Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened. - Sir Winston Churchill
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 102, 29 May 1992


President Boris Yeltsin reassured an audience in Barnaul, Siberia
on 27 May, in connection with the situation in Moldova, "not
to worry that there will be a war. We are going to withdraw the
14th Army to Russian territory and will not let Russia be dragged
into war," Moscow media reported. Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae
Tiu promptly welcomed Yeltsin's remark, noting that the intention
to withdraw was not linked to political conditions, Moldovapres
reported. Moldovan officials nevertheless cautioned that Moscow
had failed to keep previous pledges of noninterference and that
it was not Yeltsin, but Russia's Ministry of Defense that had
instigated the 14th Army's involvement, The Washington Post and
The Financial Times reported (Vladimir Socor)

GRACHEV QUALIFIES YELTSIN'S REMARK. Receiving Moldova's permanent
representative in Moscow on 27 May after repeated refusals, Russia's
Defense Minister, General Pavel Grachev, declared that the 14th
Army "may be withdrawn following a special bilateral agreement,
and only after the conflict in the area has been defused," Moldovapres
reported on 27 and 28 May. The statement suggests an effort to
make any Russian withdrawal contingent on political conditions.
Further differing with Yeltsin who has admitted to the involvement
of the 14th Army in the fighting in Moldova (see Daily Report,
27 May), Grachev "categorically denied that the 14th Army was
implicated in the conflict." (Vladimir Socor)

FORCE." General Nikolai Stolyarov, head of the Russian General
Staff's personnel department, told an assembly of 14th Army officers
in Tiraspol that the army "could and must" become the "UN blue
helmets" of the Dniester and play the role of a peacekeeping
force, Reuters reported (citing Russian TV of 27 May). This proposal
conflicts with Yeltsin's since a peacekeeping role would presuppose
and legitimize a perpetuation of the 14th Army's presence in
Moldova, rather than its withdrawal. The 14th Army's officer
corps, which openly supports the "Dniester" Russian forces, has
repeatedly argued that it should play just such a role. Moldova,
Ukraine and Romania have all previously expressed opposition
to this proposal. (Vladimir Socor)

world's parliaments on 27 May, the Moldovan parliament decried
"the opposition organized by pro-imperial and neo-bolshevik forces
against our people's aspirations for freedom and democracy."
Russia's "occupation troops" and detachments of Russian Cossacks
and "mercenaries" sent to Moldova are "torpedoing all our efforts
to peacefully resolve an artificially created conflict." Reiterating
Moldova's commitment to observing international commitments on
civil and political rights for all its citizens, the Moldovan
parliament called on the world's parliaments to monitor the situation
in Moldova and ask their national governments to support Moldova's
demands for the withdrawal of Russian troops and Cossacks. (Vladimir

BLACK SEA FLEET UPDATE. The recent decision to exclude the Black
Sea Fleet from the CIS strategic forces has apparently not done
much to move the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine along.
ITAR-TASS on 28 May, quoting the press center of the Ukrainian
parliament, reported that Vasilii Durdinets and Yurii Yarov,
the heads of the Ukrainian and Russian delegations for the fleet
talks, held an informal meeting that day. On 29 May Radio Moscow
announced that the next formal round, to be held in Dagomys,
Russia, had been postponed. The chief of staff of the fleet noted
that the recent Ukrainian move to allow only Ukrainian conscripts
in the fleet violated the agreed moratorium on unilateral actions.
The talks with Georgia over its share of the fleet seemed to
be going much more smoothly. ITAR-TASS on 28 May quoted the chief
of the Navy's press service as saying that a session in Sevastopol
on 26 May had been "extremely constructive and full of good will."
(Doug Clarke)

of 28 May indicated that Russia and Ukraine had been unable to
resolve their differences over the strategic forces stationed
in Ukraine during the recent meeting of the CIS Council of Defense
Ministers. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Lt. Gen. Ivan Bizhan
was quoted as saying that while the strategic forces could remain
under Moscow's operational command, Ukraine demanded "administrative"
control of these troops. This would mean that they should form
part of the Ukrainian armed forces, take the Ukrainian oath,
and receive only Ukrainian conscripts in the future. The Russians
argued that such a dual status raised the question of whose orders
the strategic units would ultimately follow, a matter that was
"bound to raise serious concern both here and in the international
community." (Doug Clarke)

Ukrainian Economics Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr
Lanovy was quoted by "Novosti" on 29 May as saying that "just
as was the case with the former Union, the CIS has no future
on the economic level." Lanovy was invited for talks to Moscow
by his Russian counterpart Egor Gaidar. The young reformist Ukrainian
minister, who is often compared to Gaidar, did not disclose when
Ukraine will introduce its new national currency, the "hryvnya,"
but said that it would continue to use the ruble for inter-republican
trade "so as not to disrupt trade." (Bohdan Nahaylo)

RUSSIAN POLITICIANS TRADE INSULTS. Egor Ligachev, once the second
most powerful man in the Soviet leadership, lashed out on 27
May at former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, calling him
"a coward and a traitor" who betrayed the Communist Party and
sold the USSR out to the West. Ligachev's remarks were reported
by Reuters on 27 May. Meanwhile, in an interview published in
the 8 June issue of Forbes, Gorbachev aimed his fire at Russian
President Boris Yeltsin. Admitting that he himself had made tactical
errors, Gorbachev said Yeltsin was making an even more serious
mistake in pushing reform too fast. Yeltsin, Gorbachev said,
was no democrat but a "political cowboy." For his part, Yeltsin
he complained in an interview published in Komsomolskaya pravda
on 27 May that Gorbachev had pledged not to get involved in domestic
politics. (Elizabeth Teague)

under fire from the hardline wing of the Russian political spectrum.
Writing in Sovetskaya Rossiya on 28 May, the neocommunist parliamentarian
Svetlana Goryacheva accused him of serving the interests only
of the International Monetary Fund and the bourgeoisie. Fellow
Yeltsin critic, the parliamentarian Vladimir Isakov, was quoted
by ITAR-TASS on 28 May as calling for the law to be amended to
provide for an obligatory annual health check for the Russian
President. Earlier this month, Isakov accused Yeltsin of being
drunk at a CIS summit meeting in Tashkent. (Elizabeth Teague)

RUSSIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY: 12 JUNE. The Russian Supreme Soviet
voted, on 28 May, to declare 12 June as Russian Independence
Day, ITAR-TASS reported. This date was chosen to commemorate
12 June 1990 when Russia declared its sovereignty during the
first session of the Russian Congress of People's Deputies, and
the Russian presidential elections held exactly one year later
when Boris Yeltsin became the first president of the Russia Federation.
(Carla Thorson)

VIKTOR GRISHIN DIES. Viktor Grishin, a long-time member of the
former CPSU Central Committee Politburo, has died in Moscow at
the age of 77, Reuters reported on 26 May. Grishin had also been
first secretary of the Moscow City Party Committee for 18 years.
He was dropped from the leadership at the end of 1985. Moskovskaya
pravda reported on 26 May that Grishin collapsed on the previous
day, while visiting a social security office in Moscow to discuss
his pension. (Vera Tolz)

on 28 May by BelTA-TASS, the opposition faction in the Belarusian
parliament and several democratic political parties have issued
a statement "to the nations victimized by communist terror,"
calling for an international tribunal to pass judgement on communist
crimes against humanity. The statement said that it intends to
give the names of people for which there is evidence of heinous
crimes to such a tribunal. The Party of Communists of Belarus
was registered this month after the Supreme Court struck down
an earlier lower court decision to refuse to register the party.
With 15,000 members, it claims to be the largest political party
in Belarus. (Kathy Mihalisko)

Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel and Nakhichevan parliament Chairman
Geidar Aliev opened a Turkish-built bridge over the river Araks,
linking Azerbaijan's Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic with Turkey,
Western media reported. Interim Azerbaijani President Isa Gambarov
also attended the ceremony. The first vehicles to cross the bridge
were Turkish trucks carrying relief supplies. The International
Red Cross arranged a 36 hour cease-fire to coincide with the
ceremony and to allow for collecting the bodies of those killed
during the recent fighting. (Liz Fuller)

Defense Ministry issued a statement on 28 May ordering all irregular
armed formations to disband and relinquish their weapons and
banning demonstrations, ITAR-TASS reported. It also provided
for censorship of the press. Similar measures announced two weeks
ago precipitated the ouster of Ayaz Mutalibov following his comeback
attempt on 13 May. (Liz Fuller)

Orthodox Church (UOC) has split over the issue of seeking canonical
independence (autocephaly) from the Moscow Patriarchate, Radio
Ukraine reported. It was formerly a sub-division of the Russian
Orthodox Church and bitterly hostile to the then outlawed Ukrainian
Autocephalous Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic Churches. Ironically,
the split occurred after the head of the UOC Metropolitan Filaret,
a former "hardliner" who has been accused of being a KGB agent,
took up the standard of autocephaly. He then failed to persuade
a recent assembly of Russian Orthodox bishops to agree to independence
for the UOC but refused to resign. A majority of the UOC's bishops
now oppose Filaret and on 27 May held a synod in Kharkiv at which
they elected Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) of Rostov and Novocherkassk
to replace Filaret. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

the supporters of independence for the Ukraine Orthodox Church
have formed a Committee in Defense of the Canonical Rights of
the UOC and on 26-27 May held a conference in Kiev. According
to Radio Ukraine, it was attended by 474 priests and over 1,500
of the faithful. Among other things, the participants sent a
letter to Universal Orthodox Patriarch Bartholemew in which they
protested the Moscow Patriarchate's "interference" in the "internal
affairs" of the Ukrainian church. More importantly, they declared
that now that Ukraine was an independent state, the transfer
of the canonical jurisdiction over the Kiev Metropolitanate in
1686 from the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Moscow Patriarchate
was no longer valid. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

SHELTERS FOR MOSCOW HOMELESS. The Moscow city authorities plan
soon to open a shelter housing 50 homeless people and to open
two more such shelters by 1 July, Interfax reported on 22 May.
Lodging will be free and the homeless will receive one free meal;
medical care will also be provided. The service will be paid
for out of the 1% income tax that the city has been extracting
since the beginning of this year; the city authorities plan to
raise this tax to 2% in the near future in order to subsidise
medical services in the Russian capital. (Elizabeth Teague)

NOVOCHERKASSK ANNIVERSARY. Radio Moscow noted on 23 May that
1-2 June will see the 30th anniversary of the bloodiest workers'
protest in post-Stalin Russia. In June 1962, Novocherkassk was
occupied for three days by workers protesting against food price
rises and reduced pay rates; the authorities used tanks and troops
to disperse the demonstrators. Twenty-four people were killed.
The Russian parliament has reportedly given the Federation's
Procurator General two weeks to review the case and make proposals
for rehabilitating those found guilty in 1962 of instigating
the protest, paying compensation to their families, and apportioning
blame to those who crushed the protest, many of whom, the radio
noted, are still alive. (Elizabeth Teague)

revealed that the large landing ship "Vilkov" was attacked by
a small, unidentified vessel while passing through the Luzon
Strait on 24 May. According to the ITAR-TASS account of 26 May,
the attackers took the "Vilkov" under fire with automatic rifles
and then fled when the CIS ship returned "warning shots" from
a small-caliber gun. There was no damage or injury aboard the
"Vilkov," and the report speculated that the attack might have
come from pirates known to operate in the area who could have
mistaken the naval vessel for a tanker. (Doug CENTRAL AND EASTERN

BOSNIA UPDATE. Radio Bosnia-Herzegovina reports on 28 May that
surface-to-surface missiles were fired on Sarajevo, in the heaviest
barrage since the war began. Bosnia's government announced on
28 May that fighting has directly affected 3 million of the republic's
4.4 million people and that 5,190 people have either been killed
or are missing, 18,400 have been wounded, and 57 hospitals and
clinics have either been destroyed or damaged. Austrian TV footage
suggests that Sarajevo is in near total ruin. Meanwhile Yugoslavia
has requested an international investigation to determine responsibility
for what it calls a massacre of Sarajevo civilians on 27 May
that left 16 dead and 110 injured. Bosnian officials blame Serb
militia for launching the mortar attack, but Serbs deny wrongdoing.
In response to the vicious attack, Muslim representatives in
Lisbon walked out of EC talks. (Milan Andrejevich)

said on 28 May that the US wants the UN to impose a comprehensive
sanctions package against Yugoslavia, including an oil embargo.
The head of Serbia's largest oil producer, however, said that
Serbia will increase its domestic crude oil production if an
embargo is imposed. On 27 May the EC agreed on a variety of trade
sanctions, but stopped short of an oil embargo. Reports say the
embargo could cost Yugoslavia as much as $140 million a month
in lost revenue and that if the UN imposes similar sanctions
the figure could rise to $300 million. Lord Carrington, chair-man
of the EC-mediated talks, told reporters on 28 May that there
has been some indications that Serbia is moving in the right
direction as a result of threatened sanctions. On 28 May German
Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel demanded that Yugoslavia be excluded
from the UN, calling the situation a "shameful stain on Europe."
(Milan Andrejevich)

parties are boycotting the 31 May local and federal elections,
complaining that too little time was allowed for preelection
campaigning and that no access to the state-run TV was afforded
them. Kosovo Albanian parties have ignored a 26 May invitation
by Serbia's government to meet in Belgrade to discuss the future
status of the predominantly ethnic Albanian province. Elections
there on 24 May overwhelmingly gave support to political parties
that declared Kosovo independent. Serbia's government has said
the elections in Kosovo were illegal; on 28 May it told a CSCE
delegation in Belgrade that the Albanians have brought the situation
to the brink of conflict. (Milan Andrejevich)

and Western media report on 28 May that Serbia's Orthodox church
hierarchy has indirectly called for the resignation of Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic. An 8-page bishops' memorandum states
that Serbia's leaders have "not fullfilled a single essential
promise" to the people. The memorandum added that the Church
is openly distancing itself from the Serbian government, the
republic's constitution--which the church says has not been approved
by the people--and from the elections scheduled for 31 May, "which
inspire no confidence." The Church called for the creation of
a "government of national unity and salvation." A New York Times
report on 29 May says that Belgrade TV's coverage of the bishops'
memorandum did not mention its criticism of the government. (Milan

OLSZEWSKI ADAMANT. On 27 May Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski
said his government will not resign, Western and Polish media
report. Referring to Lech Walesa's statement in which the president
withdrew his support for Olszewski's cabinet, the premier told
reporters the government must stay because there is nothing to
replace it at the moment. Emphasizing that Walesa's letter included
"a negative assessment of the government" but not a demand for
its resignation, Olszewski said the decision was now in the hands
of the Sejm. A coalition of Polish opposition parties says it
would ask for a vote of no confidence in Olszewski's government
during the Sejm session next week. Liberal-Democratic Congress
leader Donald Tusk said "the collapse of the state administration
is obvious to everybody." Chairman of the Democratic Union, former
Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, told newsmen the coalition
will try to find new partners for a future government before
the Sejm's session. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

Minister Gediminas Vagnorius submitted his resignation to the
parliament in a speech broadcast live by Radio Lithuania. He
explained that the "procommunist bloc" in the parliament was
preventing him from carrying out his duties. The session was
boycotted by the recently formed Sajudis Coalition for a Democratic
Lithuania, containing the Joint Sajudis, Conciliation, and National
factions and some independent deputies. The parliament postponed
the vote on accepting the resignation until its next meeting
on 2 June. (Saulius Girnius)

MAJOR IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA . . . British Prime Minister John Major
met Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel in Prague on 27 May.
They discussed the political situation in Czechoslovakia and
signed a joint declaration pressing for closer ties between the
European Community and the new democracies of Eastern Europe,
and for efforts to develop a crisis mechanism of the CSCE process.
Major also told a press conference that the declaration confirmed
that the 1938 Munich Agreement is null and void and apologized
for Britain's role in permitting the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.
Later in Bratislava, Major talked with Slovak Premier Jan Carnogursky
and parliament chairman Frantisek Miklosko. Major said that a
unified Czechoslovakia may find it easier to join the EC than
would a separate Slovakia. These comments drew criticism from
the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia as intervention in next
month's elections. (Barbara Kroulik)

. . . AND HUNGARY. Arriving in Budapest on 28 May for the last
leg of his three-country tour, Major held talks with his Hungarian
counterpart Jozsef Antall, MTI reports. In a joint statement,
the two leaders expressed their wish to strengthen the role of
the CSCE in crisis prevention and resolution. They stated that
European freedom and security should be ensured by creating a
comprehensive security system that interlinks the CSCE, NATO,
the Western European Union, and the Council of Europe. Major
welcomed Hungary's association agreement with the EC, saying
that it paves the way for full membership. He pledged to promote
British investment in Hungary and to help the country's transition
to a market economy. (Edith Oltay)

EAGLEBURGER IN ROMANIA. On 28 May Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence
Eagleburger and Foreign Minister Adrian Nastase signed an agreement
aimed at stimulating US investment in Romania. Eagleburger said
he hopes this will inaugurate a phase of increasingly closer
economic and political relations. The agreement includes mutual
protection for investments and against confiscation of assets.
Eagleburger, who is chief coordinator of US economic assistance
to Eastern Europe and the CIS, also met President Ion Iliescu
and Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan, local media said. Eagleburger
continues his visit by flying to Bulgaria. (Mihai Sturdza)

ERIN IN ROMANIA TOO. Lt. Gen. Viktor Erin, Minister of Interior
of the Russian Federation, on a visit in Romania at the invitation
of his Romanian counterpart Victor Babiuc, was also received
by Prime Minister Theodor Stolojan. The two ministers told the
press that their talks were aimed at strengthening political
and economic cooperation, as well as coordinating professional
problems such as the rise in crime and "protecting public opinion."
Erin said that the trans-Dniester situation is independent Moldova's
problem and should be solved by peaceful, political means, local
media said. (Mihai Sturdza)

ESTONIA JOINS IMF. Estonia formally joined the International
Monetary Fund on 26 May, an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington
reports. Bank of Estonia president Siim Kallas signed the fund's
articles of agreement in Washington that day. (Riina Kionka)

186-15 with 32 abstentions, the Sejm approved to make public
the names of alleged former communist security police agents
still holding public office. The resolution was proposed by Janusz
Korwin-Mikke, leader of the Union for Real Politics, Western
and Polish media report. The decision obliges Interior Minister
Antoni Macierewicz to release a list of thousands of alleged
agents and collaborators, which will take place in stages over
the next six months. According to press reports, the list of
alleged collaborators between 1945-1990 includes about 60 parliamentarians.
Later, four parliamentary caucuses led by the Democratic Union
said the resolution was illegal. (Wladyslaw Minkiewicz)

Judit Juhasz told reporters on 27 May that the government rejects
as "unfounded" reports appearing in the domestic and foreign
media that it is conducting an offensive against President Arpad
Goncz or the Hungarian media. Juhasz said that the government
kept to the letter of the law when it initiated the dismissal
of the president of Hungarian radio, and does not seek Goncz's
resignation. Goncz has recently refused to comply with Prime
Minister Jozsef Antall's request to dismiss radio President Csaba
Gombar. Antall asked the Constitutional Court to determine whether
Goncz violated the law by refusing his request. This was reported
by MTI. (Edith Oltay)

in the early morning of 27 May under the car of Petyo Blaskov,
president of the 168 Hours press group that publishes the mass
circulation daily 24 chasa and several other left-leaning dailies.
Blaskov, the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, the Bulgarian Democratic
Center, and others, quoted by BTA, claimed that this was an attack
on the freedom of press. The Ministry of Internal Affairs said
it is investigating the case and has not excluded the possibility
that the explosion was staged since the car, a large Mercedes,
was insured for 2,000,000 leva, a sum far exceeding its value.
(Rada Nikolaev)

BULGARIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH SPLIT. As part of the efforts to rid
the Orthodox Church of its communist dominated past, several
bishops have formed a new Holy Synod, which was legally registered
by the Directorate on Religions on 26 May. On the 27th the press
also reported that the prominent dissident priest Hristofor Sabev
had been consecrated as a bishop. BTA quoted the old Synod as
protesting the decision as state interference in Church affairs,
but the move was supported in a statement by 59 prominent personalities,
including many BSP members. In a TV broadcast on 27 May, representatives
of the old and the new ruling bodies discussed the situation.
(Rada Nikolaev)

TROOP WITHDRAWAL TALKS. On 28 May Aleksandras Abisala, head of
the Lithuanian delegation on Russian troop withdrawal, said the
talks in Moscow on 26-27 May were disappointing, Radio Lithuania
reports. Russia still refuses to set a timetable and is trying
to bring in new recruits. Abisala noted that Lithuania presented
a claim of $150 billion for damages caused by the Soviet army
since 1940. Latvian Deputy Minister of Defense Dainis Turlajs
described his country's sessions in Moscow to Radio Riga as still
another effort by Russia to dictate its terms on troop pullout.
Russia proposed to withdraw the troops gradually and complete
the process in 1999. Latvia said that the withdrawal must be
completed by September 1993 and that troops must leave Riga by
this fall. It was agreed that before another meeting is held,
Russia would work out a detailed timetable. (Saulius Girnius
& Dzintra Bungs)

LATVIAN-RUSSIAN STANDOFF. On 28 May men from the Latvian Home
Guard and police set up checkpoints on roads in the vicinity
of Dobele, responding to a decision of the city council to increase
road patrols to prevent crime and monitor the expected transfer
of new Russian recruits to the ex-USSR military base nearby.
Military vehicles refused to stop for inspection, and on 28 May
armed soldiers were sent to monitor the checkpoints. Dobele city
officials told the base command that such behavior is unacceptable
and demanded the soldiers return to base. Radio Riga reports
on 29 May that traffic inspections in and around Dobele are continuing
normally. (Dzintra Bungs)

Grundberg, the Swedish ambassador to Estonia, told military authorities
at the former Soviet naval base at Paldiski that Sweden is concerned
over the base's nuclear reactors, located directly on the shore
of the Baltic Sea. According to BNS and ETA the next day, Grundberg
and Swedish military attaché Col. Ove Sundkvist were hosted by
the base commander. Earlier this week, Russia formally turned
down a request by Estonian Foreign Minister Jaan Manitsky to
visit the base, saying such a visit would be inappropriate. (Riina
Kionka) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Carla Thorson & Charles


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