN. Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius
during his visit to Tokyo met with various Japanese government
and business officials on November 26 and 27, Western agencies
reported on November 27. Foreign Minister Michio Watanabe evaded
Vagnorius' request for an agreement on protecting investments
by replying that strengthening mutual understanding between the
two nations should come first. Watanabe invited seven guests
from Lithuania to visit Japan while Vagnorius urged Japan to
send a mission to Lithuania to study investment possibilities.
(Saulius Girnius)

VAISVILA TELEGRAM TO USSR DEFENSE MINISTER. Lithuanian Deputy
Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila sent a telegram to USSR Defense
Minister Evgeniy Shaposhnikov noting that he had received information
that the Soviet military was planning to redeploy the surface-to-air
missile forces defending the Ignalina atomic power plant, Radio
Lithuania reported on November 25. He asked that due to the importance
of ensuring the security of the plant such redeployments should
be made only by the special agreement of the Lithuanian government.
He also urged the USSR to speed up its negotiations with Lithuania
since the undefined status of the Soviet military in Lithuania
was impeding the solution of social and everyday-life problems
of its servicemen. (Saulius Girnius)

AIDS IN LITHUANIA. Head of the Lithuanian AIDS Prophylaxis Center
Saulius Cuplinksas told the VOA Lithuanian Service on November
26 that there are 10 people in Lithuania known to be infected
with the AIDS virus (two of whom are suffering from the disease).
They range in age from 19 to 50. He admitted that he did not
know how many people in Lithuania had the AIDS virus, but the
Lithuanian Mathematics Institute estimates that about 100people
have been infected. (Saulius Girnius)


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