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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 4, 08 January 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO USSR

KRAVCHUK AND HIGH COMMAND SET SCHEDULE FOR MILITARY OATH. The
Ukrainian press has published a statement by President Leonid
Kravchuk addressed to servicemen in Ukraine. As summarized on
January-7 by Radio Kiev, Kravchuk said that, as of January 3,
all but strategic forces formally belong to the Ukrainian armed
forces. The republic's high command has set a schedule for taking
the military oath to serve Ukraine, according to another Radio
Kiev report that day. It will be administered from January 10
to 20 in the Kiev Military District, from January 17 to 19 in
the Odessa MD, and from January 15 to 20 in the Carpathian MD.
6,400 military personnel, including railroad troops, parts of
the air defense forces, and 3,200 officers, had taken the oath
as January 6. (Kathy Mihalisko)

PARLIAMENT TO DISCUSS UKRAINE'S MILITARY DOCTRINE. A military
legislation package is on the January 8 agenda of the Ukrainian
Supreme Soviet. Draft laws on military doctrine, civil defense,
and martial law will be discussed. (Kathy Mihalisko)

RUSSIAN LEADERS OBJECT TO UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MOVES. On January
5, Ruslan Khasbulatov, Chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet,
said that Russia would not allow another republic to seize its
fleets and armies, and that efforts to do so could tear apart
the Commonwealth, CIS and Western agencies reported. The New
York Times reported on January 5 that leading members of the
Russian parliament, including Aleksandr Rutskoi, had sent a sharply
worded letter to Ukraine complaining about Ukrainian actions,
charging that they had created an "explosive situation." (Stephen
Foye)

STOLYAROV, LOBOV ON MILITARY TENSIONS. Major General Nikolai
Stolyarov, an aide to the CIS commander for personnel matters,
told "Vesti" on January 7 that the high command might move the
Black Sea Fleet to Vladivostok to preclude its being seized by
Ukraine. In an interview aired by Russian TV the same day, former
General Staff Chief Vladimir Lobov said that the army was in
a "ridiculous position," and did not know whom it was serving.
Lobov was fired a month ago, apparently for his views on military
reform, and his re-emergence is itself interesting. (Stephen
Foye)

GENERAL CRITICAL OF ARMY SPLIT. Colonel General Valerii Mironov,
commander of the Northwestern Group of Forces, has denounced
the policy of "certain [republican] leaders" aimed at dividing
the Soviet Army without asking the opinion of the military itself.
Mironov told Central TV's program "Novosti" on January 7 that
Russia is the legal successor state of the former USSR and should
have the final say concerning these issues. (Alexander Rahr)


MEETING ON MILIARY MATTERS. Military experts and officers from
the CIS member states are gathering in Moscow on January 8-9
to discuss military and political problems, TASS reported on
January 6. The meeting is in preparation for a conference of
CIS foreign ministers scheduled for January 10. Meanwhile, a
commonwealth-wide "Officers' Assembly" is scheduled for January
14 in Moscow, Western agencies reported on January-7. Hundreds
of officers will reportedly gather to discuss military matters.
According to General Stolyarov, leaders of the CIS states have
also been invited. (Stephen Foye)

SECURITY FORCES FIRE ON GAMSAKHURDIA SUPPORTERS. Gunmen subordinate
to Georgia's ruling Military Council opened fire on a crowd of
between 2,000 and 4,000 demonstrators supporting ousted President
Zviad Gamsakhurdia in Tbilisi on January 7, Western news agencies
reported the same day. At least two people were wounded. Military
Council officials later argued that the move was justified given
that demonstrations are currently banned, that live ammunition
was only used when the gunmen ran out of blank cartridges, and
that no other means of crowd control were available. (Liz Fuller)

GAMSAKHURDIA'S STATUS UNCLEAR. Armenian Foreign Minister Raffi
Hovanissian told journalists in Washington on January 7 that
Gamsakhurdia has not been granted safe haven in Armenia but will
not be forced to leave. A Georgian delegation travelled to Erevan
on January 7 to discuss Gamsakhurdia's fate; an Armenian spokesman
subsequently stated that no formal extradition request was made.
Radio Moscow reported on January 7 that Gamsakhurdia had requested
Armenian help in fleeing to an unspecified Western country. Some
Georgian opposition figures insist he should be returned and
stand trial. Prime Minister-designate Tengiz Sigua told TASS
on January 7 that Gamsakhurdia had absconded with more than 200
million rubles. (Liz Fuller)

GORBACHEV RECEIVED KGB SURVEILLANCE ON YELTSIN. The Russian Federation
Procuracy has discovered secret KGB reports monitoring the activities
of former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev's political opponents
among papers belonging to former Chief of the CPSU CC General
Department Valerii Boldin. According to a report in Rabochaya
tribuna of December 7, some of the reports indicate that Gorbachev
authorized political surveillance of Russian President Boris
Yeltsin and other leading Russian politicians. However, the newspaper
added, the former Soviet leader, never used the information obtained
in such "an illegal way." At the time, it was the KGB's routine
duty to coordinate transportation and communications for Yeltsin
and other high ranking officials. (Victor Yasmann)

INTRODUCTION OF COUPONS/MONEY SUBSTITUTES IN CIS. In an interview
on Russian Television on January 5, Russian Deputy Prime Minister
Egor Gaidar voiced his concern about the issue of coupons in
Commonwealth states. ". . . If anything in the economy is going
to be our downfall, then it is primarily substitutes for money
that other republics are introducing . . . ." That same day,
on Ukrainian Television, the chairman of the Ukrainian National
Bank confirmed that Ukrainian coupons were replacing the ruble,
with the quantity of coupons already being equal to the quantity
of rubles in circulation in Ukraine. And, according to RTR of
January 6, Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Moldova plan to issue coupons
shortly. (Keith Bush)

EC FOOD AID TO BE SOLD. On December 23, Gaidar told the Presidium
of the Russian Parliament that his government planned to sell
European Community food aid through the retail trade net-work,
Postfactum reported that day. On January-3, EC Commission Ambassador
Michael Emerson confirmed this arrangement, according to The
Times of January 4. A small portion of the total EC aid will
be distributed directly to the needy, but most of the aid, valued
at some $2-3 billion, will be sold or auctioned to wholesalers
who will be obliged to sell the food to retail outlets at controlled
prices. The idea is to "prime the pump" and get goods into the
stores. Revenues from the sales will be used for humanitarian
purposes. (Keith Bush)

APPLICATIONS TO IMF. On January 7, Russia and Azerbaijan applied
for full membership in the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank, RFE/RL's Washington bureau reported that day. Ukraine
applied for full membership in the two organizations on December
31. The application process will take up to one year to complete
but, according to The Financial Times of December 11, Russia
has already put out feelers requesting a special assistance program
from the IMF before its full membership has been granted. (Robert
Lyle and Keith Bush)

KAZAKHSTAN REQUESTS ADMISSION TO UN. TASS reported on January
4 that Kazakhstan has applied for admission to the United Nations.
The current chairman of the Security Council, who reported having
received the application, was quoted as saying that Kazakhstan's
request would be discussed by the Council before the end of January.
(Bess Brown)

A CAMPAIGN TO DISSOLVE BELARUS PARLIAMENT GAINS MOMENTUM. On January-6,
the Popular Front of Belarus began to form a 100-person initiative
committee to sponsor a popular referendum on whether to dissolve
the country's Communist-dominated Supreme Soviet and hold new
parliamentary elections, according to a report on January 7 by
RFE/RL's Minsk correspondent Yas Valoshka. Five political parties
already have agreed to join the committee. 350,000 signatures
will have to be collected in order to support the holding of
a referendum. The political future of Supreme Soviet Chairman
Stanislau Shushkevich, one of the three architects of the CIS,
seems very much to be an open question. (Kathy Mihalisko)

CONCERN ABOUT NUCLEAR FUEL IN SOVIET SUBMARINES. Murmansk officials
have suspended operations to unload nuclear fuel from decommissioned
submarines belonging to the Soviet Northern Fleet. TASS reported
on January-5 that the order was issued by Yevgenii Komarov, head
of the Murmansk oblast administration. The report stated that
the official was forced to take this step because the navy had
been conducting ecologically dangerous operations for some time
without warning civil authorities or the public. It claimed that
"flagrant violations of radiation safety" had been detected at
a Northern Fleet submarine overhaul facility. (Doug Clarke)

NEW REVELATIONS ON SOVIET SPACE PROGRAM. Former Soviet cosmonaut
Aleksei Leonov revealed in an interview with Argumenty i fakty
(no. 52, 1991) that in June 1968, the Soviet Union was close
to sending a spacecraft to orbit the moon-half a year before
the historic US Apollo 8 flight orbited the moon for the first
time. Leonov said the Soviet Union was technically capable of
sending a spacecraft to orbit the moon, but lacked the finances
to conduct a landing on the moon. He added that all Soviet manned
moon flights finally were cancelled because of technical problems.
Leonov also for the first time revealed details on the Soyuz-1
and Soyuz-11 catastrophes. (Alexander Rahr)

STATUS OF TASS CHANGED. The status of TASS is being radically
amended and the agency will have to start functioning according
to strictly commercial criteria, Western news agencies reported
on January 5. At a crucial meeting of Russian First Deputy Prime
Minister Gennadii Burbulis and the Russian ministers for information
and economics, Mikhail Poltoranin and Egor Gaidar, with TASS
staff members it was decided that the agency's future appointments
abroad will no longer be based on political or diplomatic but
purely journalistic principles. TASS will therefore lose its
traditional role as the Kremlin's mouthpiece and will face staff
reductions. (Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIAN ORTHODOX DIALOGUE WITH ROMAN CATHOLICS TO BE RENEWED.
A TASS correspondent in Rome quoted on January 7 an interview
by Cardinal Edward Cassidi published in the weekly Sabato. The
Cardinal said in this interview that the Russian Orthodox Church
has agreed to receive a Vatican delegation to discuss current
problems. The meeting is scheduled for the end of February. The
Cardinal said in this connection that Pope John Paul II at the
end of December sent a letter to Patriarch Aleksii in which he
suggested for the second time that the two Churches should again
resume a dialogue. (Oxana Antic)

NEW RELIGIOUS LESSONS IN AMUR SCHOOLS. TASS reported from Komsomolsk-
on-Amur on January 3 that religious lessons will be included
in the curricula of a number of schools in the Komsomolsk raion
in Russia's Far East. Local priests will teach this new subject.
(Oxana Antic)

BALTIC STATES



ESTONIA CUTS OFF FLOUR FOR "RUSSIAN" TROOPS. The Estonian government
has stopped supplying Soviet armed forces stationed in Estonia
with flour and cereals, according to ETA of January-7. State
Border Defense Authority advisor Udo Helme said that in 1991
Russia failed to send Estonia the 125,000 tons of cereals promised
in an earlier trade agreement. Helme said that Estonia, however,
had fulfilled its side of the agreement. "In such a situation,
where Russia has blocked the supply of cereal to Estonia,-.-.-.
we can conclude that in reality, Russia is unwilling to feed
its troops," Helme said. The move seems intended not only to
compensate for Russia's nondelivery of promised goods, but also
to speed along Soviet troop withdrawals. (Riina Kionka)

BALTIC COUNCIL CONDEMNS VIOLENCE IN GEORGIA. At its January-5
meeting in Jurmala the Baltic Council issued a strong condemnation
of the violence in Georgia. The statement published in Rahva
haal on January-7, says the Baltic States "are convinced that
no problem can come to a long-term resolution with the aid of
weapons." The three Baltic Supreme Council chairmen called on
the battling parties "to bring the armed conflict and violence
to an immediate end." (Riina Kionka)

OFFICIAL SAYS SOVIET NUKES STILL IN ESTONIA. Reports continue
to surface that the repatriation to Russia of tactical nuclear
weapons of the former Soviet army might not be as well advanced
as some have indicated. Estonian Foreign Minister Lennart Meri,
speaking to reporters in Helsinki on January-7, said that there
are still short-range nuclear weapons on Estonian territory.
He was quoted by the Suomen yleis radio network as saying the
existence of the weapons had been confirmed by many sources.
Meri said that Estonia is ready to propose to Latvia and Lithuania
that the three sign a treaty pledging not to acquire nuclear
weapons, but the Soviet weapons would have to first be withdrawn.
(Doug Clarke)

RIGA BUSES RUNNING OUT OF FUEL. Latvia's capital city had only
limited bus service on January-7, and buses may stop running
altogether on January-8 because of diesel fuel shortages. BNS
reports that a similar situation developed in Tallinn last week,
but an eleventh-hour delivery of fuel from Russia kept buses
there on the road. In a related development an Estonian government
official told BNS on January-7 that Estonia now has diesel fuel
reserves to last the next 10-days. (Riina Kionka)

LITHUANIAN DEFENSE CHIEF IN GERMANY. Lithuania's Defense Minister
Audrius Butkevicius began three days of talks in Bonn on January-7,
according to Western agencies. Butkevicius reportedly met that
day with his German counterpart Gerhard Stoltenberg. The two
discussed European security, NATO, and Germany's experience with
Soviet troop withdrawals. Butkevicius is scheduled to visit a
number of German military facilities before he travels to Brussels
on January-9. (Riina Kionka)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

YUGOSLAV AIR FORCE SHOOTS DOWN EC HELICOPTER. Western media reported
on January-7 that a MiG of the Serbian-dominated federal military
destroyed a plainly marked EC helicopter with rockets and machine-gun
fire in clear weather. The one French and four Italian passengers
were all killed, but a second helicopter was not hit. Yugoslav
federal authorities promised an investigation and suspended the
air force commander, a Croat. The BBC said on January-8 that
diplomatic circles are outraged but plan to treat the downing
as an isolated incident by rogue elements in the military, possibly
people with links to Milan Babic and other Serbian nationalists
in Croatia. On January-7 the Vienna weekly Profil quoted leading
Tito-era dissident Milovan Djilas as saying that Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic had lost all control over the military, whose
leaders have strong links with Serbian nationalists in Croatia.
(Patrick Moore)

TURKEY WANTS TO JOIN UN FORCE FOR YUGOSLAVIA. The BBC quoted
UN diplomats as saying that the helicopter incident will not
affect plans to send 50-UN observers to Yugoslavia soon and a
substantially larger force later. On January-7 Western news agencies
said that Turkey had joined several other nations in saying that
it wants to join the peacekeepers. Turkey has repeatedly expressed
concern over the situation of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina
and elsewhere in Yugoslavia, and plans to open a consulate in
Bosnia's capital Sarajevo, which had belonged to the Ottoman
empire until 1878. Turkish diplomats are currently on a fact-finding
tour of Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Romania, and Ankara may decide
on recognizing individual Yugoslav republics after their return.
(Patrick Moore)

SOLIDARITY CONSIDERS WARNING STRIKE. On January-8 Solidarity
Trade Union leaders will discuss whether to declare a one-hour
warning strike throughout the Gdansk region. The action, planned
for the same day, would be to protest recent increases in energy
prices, Western media reported. The union is also preparing for
a strike in the mining region of Lower Silesia. The formerly
communist Polish Trade Union Federation (OPZZ) has already called
a national warning strike on January-16 to protest price hikes
introduced on January-1. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

POLISH OMBUDSMAN SAYS DOCTORS' ABORTION BAN ILLEGAL. Ombudsman
Ewa Letowska said on January 7 that the decision made at a national
medical congress last month to impose a virtual ban on abortion
is illegal. The doctors decided to allow abortion only in cases
of rape or if pregnancy threatens a mother's life. Under the
new code a medical association could ban a doctor performing
abortions from practicing. Letowska said, however, that the association
had no right to introduce such a code in contravention of existing
Polish law, Western media reported. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

MEDIA RESOURCE CENTER SET UP IN POLAND. Training and other programs
for print and broadcast journalists in Poland are under way in
Warsaw as part of a new media resources center sponsored by Rutgers
University. The program aims to provide Polish journalists with
professional assistance, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Although
the center's facilities are not yet completed, training seminars
and workshops have already begun. Journalists and journalism
teachers from the US have volunteered to serve as consultants
and lecturers at the center. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

WALESA FORGOES CONFLICT OVER ADMIRAL. In a meeting with the new
civilian defense minister, Jan Parys, on January-6, President
Lech Walesa seems to have defused a potential conflict over the
supervision of the armed forces. According to "unofficial sources"
quoted by Gazeta wyborcza, the president withdrew his objections
to the new government's decision to pension off former defense
minister Adm. Piotr Kolodziejczyk. Walesa had previously proposed
Kolodziejczyk for the post of inspector general, which pending
legislation foresees as Poland's highest military office. Walesa
reportedly agreed that the appointment of a civilian minister
made changes "inevitable" in the defense ministry, but stressed
that "security and defense issues cannot be the object of political
infighting." It was agreed, Rzeczpospolita noted, that close
cooperation between the defense ministry and the president's
security staff is necessary. (Louisa Vinton)

POLAND CUTS GENERALS. Rzeczpospolita reported on January-7 that
Kolodziejczyk's retirement brings to eighty-one the number of
generals on active service in the Polish armed forces. The General
Staff predicts that another 20-generals will be removed in 1992
when they reach retirement age. At the beginning of 1988, Rzeczpospolita
reports, there were 173-generals in the Polish military. (Louisa
Vinton)

LOT SELLS SOVIET-MADE AIRCRAFT TO UKRAINE. Poland's national
airline LOT has sold 17-Soviet-made planes to a newly established
Ukrainian airline, Western media reported. According to a LOT
spokesman, the Ukrainians purchased seven long-range Il-62 jets
and ten short-range An-24 propeller airliners that are between
7 and 25 years old. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

OECD ON CZECHOSLOVAKIA. The Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development said that Czechoslovakia has made solid steps
towards a market economy but prospects for a continued progress
in 1992 are uncertain. In a report released on January-7 the
OECD said that the upcoming sale of state industries could determine
the success of the reforms. The report praised the government's
monetary and fiscal policies and said it should be possible to
keep inflation within single digits in 1992. Speaking at a press
briefing in Paris, however, Czechoslovak Deputy Finance Minister
Jan Mladek said he thought the survey was too optimistic about
the prospects for inflation and estimated that the rate would
actually be in the 15-20% range. (Barbara Kroulik)

CZECH MINISTER DENIES LINKS TO SECRET POLICE. Czech Justice Minister
Leon Richter on January-7 denied that he had collaborated with
the communist secret police, the STB. He told reporters that
he had refused a job in nuclear research in 1956 because he would
have had to help the STB. He offered to resign as Justice Minister
last week, citing as his reasons overwork, poor health, and criticism
of his work. (Barbara Kroulik)

AIR FRANCE TO LINK WITH CZECHOSLOVAK AIRLINES. Air France, the
state owned French airline, and other investors plan to buy 40%
of CSA-Czechoslovak Airlines. Air France said on January that
the Czechoslovak government will retain 60% of the carrier. Air
France estimates CSA's total value at about $150 million. Air
France Chairman Bernard Attali said that a memorandum of understanding
has been signed, pending approval by Czechoslovak and French
authorities, Western agencies report. (Barbara Kroulik)

ILLEGAL EXPORT OF ANTIQUES FROM CZECHOSLOVAKIA SOARING. Czech
Culture Ministry official Tomas Klepek says Czechoslovakia last
year lost $36 million worth of antiques as result of theft and
illegal trade. Rude pravo reported on January-7 that about sixteen
times more Gothic and baroque antiques were exported than in
1989. Klepek said the increase in theft has been brought about
by the opening of the borders. Last year authorities imposed
stricter export regulations for antiques and art objects. Klepek
said state spending to prevent art thefts is being increased.
(Barbara Kroulik) 

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES COOPERATIVES LAW.
On January-7 the Hungarian parliament approved a law allowing
for the privatization of cooperative property in agriculture,
industry, and services. The law establishes procedures for transforming
cooperatives into companies, and determines how cooperative property
can be divided or recombined in accordance with members' decisions.
It also opens the way for the purchase of cooperative land by
individuals whose land was confiscated by the communists. There
are presently some 3,000 cooperatives in Hungary, most of them
in agriculture and industry. (Edith Oltay)

FIRST ROMANIAN CENSUS SINCE 1977. A national census began on
January-7, the first in a quarter-century. Prime Minister Theodor
Stolojan said he hopes the population will fully back the operation,
which will last until January-14. He added that the census will
be used only for statistical purposes: personal information will
be held strictly confidential and protected by law. The census
will cost more than one billion lei. Some 550-tons of paper have
been used to print 15-million forms including 72-questions. Some
16,000 census-takers have been trained to perform inquiries in
the Bucharest area alone. Vasile Ghetau, Director-General of
the National Statistics Board, said that preliminary results
will be available in May. (Mihai Sturdza)

KEEN INTEREST AMONG MINORITIES. Manipulation of statistics by
the former communist regime has prompted leaders of minority
groups to insist upon receiving accurate census data, local media
report. The heads of the religious denominations within the Hungarian
minority have instructed their congregations to describe themselves
clearly as "Magyars" and not use other terms such as "Hungarians"
or "Szeklers" that might cause confusion. The General Association
of Romanians of Uniate Greek Catholic Faith told its members
"to courageously state their persuasion." The Democratic Union
of the Romas [Gypsies] of Romania urged local leaders, elders,
and other influential people to cooperate with the census takers.
(Mihai Sturdza)

STRIKE CALLED IN BULGARIA. The Confederation of Independent Unions
(the former official trade union umbrella organization during
the communist era) called a strike for January-8, according to
BTA. Demokratsiya reports that some 180,000 strikers from among
the more than 750,000 members of the confederation are expected
on the picket lines. The objective of the strike, announced only
on the evening of January-7, is to induce the new government
quickly to begin discussions on minimum wages, social welfare,
pensions, and development of a concrete program for fighting
unemployment. Bulgaria's other major labor organization, Podkrepa,
does not support this strike; its leaders, in fact, have said
they view it as a potential danger to social order. (Duncan M.
Perry) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Sallie Wise Chaballier &
Charles Trumbull








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