|Forty is the old age of youth; fifty, the youth of old age. - Victor Hugo|
No. 192, 06 October 1992
SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR GEORGIAN MILITIA CHIEF ISSUES ULTIMATUM TO RUSSIAN TROOPS... Georgian State Council deputy chairman Dzhaba Ioseliani, the commander of the Mkhedrioni militia, issued an ultimatum to Russian troops and volunteers from the North Caucasus fighting in Abkhazia to leave by 15 October or be driven out by force, Western agencies reported. Meanwhile a Georgian counter-offensive aimed at retaking Gagra was repulsed by the Abkhaz. A Georgian military helicopter was shot down near Gagra. The Georgian State Council press office claimed that it was shot down by two Russian jets, while the Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement and suggested that it was brought down by a ground-to-air missile launched by Abkhaz separatists. Following a meeting with the leadership of the Transcaucasus Military District, Georgian State Council chairman Eduard Shevardnadze claimed in a radio address that Russian troops in Abkhazia have formed a military government there and are no longer obeying commands. Shevardnadze further charged that "reactionary forces" in Russia are supporting Abkhaz separatism, but warned that Georgia should not break off relations with Moscow given the presence of "healthy democratic forces" there. (Liz Fuller) ... WHILE FOREIGN MINISTER TRIES CONCILIATORY APPROACH. Addressing a news conference in Moscow on 5 October, Georgian Foreign Minister Aleksandre Chikvaidze said that his top policy priority was saving Georgian-Russian relations, which date back centuries and must not be allowed suddenly to collapse, ITAR-TASS reported. Chikvaidze also stated that nothing can prevent the holding of the parliamentary elections scheduled for 11 October, "even if they take place against a background of artillery fire." (Liz Fuller) SITUATION IN TAJIKISTAN. More than 1,000 refugees from southern Tajikistan gathered in front of the parliament building in Dushanbe to demand the removal of Russian troops from the region, Interfax reported on 5 October. Acting president Akbarsho Iskandarov told the refugees that the status of the troops will be determined when agreements are signed with the Russian Federation; the same day he told Interfax that the Tajik government is not strong enough to disarm the armed bands that have been fighting each other in the southern part of the country, and Deputy Chairman of Tajikistan's National Security Committee Jurabek Aminov commented that the government is getting weaker while the armed groups are getting stronger. (Bess Brown) RUSSIAN TROOPS IN TAJIKISTAN CONFINED TO BASES. All Russian forces in Tajikistan were confined to their bases as of 5 October, Svyatoslav Nabzdorov, Chief of Staff of the Russian troops in Tajikistan, told Interfax the same day. Nabzdorov said that an agreement to this effect had been reached with the various Tajik factions the previous day. The only exception is the Russian troops guarding the Nurek dam and hydroelectric station. National Security Deputy Chairman Aminov told a Reuter correspondent on 5 October that Leninabad Oblast in the north, which has stayed out of the fighting so far, has created its own defense force, as has the self-proclaimed Autonomous Republic of Gorno-Badakhshan in the Pamirs. (Bess Brown) MOLDOVAN FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS FOR UNITED NATIONS ACTION ON MOLDOVA. Addressing the UN General Assembly on 1 October, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae Tiu urged the dispatch of UN ceasefire monitors and human rights rapporteurs to the Dniester, where, he claimed, "pro-communist imperial forces, the military-industrial complex, and the upper ranks of the ex-Soviet army have launched a veritable war...seeking to tear off Moldova's eastern area." Characterizing Russia's 14th Army in eastern Moldova as "an army of occupation . . . and a permanent source of tension and conflict," Tiu noted that Russia is obstructing the negotiations on its withdrawal. Endorsing a proposed resolution on the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic States, Tiu urged the General Assembly to add the issue of Russian troops in Moldova to that debate. (Vladimir Socor) "DNIESTER" INSURGENTS BUILD UP MILITARY STRENGTH. "Dniester Republic President" Igor Smirnov has appointed Colonel Stanislav Khazheev as "minister of defense" of the would-be republic, DRPress reported from Tiraspol on 2 October. On the same date, the age limit for officers serving with the "Dniester" forces was raised from 50 to 60 years of age to enable more Russian veterans to join the insurgent forces with full salaries and benefits. Interviewed by Western correspondents on 29 September, as cited by Moldovapres, Smirnov disclosed that the "Dniester" forces currently comprise 35,000 men and that arms procurement would continue despite the ceasefire agreement. Komsomolskaya Pravda had reported from Tiraspol on 24 September that Russian Cossacks are being enrolled in the "Dniester republic"'s newly formed "army" and "border guards." (Vladimir Socor) MOLDOVA NEGOTIATES WITH GAGAUZ ON TERRITORIAL AUTONOMY. Moldovan President Mircea Snegur and a Gagauz delegation headed by "Gagauz republic Supreme Soviet Chairman" Mikhail Kendigelyan conferred in Chisinau on 1 October, Moldovapres reported. It was Snegur's second meeting with Gagauz leaders in the space of less than two weeks to discuss a draft law on Gagauz territorial autonomy, prepared by a joint commission of the Moldovan parliament and government. In an apparent attempt to facilitate a deal, the Gagauz leaders on 28 September dismissed their most intransigent colleague, Ivan Burgudji, from his posts of "director of internal affairs" and commander of the "Gagauz defense forces." The dismissal followed a riot in Comrat against Burgudji and his guards who have long made themselves unpopular among ordinary Gagauz. (Vladimir Socor) LIGACHEV ADDRESSES CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. Addressing the Russian Constitutional Court hearings on the CPSU on 5 October, former CPSU CC Politburo member Egor Ligachev, condemned Yeltsin's ban on the Party as unconstitutional. ITAR-TASS reported that the main part of Ligachev's speech was devoted to criticism of the current situation in Russia. The country's current problems were the result of the disbandment of the CPSU, Ligachev maintained. The former Communist Party leading hard-liner accused Mikhail Gorbachev of destroying the Party and said the policies of the former Soviet president opened doors to "anti-communism and national separatism." ITAR-TASS reported the same day that the Constitutional Court again summoned Gorbachev to attend the hearings and fined him for 100 rubles for ignoring earlier summons. (Vera Tolz) GORBACHEV FOUNDATION CRITICIZES TRAVEL BAN. The Gorbachev Foundation issued a statement on 3 October criticizing the order barring Mikhail Gorbachev from leaving Russian territory, The order was issued by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs in response to Gorbachev's refusal to attend the Constitutional Court Hearings,Russian television and Western news agencies reported. "Novosti," said the foundation found the involvement of the Minstry of Security in the affair particularly worrisome. Its statement noted that such a ban "contradicts the Russian Constitution and international law," and suggested that the incident might mark the rebirth of the old Soviet technique of denying civil rights to political dissenters. According to The Los Angeles Times of 4 October, Gorbachev had asked in vain to be kept informed of all "concrete measures" taken against him, and for information about the laws permitting such measures. (Julia Wishnevsky) PROVISIONAL AGENDA FOR CIS SUMMIT AGREED. A meeting of the foreign ministers of CIS states in Moscow on 5 October agreed on a provisional agenda of 20 items for the CIS heads of state and of 24 items for the CIS heads of government for their joint summit meeting in Bishkek on 9 October, Interfax reported. The first item will be the draft CIS charter. The draft agenda also includes a number of economic and defense issues as well as regional conflicts. Among these are harmonizing economic legislation, progress in forming an economic arbitration council, and creating a consultative and coordinatory economic council. Most of the items have been on the agenda of earlier summits, and only limited progress can be expected this time as well. Russia's acting premier Egor Gaidar, for instance, said that Russia will not be rushed into creating the economic council, advocated by Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbaev, for fear of accusations of imperial ambitions. (Ann Sheehy) YELTSIN SIGNS LAW ON DEFENSE. Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the Law on Defense on 5-October, the Interfax news agency reported. The law sets out the basic structure and principles of organization of the Russian Armed Forces. Yeltsin and the Supreme Soviet had clashed over the right of the President to appoint senior military commanders without consulting the Supreme Soviet (see the Daily Report 25 September 1992), but a compromise was reached allowing the President the exclusive right of appointment after a new Russian constitution is ratified. (John Lepingwell) NAZARBAEV PROPOSES ASIAN SECURITY CONFERENCE. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbaev took his proposal for an Asian counterpart to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe to the United Nations General Assembly on 5-October, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Nazarbaev has been raising the idea of an Asian security organization since 1991; on 2 October his press secretary announced that the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran will meet in Alma-Ata at the end of October or beginning of November to begin the process of creating an Asian security system patterned on the CSCE. Nazarbaev said that talks with China and Russia about membership are already underway. (Bess Brown) RUSSIAN ARMY FACES PERSONNEL, EQUIPMENT PROBLEMS. The Deputy Commander of the Russian Ground Forces for Armaments, General Colonel Sergei Maev, reported that the Russian army faces serious equipment and repair problems. In an interview in Krasnaya zvezda on 3 October, Maev complained of a 30% personnel shortfall and stated that 70-75% of Russian equipment was outdated. He attributed this to Russia's inheritance of the second-echelon military districts, which held older equipment than the districts in Ukraine and Belarus. Additional difficulties are caused by the fact that 40%, in the case of armor 80%, of repair facilities are located outside Russia. Maev warned that it would require a "serious state program" to correct these deficiencies. (John Lepingwell) RUSSIAN SHIPS JOIN GULF PATROL. On 5 October two Russian naval vessels arrived in the Persian Gulf to join the international peace-keeping forces in that region. ITAR-TASS identified the ships as the "Admiral Vinogradov"-a "Udaloy"-class anti-submarine guided-missile destroyer-and the tanker "Boris Butoma." The report said that the commander of the Russian force would meet with a US naval officer on 6 October to be briefed on naval operations in the Gulf, but stressed that the Russian ships would be responsible only to Admiral Felix Gromov, the Russian Navy's commander-in-chief. The news account also emphasized that the Russian ships had no nuclear weapons onboard. (Doug Clarke) RUSSIAN DEFENSE DELEGATION VISITS SOUTH KOREA. Russian First Deputy of Defense Andrei Kokoshin led a delegation of military officers, academicians, and defense industrialists to South Korea on 4 October in what ITAR-TASS described as the first such visit in history. Kokoshin was quoted as telling the agency that the visit testified to "Russian's serious intentions to activate its policy in the Asia-Pacific region." During their five-day visit the Russians planned to meet with officials of the South Korean defense department and leading businessmen. Kokoshin noted that "favorable opportunities exist for the development of industrial cooperation between Moscow and Seoul, including the fulfillment of the Russian defense industry's conversion program." (Doug Clarke) RUSSIAN-AMERICAN SPACE COOPERATION. A Russian cosmonaut will fly in the American space shuttle and an American astronaut will be lifted to the Russian Mir space station by a Soyuz rocket according to plans announced on 4 October by the directors of the US and Russian space agencies. According to UPI, the agreements for these joint efforts were signed that day in Moscow. Two Russian cosmonauts will travel to Houston latter this month to start training for a November 1993 space shuttle mission. Two American astronauts will train in Russia for a 1995 flight to the Mir space station. In each case, only one person will eventually make the space trip. (Doug-Clarke) SUBMARINE SALE DOES NOT HALT AID PACKAGE. The US House of Representatives passed the $417 million aid package for the republics of the former Soviet Union and sent it to President Bush for his signature despite concerns over the recent Russian sale of diesel submarines to Iran. Western agencies on 2 October reported that the US State Department announced that day that it had been officially informed that Russia intended to go ahead with the sale. The House approved the aid bill 232 to 164. Opposition to the measure was based chiefly on the submarine sale and even several of the bill's supporters admitted that they were troubled by the deal. (Doug Clarke) WHAT IS A KARBOVANETS? The karbovanets, as described by Interfax, would be similar to the existing Ukrainian coupons that have circulated since the beginning of this year. The difference between the coupons and the karbovanets appears be twofold: 1)-the former is used only for cash settlements while the latter may be also as a unit of account in non-cash settlements; and 2) the karbovanets, as they are exchanged for rubles, are intended gradually to "cycle" the ruble out of circulation. (Erik Whitlock) UKRAINE TO HAVE NEW PARALLEL CURRENCY THIS MONTH? According to a representative of the Russian State Committee on Cooperation with CIS Nations, Sergei Dubinin, Ukraine will introduce a new currency this month, Interfax reported on 5-October. The "karbovanets" will temporarily circulate together with the ruble at a fixed 1:1 exchange rate. The measure represents an attempt to avoid the economic shock associated with a sudden shift to a new exclusive currency that would likely flood Russia with Ukrainian rubles. The introduction of the "hrivnya," which will presumably replace the ruble, karbovanets and Ukraine's other quasi-money, coupons, as Ukraine's exclusive currency, is scheduled for the end of this year. (Erik Whitlock) NALCHIK RALLY ENDS. The protest meeting that had been going on for more than a week in the center of Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria ended late on 4 October after the government agreed to meet some of the protesters' demands, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported on 5 October. Interfax quoted Zantemira Gubochikova, deputy chairwoman of the opposition Congress of the Kabardinian People as saying that the government had agreed to most of her movement's demands. She said the government agreed to remove special militia units from government buildings, give the congress airtime on local TV on a weekly basis, and halt trials of those who volunteered to fight Georgian forces in Abkhazia. The government also agreed to remove a military unit from the capital within in one month but rejected the demand for the resignation of the republic's president. (Ann Sheehy) CRIMEAN TATARS DEMONSTRATE. Crimean Tatars blocked roads leading to Simferopol, the capital, and demonstrated in front of the offices of the procurator general on October 5, a spokeswoman reported to RFE/RL. The main demand of the protestors is the release of Crimean Tatars taken into custody after a clash with the authorities several days ago. About 50 people were hurt in the incident when authorities tried to remove homes built by the Crimean Tatars on the property of state farms. A special session of the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatar parliament, is scheduled to meet on 6 October to discuss the situation. (Roman Solchanyk) CIVIC CONGRESS OF UKRAINE OPENS IN DONETSK. The Civic Congress of Ukraine convened in Donetsk on 3 October, ITAR-TASS and DR-Press reported. Delegations from 18-oblasts and the Crimea are taking part. The group favors a federal structure for Ukraine and official status for the Russian and Ukrainian languages in the Donbass region. (Roman Solchanyk) CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE EC REBUFF FOR "TRIANGLE" COUNTRIES. European Community foreign ministers met for the first time with their counterparts from the Visegrad triangle of Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia on 5-October in Luxembourg, Western agencies report. The current EC president, British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd, told the three countries that no timetable can be set for full membership in the EC. Hurd told a news conference that the EC "sympathizes with the wish of our friends here to become full members," but that economic uncertainties stood in the way. The triangle countries had requested in September that the EC agree to open negotiations on full membership in 1996, with a view to their joining the community by the end of the century. A formal reply to this request is due at an EC summit in December. (Louisa Vinton) KLAUS AND MECIAR TO MEET TODAY. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and his Slovak counterpart Vladimir Meciar agreed to hold a meeting of their respective parties, the Civic Democratic Party and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, today in Moravia, after Meciar unilaterally cancelled talks between the Czech and Slovak governments that were scheduled for today. The Slovak Prime Minister argued that after the rejection of a constitutional amendment by the federal parliament that would have set the modes for the division of the country, senior officials of the two coalition partners should return to the drawing board. Indicating that the main topic of the talks will be budgetary matters, Klaus said on 5 October that it will not be possible to force the parliaments to adopt a federal budget similar to those of the past three years, CSTK reported. He added that because of that, the basis for a common state will automatically cease to exist on 1-January 1993. Klaus also said that he has a "document necessary for the declaration of the independence of the Czech Republic" ready. He did not say if and when he would use it. (Jan Obrman) RUNOFF CAMPAIGN OPENS IN ROMANIA. Campaigning for the 11-October runoff for presidency started on 5-October with messages broadcast by the two candidates. The contest is between Romania's incumbent president Ion Iliescu, a former high-ranking communist official, and Bucharest University rector Emil Constantinescu, candidate of the centrist Democratic Convention. Iliescu rejected public doubts about the fairness of the 27-September first-round voting as well as charges that he is opposing reforms. He directed a particularly vehement attack at Nicolae Manolescu, the president of the Party of Civic Alliance, whom he accused of "flunkyism towards circles hostile to Romania" and of obeying "overseas patrons." In his address, Constantinescu reiterated that if elected he would respect the constitution and the will of the nation. (Dan Ionescu) WEST SHOULD LEARN "LESSON" FROM ROMANIAN VOTE. Foreign Minister Adrian Nastase, who had recently been appointed vice president of Ion Iliescu's Democratic National Salvation Front, said at a press conference on 5-October that the West should view the Romanian election results as "a lesson" and that it needs "a new strategy toward Romania." Nastase claimed that the withholding of aid by the West helped communists and radical nationalists in the 27-September elections. He added that last week's rejection by the US House of Representatives of most-favored-nation trade status for Romania will only boost support for Iliescu. Nastase, who has been widely-tipped as Romania's next prime minister, suggested that an independent would make a better choice for that position. (Dan Ionescu) YUGOSLAV AREA UPDATE. The BBC said on 5-October that Sarajevo has been subjected to renewed, particularly intense shelling from Serbian positions. Over the weekend, the Serbs began consolidating their hold on several Sarajevo districts following the expulsion of many of their Muslim inhabitants the previous week. Elsewhere, Western news agencies report that the three warring sides in Bosnia have agreed to release all civilian and military prisoners by the end of the month as part of an agreement brokered by the Red Cross. Finally, AFP quotes Croatian President Franjo Tudjman as saying that he and President of Serbia-Montenegro, Dobrica Cosic, have agreed to "voluntary and civilized transfers" of populations of unspecified size and duration. (Patrick Moore) JARUZELSKI, KISZCZAK TESTIFY IN 1981 SHOOTINGS. Former Polish party chief Gen.-Wojciech Jaruzelski was interrogated by the Katowice prosecutor on 5-October in an investigation into the martial law killings of nine miners in the Wujek mine. Special ZOMO troops opened fire on striking miners there on 16-December 1981. Questioned as a witness, Jaruzelski accepted "moral responsibility" but no blame for the shootings. Former Internal Affairs Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak was questioned as a suspect in the case on 1-October. The prosecutor charges that Kiszczak's coded message to local officials authorizing the use of force, including firearms, to clear the mine jeopardized the miners' lives. Kiszczak contends the shots were fired in the heat of battle. In a different case, the Warsaw prosecutor told PAP on 5-October that Adam Humer, chief investigator for the dreaded security ministry from 1945 to 1956, had admitted to murdering "suspects" during interrogation and secretly burying their corpses in the woods. Zycie Warszawy reports that Humer is the first former security official to face charges under a new law that lifts the statute of limitations on Stalinist crimes. (Louisa Vinton) SOVIET COMBAT HELICOPTER VIOLATES POLISH AIRSPACE. A police spokesman in Krosno reported on 5-October that a MI-8 combat helicopter of Soviet origin had violated Polish airspace over Ustrzyki Dolne and Ustjanowa, towns near Poland's border with Ukraine, on 3-October. The helicopter, adorned with a red star, made two low passes over buildings in Ustrzyki before departing in the direction of the border. The Polish border guard in Przemysl confirmed the report, adding that investigations are continuing. Ukrainian military officials denied that any air force operations had taken place in the area. (Louisa Vinton) CANADIAN GOVERNOR GENERAL IN HUNGARY. Ramon John Hnatyshyn held talks in Budapest on 5-October with President Arpad Goncz and Prime Minister Jozsef Antall. The goal of the official visit is to expand bilateral ties between the two countries. The talks focused on economic ties, Canada's participation in the 1996 Budapest World Fair, and the situation in the former Yugoslavia. Antall urged that Western countries adopt a comprehensive strategy aimed at strengthening East Central Europe's new democracies. Goncz expressed concern about a possible spread of the Yugoslav crisis and said that future peace treaties should guarantee the exercise of minority rights. (Edith Oltay) SATELLITE TV FOR HUNGARIANS ABROAD. Spokeswoman Judit Juhasz says the Hungarian government has set up the Hungaria Television Foundation to finance a satellite station to convey Hungarian cultural values, provide an objective view of Hungary, cultivate relations between peoples, and help minorities in other countries preserve their Hungarian identity. Hungaria TV is to start transmission three hours a day on 1-November. Programs will deal with politics, culture, entertainment, and religion, with special emphasis on education. The station will be overseen by a 13-member board of trustees consisting of prominent Hungarian cultural figures, including the writer Sandor Csoori. State subsidies will amount to 300-million forint this year and 2-billion next year, but the station is expected to be self-financing by 1997. MTI and Radio Budapest carried the story. (Edith Oltay) MORE POLICEMEN IN HUNGARY. Minister of the Interior Peter Boross told a press conference that this year 2500-new police posts have been filled and 500-additional policemen are to be hired next year. Pointing out that public security is becoming a number one political issue in Hungary, Boross said that the increase in police personnel has the population's support. Boross stressed the importance of keeping the police force free of any political influence. As in all East European countries, the number of crimes in Hungary has sharply increased in the freer atmosphere brought about by democratization. (Edith Oltay) ZHELEV-DIMITROV RIFT DEEPENS. In an interview on Bulgarian radio on 5-October, Bulgarian Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov accused President Zhelyu Zhelev of knowingly telling lies about him and his UDF government. Dimitrov, who did not go into detail, was apparently referring to Zhelev's account of the background to their differences in yesterday's issue of 24-chasa. Dimitrov said the timing of such statements make him believe Zhelev has joined what he termed a "purposeful and premeditated" campaign aimed at destabilizing the government. The UDF cabinet has been at odds with Zhelev since he launched sharp criticism of some aspects of government policies in late August. (Kjell Engelbrekt) BULGARIA, UKRAINE SIGN ACCORDS. During a seven-hour visit by the Ukrainian president to Sofia, Leonid Kravchuk and Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation as well as bilateral agreements on trade, cultural exchange and defense matters, BTA and ITAR-TASS report. The friendship treaty confirms the territorial integrity of the two states and calls for peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for human rights. Zhelev told a press conference that he is pleased with Ukrainian authorities' attitude toward resolving the problems of the some 240,000 ethnic Bulgarians in their country, saying there was no need for a special minority clause in the agreements. Kravchuk noted that Ukraine will soon open an embassy in Sofia. (Kjell Engelbrekt) BULGARIAN SCHOOL STRIKE. On 5 October Bulgarian teachers went on strike to demand higher pay. BTA reports that some 70% of all teachers participated on the first day of the strike, forcing some 3,500 of the country's 4,500 schools to close. The teachers' unions are dissatisfied with the general 26% salary increase offered in the second half of 1992 and demand an agreement in principle that will put their salaries at 10% above the average. They are also seeking more public resources to improve schools. (Kjell Engelbrekt) STIPENDS FOR LATVIAN STUDENTS INCREASED. On 30-September the Latvian Supreme Council adopted a resolution raising the amount of financial aid available to students at institutions of higher learning, BNS reports. The monthly state scholarship of 1140-rubles had been less than the official minimum wage of 1500-rubles. Students may now apply for interest-free loans in an amount up to 1.5-times the state stipend in addition to the free scholarship itself. The loans, to be repaid eight years after graduation, are available to full-time students in the last two years of their studies who are Latvian citizens. Other loans are available for needy and disabled students. (Dzintra Bungs) [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Keith Bush & Charles Trumbull
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