The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are infliciting it upon me. - Frederick Douglass
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 77, 22 April 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN'S SPEECH CLOSES RUSSIAN CONGRESS. The sixth Russian Congress
of People's Deputies ended on 21 April with a speech by President
Yeltsin, covered by Radio Rossii and Russian TV. Yeltsin offered
some major concessions to the Congress in connection with its
ability to control the cabinet. Yeltsin said that the prime minister
would be approved by parliament and that new candidates for ministerial
posts would be discussed in the relevant committees and commissions.
Yeltsin also noted his opposition to the disbandment of the Congress
or the parliament and said that he would call for a referendum
only if the Congress rejected the reformist course. The president
repeatedly voiced profound concern over conservative attempts
to set up a parallel structure of state power and also the open
appeals by some deputies to seize power, even by armed rebellion.
He added that attempts to revive the USSR are nothing other than
an effort to establish a parallel power structure. (Julia Wishnevsky)


DRAFT LAW ON THE CABINET OF MINISTERS. On the final day of the
Congress (21 April), Yeltsin submitted a draft law on the cabinet
to the Congress. According to Russian TV reports, the law specifies
that the Russian president must propose his candidate for the
post of prime minister to the parliament. In the event of parliamentary
rejection of the nominee, the president would be entitled to
appoint an acting prime minister for one year, or to perform
the duty himself. Parliament Chairman Ruslan Khasbulatov, however,
refused to distribute the draft among the deputies. The law must
be approved by the parliament and it seems highly unlikely that
parliament will agree to the above terms. (Julia Wishnevsky)


REFERENCES TO USSR ELIMINATED? On 21 April, the Congress finally
agreed to eliminate references to the Soviet Union from the Russian
Constitution, according to Russian TV. However, three new articles
to the Constitution were introduced which still contain references
to Russia's willingness to form a "renewed union" with other
republics. It took several days of difficult negotiating before
the parliament's presidium could persuade deputies to vote for
these changes. Dozens of earlier attempts to muster the necessary
two-thirds majority had failed. (Julia Wishnevsky)

OTHER BUSINESS AT THE CONGRESS. On 21 April, the Congress concluded
its business with a discussion of problems in the Russian Far
North, Russian media reported. A resolution "On the Defense of
the Constitutional Structures of Power" attacking Gennadii Burbulis
and other Yeltsin aides was also passed. The deputies confirmed
the appointment of prominent jurist Veniamin Yakovlev, who had
served in this capacity in the all-Union structure under Gorbachev,
to the post of chairman of the Russian Federation's highest arbitration
court. Following heated debate, the Congress deprived those deputies
who have also been appointed to government posts of their parliamentary
mandates. In conjunction with this constitutional provision,
Yeltsin also accepted the resignation of Sergei Shakhrai as deputy
prime minister, who had resigned in order to keep his parliamentary
post. (Julia Wishnevsky)

MOLDOVA ALARMED BY PRESSURE FROM RUSSIA. Reacting to the increasingly
open political and military support from Russia to the self-styled
"Dniester republic" in eastern Moldova, Moldovan President Mircea
Snegur on 20 April cabled Russia'a Congress of People's Deputies
an appeal against "intrusion in the domestic affairs of sovereign
states." Snegur expressed concern that such intrusion "fans anti-Russian
sentiment, setting other peoples, including the Moldovan people,
against the Russian people. In these complicated times, we need
restraint, balance, and correctness in interstate relations if
we are to halt the spiral of tension," Snegur said in his cable
as reported by Moldovapres. (Vladimir Socor)

FURTHER ALARM SIGNALS FROM CHISINAU. Speaking at the oath-taking
ceremony of the first battalion of the Moldovan army, Snegur
expressed concern over "the strategic aspirations of left-wing
forces" in Russia fanning the Dniester conflict and seeking to
"drive a wedge between Moldova and Ukraine," Moldovapres reported
on 19 April. On 20 April, Moldovan Prime Minister Valeriu Muravschi
announced that Chisinau has cancelled the arrangements for hosting
a high-level CIS meeting scheduled for 24 April, Moldovapres
reported. (Vladimir Socor)

"DNIESTER REPUBLIC" SETTING UP OWN "NATIONAL ARMY." Addressing
an assembly of officers of Russia's 14th Army, headquartered
in Tiraspol, the self-styled "Dniester republic" president, Igor
Smirnov, announced the creation of a "national army" of the would-be
republic, with an "initial" strength of 12,000, Western agencies
reported on 20 April. That figure coincides with the manpower
of the 14th Army on the left bank of the Dniester. Promising
the officers a range of social benefits, Smirnov urged them to
serve in the "Dniester republic's" army. The move looks like
an attempt to place the 14th Army and its officer corps under
"Dniester republic" authority. (Vladimir Socor)

FLEET TALKS DELAYED. The inter-governmental talks between Russia
and Ukraine concerning the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet--due
to resume on 22 April--are now scheduled for 29-30 April. According
to ITAR-TASS, Russian special envoy Yurii Dubinin told a 21 April
press briefing at the Russian Foreign Ministry that there was
no under-lying political reason for the postponement. He said
that the change had been made so that the two sides could more
carefully prepare their negotiating documents. While several
sources named Dubinin as the leader of the Russian delegation,
Interfax on 21 April announced that state legal adviser Sergei
Shakhrai would head the 14-member delegation, which would include
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and First Deputy Defense
Minister Andrei Kokoshin. (Doug Clarke)

SUB FOR SALE? Reuters reported on 21 April that the British publication
Jane's Defence Weekly would reveal in its 25 April issue that
the CIS has offered to sell to the United States a nuclear-powered
Victor II attack submarine. Seven boats of this class were built
between 1972 and 1978. Reuters also quoted a US Navy spokesman
as denying the report. (Doug Clarke)

MEMBERS OF RUSSIAN DEFENSE COMMISSION. Krasnaya zvezda of 14
April published the membership of the Russian State Commission
for the Creation of a Russian Defense Ministry, created by Boris
Yeltsin on 4 April. The Commission is chaired by Colonel General
Dmitrii Volkogonov, military advisor to the Russian president,
and the deputy chairmen are Colonel General Pavel Grachev (Russian
first deputy defense minister), Army General Konstantin Kobets,
and Yurii Skokov (Russian state advisor). As liberal critics
have charged, the commission is dominated by senior military
commanders--more than 20 out of a total of 36 members are uniformed
officers holding the rank of Colonel General or above--including
three top General Staff officers. (Stephen Foye)

KAZAKH MILITARY COMMANDER NAMED. ITAR-TASS reported on 16 April
that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has appointed Lieutenant
General Anatolii Ryabtsev the first commander of Kazakhstan's
armed forces. Ryabtsev, a Russian, is reportedly the commander
of the Fortieth Army, currently based in Kazakhstan. (Stephen
Foye)

DRAFTEES CAN SERVE WHERE THEY WANT. The press center of the Siberian
Military District has told RIA that, by order of the central
military command, soldiers drafted this spring will be allowed
to serve where they choose, Radio Rossii reported on 19 April.
Servicemen who want to serve in dangerous areas must get the
written permission of their parents and will be paid at higher
levels than those not serving in such areas, the report said.
(Stephen Foye)

RUSSIAN PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM SPEEDED UP. Dmitri Vasiliev, a
deputy chairman of the Russian State Property Committee, told
a Moscow news conference on 16 April that the privatization process
in the Russian Federation is to be accelerated, ITAR-TASS reported.
This had been made possible by amendments to the privatization
program by a joint government and parliament commission. Workers'
collectives are to submit privatization plans before 1 September.
AP of the same date quotes Vasiliev as saying that up to 85-90%
of property would be sold for vouchers, leaving only 10-15% to
be sold for cash. Employees would be able to own 51% of all stocks
in an enterprise. (Keith Bush)

STREET FOOD SALES BANNED IN MOSCOW. After recorded cases of botulism
had increased by a factor of eight during the past year, and
dysentery and gastric infections had spread, Moscow's chief sanitation
officer banned street sales of most foodstuffs on 17 April, RIA
reported. The ban applies to milk and other dairy products, meat,
sausages, poultry, fish, canned food, and candies. (Keith Bush)


COUNTERFEITING ON THE RISE IN RUSSIA. At a news conference on
14 April, an official of the Russian Ministry of the Interior
said that "Russia's counterfeiting problem is small compared
to Europe's, but the trend is growing here at an alarming rate,"
KrimPress-TASS reported. During the past five years, the authorities
have confiscated about 40,000 rubles' worth of fake Russian money
and about half a million dollars' worth of counterfeit foreign
currency. Some 90% of the latter are dollar bills. (Keith Bush)


RUSSIAN MECHANISM FOR TRADING WITH CIS. The Russian government
has passed Resolution No. 221 establishing a mechanism for trade
and economic cooperation with Commonwealth states for 1992, Interfax
reported on 14 April. The document allows firms to sell their
products to Commonwealth partners at free market prices and to
carry out mutual transactions in rubles. It provides for the
possibility of establishing regulated prices on shipments in
the framework of intergovernmental agreements. The resolution
also says that the volume of supplies not stipulated by intergovernmental
agreements must be kept at a level of not less than 70% of shipments
for 1991 to maintain economic ties with firms of CIS states.
(Keith Bush)

YAKUTIYA SEES FUTURE IN RUSSIAN FEDERATION. The president of
Yakutiya, Mikhail Nikolaev, said on 15 April that Yakutiya was
not trying to strengthen its sovereignty, as Tatarstan had done,
ITAR-TASS reported. For Yakutiya it was not political but economic
sovereignty that mattered, and that was why the republic had
declared from the start that it would remain a subject of the
Russian Federation. Nikolaev said that at the end of March Yakutiya
had signed an agreement with Moscow under which the natural resources
of Yakutiya could not be exploited without the permission of
its government. Yakutiya now had the right to dispose independently
of 20% of the gem diamonds and all the industrial diamonds mined
on its territory. (Ann Sheehy)

IN 1971: KGB ATTEMPTED TO ASSASSINATE SOLZHENITSYN. Western agencies
on 20-21 April cited the Russian monthly newspaper, Sovershenno
secretno (Top Secret), as saying that the KGB poisoned the author
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 1971. The story is based on an account
from one member of a KGB team, Lt. Col. Boris Ivanov. According
to Ivanov, the KGB followed Solzhenitsyn to the Southern Russian
city of Novocherkassk, where the writer was poisoned as he stood
in line at a food store on 8 August 1971. Ivanov said that Solzhenitsyn
survived the attempt only because the dosage was not strong enough.
In a letter to the monthly's editor, Solzhenitsyn confirmed the
story, which was revealed for the first time on 23 March in an
interview with cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife Galina
Vishnevskaya on Russian TV, close friends of the author.(Julia
Wishnevsky)

"TOP SECRET" DOCUMENTS: ZHDANOV, CHERNOBYL AND RAISA. The January
issue of the journal Rodina contains a selection of materials
from the Communist Party archives. These include a lengthy denunciation
of a group of leading Russian writers sent in 1944 by the then
KGB Minister, V.N. Merkulov, to Stalin's chief ideologist, Andrei
Zhdanov. Another document, written by an unnamed Soviet journalist
advised Raisa Gorbachev on how she should dress and behave during
state visits abroad in order to counter her poor public image
in Russia; this document was delivered to Gorbachev by the then
director of the Novosti news agency Valentin Falin in 1987. Yet
another publication contains previously top secret correspondence
within the Gorbachev leadership on the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear
accident. (Julia Wishnevsky)

TAJIK DEMONSTRATORS TAKE PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES HOSTAGE. Talks in
Dushanbe on the morning of 21 April between members of the parliament
presidium and the opposition yielded an agreement that parliament
would debate the opposition demands for the replacement of its
speaker, Safarali Kendzhaev, and other members of the presidium.
After the parliament voted not to replace Kendzhaev, however,
demonstrators surrounding the parliament began forming armed
groups, and members of the rebel national guard took several
deputies hostage, Interfax reported. (Liz Fuller)

KAZAKH TEACHERS AND DOCTORS PICKET PARLIAMENT BUILDING. Some
300 teachers and doctors began picketing the parliament building
in Alma-Ata on 21 April to press for a debate, promised one month
ago, on raising their salaries from 1,000 to at least 2,000 rubles,
which they consider the minimum subsistence wage. The picketers
also demand that the government provide housing, ITAR-TASS reported
on 21 April. (Liz Fuller)

UKRAINIAN CHURCH LEADER CONDEMNS RUSSIAN ORTHODOX PRESSURE. The
head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Filaret,
has publicly condemned the strong opposition from the recent
assembly of Russian Orthodox bishops to grant autocephaly, or
full canonical independence, to his supposedly autonomous church.
According to Radio Ukraine of 15 April, Metropolitan Filaret,
formerly known for his strong loyalty to the Moscow Patriarchate
and opposition to Ukraine's "national" Ukrainian Catholic and
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, deplored the "pressure"
and threats to which he and the other Ukrainian representatives
at the assembly had been subjected. He also told a press conference
in Kiev that the assembly had forced him to issue a statement
announcing his resignation but that he would not go along with
this intimidation. The Moscow Patriarchate, he concluded, was
under the influence of "forces who do not want Ukraine to have
an independent Church." (Bohdan Nahaylo)

JEWISH FEDERATION OF RUSSIA CREATED. The Congress of Jewish Communities
of Russia in Nizhnyi Novgorod ended with the creation of a Jewish
Federation of Russia, Radio Mayak reported on 15 April. The resolution
of the Congress said that in future Russian (rossiiskie) Jews
would decide all their problems in a centralized fashion through
the board of the Federation. (Ann Sheehy)



CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SERBS STEP UP ATTACKS ON SARAJEVO. International media reported
on 21 April that Serbian forces attacked Sarajevo's police stations
and shelled the television station, utilities, and the Muslim
old town. On 22 April the BBC said that fighting had continued
throughout the night and intensified at dawn. The New York Times
noted that the Serbs have the city at their mercy because they
hold the high ground and because the Muslims are totally outgunned.
One Bosnian official said that the Serbs were trying to divide
the capital, and on 18 April Bosnian Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic
told The Guardian that "Sarajevo is very similar to Beirut. We
need a map . . . as soon as possible." The 22 April Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Bosnian authorities have begun
legal proceedings against Karadzic for having given the orders
to Serbian forces to shell the city. (Patrick Moore)

"SERBIA IS NOW THREATENED WITH INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION." This
is the headline of the Frankfurt daily's story on diplomatic
efforts in the United States and Europe to take Serbia to task
for its aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina. The paper added
that, unlike during the Croatian crisis last year, Germany is
no longer alone in criticizing Serbia but has been joined by
Britain, France, and especially the US. The New York Times said
that Serbia has rejected Western criticism, claiming that "Serbia
has no territorial pretentions on others, and from the very start
has been for a peaceful and legal solution to the Yugoslav crisis."
In other developments, the Frankfurt paper reported that Portuguese
diplomats meeting with the Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers
over the weekend were unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade
Athens to lift its veto of EC recognition of Skopje. (Patrick
Moore)

IS A SERBIAN UNIT FIGHTING ON THE CROATIAN SIDE? In a front-page
story, the 21 April issue of Vjesnik said that a largely ethnic
Serbian unit is fighting against the federal army and Serbian
chetniks in Bosanski Brod. The Serbs appear to be mainly local
people. The paper reported that Serbs, including deserters from
the federal army, have fought in Croatian ranks since the start
of the fighting, but this is the first time they have appeared
together as a national unit. The reporter compared this group
to the Italian anti-fascist brigades in the Balkans during World
War II. The story has not been confirmed by other sources, however,
and it is not clear how large the force is or exactly who its
members are. (Patrick Moore)

MOSLEM PARTY RULED LEGAL. Bulgaria's Constitutional Court rejected
on 21 April a claim lodged by 93 deputies in the previous Grand
National Assembly and later supported by 53 members of the current
parliament to declare the mainly Moslem Movement for Rights and
Freedoms (MRF) as an anti-constitutional party and deprive the
deputies elected from its list of their mandates. The ruling,
reached in a split vote, has implicitly affirmed the MRF's legal
status. The MRF has 23 deputies and is the third largest party
in the parliament. (Rada Nikolaev)

FORMER PRISON CAMP WARDERS ARRESTED. Three of the four defendants
in the trial of the former warders of Bulgaria's notorious "camps
of death" at Lovech and Skravena, two men and a woman, were arrested
BTA reported on 20 April. The fourth defendant, former deputy
minister of the interior Mircho Spasov, was not arrested because
of his poor health. The two camps were maintained until 1962
but reports on extremely cruel treatment of prisoners, many of
whom died there, surfaced only in early 1990. BTA said that the
four had been indicted on the basis of the penal code in force
at the time of their crimes. The defendants could receive sentences
of 15 to 20 years or death. (Rada Nikolaev)

PARLIAMENT PASSES STOCK EXCHANGE LAW. The Czechoslovak parliament
on 21 April passed, by an overwhelming majority, a law clearing
the way for the re-establishment of stock exchanges in Prague
and Bratislava. The law calls for stock markets to be separate
institutions supervised by the finance ministries in the Czech
and Slovak Republics. Federal Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus told
parliament the markets could open later this year, after further
privatization of state-owned firms. He said by 1993 the country
will have 2,000 to 3,000 joint stock companies worth about 33
billion crowns (about $1.1 billion). The law limits participation
of foreign capital in the exchanges to 30%, CSTK reports. (Barbara
Kroulik)

JOB GUARANTEES FOR WOULD-BE ESTONIAN CITIZENS. The Estonian Supreme
Council passed a law on 20 April making it easier for would-be
citizens to retain their state sector jobs while their applications
are being processed. According to BNS that day, the law allows
people working in those public sector jobs requiring citizenship
to keep their positions until 31 December 1993 if they submit
applications for citizenship during this calendar year. (Riina
Kionka)

ESTONIA PREPARES FOR CURRENCY REFORM. The Estonian Currency Reform
Bureau reports that preparations for currency reform are in high
gear. According to BNS on 21 April, 21 local currency reform
committees have been formed to compile lists of all permanent
residents and foreigners who have lived in Estonian for at least
one year. The deadline for the lists is 30 April, and residents
must recheck their names and data on the lists by 15 May. Supreme
Council forces have also decided to use the currency reform lists
to compile a master list of those eligible to vote in Estonia's
upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections and constitution
referendum. (Riina Kionka)

SWEDISH ROYALTY IN TALLINN. Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and
Queen Silvia will arrive in Tallinn on 22 April, ETA reports.
The royal couple will meet with Chairman of the Supreme Council
Arnold Ruutel, Prime Minister Tiit Vahi, and will tour Estonia.
(Riina Kionka)

HUNGARIAN DIPLOMATS TO LEAVE LIBYA. Following Hungary's demand,
in line with the UN sanctions against Libya, for the recall of
5 of Libya's 14 diplomats in Budapest, the Libyan Foreign Ministry
announced on April 16 expulsion of an unspecified number of Hungarian
diplomats. On April 20, MTI reported that the exact number of
those expelled was still not known; there had been three Hungarian
diplomats stationed in Tripoli. Of the 550 Hungarians working
in Libya, about 50 have opted to leave the country and some have
already arrived in Hungary. (Alfred Reisch)

GOVERNMENT CRISIS IN LITHUANIA. On 21 April Lithuanian Deputy
Prime Minister Zigmas Vaisvila and nine ministers submitted a
statement to Lithuanian Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis,
Radio Lithuania reported. The statement proposed that the parliament
examine the different functions and responsibilities of the ministers
and prime minister. They believe that Vagnorius should not issue
decrees without first consulting them to help avoid their revocation
by the parliament. Four ministers who support Vagnorius had previously
submitted their resignations explaining that they could not "work
fruitfully," but Vagnorius refused to accept them. (Saulius Girnius)


SWEDEN PLEDGES CURRENCY SUPPORT FOR BALTIC STATES. On 21 April
the Swedish Foreign Ministry outlined a one billion crown ($165
million) aid program for Eastern Europe, Reuters reports. 300
million crowns ($50 million) would be used in the 1992/93 budget
year to back up the new currencies Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia
plan to introduce this year. Ove Heyman, head of the ministry
section supervising the aid stressed the importance of a successful
launch, noting: "It is difficult to remake a failed currency
reform." The aid program will be put to a vote in the Swedish
parliament on 29 April. Heyman also noted that the issue of how
to compensate Estonia and Lithuania for more than 4 tons of gold
deposited in Sweden in 1939 and then sent to Moscow in 1940 would
be resolved later in the week. (Saulius Girnius)

SOROS VISIT TO LITHUANIA. On 21 April Prime Minister Vagnorius
accepted an offer by US philanthropist George Soros to finance
the sending of Lithuanian economists abroad for further studies,
Radio Lithuania reports. The Soros Fund established a "Open Lithuania
Foundation" in 1990, granting $300,000 in aid in 1991 and $1
million for 1992. (Saulius Girnius)

PROGRESS IN POLISH-SOVIET MILITARY TALKS. Interviewed in Krasnaya
Zvezda of 21 April, Russian First Deputy Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev said that some progress was recently made on the financial
issues related to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Poland.
According to Grachev out of the $400 million proceeds expected
from the sales of the Soviet army real estate holdings in Poland
a quarter will be handed over to Poland as compensation for environmental
damage. The rest will be used for the construction of housing
for the returning soldiers. (Roman Stefanowski)

POLAND ASKS FOR EXTRADITION OF EMBEZZLER. Justice Ministry press
spokesman Andrzej Cubala said on 21 April that Poland would ask
the German authorities for the extradition of Lech Grobelny,
arrested near Hanover on 17 April. Grobelny was accused of embezzling
some $3.69 million entrusted to him in 1989 by investors promised
high interest rates, Polish and Western media reported. Grobelny,
a currency dealer and owner of a private bank, vanished in June
1990. He is apparently also wanted by the US authorities for
financial irregularities. (Roman Stefanowski)

KING MICHAEL TO SPEND EASTER IN ROMANIA. The press office of
former King Michael I of Romania announced that the King accepted
the invitation of the Archbishop Pimen of Suceava and Radauti
to spend Easter in Romania. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has
instructed the embassy in Berne to "immediately give an entry
visa to Mr. Michael von Hohenzollern if he applies," Rompres
reported. The former monarch tried to visit Romania at Christmas
1990, but was expelled shortly after landing with his family,
despite having had valid travel documents. (Crisula Stefanescu)


FORMER CEAUSESCU AIDE COMMITS SUICIDE. Ioan Totu, a Foreign Minister
during Ceausescu's regime, hanged himself at his home in the
night of 20 April, shortly after being sentenced to a 16-year
jail term for his part in trying to stop the 1989 revolution,
Romanian and foreign media reported on April 21. The Supreme
Court sentenced Totu and 20 other former high officials to prison
terms ranging from 8 to 16 years. (Crisula Stefanescu)

GENSCHER'S VISIT TO BUCHAREST. German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich
Genscher on 21 April in Bucharest signed a treaty of Romanian-German
Friendship and Cooperation. He said that the treaty, which guarantees
the rights of the German minority, would make an important contribution
to the development of German-Romanian relations and pledged Bonn's
support for Romanian association with the European Community.
During his stay in Bucharest Genscher had meetings with President
Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan, and representatives
of Romania's ethnic German community, local and foreign media
reported on 21 April. (Crisula Stefanescu) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled
by Carla Thorson & Jan de Weydenthal







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