The fool wonders, the wise man asks. - Benjamin Disraeli
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 161, 24 August 1992



SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR GEORGIAN STATE COUNCIL DISCUSSES
ABKHAZ DEADLOCK. Georgian troops withdrew from the Abkhaz capital
of Sukhumi on August 2021 in accordance with an agreement reached
at a meeting in Gudauta between Abkhaz Parliament Chairman Vladislav
Ardzinba and Georgian State Council member Ivlian Khaindrava
on 19-August, but Georgian State Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze
said on 22 August that the troops would remain in Abkhazia to
safeguard transport links, Western agencies reported. Abkhaz
Parliament Chairman Vladislav Ardzinba stated on 21 August that
he would not agree to negotiations as long as Georgian troops
remained on Abkhaz territory. At a session on 23 August the Georgian
State Council ordered preparations for a general mobilization
to counter possible aggression by forces of the Confederation
of Mountain Peoples, ITARTASS reported. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIAN VICEPRESIDENT CALLS FOR PERMANENT OBSERVERS IN NAGORNO-
KARABAKH. Speaking at a news conference in Erevan on 20 August,
Armenian VicePresident Gagik Arutyunyan argued that "the UN
has no right to assume the position of detached observer in the
Karabakh conflict," and that it is essential to send a permanent
group of international observers to the region to assess Azerbaijani
claims of Armenian preparations for an attack on Azerbaijan's
border raions, Interfax reported. (Liz Fuller)

DOZENS KILLED IN STEPANAKERT AIRRAIDS. At least 35 people mostly
refugees, were killed and over 100 wounded in two Azerbaijani
airraids on the NagornoKarabakh capital of Stepanakert on 22
and 23 August, Western agencies reported. ITARTASS quoted NKR
State Defense Council chairman Robert Kocharyan as accusing the
world community of "criminal indifference" to Azerbaijan's attempts
to resolve the Karabakh crisis through bombing populated areas.
An Armenian general captured by Azerbaijani troops has been executed
for his role in the killing of Azerbaijani civilians in the Karabakh
village of Khodzhali in February, Interfax reported on 21-August.
(Liz Fuller)

MOUNTAIN PEOPLE'S CONFEDERATION ORDERS DESPATCH OF VOLUNTEERS
TO ABKHAZIA. Following the expiration of its ultimatum to Georgia
to withdraw its forces from Abkhazia by 21 August, the Confederation
of Mountains Peoples of the Caucasus issued a decree instructing
all the Confederation's bodies to send volunteers to Abkhazia
"to offer armed resistance to the Georgian agressors," Interfax
reported on 22-August citing the Moscow branch of the Abkhazian
press center. All Georgians living on the territory of the confederation
were declared hostages. A report in Nezavisimaya gazeta of 21-August
said that meetings were being held throughout the North Caucasus
in support of the Abkhaz and funds were being collected to buy
arms. Chechen president Dzhakhar Dudaev's refusal to supply weapons
on the grounds that it would constitute interference in Georgian
affairs was forcing the confederation to seek arms elsewhere.
(Ann Sheehy)

ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF YELTSIN'S NEWS CONFERENCE. At a news conference
in Moscow on 21 August to mark the first anniversary of the failed
coup attempt, Russian President Boris Yeltsin concentrated on
glad tidings in the economic sphere, Russian TV reported. He
claimed that average wages have climbed faster than retail prices
during the past three months. He predicted that "we will live
normally through August and September," but October will be very
difficult because "those political games will start again." The
situation would improve in 1993. Yeltsin forecast a Russian grain
harvest of 103 million tons. And he reminded those present about
his decree that raised the pay of teachers, doctors, and others
in the budgetfinanced sphere by 50%. (Keith Bush)

MORE DETAILS EMERGE ON RUSSIAN PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM. At the
Yeltsin news conference and at a subsequent news conference held
by Anatolii Chubais, more details were spelled out of Russia's
crash privatization program. Vouchers with a face value of 10,000
rubles will be issued to each Russian citizen between October
and December, and will be valid throughout 1993. State assets
to the value of 1.4 trillion rubles (apparently in 1991 prices)
and, it seems, representing 35% of the nominal worth of some
7,000 stateowned enterprises, will be sold to the public. Those
enterprises to be privatized in 1993 must turn themselves into
jointstock companies by November. (Keith Bush)

YELTSIN MAKES DEFENSE APPOINTMENTS. According to Krasnaya zvezda
on 22 August, Boris Yeltsin has named the following enerals to
leading positions in the Russian armed forces: Col. Gen. Vladimir
Semenov, Commander in Chief (CINC) of Ground Forces; Colonel
General Igor Sergeev, CINC of Strategic Forces; Adm. Feliks Gromov,
CINC of Naval Forces; Col. Gen. Viktor Prudnikov, CINC of Air
Defense Forces. Semenov and Prudnikov were already serving in
similar capacities in the CIS military command; the Sergeev and
Gromov appointments are promotions. Yeltsin also named Lt. Gen.
Viktor Barynkin and Lt. Gen. Vitalii Bologov as heads of identified
Russian General Staff Directorates; Colonel General Vyacheslav
Mironov was named Chief of Armament, while Col. Gen. Nikolai
Chekov was appointed Chief of Construction and Billeting. Mironov
and Chekov also served in similar capacities in the USSR and
CIS armed forces. (Stephen Foye)

RUSSIA TO GO AHEAD WITH ROCKET SALE TO INDIA. The chairman of
India's space commission, U.R. Rao, has said that Russia is proceeding
with its $200 million deal to supply sophisticated rocket engines
to India despite recent US sanctions, according to an AP report
on 23 August. On 15 May, the US imposed sanctions for two years
against Glavkosmos, the Russian agency involved in the deal,
and the Indian Space Research Organization. The Russians and
the Indians claim that the liquidfueled rockets are to be used
for satellite launches while the US maintains that they could
be used for military purposes and that their sale violates the
multinational Missile Technology Control Regime. Neither Russia
nor India are members of the Regime, but the Soviet Union had
agreed to adhere to its provisions in 1990. (Doug Clarke)

RUSSIA OFFERS INDIA MILITARY CREDITS. Indian Defense Minister
Sharad Pawar told reporters on 20 August that Russian President
Boris Yeltsin had offered India a $400 million credit to purchase
military equipment and related technology from Russia. According
to UPI, Pawar said he would leave for Moscow on 6 September to
discuss the offer. India has long been a major client of the
Soviet arms industry and has been producing major Soviet weapons
sytems under license. The collapse of the USSR has had a negative
effect on India's domestic arms industry, since the supply of
vital Soviet components for Indianbuilt weapons has been disrupted.
(Doug Clarke)

KRAVCHUK ACKNOWLEDGES NEED FOR MORE DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRUCTURES.
In several speeches delivered during the celebrations over the
last few days of the first anniversary of Ukraine's declaration
of independence, Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk has called
for the election of a new parliament (the present one is still
dominated by Communist Party candidates) and the creation of
a coalition government that would include members of the opposition.
While openly criticizing radical opposition leader Vyacheslav
Chornovil for allegedly splitting Rukh, Kravchuk was at pains
to stress his commitment to democracy and political and economic
reform. (Bohdan Nahaylo).

IMF TO CUT OFF NEGOTIATIONS WITH UKRAINE? The chairman of Ukraine's
central bank, Vladimir Hetman, said that the IMF may soon withdraw
from aid talks, Western news agencies reported on 22 August.
Hetman claims the IMF is most unimpressed by the government's
current reform plans. Hetman summarized a letter from IMF Managing
Director Michel Camdessus in paraphrase: "as long as you [the
Ukrainian government] continue to have one program for external
consumption and another at home, the IMF cannot hope to have
talks with you on cooperation." This announcement comes on the
heels of last week's disagreement between the central bank head
and President Kravchuk over whether and how to introduce a new
national currency to replace the ruble. (Erik Whitlock)

ANOTHER MINING DISASTER IN THE DONBASS. A mining disaster in
Eastern Ukraine's Donbass region, apprently caused by gas explosions,
has claimed the lives of two miners and fourteen rescue workers,
CIS and western agencies reported on 21 August. (Bohdan Nahaylo)


PROTESTORS IN KIEV CALL FOR DEMJANJUK'S RELEASE. On 21 August,
about 20-people demonstrated in central Kiev calling on Israel
to release Ivan Demjanjuk, RTR reported. Demjanjuk was sentenced
to death in 1987 by an Israeli court after being convicted of
being a gaschamber operator in the Treblinka death camp. He
has claimed throughout that he is the victim of mistaken identity.
Israel's Supreme Court is currently considering Demjanjuk's appeal
against the sentence and conviction. (Bohdan Nahaylo)

RUSSIA REPATRIATES VIETNAMESE GASTARBEITER. The Russian government
has asked its transport ministry to arrange for the repatriation
of the remaining 30,000 Vietnamese guestworkers, ITARTASS reported
on 20 August. Enterprises that lay off these gastarbeiter have
been asked to pay them at least three months' salary in indemnity.
Many Russian enterprises are reported to have dismissed their
Vietnamese workers without compensation and without tickets back
to Vietnam with the justification that contracts signed during
the existence of the USSR were no longer valid. (Keith Bush)


RUSSIAN STRATEGIC WEAPONS TO STAY IN KAZAKHSTAN. General Viktor
Dubinin, the Chief of the Russian General Staff, said on 20 August
that Russian and Kazakh officials had reached agreement on keeping
Russian strategic nuclear weapons in Kazakhstan for seven more
years. Dubinin headed a Russian military delegation to AlmaAta
for talks which ended on 18 August. He told ITARTASS that 12
agreements had been initialed and now treaties would be drawn
up for the heads of state to sign. Another two documents were
signed by the chief negotiators. Dubinin said that an agreement
had been reached which would allow the Russian military to continue
to use the Emba and SaryShagan test sites. He was quoted as
saying that "our armed forces cannot do without Kazakh test sites
and it would cost billions of roubles to construct similar sites
in Russia." No mention was made of the Semipalatinsk nuclear
test site. (Doug Clarke).

SPECIAL CIS MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS LINKS. General Valeri Manilov,
the press spokesman for the CIS High Command, told ITARTASS
on 20 August that the CIS Chief of Staff Committee had agreed
to establish special communications lines for the exchange of
information on exercises, maneuvers, the implemention of military
programs and "other operational measures." The Committe held
its first meeting in Moscow, on 18 August. (Doug Clarke)



KAZAKHSTAN, CHINA TO HELP KYRGYZSTAN. Both Kazakhstan and China
have offered to help Kyrgyzstan deal with the effects of the
major earthquake on 19 August, KyrgyzTAGTASS and KazTAGTASS
reported on 20 August. There were varying reports on the number
of casualties caused by the quake, which was centered in the
Susamyr Range of central Kyrgyzstan and felt in all neighboring
countries. KyrgyzTAG gave a death toll of 14, while the governmental
Committee for Natural Disasters gave a figure of 42 dead and
7000 houses destroyed, according to DPA. Natural disasters have
plagued Kyrgyzstan's attempts at economic recovery during most
of 1992. (Bess Brown)

TAJIK OFFICIAL DENIES ISLAMIC ARMED GROUPS BEING FORMED. Akbarsho
Iskandarov, newlyelected chairman of Tajikistan's Supreme Soviet,
has issued a statement denying a Newsweek story, according to
which Afghan fundamentalist leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is arming
Muslim groups in Tajikistan, ITARTASS reported on 23 August.
The story of Hekmatyar's influence with at least some parts of
the Islamic Renaissance Party is apparently widespread in Dushanbe;
Iskandarov complained in his statement that it had been picked
up by the media in Russia as well. ITARTASS noted that last
week Minister of Internal Affairs Mamadaez Navzhuvanov told the
Supreme Soviet that Afghan mujahidin have been involved in the
fighting in the southern part of Tajikistan. (Bess Brown)


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