History is made out of the failures and heroism of each insignificant moment. - Franz Kafka
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 176, 14 September 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

YELTSIN CRITICIZES LOCAL OFFICIALS . . . On 11 September, addressing
an all-Russian conference of administrators of the Russian Federation
in Cherboksary, President Yeltsin accused local officials of
"weakening Russia's nascent statehood" by ignoring his decrees
and government resolutions, of violating Russian laws and of
corruption. The Russian media quoted Yeltsin as saying that "the
people will never forgive us if the hardships they are going
through turn out to be in vain, if reforms fail to bring about
positive results only because of disputes between the two branches
[representative and executive] of power, especially at the local
level." The president accused regional legislatures and city
councils of interfering in the everyday affairs of executive
organs and criticized mayors and chief administrators for assuming
lawmaking powers. (Vera Tolz)

. . . REVERSES HIMSELF ON CONGRESS. In the same speech, Yeltsin
retreated from his previous demands to abolish the reform-resistant
Congress of People's Deputies. The president said that since
the "most difficult stage of reform is over, it is important
to end all talk about the uselessness of deputies' work." He
stated that the deputies should serve their term "established
by law" and added that "the Supreme Soviet is capable of passing
laws which are needed for Russians and Russia." Only two weeks
ago, Yeltsin had called for the creation of a constitutional
assembly in order to adopt a new constitution and abolish the
Congress. (Alexander Rahr)

. . . GRANTS CONCESSIONS TO LOCAL LEADERS. Yeltsin gave in to
pressure from regional officials and decided to hand his right
to appoint heads of local administrations to the local authorities,
according to the Interfax report on Yeltsin's 11 September speech.
As a result, Yeltsin has lost his major control mechanism over
the Russian periphery to local leaders, most of which are former
Communist Party leaders. Acting Prime Minister Egor Gaidar also
indicated that the government lost its capability to conduct
reform from the center and has to share power with local leaders.
The Russian government promised to give local leaders access
to its communication system and introduce a post of deputy prime
minister in charge of regional affairs. (Alexander Rahr)

RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION TO BE ADOPTED ONLY IN 1993. Oleg Rumyantsev,
Secretary of the Constitutional Drafting Commission said that
the draft of the new Constitution will be presented to the parliament
in the autumn of 1992 and reviewed by the Congress of People's
Deputies in March of 1993. He told ITAR-TASS on 12 September
that the draft had also been studied by the European Commission
for the Development of Democracy through Law. According to Rumyantsev,
the parliament accepted 25 suggestions of the European Commission
for altering the draft. (Alexander Rahr)

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT HEARINGS ON CPSU TO RESUME. The Constitutional
Court hearings on the status of the communist party in the Russian
Federation are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, 15 September.
A spokesman for the Constitutional Court made the announcement
on 11 September, according to ITAR-TASS. The court had adjourned
on 3 August after three weeks of hearings. The recess was called
to allow the judges to review the evidence and testimony presented
and to consider whether additional witnesses should be called.
The court is considering the constitutionality of President Yeltsin's
ban of the communist party and whether or not the communist party
was itself constitutional. (Carla Thorson)

THE DECISION ON JAPAN. State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis said,
during an interview on Russian TV broadcast on 13 September,
that the decision to postpone Yeltsin's trip to Japan came after
"discussions were held within the government, the Supreme Soviet,
and finally in the Security Council... It was in line with the
collective views of these three bodies that the president made
his final decision to postpone the trip." It is noteworthy that
Burbulis did not mention any role played by the Russian Foreign
Ministry in making the decision. Nonetheless, Burbulis explicitly
rejected the idea that conservatives had pressured Yeltsin into
canceling the trip. For his part, Yeltsin defended the trip's
postponement. Speaking to reporters upon arrival in Cheboksary
on 11 September, Yeltsin said that Japan had been "too categorical"
on the issue of returning the islands to Japan. "We cannot deal
like that," the Russian president said. (Suzanne Crow)

AMBARTSUMOV, LUKIN DEFLECT CRITICISM ON JAPAN TRIP. Evgenii Ambartsumov,
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Committee on International Affairs
and Foreign Economic Ties, said that Japan had taken too hard
a position on the question of the Kuril Islands, and this put
Yeltsin in a difficult position. Speaking on the Russian TV program
"Krasnyi Kvadrat," Ambartsumov said that the question of guaranteeing
Yeltsin's security was not the only consideration in calling
off the visit, adding that in Russia, a negative feeling had
developed about sending Yeltsin to Japan. Speaking on the same
program, Russia's ambassador to the United States, Vladimir Lukin,
said that the postponement of the trip could not be viewed as
a great tragedy. Lukin also blamed Japan, saying that Tokyo's
attempt to pressure Russia for the return of the islands brought
the opposite result and stiffened Russian opinion against the
move, ITAR-TASS reported on 13 September. (Suzanne Crow)

HIGHER RUSSIAN STATE BUDGET DEFICIT. The Russian government is
now allowing for a deficit "not exceeding" 950 billion rubles
in 1992, Interfax reported on 13 September. The original budget
deficit was projected at 300 billion rubles, but parliament insisted
on additional expenditures for industrial subsidies and social
programs. The new limit represents about 7% of GNP at current
prices, and is far above the Gaidar administration's original
aims and the IMF guidelines. It looks like an understatement,
though because on 24 August the Russian finance minister admitted
that the deficit had already risen to almost 1 trillion rubles
and was heading towards a year-end total of 2 trillion rubles
"which is tantamount to hyperinflation." (Keith Bush)

VOLSKY, YASIN WARN GOVERNMENT. Arkadii Volsky, leader of the
Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, is turning up the
political heat on the government. Speaking at a news conference
in Moscow, Volsky announced that he would call a conference of
industrial managers by November to pressure the government if
it does not alter its economic policy to his liking, the Financial
Times reported on 12 September. Evgenii Yasin, chief economist
at the institute of Volsky's group, but also an advisor to the
government, had warnings of his own during the news conference.
Yasin said that hyperinflation was "closer than ever" as a result
of disarray in the state's financial and credit policy. He claimed
that new credit emission in September will be ten times greater
than in March. (Erik Whitlock).

UKRAINE DEMANDS REMOVAL OF KASATONOV. The Ukrainian parliamentary
Commission on Defense and Security and the Ukrainian Defense
Ministry demanded on 11 September that the current commander
of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Igor Kasatonov, be relieved immediately
of his duties, Interfax reported. A statement released by the
two agencies reportedly criticized both Kasatonov and the Russian
Defense Ministry for resisting efforts by Ukraine to take control
of two naval academies in Sevastopol. Moscow apparently wants
to subordinate the schools to the CIS command and to keep them
under Russian jurisdiction. (Stephen Foye)

GENERALS DISMISSED FOR CORRUPTION IN BELARUS. Interfax reported
on 11 September that the Belarus military prosecutor could bring
charges against several top generals, including the commanders
of the 5th and the 7th tank armies--identified as generals Rumyantsev
and Ivanitsky--for, among other things, illegally trading military
property. The prosecutor denied that Defense Minister Pavel Kozlovsky
was involved in illegal activities. He also said that crime within
the armed forces had more than doubled this year, attributing
the rise at least in part to the disbanding of the army's military-political
organs. (Stephen Foye)

FIGHTING CONTINUES IN AND AROUND NAGORNO-KARABAKH. Following
the total deadlock of the CSCE-sponsored preparatory Karabakh
peace talks in Rome on 10 September, Azerbaijan has accused Armenia
of violating the agreement on a cease-fire on the Armenian-Azerbaijani
border. Armenian parliament deputy Samvel Shakhmuradyan was killed
during an Azerbaijani artillery attack in Mardakert on 11 September,
ITAR-TASS reported; dozens of Azerbaijanis and some Armenians
were reported killed in heavy fighting on 12-13 September in
the Armenian-controlled Lachin corridor that links Nagorno- Karabakh
with Armenia, according to the press center of the Nagorno-Karabakh
Republic, as cited by ITAR-TASS. (Liz Fuller)

DESPITE ABKHAZ CEASE-FIRE, FIGHTING UNABATED. Clashes between
Abkhaz and Georgian troops in which a total of 3 Georgians were
killed and over a dozen wounded were reported on 12 and 13 September
despite the completion of the formal disengagement of the two
sides on 12 September under the terms of the latest cease-fire
agreement, Georgian and Russian sources reported. Following an
appeal by the Abkhaz parliament to Russian President Yeltsin
to forestall what it terms the intention of the Georgian State
Council to dissolve the parliament, Georgian and Abkhaz parliament
deputies held a five hour meeting on 13 September in Sukhumi
and signed an agreement pledging adherence to the 3 September
cease-fire agreement, ITAR-TASS reported. (Liz Fuller)

WESTERN GEORGIA STILL POLITICALLY UNSTABLE. Six representatives
of the Georgian National Democratic Party were kidnapped by supporters
of ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia in the West Georgian
town of Zugdidi during the evening of 10 September, ITAR-TASS
reported. In an interview published in Le Quotidien de Paris
on 11 September, Georgian State Council Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze
stated that the parliamentary elections scheduled for 11 October
have been postponed to a later (unspecified) date in Abkhazia
and parts of Western Georgia because the situation there is so
unstable. (Liz Fuller)

TAJIKISTAN REPORTED QUIET. ITAR-TASS reported on 13 September
that there had been no fighting in the town of Kurgan-Tyube for
one day, and the rest of Tajikistan remained quiet. Fighting
had been reported to be continuing on 11 September between supporters
of the Tajik opposition in Kurgan-Tyube and supporters of President
Rakhmon Nabiev. Nabiev himself, who has taken refuge in his home
base in Leninabad Oblast, told Reuters on 11 September that he
had been forced to resign at gunpoint and described the events
of 7 September as a coup. Leninabad authorities, quoted by ITAR-TASS
on 12 September, denied that Nabiev was using the oblast as a
base to stage a comeback; they also claimed to be unaware that
he was in Khuzhand, where the Reuters correspondent found him.
(Bess Brown)

INCIDENTS CONTINUE ON TAJIK-AFGHAN BORDER. The NEGA news agency,
as cited by Reuters, reported on 12 September that seven people
had been killed the previous day in a shoot-out between guards
on the Tajik-Afghan border and a group of Tajiks returning from
Afghanistan. An officer of the border troops was sanguine, however,
in his prediction on 13 September that the border situation could
be brought under control, ITAR-TASS reported, though he estimated
that some 400 citizens of Tajikistan are still on the Afghan
side and will try to return illegally. He also complained about
the lack of support from local villagers and the unwillingness
of local authorities to prosecute those who illegally cross the
border. (Bess Brown)

UN SENDS MISSION TO TASHKENT. In response to Uzbek President
Islam Karimov's plea for help to UN Secretary-General Butros-Ghali
after the events in Tajikistan last week, the ITAR-TASS correspondent
at the UN reported on 11 September that a UN mission was being
sent to Tashkent to study the situation. The mission will also
go to Tajikistan, if invited. The same day ITAR-TASS reported
from Tajikistan that the authorities in Leninabad Oblast, who
are very unhappy over developments in Dushanbe, had requested
that a UN mission visit the country. (Bess Brown)

TRANSASIAN HIGHWAY DISCUSSED IN ALMA-ATA. Kazakhstan's minister
of transport construction, Kyrgyzstan's minister of transport
and the head of Turkmenistan's state highway corporation signed
a protocol in Alma-Ata on 11 September on the construction of
a highway that would link the Central Asian countries with Iran,
Turkey and Pakistan and give the Central Asians access to the
rest of the Near and Far East, KazTAG-TASS reported. Working
groups are scheduled to be formed to study routes and work out
the technical and economic basis for the highway. (Bess Brown)


"DNIESTER REPUBLIC" FORGING AHEAD WITH OWN STATE STRUCTURES.
Using the breathing room gained through the cease-fire agreement,
and under the protective cover of the Russian troops, the "Dniester
republic" is creating state structures of its own. On 11 September,
Interfax and DR-Press reported that a decree by "Dniester president"
Igor Smirnov established "Dniester border troops," subordinated
to the "Dniester Ministry of National Security" which was created
last week by the "Dniester Supreme Soviet." Tiraspol further
announced that it had succeeded in creating the "Dniester republic's"
own banking system, fully separate from that of Moldova, and
that it is now conducting its own transactions with partners
in the other CIS states, bypassing Moldova, DR-Press reported
on 13 September. (Vladimir Socor)

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN UPDATE. International media reported on 13 September
that Serbian and Bosnian forces around Sarajevo have begun making
their heavy weapons available for UN observation but that the
Serbs had failed to take similar steps in three other areas of
Bosnia. The republic's president, Alija Izetbegovic, said he
will boycott peace talks in Geneva this week because of continuing
Serb attacks against Bihac and Gorazde, where Muslims managed
to drive the Serbs back just over two weeks earlier. The 14 September
Washington Post reports that a UN report backs the Bosnian government's
position on the death of two French soldiers at Sarajevo airport
the previous week. The report says that the relief convoy drove
into the middle of a firefight between Bosnian and Serbian forces,
and concludes that the two were not deliberately killed by the
Bosnians, as France has charged. (Patrick Moore)

ANOTHER NO CONFIDENCE VOTE FOR PANIC? Radio Serbia and Politika
report on 12 and 13 September that last week's resignation of
the foreign minister of the rump Yugoslavia may bring about a
second vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Milan Panic. According
to reports, a group of deputies from the ruling Socialist Party
and the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) will raise
the motion soon, but give no indication when. SRS leader Vojislav
Seselj, stated on 10 September that Panic continues "to make
mistakes," and specifically criticized Panic's decision to change
the rump Yugoslav negotiating team for the Geneva Conference
on the former Yugoslavia. Panic described the accusations as
childish and rejected the existence of a Serbian foreign policy
describing it as "political Mickey Mouse." (Milan Andrejevich)


MILOSEVIC TO CHANGE POLITICAL OFFICE SOON? Politika reports on
12 September that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic will be
elected president of the ruling Socialist Party (SPS) at the
party's second congress in early October. The Belgrade daily
says the move is an attempt by the SPS (former communists) to
improve their chances for the next elections, expected sometime
in December, by placing Milosevic at the head of their party.
By law Milosevic would have to resign as president of the Republic
of Serbia. He would have the choice of remaining in office until
new elections are held or, if he requests an immediate replacement,
the Serbian parliament would elect an interim president. Current
SPS president Borisav Jovic is expected to retire from political
life. Prime Minister Panic has indicated that he would not be
saddened to see Milosevic vacate the Serbian presidency. (Milan
Andrejevich)

PANIC ON RELATIONS WITH HUNGARY. Prime Minister Panic told Hungarian
TV on 11 September that he could envision ties between Hungary
and his proposed economic "Union of Balkan States," MTI reports.
According to MTI, Panic dismissed as ridiculous the views of
some Serbian groups that Yugoslavia should have nothing to do
with Hungary because Hungarians are natural enemies of Serbs.
He said that Hungarians in Vojvodina have nothing fear as long
as he is prime minister; he will defend the rights of all minorities
and grant equal rights to all citizens regardless of nationality.
(Edith Oltay)

RIFT AMONG KOSOVO ALBANIANS. According to a Radio Serbia report
on 13 September, some Kosovo Albanian leaders have openly expressed
their displeasure with the performance in office so far Ibrahim
Rugova, president of both the Democratic Alliance and the self-proclaimed
Republic of Kosovo. In particular, the results of the London
conference in late August are the focus of criticism. Redzep
Qosija, Kosovo's most prominent intellectual, wrote in the latest
issue of the weekly Zeri i rinise that Albanian observers should
have walked out on the conference because they were treated only
as a national minority. Qosija said Rugova is responsible for
the "new division of the [Albanian] nation into several foreign
sovereignties" because Albanians were represented in London in
four delegations--from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania.
Qosija said that Rugova's biggest failure, however, was in letting
protests by Kosovo Albanians die down completely, a policy he
says was based on the mistaken belief that "our freedom and independence
will be delivered to us on a silver platter." (Milan Andrejevich)


ALBANIA'S ALIA ARRESTED. Former communist president Ramiz Alia
was placed under house arrest on 12 September, Western agencies
report. Alia succeeded strongman Enver Hoxha in 1985, but was
defeated in elections in April 1992. The ruling Democratic Party
has been calling for Alia's arrest for some time to join about
20 other former officials, including Hoxha's widow, already in
detention on changes of abuse of power and misuse of state funds.
In a statement appearing on 13 September in 24 ore ("24 Hours"),
an organ of the Socialist Party (former communists) in Tirana,
Alia protests the action as "purely political:" "I have done
nothing. I have not given a single oral or written order. I had
the courage well before 1990 to open the way for the democratic
process and for pluralism," he writes. (Charles Trumbull)

SLOVAK PREMIER ON PLANS FOR SLOVAKIA. Speaking in Michalovce
on 12 September, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar said that
his government will ask the Slovak parliament to abolish the
so-called lustration law that stipulates that government employees
be screened for ties with the former secret police. The law also
bars former communist officials from holding government jobs.
Meciar said the law should be abolished before January 1993,
when Czechoslovakia is to split into two states. Meciar also
said that his government will borrow money abroad to be able
to implement economic reform despite the state budget deficit.
(Jiri Pehe)

STRASKY WARNS AGAINST REFERENDUM. Addressing the Czechoslovak
parliament on 11 September, Prime Minister Jan Strasky said that
holding a referendum on splitting Czechoslovakia could cause
developments like those in Yugoslavia. According to Strasky,
a referendum may not be realistic because any campaign activities
preceding the referendum could be dangerous. Strasky presented
a government report which says that a constitutional declaration
by the federal parliament is "an adequate and feasible way of
formalizing the split." (Jiri Pehe)

KLAUS ON POLISH VISIT, US FREE TRADE PROPOSAL. Speaking on Czech
Radio after his talks with Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka
on 13 September, Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said that
he and Suchocka found "a common language" and established friendly
relations. Commenting on the future of the so-called Visegrad
Triangle, Klaus said that he and Suchocka, unlike the previous
Czech and Polish governments, feel that "bilateral relations
are the foundation. One must build the ground floor first, then
the roof, and not the other way around." Also on 13 September,
Klaus told CSTK that US President George Bush's recent pledge
to seek free trade agreements with Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and
Poland is "very interesting for Czechoslovakia." Klaus said he
will seek more information if he meets Bush during his visit
to the US this week. (Jiri Pehe)

POLISH SENATE TINKERS WITH "LITTLE CONSTITUTION." The Senate
accepted 43 of 50 proposed revisions to the "little constitution"
before returning it to the Sejm for consideration on 11 September.
The final vote to accept the amended draft was 59 to 21, only
one vote over the required two-thirds majority. The revisions
mainly defended the Senate's own prerogatives; motions to expand
the president's powers failed. The Senate refused to restore
the president's right to request the government's dismissal and
struck all reference to the president's national security office.
Speaking for President Walesa, Lech Falandysz lamented that the
Senate had missed the chance to restore equilibrium in the "little
constitution." But he refused to say whether Walesa plans to
veto the bill. The government is awaiting passage of the "little
constitution," which would allow it to request the right to issue
decrees. (Louisa Vinton)

SUCHOCKA IN POZNAN, CRACOW. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka attended
two national gatherings of local elected officials in Poznan
on 11 September. She pledged reforms aimed at building a "modern
administration for a decentralized state." Speaking in Cracow
on 12 September, Suchocka marked the third anniversary of the
creation of Poland's first noncommunist government with words
of praise for the round-table talks and the bloodless revolution
that followed. Democracy is incomplete without respect for the
law, she stressed. "We do not have democracy," Suchocka said,
"in order to feel threatened by anarchy." Not every demand was
just, and Poland could not be ruled by those "with the strongest
elbows." (Louisa Vinton)

ILIESCU TO SPAIN, ITALY. Romanian president Ion Iliescu attended
festivities on "Romania's Day" at the world exhibition in Seville
on 12 September. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Adrian
Nastase, Minister of Culture Ludovic Spiess, and other officials
and well-known cultural and sports figures. The day before, Radio
Bucharest reported that Iliescu met Spain's King Juan Carlos
and Prime Minister Felipe Gonzales in Madrid. Iliescu cancelled
an unofficial visit to Paris en route for reasons that are not
clear, but he make a stopover in Rome on September 14 to meet
Italian president Oscar Scalfaro and Pope John Paul II. Some
independent Romanian media see in this tour an attempt by Iliescu
to persuade electors that he is not isolated internationally
as he fights for reelection in the 27 September presidential
race. (Dan Ionescu)

THOUSANDS RALLY FOR ROMANIAN OPPOSITION CANDIDATE. Some 15,000
gathered in Cluj on 12 September to show support for Emil Constantinescu,
the main opposition candidate in Romania's presidential elections.
Constantinescu, who is the rector of Bucharest university, is
running on the ticket of the Democratic Convention, an alliance
of centrist parties and organizations. In a statement read out
at the rally and summarized by Western agencies, Constantinescu
rejected "primitive nationalism, extremism, and chauvinism."
Tension between Romanians and ethnic Hungarians has been on the
rise in Cluj, whose mayor, Gheorghe Funar, is presidential candidate
of the extreme nationalist Party of Romanian National Unity.
(Dan Ionescu)

TOKES ENDS FAST. On 11 September ethnic Hungarian Reformed Bishop
Laszlo Tokes ended his ten-day protest fast in Timisoara. In
a statement broadcast by Radio Bucharest, he said that he is
breaking off his protest in order to contribute to a peaceful
climate during the run-up to the elections. (Dan Ionescu)

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR CONSENSUS. In an interview with
Radio Budapest on 12 September, Arpad Goncz called on all political
and social groups to work together to overcome the difficult
problems arising out of the transition to a parliamentary democracy.
He said that social problems pose the greatest challenge, and,
referring to recent clashes between the government and the opposition
over the media, said that it is far easier to set up the institutions
of democracy than to apply it in everyday political practice.
Goncz further said that while some anti-Semitism exists in Hungary,
one cannot not speak of institutionalized anti-Semitism or of
a threat to the Jewish population. (Edith Oltay)

ESTONIA SETS MINIMUM WAGE, PENSION. On 14 September the Estonian
government is expected to set the national minimum monthly wage
at 300 kroons ($26.40) and the minimum monthly pension at 260
kroons ($22.80), BNS reports. (Riina Kionka)

MORE CANDIDATES FOR LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT. On 12 September conferences
of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party (LDLP), the Sajudis
coalition, and the Center Movement approved their campaign programs
and general lists of candidates for the Seimas elections, the
RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reports. The LDLP list contains 72
names headed by party chairman Algirdas Brazauskas with only
one parliament deputy (Ceslovas Jursenas) but many economists.
The Sajudis coalition, consisting of Sajudis, Citizens Charter,
Political Prisoner Union, Farmers' Sajudis, and the Greens Party,
approved a list of about 100 candidates, 13 of the top 15 being
parliament deputies headed by Parliament Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis.
The Center Movement list includes 9 parliament deputies among
the top ten, headed by deputy Mecys Laurinkus, parliament deputy
chairman Kazimieras Motieka, Romualdas Ozolas, and Egidijus Bickauskas.
It appears probable that the movement will form an election coalition
with the Liberal Union. (Saulius Girnius)

LATVIA PREPARES FOR ELECTIONS. Although no date has been set
and all necessary legislation has not been adopted, Latvian politicians
are preparing for the elections. Recently the Democratic Center
Party announced that it will try to represent the interests of
small businessmen. The Conservative Party is urging members of
the National Independence Movement and the People's Front of
Latvia to join its ranks. On 10 September leaders of various
political parties met in Riga to discuss issues of common interest
and agreed to meet again, even though they would be competing
against each other. The same day the Committee of Latvia distanced
itself from Latvia's National Democratic Party--American Way
and its leader Armands Malins because the LNDP has been highly
critical of the committee and organized a kind of national guard,
an activity that the committee says is illegal, Diena reported
on 4 and 10 September. (Dzintra Bungs)


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