The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 85, 05 May 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

TENSE SITUATION IN TAJIKISTAN. On the night of 3 May, opposition
demonstrators in Dushanbe tried to storm the residence of Tajik
President Rakhman Nabiev, Domestic news agencies reported on
4 May. The president has reportedly been conducting talks with
opposition leaders to try to defuse tensions in Dushanbe. Various
reports indicated that the situation was becoming even more tense,
with barricades being built and stories circulating about attempts
to seize military weapons, though it was unclear whether these
attempts were being attributed to government supporters, the
opposition or both. (Bess Brown)

BURBULIS PREDICTS CABINET CHANGES. Russian State Secretary Gennadii
Burbulis was quoted by Interfax on 30 April as saying "dismissals
and new appointments" may soon be made in Russia's defense, interior,
and security ministries; he denied these would lead to any change
in the strategy of the Yeltsin government. Meanwhile Vladimir
Shumeiko, deputy chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet, was
quoted by ITAR-TASS on 1 May as calling for changes in the government's
economic policy. Shumeiko, who is widely tipped to enter Yeltsin's
cabinet, called for a reduction in the control exercised by the
Ministry of Industry over firms and a corresponding increase
in the independence of industrial managers. (Elizabeth Teague)


RUSSIAN BUSINESSMEN CREATE NEW POLITICAL ORGANIZATION. A new
organization, calling itself the "Union of Russia's Renewal,"
plans to hold its constituent congress at the end of May. Among
the organizers is Aleksandr Vladislavlev, First Vice President
of Russia's influential employers' association, the Union of
Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. He told Interfax on 30 April
that the new organization is dedicated to the introduction of
a market economy and that it stands for "a strong state" able
to provide the stable social environment and legal framework
in which industrialists, farmers, scientists and engineers can
prosper. (Elizabeth Teague)

RUTSKOI: A CHALLENGE TO YELTSIN? The journal Novoe Vremya (no.11)
published a detailed analysis of Russian Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi's political stance, portraying him as a man of firm democratic
convictions, loyal to Yeltsin but at the same time striving to
be an independent politician. He is also perceived as a man who
is easily influenced, and the journal commentary noted that the
military-industrial complex, national-patriots and former Communists
are all competing for influence over Rutskoi. The article concludes
that Rutskoi is preparing his own political program to challenge
Yeltsin. (Alexander Rahr)

NEO-BOLSHEVIK PARTY DENIES PLANNING COUP. Leaders of the Russian
Communist Workers' Party, which claims 150,000 members, held
a press conference in Moscow on 28 April to deny charges by Russia's
Justice Ministry that the party is plotting the violent overthrow
of the state, Sovetskaya Rossiya reported on 30 April. The charges
arise out of the fact that the "emergency action program" adopted
by the party in January of this year contained an appeal to "armed
defenders of the homeland." Viktor Anpilov, leader of the "Working
Russia" movement, told the press conference that his organization
has begun collecting signatures to call for referendums: (1)
to deprive Boris Yeltsin of the extraordinary powers parliament
gave him last year and; (2) to recall Gavriil Popov from the
post of Moscow mayor. (Elizabeth Teague)

PEASANTS THREATEN STRIKE. In the wake of last month's refusal
by the Sixth Congress of Russian People's Deputies to legalize
the sale of land, the Peasant Party of Russia is going over to
"open, nonviolent opposition," Radio Rossii reported on 4 May.
The party will concentrate its efforts on the city of St. Petersburg
where it will try to force hardline officials in the surrounding
Leningrad Oblast to speed up the transfer of land to private
farmers. On 25 May, the party will stage a 24-hour blockade and
refuse to allow milk and meat supplies to enter St. Petersburg.
If the Oblast Soviet still refuses to transfer land to private
farmers, the party will cut off supplies for a 10-day period.
(Elizabeth Teague)

CENTRIFUGAL TENDENCIES IN RUSSIA. According to Radio Mayak of
1 May, leaders of the Republican Party of the Far East have appealed
for the establishment of an independent Far Eastern Republic
on Russia's Pacific seaboard. The call to separatism was published
in the former Communist Party newspaper in Primorsky Krai and
is said to be attracting the attention of the local procurator.
On 28 April, Russian TV reported that a meeting of deputies to
local Soviets in Chelyabinsk in central Russia attracted an audience
13,000 people. Organizers denied reports, however, that the purpose
of this meeting was to call for the establishment of a separate
Urals Republic and said only economic policy was discussed. (Elizabeth
Teague)

FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE COMPLAINS ABOUT WESTERN PRESSURE. The press
spokesman of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Agency, Yurii Kobaladze,
has criticized the West for attempts to force Russia to stop
its intelligence activities abroad. He told Izvestiya on 4 May
that many sensational revelations of alleged Russian industrial
spying in the United States, France, and Belgium which recently
appeared in the press were "forgeries." Meanwhile, he noted that
the United States and France have not cut down their espionage
activities in Russia. He also denied that the Russian Foreign
Intelligence Agency was acting independently from the Russian
Government. (Alexander Rahr)

CIS COMMAND FACES DRAFT PROBLEMS. According to Komsomolskaya
pravda of 25 April, the General Staff of the CIS central military
command foresees an exacerbation of the army's already serious
manpower shortages when the actual collection of conscripts begins
on 15 May for this year's spring draft. The report states that
because of various exceptions and deferments for education, health,
and other reasons, only 28% of the total draft-age contingent
is even available for service this year, and expected high rates
of draft evasion will cut into the manpower pool even further.
At the same time, virtually all the non-Russian CIS states are
keeping all, or the vast majority, of their recruits at home.
Even Chechnya and Tatarstan have reportedly decided not to send
recruits beyond their own borders. (Stephen Foye)

SURVEY OF SERVICEMEN. The Center for Military Sociological, Psychological,
and Legal Research, attached to the CIS central military command,
informed ITAR-TASS on 29 April of results from its latest survey
on the attitudes of officers stationed in Russia toward the Russian
reform program. The April survey reportedly showed that 66% of
officers questioned favored enterprise privatization, 75% supported
the sale and privatization of land, and 69% approved of housing
privatization. However, a majority opposed price liberalization
and privatization of state enterprises. A majority of officers
apparently also favored the creation of a Russian army, but some
35% of those surveyed said they wanted to leave the armed forces
in the next two years. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi remains
the most popular politician with a 48% approval rating; Boris
Yeltsin came in second at 38%. (Stephen Foye)

MILITARY DISTRICT COMMANDER REPLACED? According to a Postfactum
dispatch on 1 May, unconfirmed reports indicate that the commander
of the Far Eastern Military District, Colonel General Viktor
Novozhilov, has been relieved of his command. Postfactum said
that some reports attributed the dismissal to disagreements between
Novozhilov and the CIS military leadership, while others suggested
that he had mismanaged nuclear capable forces in the district.
The latter sources claimed that Novozhilov has been replaced
by Colonel General Viktor Chechevatov, formerly commander of
the Kiev Military District. The Far Eastern command refused to
confirm the personnel change. (Stephen Foye)

RUSSIAN EXPORTS DROP. During the first quarter of 1992, Russian
exports fell by nearly 20% while imports rose by 15%, according
to Interfax of 4 May. The drop in exports was attributed to the
new tax rates which left exporters with only 40% of their earnings
against the 60% that previously obtained. The Interfax commentary
asserted that it is now more advantageous for entrepreneurs to
import goods, as domestic prices have practically risen to world
levels in the wake of the January 1992 price liberalization.
(Keith Bush)

BLACK SEA AND AZOV SEA IN TROUBLE. Mikhail Vinogradov, deputy
director of the Oceanology Institute in Moscow, told ITAR-TASS
on 3 May that the Black Sea and the Azov Sea were on the brink
of ecological catastrophe and required huge investments to avoid
disaster. Vinogradov said that the Dniepr, Dnestr, and Danube
rivers bring in millions of tons of industrial waste and pesticides
each year to the two seas, while ships dump millions of tons
of oil there. The fish catch has declined by one third in recent
years. Vinogradov reckoned that the cost of cleaning up the seas
would be in the billions of dollars. (Keith Bush)

WILDFIRES IN CHERNOBYL-CONTAMINATED AREAS. ITAR-TASS on 4 May
reported "massive outbreaks" of wildfire in areas contaminated
by the Chernobyl accident. About 100 fires have been extinguished
in the Gomel Oblast of Belarus alone during the previous two
days. The fires were reported to be spreading radioactive substances
to previously uncontaminated areas. (Keith Bush)

RUSSIAN-INDIAN TRADE HALTED. Trade between Russia and India has
been brought to a virtual halt, The Journal of Commerce reported
on 1 May. Although the trade protocol between the two countries
for 1992, which was signed in February, provided for trade to
be conducted in rupees, both sides are now insisting on payment
in dollars. (Keith Bush)

CRIMEA AND THE REFERENDUM. The Crimean parliament will begin
its session on 5 May to discuss whether or not a referendum should
be held on the peninsula's status. The parliament's Presidium
decided on 4 May that the question will be put before the deputies,
Radio Ukraine reported. In the meantime, the Sevastopol City
Council is preparing to hold its own debate on whether or not
it will participate in such a referendum. The problem has arisen
because Sevastopol's special status subordinates it directly
to Kiev rather than to the Crimean authorities. (Roman Solchanyk)


KRAVCHUK TO THE UNITED STATES. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk
is scheduled to arrive in Washington on 5 May as part of an official
visit that will also take him to Houston, Philadelphia, and the
state of Iowa. A major item on the agenda for the visit is the
fate of Ukraine's nuclear arsenal. Kravchuk is expected to ask
for international guarantees of Ukraine's security, which Washington
and other Western capitals are reluctant to provide. The Ukrainian
leader left for the United States from Ankara, where he had talks
with Turkish leaders. (Roman Solchanyk)

ARMENIANS ATTACK VILLAGES IN NAKHICHEVAN. Western agencies on
4 May quoted Azerbaijan Interior Ministry spokesmen and the chairman
of the Nakhichevan parliament as claiming that Armenians had
for the first time attacked villages in the Azerbaijani enclave
of Nakhichevan, killing three people. Meanwhile the Nagorno-Karabakh
capital of Stepanakert was reportedly subjected to artillery
attack for the third consecutive day. Speaking at a news conference
in Erevan on 4 May, the representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic, Manvel Sarkisyan, argued that the interests of Karabakh
have been poorly defended by Armenia, that it is crucial to extend
international recognition to the NKR, and that the involvement
of the CSCE in seeking a settlement is counter-productive, ITAR-TASS
reported. (Liz Fuller)

"DNIESTER" FACTORIES SAID TO START ADVANCED ARMS PRODUCTION.
According to Russian reports cited by Moldovapres on 3 May, the
self-styled "Dniester republic" has begun producing Alazan rockets
and armored personnel carriers at factories in Tiraspol. Moldovan
officials have told the RFE/RL Research Institute that the factories
in question are unlikely to have such capabilities and that the
reports are probably designed to serve as a cover for stepped-up
transfers of such items to the "Dniester" forces by the Russian
military. Moldova for its part has no arms industry. (Vladimir
Socor)

"DNIESTER" LEADERS TO HOST CIS-WIDE "WORKING PEOPLE'S" CONGRESS.
The leadership of the "Dniester republic" has called an "extraordinary
congress of working people," open to "workers and kolkhoz peasants"
from all member states of CIS, to convene this month in the Dniester
administrative center Tiraspol. One stated purpose of the congress
is to mobilize CIS-wide support for the "Dniester republic" and
promote its recognition by the CIS member states, TASS reported
on 3 May. (Vladimir Socor)

MOSCOW NAME-CHANGES CONTINUE. The Moscow authorities are continuing
their campaign to strip Moscow's streets of their communist-era
names and restore their pre-revolutionary identities. Radio Mayak
noted on 28 April 1992 that "Pavlik Morozov Lane" has been renamed
"Novovagyankovsky Lane" and will no longer bear the name of the
boy hero who in 1932, at the age of 13, denounced his father
as an enemy of the state and was murdered in retaliation by his
uncle and grandfather. Under Stalin, Pavlik Morozov was held
up as a model for Soviet children. In the 1980s, he was both
denounced as a monster and lauded as a martyr by the liberal
and conservative press respectively. (Elizabeth Teague)



CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA FIGHTING UPDATE. On 4 May Radio Sarajevo reported "all-out
war" in Sarajevo. Mortar and artillery shells exploded at dawn
and gunfire was reported throughout the city and surrounding
hills. The radio said that a large number of dead and wounded
have been lying in the streets since Sunday. On 4 May the Serb-dominated
federal army took over the predominantly Muslim town of Doboj.
Radio Serbia reports that Bosnian Muslim and Croatian paramilitary
forces have completely cut off the town of Tuzla and have driven
Serbs out of the town of Konjic and nearby villages. Federal
warplanes also destroyed the last bridge linking the republic
with Croatia, and 25 EC monitors have withdrawn from the Bosnian
capital for safety. Bosnia's President Alija Izetbegovic has
called for foreign intervention. The CSCE will hold a special
session tomorrow on the crisis in Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Milan
Andrejevich)

FEDERAL OFFICIALS BLAME IZETBEGOVIC FOR VIOLENCE. Radios Serbia
and Sarajevo report on 4 May that 171 federal army personnel
captured by Muslim-Croat militia over last weekend's fighting
have been released. Gen. Milutin Kukanjac, commander of the federal
army's 2nd Military District in Sarajevo, accused Izetbegovic
of breaking a UN-EC mediated agreement to allow safe passage
of the army's command out of the city. Kukanjac said he believes
that Izetbegovic was indirectly involved in the ambush on the
convoy on Sunday, and the federal Presidency alleged that Izetbegovic's
vehicle left the convoy moments before the ambush. Izebegovic
has not yet replied. (Milan Andrejevich)

FEDERAL ARMY TO BEGIN PARTIAL WITHDRAWAL. On 4 May Yugoslavia's
Presidency ordered the withdrawal from Bosnia-Herzegovina within
15 days of federal army personnel and their families who are
citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The order does
not apply to members of the military who are from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
According to federal officials, about 60,000 federal troops are
stationed in the republic and some 80% of federal troops are
from Bosnia-Herzegovina; Bosnian officials say the latter figure
is exaggerated and should be about 20%. (Milan Andrejevich)

"VISEGRAD" SUMMIT BEGINS TODAY. According to Ivan Baba, Hungary's
deputy secretary for foreign affairs, apart from the joint concluding
statement on Wednesday, Budapest expects few concrete results
from the Czechoslovak-Hungarian-Polish summit in Prague on 5-6
May, MTI reports. The emphasis will rather be on ideas about
the integration of the Visegrad Three with Europe, with Hungary
asking for inclusion in the EC coordinating mechanisms because
of the slowness in ratifying the associate EC membership of the
three countries. Baba also announced that in order not to burden
the summit, neither Budapest nor Prague will raise the issue
of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros dam. (Alfred Reisch)

WESTERN SPECIALISTS VISIT EX-SOVIET BASES IN LATVIA. Participants
in the North Atlantic Assembly seminar "Stability and Security
in the Baltic Region" visited two military bases near Riga, Radio
Riga reports. The visit to Adazi took place on 28 April, and
the visitors noted that efforts had been made to spruce up the
base before their arrival--paint had not dried on some of the
buildings--and to show only what the military wanted the visitors
to see. The visit to the Bolderaja naval training base on 30
April revealed that there was little activity there. Base commander
Donats Dargevics said that there were no Libyans at the base
and that only a few foreign specialists (about 60 Iranians, according
to Latvian Defense Ministry sources) were being trained there
and 40-60 members of the Latvian naval academy. (Dzintra Bungs)


TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM LITHUANIA NOT BEFORE END OF 1997. On 4
May Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Fedor Shelov-Kovedyaev in
an interview over Lithuanian television said that the withdrawal
of former USSR troops from Lithuania could not be completed before
the end of 1997 for purely economic reasons, Western agencies
report. He noted that Russia has a severe shortage of housing
for returning soldiers and suggested creating a "relocation fund"
though he did not where the money might come from. He offered
that the next round of talks on the troop withdrawal should be
held in Moscow on 15-16 May, suggesting that the talks could
last longer. His withdrawal timetable will clearly not be acceptable
to Lithuania, which is holding a referendum on 14 June on the
issue of demanding that the troops be withdrawn by the end of
this year. (Saulius Girnius)

RUSSIA-LITHUANIA ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. On 4 May Lithuanian
Supreme Council Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis and Shelov-Kovedyaev
also signed the ratification documents of a treaty establishing
formal diplomatic relations between the two states, the RFE/RL
Lithuanian Service reports. The establishment of a Russian embassy
in Vilnius is expected to take at least several months. The head
of the Russian troop withdrawal negotiating team, Viktor Isakov,
rumored to be a candidate for the post of Russian ambassador
to Lithuania, remained in Vilnius for further discussions and
did not travel to Riga that evening with the rest of the Russian
delegation. (Saulius Girnius)

KLAUS CALLS CRITICISMS OF ARMS EXPORTS HYPOCRITICAL. Czechoslovak
Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus said on 4 May that the West is
being hypocritical when it criticizes Czechoslovakia for manufacturing
and exporting arms. He noted that Western countries' arms exports
greatly exceed those of Czechoslovakia and added that if any
of those countries that have been critical were faced with the
same economic circumstances as Czechoslovakia, they would declare
the situation a world crisis, an RFE/RL correspondent reports.
(Barbara Kroulik)

KROON COIN TO REPLACE RUBLE. Estonia plans to start using one-kroon
coins to replace 500- and 1,000-ruble banknotes, ETA reported
on 4 May. Prime Minister Tiit Vahi told reporters that the coin
would alleviate some of the monetary viscosity plaguing Estonia
and would provide a kind of transitional currency until the ruble
is fully eliminated at the end of May. (Riina Kionka)

ROMANIAN BANK ALLOWS HARD CURRENCY ACCOUNTS. Governor Mugur Isarescu
said on 4 May that the National Bank will allow Romanian companies
to hold hard currency accounts and they will no longer be required
to convert all hard currency into lei, Radio Bucharest reports.
Isarescu expressed the hope that relaxed currency controls will
encourage exports and accelerate economic reforms. (Crisula Stefanescu)


USA WARNS POLAND ON TARIFFS. On 4 May Suzanne Lotarski, director
of the US Commerce Department's Office of East Europe and CIS
Affairs, told a Washington meeting of the Polish-US Trade and
Economic Council that Polish-American trade could be "severely"
affected unless Poland removes the 15-20% tariff advantage it
now gives to West European goods. According to an RFE/RL Washington
correspondent, Lotarski said that these tariffs, combined with
the elimination of duties on some 1,600 EC products, puts American
exporters at a severe disadvantage and jeopardizes more than
$100 million in US exports to Poland, almost half the value of
all US manufactured goods exported there. (Roman Stefanowski)


HUNGARIAN COMPENSATION PROGRAM LAGGING. Processing of individual
claims for compensation for property taken over by the communist
regime has been proceeding slowly due to inadequate staffing,
Tamas Sepsey, head of the Compensation Office, told MTI on 4
May. Only 1.5% of the 830,000 claimants have so far received
compensation bonds. The situation is especially bad in provincial
offices. Additional funds have been requested to increase the
number of processors, failing which, Sepsey warns, completion
of the first phase of the compensation program could last up
to four years. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)

POLAND LEGISLATES TO ELIMINATE SECURITY AGENTS. The Polish Interior
Ministry has prepared three legal drafts aimed at eliminating
former security agents from public service, PAP reported on 4
May. According to ministry press spokesman Tomasz Tywonek, the
first draft law foresees voluntary verification procedures with
the full cooperation and presence of the person involved. The
second would eliminate from important public offices all former
security employees. The third draft, already accepted by the
Council of Ministers, deals with the protection of state secrets
and calls for screening of all persons with access to such material.
(Roman Stefanowski)

ATANASOV TO REMAIN IN CUSTODY. After a hearing on 4 May, the
Supreme Court ruled that former prime minister Georgi Atanasov
and former economics minister Stoyan Ovcharov are to remain in
custody, BTA reports. They were arrested on 24 April to await
trial for misappropriating money from a fund for orphans. BTA
reported that following the court ruling on 4 May Atanasov's
wife, journalist Lyudmila Filipova, went on hunger strike in
her home, and a group of intellectuals issued a protest against
Atanasov's retention. Atanasov and Ovcharov are the first of
47 former officials expected to be tried for causing Bulgaria's
economic disaster. Former party leader Todor Zhivkov will be
tried for paying foreign currency into a Moscow fund for support
of communist movements in capitalist countries. (Rada Nikolaev)


PROTEST AGAINST CLUJ RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLIC GATHERINGS. The Human
Rights League and the Helsinki Committee of Romania have protested
against a decision by the Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Gheorghe Funar
(of the Romanians' National Unity Party) ordering that all public
meetings in that city be registered with his office at least
three days in advance. In a note sent to Rompres on 4 May, the
two organizations call the ruling a flagrant breach of the constitution
and a form of censorship and call for steps to be taken to reestablish
the rights of citizens to gather peacefully. (Crisula Stefanescu)


CZECHOSLOVAK DIPLOMATS RETURN FROM LIBYA. Two Czechoslovak diplomats
ordered by Libya to leave the country returned to Prague, CSTK
reported on 4 May. Their expulsion was in response to Czechoslovakia's
restrictions on the Libyan military attache's activities and
its demand that Libya reduce its diplomatic presence in the country.
Prague's move is part of the UN sanctions against Libya that
took effect last month. Seven Czechoslovak diplomats remain in
Libya, including a military attache and an air attache. (Peter
Matuska)

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER RETURNS FROM CHINA. After talks with
Foreign Minister Qian Qichen and Premier Li Peng in Beijing and
visits to Canton and Foshan, Geza Jeszenszky returned from his
official visit to China, Radio Budapest reported on 3 May. Jeszenszky
expressed the belief that political reforms would in time follow
economic ones in China. He was not optimistic for the short-term
prospects of Hungarian products in China. China, which is set
to open a trade office soon in Budapest, is expected to do much
better on the Hungarian market. (Alfred Reisch)

CZECHOSLOVAKIA, SOUTH AFRICA SIGN COOPERATION PACT. On 4 May
Czechoslovakia and South Africa signed two mutual cooperation
agreements in Johannesburg. The accords are aimed at encouraging
trade missions, promoting technology transfer, and establishing
joint business ventures. Visiting Prime Minister Marian Calfa
said he expects the accords to boost bilateral trade and urged
South Africans to invest in Czechoslovakia, noting that his country
has streamlined its trade laws to guarantee investors flexibility
in transfer of their profits, an RFE/RL

RIOTS IN THE BULGARIAN COUNTRYSIDE. Massive protests in many
villages have been reported in the last several days against
the amended law on agricultural land, passed on 20 March, and
particularly against the "liquidation councils" appointed to
dismantle collective farms and other structures of agricultural
management. A major riot occurred on 28 April in Tsalapitsa,
Plovdiv region, where villagers on strike for almost two weeks
clashed with police. The daily press continues reporting protest
actions from several other regions as well. A representative
of the BSP admitted on TV on 30 April that it had circulated
a pamphlet calling on farmers to oppose the liquidation councils.
On 4 May BTA quoted a BSP call for the resignation of interior
minister Yordan Sokolov and a new amendment of the land law.
(Rada Nikolaev)

NEW CITIZENS MOSTLY ETHNIC ESTONIANS. Nineteen people became
Estonian citizens on 4 May under a special accelerated program,
BNS reports. Applicants with special qualifications may be nominated
at their work places for accelerated citizenship. In the first
group was former chief architect of Tallinn, Dmitri Bruns, who
was nominated by the Estonian Union of Architects. The remaining
18 naturalized citizens were local ethnic Estonians whose parents
had not been citizens of the interwar republic. (Riina Kionka)
[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles Trumbull










(END)



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