To appreciate nonsense requires a serious interest in life. - Gelett Burgess
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 200, 16 October 1992





SUCCESSOR STATES TO THE USSR

GORBACHEV DENIES KNOWLEDGE OF KATYN DOCUMENTS. At a news conference
in Moscow on 15 October, Mikhail Gorbachev denied prior knowledge
of the decision of Stalin's Politburo to have 20,000 Polish officers
massacred in 1940, the "Novosti" TV newscast reported. The previous
day, Yeltsin's representatives persuaded the Constitution Court
to accept documents alleged to prove the personal responsibility
of Gorbachev in a coverup of the Stalin leadership. Gorbachev
said he obtained access to the files at the same time Yeltsin
did, in late 1991. In April 1990, Gorbachev gave a number of
previously top secret documents showing Soviet responsibility
for the massacre to then Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski.
(Julia Wishnevsky)

GORBACHEV TO BE PROSECUTED FOR REFUSAL TO TESTIFY? Gorbachev
also told the press conference that the chairman of the Constitutional
Court, Valerii Zorkin, had threatened him with a criminal charge
for his refusal to testify at the hearing on the Communist Party.
Apparently Zorkin intends to punish Gorbachev twice for the same
thing: he has already tried to fine the former Soviet president
100 rubles for refusal to testify. (Julia Wishnevsky)

GORBACHEV VOICES HARSH CRITICISM OF YELTSIN. Mikhail Gorbachev
was quoted in two French publications on 15 October as saying
that Boris Yeltsin was dangerous, destructive and incompetent.
L'Evenement du Jeudi quoted Gorbachev as saying the Yeltsin administration
was "heading toward dictatorship." He said Yeltsin was "a destroyer,
not a builder" and "he knows neither how to use his power nor
how to delegate it." In an interview with Paris Match, Gorbachev
said many of the democrats who surround Yeltsin "are thieves
and looters-and they are not even good at their jobs." Western
and Russian agencies reported the same day that the Russian ambassador
to Italy was told by the Italian government that Italy was very
surprised and concerned that Gorbachev was forbidden to travel
to Italy by the Russian leadership. (Vera Tolz)

ABKHAZ PEACE TALKS DEADLOCKED. Talks in Moscow on 15 October
between Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and his Georgian
counterpart Aleksandre Chikvaidze failed to produce a mutually
acceptable formula for resolving the conflict in Abkhazia, ITARTASS
reported. Kozyrev said he had the impression that both the Georgian
and the Abkhaz side were still relying on the use of force. Georgia
is insisting that Abkhaz forces withdraw from Gagra, while the
Abkhaz demand that all Georgian forces should be withdrawn from
Abkhazia as a precondition for a settlement. (Liz Fuller)

YELTSIN ORDERS INVESTIGATION OF PAMYAT ATTACK ON NEWSPAPER. President
Yeltsin ordered an investigation into an attack on Moskovsky
komsomolets by the rightwing nationalist group "Pamyat." On
13 October, several members of "Pamyat" broke into the newspaper's
office and demanded the names and addresses of authors whose
articles were newspaper critical of the Russian nationalists.
On 15 October, ITARTASS quoted Yeltsin's press secretary as
saying that the president "will not tolerate threats to the free
press and will take the necessary measures to prevent the recurrence
of such provocations." Kostikov said that Yeltsin had ordered
the interior and security ministers to investigate the incident
and punish those responsible. (Vera Tolz)

SOVIETS WITHHELD DATA ON KOREAN AIRLINER. The longsecret files
connected with the 1983 downing of a Korean Airlines 747 show
that Soviet officials had refused to admit they had the airplane's
inflight recorder since information in the socalled "black box"
did not support their claim that the airliner was on a spying
mission over Soviet territory. Parts of these files were published
in Izvestiya on 16-October. UPI reports that they show that Soviet
ships mounted a phony hunt in the Sea of Japan for the recorder
to make the Americans and Japanese think they had not found it.
The black box recorded the Korean crew's conversations and radio
transmissions-which gave no hint of any intelligence mission.
(Doug Clarke)

RUSSIANS WARN ANOTHER GREENPEACE SHIP. Four days after seizing
a Greenpeace ship in the Kara Sea, Russian border guards on 16
October warned Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior that it was violating
Russian waters en route to Nakhodka on the Pacific Coast. Western
agencies report that a Greenpeace spokesman in Moscow said that
the ship was gathering data on pollution near Vladivostok and
its route had been approved in advance by Russian authorities.
He said that the Russian Navy had tried to stop the ship from
entering the submarine base at Chashma, near Vladivostok, despite
a Greenpeace permit for the visit. The crew was allowed to measure
ITARTASS reported that the ship seized on 12-October, the (Doug
Clarke)

YELTSIN CALLS FOR MORE POWERS FOR RUSSIAN REPUBLICS. The leaders
of the republics of the Russian Federation agreed unanimously
on 15 October to set up a council of the heads of the republics
under the chairmanship of Russian president Boris Yeltsin, ITARTASS
and Interfax reported. The decision was announced after a meeting
with Yeltsin that ended a twoday meeting attended by representatives
of all the republics apart from Chechnya and Ingushetia. Yeltsin
called for an expansion of the powers of the republics beyond
those outlined in the Federal Treaty, while the republican leaders
in their turn expressed their support for the territorial integrity
of the Russian Federation. The new council, which comes under
the aegis of the Security Council, will participate in working
out all important decisions, but the final decision will rest
with the president. (Ann Sheehy)

UNION OF INDUSTRIALISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS FAVORS "HARSH" FORM
OF FEDERATION. While Yeltsin was proposing concessions to the
republics to preserve Russia's territorial integrity, Arkadii
Volsky, president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and
Entrepreneurs, presented a report by the Union's experts which
said that a "harsh" form of federation, providing for substantial
dependence of the regions on the center, was necessary to preserve
the unity of the state, ITARTASS reported. Volsky stressed that
reforms in Russia were impossible without strong power. The report
said it was necessary to work out a new, more precise concept
of federalism capable of realizing the transition to the market.
(Ann Sheehy)

NUCLEAR ARMS REDUCTION TALKS STALL. Western news agencies reported
on 15 October that new Russian positions are delaying efforts
to codify the June 1992 USRussian agreement on nuclear weapons
reduction in a treaty. The agreement called for Russian forces
to be reduced to approximately 3000 warheads and for the elimination
of landbased multiple warhead missiles. Russian negotiators
have requested that the US allow it to convert silos for the
large SS18 missile into silos for the much smaller SS25 missile.
They have also suggested removing five warheads from the sixwarhead
SS19 in order to convert it to a singlewarhead missile. (John
Lepingwell)

SOUTH KOREA CONSIDERING ORDERING RUSSIAN ARMS FOR TESTING. According
to an AFP report of 15 October, the South Korean government is
considering ordering samples of Russian arms for testing and
"opposing forces" exercises. Most of North Korea's arsenal consists
of Russianmade weaponry, and the South Korean Defense Ministry
would like to obtain copies in order to determine their strengths
and weaknesses. Since most of South Korea's weaponry is of Western
origin, the arms purchase would be small and would not be used
for combat units. Some of the arms being considered include MiG29
fighters, surfacetoair missiles, mines and torpedoes. (John
Lepingwell)

RUSSIA REPORTS DRAFT RESULTS, PLANS FOR CONTRACT SERVICE. The
Russian Defense Ministry reports that 7 percent of conscripts
(18,000 persons) failed to report for duty during the spring
1992 draft, more than twice the number of the previous year according
to Interfax on 15 October. Only 38 have been prosecuted for draftdodging.
In Moscow the signup rate was only 9 percent, and low turnouts
were also recorded in the North Caucasus and VolgaUrals regions.
On October 20 the Defense Ministry will submit to the government
a plan for a large contractservice (for volunteers) experiment
to prevent further personnel shortfalls. The current Russian
military reform plan calls for a gradual transition to a mixed
professional and conscript force. (John Lepingwell)

RUSSIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER ON DEFENSE BUDGET, CONVERSION.
According to an Interfax report of 13 October, Russian Deputy
Prime Minister Georgii Khizha criticized conversion efforts and
said that Russian defense production was down "by 67-percent
over an extremely short time period." He said that this drop
was unreasonable and urged that the aerospace industry be given
top priority in conversion because of its scientific and technological
strength. Khizha also suggested that Western governments and
firms make room for Russian exports in order to facilitate the
conversion process. A week earlier, on 8 October, Interfax reported
that Khizha was calling for a 70 billion ruble increase over
current budget plans for defense procurement in 1993. (John Lepingwell)


PROGRESS ON RESOLVING RUSSIAN INTERENTERPRISE DEBT. The Russian
Central Bank seems to be making headway on resolving the interenterprise
debt crisis that peaked in midsummer. The bank began a process
of mutual debt cancellation in late July and early August that,
according to Kommersant No. 36, reduced the volume of enterprise
nonpayments from 3.2 trillion in June to just above 500 billion
in midSeptember. The next stage, according to Interfax on 15
October, is settling claims on Russian enterprises from the state
budget, banks and enterprises in other CIS states. The fate of
enterprises unable to meet debt payments after all these transactions
is still unclear. (Erik Whitlock)

RUBLE's VALUE SLIPS SLIGHTLY. The dollar to ruble exchange rate
dipped to 1:339 from 1:334 on Thursday's trading at the Moscow
Interbank Currency Exchange, Interfax reported on 15 October.
Volume traded was 37.86 million dollars. (Erik Whitlock)

RUSSIA SIGNS AGREEMENT ON REFUGEES. On-6 October the Russian
government signed an agreement with the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees which provides for the opening of an
office of the UN body in Moscow, ITARTASS reported. Vyacheslav
Bakhmin, the Russian Foreign Ministry official who signed the
agreement, said Russia was keen to cooperate with all international
organizations dealing with refugees, since refugees were a new
problem for Russia and it lacked experience and qualified specialists
in this area. In his speech to the Russian parliament on 6 October,
Yeltsin said there were currently more than 460,000 refugees
and a further 700,000 were involuntary resettled on Russian territory.
He said that any further delay in adopting the laws on refugees
and those involuntarily resettled would be amoral. (Ann Sheehy)


RUSSIAN "WHITE BOOKS" ON HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT RELEASED. During
his speech to the parliament on 6 October, Yeltsin mentioned
the completion of two "white books" on health and environmental
problems in Russia. The two books were officially released at
a Moscow news conference on 7-October, ITARTASS and Western
agencies reported. The government advisers who briefed the news
conference were quoted as using adjectives such as "appalling,"
"shocking," and "deplorable" to describe the findings. Not only
have the country's health and environment been sadly neglected
over the past 70 years, but their condition continues to worsen
"daily." (Keith Bush)

UKRAINIAN INDUSTRIALISTS JOIN FORCES. Heads of Ukrainian industrial
enterprises in the eastern and southern regions of the country
met in Donetsk to form an interregional association, Ostankino
TV's "Novosti" reported on 15 October. The group said that its
disagreement with many political decisions taken in Kiev was
motivated by the serious fall in production, which, they maintained,
could result in the collapse of the economy. The industrialists
characterized the CIS summit in Bishkek as having yielded little,
and criticized Ukraine's decision to leave the ruble zone. The
group announced that it intends to exercise more influence on
politics. (Roman Solchanyk)

CEASEFIRE IN TAJIKISTAN BROKEN. A ceasefire between the opposing
sides in the Tajik civil war was broken after only a few hours,
ITARTASS reported on 15 October. Supporters of deposed President
Rakhmon Nabiev from Kulyab Oblast took control of a bridge over
the Vakhsh River, apparently as part of their attempt to break
the blockade of Kulyab Oblast by progovernment forces that has
reduced the region to nearstarvation. An article in Sobesednik
No.-41 presents a sympathetic picture of the Kulyab fighters,
who are usually dismissed as procommunist; this publication portrays
them as a bulwark against Muslim fundamentalism. (Bess Brown)


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

MAZOWIECKI CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTS TO FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.
UN human rights envoy and former Polish Premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki
ended his visit to BosniaHerzegovina on 15 October, Reuters reported.
He said that Croatian Herzegovinian leader Mate Boban had promised
to release all prisoners in his forces' custody by the end of
the following week. Mazowiecki blamed the Serbian and Croatian
media for inciting ethnic hatred, and called for international
independent broadcasting, especially to Belgrade and Zagreb.
(Patrick Moore)

BOSNIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS OF "TOTAL DISASTER." An RFE/RL
correspondent on 15 October quoted Haris Silajdzic as again telling
both the UN and the US that Bosnia wanted the arms embargo lifted
so that it might defend itself. He called Sarajevo a "gigantic
death camp." The RFE/RL report also cited SerbiaMontenegro's
Prime Minister Milan Panic as appealing to the UN partially to
lift sanctions to permit vital imports of oil products for winter
fuel. (Patrick Moore)

CROATIAN SERBS NOT STICKING TO AGREEMENT. The 16 October issue
of the Los Angeles Times quoted Cedric Thornberry, who heads
the UN civilian affairs office in the former Yugoslavia, as saying
there was not "the slightest sign of demobilization" among Serbian
irregulars and militias in parts of Croatia that are theoretically
under UN control. Under the terms of an agreement negotiated
by Cyrus Vance at the beginning of the year, the Serbs had agreed
to disarm, but Thornberry said that many of the uniformed Serbs
were "smalltime gangsters and terrorists" out of control. Croatia
expects to regain the areas eventually, but the Serbian civilians
are firmly opposed to what they regard as Croatian nationalist
rule. The Croatian parliament recently passed an unpopular measure
effectively assuring most Croatian Serbs that they would not
be tried for war crimes, in keeping with Zagreb's pledges to
Vance. But Croatian President Franjo Tudjman is impatient with
the UN for not handing over Serbheld territory to Croatia, and
has threatened not to extend the UN mandate beyond February 1993.
(Patrick Moore)

PANIC MEETS KOSOVO SERBS AND RUGOVA. On 15 October Milan Panic,
Prime Minister of the rump Yugoslavia, paid a one day visit to
Pristina, capital of the Serbian province of Kosovo, whose population
is 92% Albanian. According to Radio Serbia, he met with the commander
of the Pristina Corps of the federal Yugoslav Army, chaired a
meeting with Kosovo Serb officials and representatives of local
Serb political parties, and held a closed door meeting with Ibrahim
Rugova, the leader of the main Albanian party, the Democratic
League (LDK) and selfstyled President of the Republic of Kosovo.
Panic later told reporters that Albanians had been "locked out"
of Serbian political life and stressed the need to remedy this
situation. Problems could only be solved "stepbystep." Negotiations
with Albanians would continue as "long as they do not involve
the question of independence." Panic reiterated his promise to
reopen Albanianlanguage schools. He also stated that Rugova did
not "demand anything against Serbian interests." (Milan Andrejevich)


WEU SAYS ROMANIA RESPECTS EMBARGO ON FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. A mission
of the West European Union (WEU), which paid a fourday visit
to Romania, said that it had concluded that Romania was respecting
the embargo against former Yugoslavia. The chairman of the commission,
Dudley Smith, said the commission was "very impressed" by the
way in which the embargo was observed. Rompres quoted Smith on
15 October to say that Romania was implementing the embargo despite
heavy economic losses. (Michael Shafir)

UN FACTFINDING MISSION TO LATVIA. At the request of Latvian
Supreme Council Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs, UN Secretary General
Boutros Boutros Ghali is sending UN representatives to look into
alleged discriminatory practices against minorities in Latvia.
The UN group is to be headed by Ibrahima Fall, director of the
UN Human Rights Center in Geneva, an RFE/RL correspondent from
New York reported on 15 October. BoutrosGhali is also considering
Latvia's request for UN participation in future talks with Russia
on troop withdrawals. (Dzintra Bungs)

KATYN CONTROVERSY CONTINUES. Controversy over the role of former
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev continued to overshadow the significance
for Poland of President Boris Yeltsin's decision to reveal documents
proving that the Soviet Politburo authorized the execution of
over 20,000 Polish prisoners of war in March 1940. In a letter
praising Yeltsin's courage on 15 October, President Lech Walesa
said the decision to acknowledge the full truth "opened a new
chapter in the relations between our nations." Gorbachev meanwhile
sent a letter to Walesa saying that he had learned of the documents'
existence only in December 1991 when he transferred secret archives
to Yeltsin. Gorbachev claimed he was "shocked" at the documents.
The documents turned over to Poland on 14 October suggest, however,
that Gorbachev, like Soviet leaders before him, was always fully
aware of Soviet responsibility for the deaths and merely strove
to limit the political damage of admitting the truth. (Louisa
Vinton)

SUCHOCKA DEFENDS ECONOMIC POLICY. In an address to the Senate
on 15 October, Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka attempted to correct
the perception that her government is proposing five more years
of belttightening. Growth in consumption is possible, but will
have to be modest, and investment will take priority over higher
wages. The point of the government's economic program, Suchocka
said, is that better living standards cannot be achieved unless
productivity rises and products are competitive. Given the state
of the budget, only minimum social security payments could be
raised to compensate fully for inflation. The Senate voted 58
to 8 to approve the policy guidelines. (Louisa Vinton)

KISZCZAK HINTS KGB BEHIND POPIELUSZKO MURDER. Testifying on 14
October in the trial of the two secret police generals accused
of inspiring the murder of Father Jerzy Popieluszko in 1984,
former Internal Affairs Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak argued that
the crime was a "provocation" directed against himself and General
Wojciech Jaruzelski. Painting himself as an ally of the Church,
Kiszczak suggested that the four secret policemen convicted of
the murder had had protectors among communist party hardliners
advocating a bloodier offensive against Solidarity, though he
admitted that phone taps on CC Secretaries Miroslaw Milewski
and Stefan Olszowski, as well as Stanislaw Kociolek had been
in vain. He also hinted at KGB involvement in the murder, contending
that the uncle of one of the murderers was a "classic agent of
foreign intelligence." (Louisa Vinton)

LATVIAN COURT REFUSES TO RELEASE OMON LEADER ON BAIL. BNS reported
on 13 October that the court has refused to release OMON leader
Sergei Parfenov on bail. He is standing trial in Riga for abuse
of power while serving in Latvia. Parfenov was extradited from
Russia and he, as well as Russian officials, have expressed the
desire that his case be transferred to Russia. The trial in Riga
has proceeded slowly, especially since several witnesses are
not testifying before the court to everything that they told
the prosecutor during the investigation; the possibility that
witnesses have been intimidated cannot be excluded. Nonetheless,
one former OMON official Herman Glazov upheld his earlier statements
and testified in detail about the brutal measures OMON used to
repress civilians in Latvia. (Dzintra Bungs)

STOLOJAN PRESENTS RECORD OF HIS GOVERNMENT. At a press conference
in Bucharest outgoing prime minister Theodor Stolojan presented
his government's achievements during its year in office. As reported
by Radio Bucharest on 15 October, he said that the government
had fulfilled its main political task which was the holding of
free and democratic elections. Stolojan said authoritarianism
could not work in Romania and called on the next government to
pursue both democracy and market reforms. He added that the economic
policies pursued by his administration had been sound, if unavoidably
harsh, and that the liberalization of prices had to precede privatization
in the conditions of transition. The country's foreign currency
reserves had improved and the balance of trade showed a surplus
of 22 million US dollars; inflation had been pushed down from
19.5% in January to 3.4% in September. Stolojan said that postponing
the next stage of the reforms (as suggested by president Iliescu)
would be wrong. (Michael Shafir).

SEJM APPROVES RADIO AND TV LAW. During a session on 15 October
the Polish Sejm finally approved legislation officially ending
the state monopoly on radio and television. The law which was
in preparation for three years sets up a nineperson national
broadcasting council to oversee the licensing of private television
and radio stations. Three members (including the chairman) are
selected by the president, four by the Sejm, and two by the Senate.
A motion to require that public television and radio programs
respect the "Christian value system" was rejected by a onevote
margin, but the final version of the law mandates "respect for
viewers' religious feelings" in both public and commercial broadcasting.
Licenses can be withdrawn if programs threaten Polish culture,
national security, or "social norms." The several pirate stations
now operating will be given the opportunity to legalize their
status before penalties for unauthorized broadcasting take effect.
(Louisa Vinton)

HUNGARIAN TV CHIEF REMOVES PROGOVERNMENT NEWSMAN. Elemer Hankiss,
embattled chief of Hungarian state television, has dismissed
the progovernment director of a foreign policy program, Alajos
Chrudinak, MTI reported on 15 October. The move came after Hankiss
fired the progovernment director of the evening news program
and amid hot political debate on a new media law. Chrudinak rejected
the decision. The Prime Minister's office expressed shock at
Chrudinak's dismissal and called for his reinstatement. (Karoly
Okolicsanyi)

BULGARIA TO RAISE ELECTRICITY PRICES. From 1 November Bulgarian
domestic consumers will be charged 30% more for electricity,
the government decided on 15 October. Chairman of the Committee
on Energy, Lyulin Radulov, told BTA that some institutions, such
as schools and hospitals, would be exempt from the increase,
while commercial users would have to pay 10% more. Explaining
the measure, Radulov said domestic users were currently paying
only 50% of actual power costs. (Kjell Engelbrekt)

PREPARATIONS FOR THE DIVISION OF THE CZECHOSLOVAK ARMY. Speaking
at a press conference in Prague on 15 October, Czechoslovak Defense
Minister Imrich Andrejcak said that "all technical and organizational
measures needed to split the Czechoslovak army on 1 January 1993
have been prepared." He said that his ministry had been making
preparations for the establishment of Slovakia's airforce and
would soon complete selection of pilots who had expressed interest
in serving in Slovakia's airforce after the split. Also on 15-October,
Peter Svec, a member of the Slovak parliament's security committee,
told journalists in Bratislava that Slovakia "is already capable
of demonstrating some military strength, even without the Czech
Republic's assistance, and thus deter potential aggressors."
Svec argued that some "profederal officers who have been hurting
Slovakia's interests will have to be eliminated" in the process
of creating a Slovak army. One of them is the current Czechoslovak
Defense Minister Imrich Andrejcak. In Svec's view, Andrejcak,
who is Slovak, has done "nothing for a future Slovak army" since
he was named the minister of defense in June 1992. (Jiri Pehe)


ARREST WARRANT FOR COMMANDER OF RUSSIAN AVIATION UNIT. On 6 October
the Siauliai prosecutor's office issued an arrest warrant against
Lt. Col. Pavel Ievlev, the commander of the Russian aviation
unit based in Siauliai, for illegally trying to sell concrete
sections of the runway at the military air field in Zokniai to
private entrepreneurs, BNS and Baltfax reported on 15 October.
Lithuanian law states that all buildings, equipment, and inventory
used by foreign military forces in Lithuania belong to the state.
Siauliai Prosecutor General Anatolijus Mirnas said that Ievlev
had not left the base since the warrant was issued, although
he had talked to investigators visiting the base. The Lithuanian
police have not attempted to arrest him in order to avoid a political
conflict. (Saulius Girnius)

HUNGARY ASKS THE DANUBE COMMISSION TO DISCUSS SLOVAK DANUBE DIVERSION.
Danube Commission's Director Helmut Strasser said that Hungarian
Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky asked the eightnation Commission
to discuss Slovakia's plans to divert the Danube river later
this month, Reuters reported on 15 October. In a related development,
the Hungarian State Shippping Company made public a Slovak announcement
saying that Danube shipping would be stopped on 20 October 1992
for 1015 days in order to allow for the river's diversion to
the new channels and the Gabcikovo hydroelectic dam, according
to a MTI report on 16 October. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)

GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN BUDAPEST. Klaus Kinkel paid a oneday
official visit to Hungary, MTI reported on 15 October. Kinkel
said that Germany supported Hungary's ultimate EC membership.
He praised Hungary's achievements in restoring democracy and
a market economy. Kinkel did not take a stand on the Danube diversion
dispute between Hungary and Slovakia and rejected a Hungarian
request to mediate. No progress was made on Hungary's request
for arm from the GDR arsenal. (Karoly Okolicsanyi)

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Bess Brown & Anna Swidlicka


















[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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