Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone. - Edith Cavell 1865-1915 (Spoken to the chaplain who attended her before her execution by firing squad, 12 Oct. 1915.)
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 70, 14 April 1993







RUSSIA



ELECTIONS IN RUSSIAN REGIONS. The current political apathy among
the Russian population became evident in the elections of heads
of local administration held on 11 April in several regions of
the provincial cities. According to ITAR-TASS on 12 April, only
12% of eligible voters turned out to vote in Norilsk and 30%
in Chelyabinsk oblast. Elections also took place in Krasnoyarsk
krai, Bryansk and Penza oblasts. Bryansk and Chelyabinsk oblasts
will hold a second round of voting on 25 April because no candidate
received more than 50% of the vote. The previous heads of administration
had been appointed by President Boris Yeltsin. Recently Yeltsin
issued a decree proclaiming illegal the elections in Chelyabinsk,
which nevertheless still went ahead. Observers fear that elections
of local leaders may lead to anti-Yeltsin forces coming to power
in the provinces. In Orel oblast, for example, the former CPSU
Central Committee Secretary in charge of agriculture, Egor Stroev,
was elected head of local administration, beating five alternative
candidates. -Alexander Rahr

PRE-REFERENDUM HANDOUTS. During the past few days and in the
period leading up to the 25 April referendum, according to Russian
and Western agencies, President Yeltsin has issued decrees and
made a number of promises that will, if implemented, raise government
expenditure and/or lower government revenues. Presidential decrees
have rescinded recent price increases for gasoline, restricted
rents payable on state-owned housing, and raised undergraduates'
stipends to the level of the minimum wage and graduates' stipends
to double this amount. Yeltsin has also promised to raise pensioners'
and veterans' benefits, lower taxes on coal exports, and he has
implied that coal miners' wage rates will be nearly doubled.
He ruled out increases in the price of coal; other administration
figures have ruled out-for the time being-increases in the prices
of other energy-carriers. In the face of a runaway budget deficit
for 1993, Finance Minister Boris Fedorov forlornly appealed on
10-April to the president, the prime minister, and the parliament
to avoid "destructive" populist measures during the referendum
campaign. -Keith Bush

KHASBULATOV: KOZYREV AN OBSTACLE TO START-2 RATIFICATION. Chairman
of the Russian parliament Ruslan Khasbulatov suggested to a meeting
of World War II veterans and militia and trade union members
on 13 April that the START-2 Treaty would not be ratified as
long as Andrei Kozyrev remained foreign minister. Summarizing
an Izvestiya report, ITAR-TASS quoted Khasbulatov as saying that
the treaty should be presented to parliament by a minister worthy
of the respect and trust of society. Conservatives have long
called for the removal of Kozyrev, and Izvestiya reportedly criticized
Khasbulatov for personalizing discussion of the treaty. The meeting,
during which Khasbulatov also promised the passage next month
of a law "on veterans," appeared to represent an attempt by Khasbulatov
to win favor within the military community. Yeltsin himself met
with veterans groups on 9-April. -Stephen Foye

SHUMEIKO OPTIMISTIC ON ECONOMY. At a news conference on 8 April,
First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko portrayed the first
signs of stabilization in Russian economic performance, ITAR-TASS
reported. He claimed that inflation in March was down to 17%,
after 27% in January and 25% in February, and he predicted an
inflation rate of 12-14% in April. After the government had reached
an agreement with the Russian Central Bank, the growth of the
money supply had declined to 9.9% in February, down from 28.4%
in June-October 1992. Shumeiko concluded that the new figures
showed that "the period of shock therapy and tearing the economy
apart is over." In two speeches made on 12 April, President Yeltsin
highlighted the good news on inflationary trends and also claimed
that output was stabilizing. -Keith Bush

RUBLE VALUE SHRINKS FURTHER. The ruble exchange rate jumped from
740 to 766 rubles to the dollar on the Moscow Interbank Currency
Exchange on 13-April, various Russian news agencies reported.
The volume of trade was $82 million. The ruble has lost 46% of
its value since the beginning of the year, and 11% over the last
ten days. -Erik Whitlock

FOREIGN TRADE RESULTS FOR FIRST QUARTER. The Ministry of Foreign
Economic Relations has released data for Russia's foreign trade
during the first quarter of 1993, Biznes-TASS reported on 13
April. Exports totaled $6.7 billion and imports were valued at
$3.5-billion. The volume of crude and petroleum products exported
reached 21 million tons and were valued at $2.3 billion. -Keith
Bush

GRAIN HARVEST AND IMPORTS FORECAST. Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr
Zaveryukha told a news conference on 13 April that a grain harvest
of 106-108 million tons was expected in 1993, ITAR-TASS reported.
Since Russia's annual requirements are put at 126-128 million
tons, about 20 million tons of grain will have to be imported.
Zaveryukha also said that kolkhozes and sovkhozes have retained
about 4 million tons of grain in storage from the 1992 crop.
-Keith Bush



GERMAN, RUSSIAN DEFENSE AGREEMENT, OTHER ISSUES. German Defense
Minister Volker Ruehe and his Russian counterpart, Pavel Grachev,
signed a cooperation agreement between the two defense ministries
following talks in Moscow on 13-April, ADN reported. The agreement
calls for exchanges of both information and personnel; members
of the Russian armed forces will train in Germany and members
of the Bundeswehr are to visit Russia. During the talks, the
two ministers expressed support for a political solution to the
conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of the Vance-Owen
plan. Grachev reportedly said that Russia was willing to participate
in humanitarian relief flights in the former Yugoslavia, but
he warned that NATO's enforcement of the no-fly zone over Bosnia
risked dragging the alliance into the internal political conflict
there. Grachev also thanked Ruehe for Germany's commitment to
assisting the withdrawal of Russian troops from former East Germany.
-Stephen Foye

COUP PLOTTERS' TRIAL OPENS. The trial of the 12-men accused of
treason and abuse of office for their part in the failed coup
of August 1991 opened on 14 April in Moscow's Supreme Court,
various Russian and Western media reported. Major General Anatolii
Ukolov of the Supreme Court's military collegium is presiding
over the hearings, together with two lay judges. It is expected
that about 120-witnesses will be called, including Mikhail Gorbachev,
parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov and Vice President Aleksandr
Rutskoi. The accused have, since their release from detention,
gained considerable publicity in the Russian media; one of their
number, Oleg Shenin, has become the leader of the revived CPSU.
-Wendy Slater

TATAR NATIONALIST ORGANIZATIONS CONDEMN REFERENDUM. Eleven social
organizations and movements of Tatarstan which advocate complete
independence for the republic have issued a joint appeal to the
peoples of Tatarstan saying that Tatarstan was never voluntarily
a part of Russia and that the peoples of Tatarstan have no need
of the referendum into which imperial forces want to drag them,
Izvestiya of 13 April reported. -Ann Sheehy

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES



CIS SUMMIT BROUGHT FORWARD. The routine summit meeting of CIS
heads of state scheduled for 30 April in Erevan has been brought
forward and will now take place in Minsk on 16 April, ITAR-TASS
and Belinform reported on 13 April. No reason was given for the
change, but one factor must be the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Yeltsin may also hope that the results of the summit will improve
his chances in the referendum. Yeltsin said in Novokuznetsk on
13 April that there would be only one item on the agenda-how
to improve relations in the Commonwealth. It is reported that
the summit will discuss Yeltsin's mid-March appeal to the heads
of the CIS states to strengthen the Commonwealth, in particular
by creating coordinating organs. This should include discussion
of the statutes of the Coordinating-Consultative Committee, whose
creation was provisionally approved at the last summit in January.
-Ann Sheehy

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



OZAL IN BAKU. Speaking on his arrival in Baku-the final stop
on his tour of the Turkic Soviet successor states-for a three
day visit, Turkish President Turgut Ozal again denounced as "unacceptable"
and as "an attempt to create a "Greater Armenia" the occupation
of Azerbaijani territory by Armenian forces, Western agencies
reported. Deputy Prime Minister Erdal Inonu likewise predicted
in an address to the Turkish parliament that Armenia would be
constrained to withdraw from the territory it had seized, according
to Ankara TV. Talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani prime
ministers in Moscow on 13 April were called off after the Azerbaijani
delegation decided that they "were not expedient," according
to an RFE/RL correspondent. -Liz Fuller

SHEVARDNADZE IN KIEV. On the second day of his two-day visit
to Kiev for talks with Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, Georgian
parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze signed a number of bilateral
agreements, including a treaty on friendship and cooperation,
Ukrainian and Western agencies reported. Speaking at a joint
press conference, Kravchuk implied that he agreed with Shevardnadze's
arguments that there were forces in Russia interested in aggravating
Georgia's relations with Abkhazia, but stressed that Georgian-Ukrainian
relations did not pose a threat to any third country. -Liz Fuller


UZBEK OPPOSITION PARTY EVICTED FROM HEADQUARTERS. Law enforcement
officials evicted the Erk Democratic Party from its Tashkent
headquarters on 13 April and told party members that the group
would have to move into new quarters on the outskirts of the
city, an Erk spokesman told RFE/RL. The police action, ordered
by the mayor of Tashkent, is only the latest episode in an official
campaign of harassment against Erk, Uzbekistan's first legally-registered
opposition party. The day before the eviction, the party's leadership
had sent a telegram to Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov asking
permission to hold a congress. On 10 April, Erk chairman Muhammad
Salih told RFE/RL that he had been held overnight for questioning
in the Ministry of Internal Affairs in connection with a book
on Erk that had been published in Turkey. Salih denied any knowledge
of the book. -Bess Brown

CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATE IN KYRGYZSTAN. Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Soviet
has been debating a draft constitution for the country article-by-article
for several months, drawing angry remonstrance from President
Askar Akaev who has complained of the amount of time consumed
by discussion. On 13 April, according to ITAR-TASS, the legislature
handed the president a rebuff by rejecting a phrase permitting
private land ownership under certain circumstances. Akaev had
argued that private ownership would be necessary for the development
of private enterprise in rural areas. The same day the Supreme
Soviet also rejected the designation of the Russian language
as the language of interethnic communication, despite the pleas
of non-Kyrgyz deputies and demonstrations and letter-writing
campaigns by non-Kyrgyz inhabitants of Kyrgyzstan. Bess Brown


CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



AFTERMATH OF SERB SHELLING OF SREBRENICA. RFE/RL's UN correspondent
reported on 13 April that refugee relief officials are considering
a total evacuation of the embattled east Bosnian Muslim enclave
where over 50,000 people are trapped under renewed Serbian fire.
Meanwhile, the 14 April Washington Post and New York Times say
that UN officials are outraged at the shelling on 12 April that
left over 50 wounded and took place amid Serbian assurances that
a ceasefire would be observed. One spokesman said that he hopes
that the officer responsible for the deaths "burns in the hottest
corner of hell," while adding that the Muslims seem to have no
choice but "either to be transported like cattle or slaughtered
like sheep." One Serb commander, however, charged that the Muslims
had staged the explosions themselves to fool the UN, while Serbian
TV said that the bodies shown to the UN were actually those of
captured Serbs whom the Muslims had allegedly "tortured to death."
The United States Department of State, for its part, has released
the seventh in its series of reports on often grisly war crimes
in Bosnia, mainly committed by Serbs against Muslims but also
against "disloyal Serbs" trying to help their Muslim neighbors,
the Washington Post notes. Meanwhile, Borba of 14-April quotes
other disquieted Serbs as well as Muslims as reporting that local
Serb forces in Trebinje in east Herzegovina began demolishing
the town's remaining mosques on 11 April. Finally, the 14 April
New York Times says that the UN has issued an emergency appeal
for food aid for Bosnia, noting that there was "no response"
to a similar call in March. -Patrick Moore

UPDATE FROM THE YUGOSLAV AREA. Western news agencies on 13 April
quoted Croatian human rights activists as charging that the government
is doing nothing to stop well-organized provocations aimed at
driving ethnic Serbs out of Croatia in a form of ethnic cleansing.
Meanwhile in Belgrade, Borba reports on 14-April that the "all-Serbian
parliament" called for by Krajina Serb leader Goran Hadzic will
not be held. Serbian officials said that it is not a goal of
Serbian foreign policy to give the impression abroad that Belgrade
is aiming at setting up a greater Serbia. Another kind of parliament
might take place, however, namely an illegal meeting of Albanian
legislators in Kosovo, where the population is over 90% Albanian
but where Serbia maintains a tight repressive regime. One spokesman
for the Albanian Social-Democratic Party noted that the authorities
are trying to intimidate the Albanians from holding their legislative
meeting by using a variety of tactics, including buzzing by low-flying
aircraft. Finally, in an article headlined: "Does Yugoslavia
have nuclear weapons? The defense minister's strange answer,"
Borba reports on an interview given by rump Yugoslav minister
Pavle Bulatovic, in which he refuses to confirm or deny that
Belgrade has nuclear capabilities. -Patrick Moore

HUNGARY CRITICIZES WEST'S BALKAN POLICY. Speaking at an economic
conference in Copenhagen on 13 April, Hungarian Foreign Minister
Geza Jeszenszky said that the "inability of Western Europe to
deal with aggression [in the Balkans] carries a very bad message
for the whole Eastern half of the continent." On the same day
Hungary's UN ambassador told the UN Security Council that the
postponement of a UN resolution on new sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia would encourage those who ignore UN resolutions. This
was reported by Western news agencies and by Radio Budapest.
-Edith Oltay

BULGARIA BARS TRANSIT OF SERBIAN FREIGHT TRAINS. Sofia dailies
report on 14-April that Serbian freight trains will from now
on be forbidden passage through Bulgarian territory. Introduced
by the Bulgarian State Railways, the measure is a response to
a five-day long blockade of Bulgarian rail traffic by Serbia,
where railway workers are on strike. Otechestven vestnik says
nearly 1,000 trains are currently waiting to enter Serbian territory
and that costs amount to $150,000 each day. Reports from inside
Serbia suggest that the strike is not connected to the United
Nations embargo against rump Yugoslavia. The Belgrade daily Politika
of 14 April says that so far no solution to the strike is in
sight. -Kjell Engelbrekt and Patrick Moore

MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT SURVIVES CONFIDENCE VOTE. In the wake of
Macedonia's recognition by the UN, albeit under a temporary designation,
"The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," the government narrowly
won a confidence vote sponsored by opposition legislators on
13 April. According to Reuters some 62 of the 120 deputies supported
the government of Branko Crvenkovski. Legislators are especially
concerned about the economy which suffers from high inflation
and growing unemployment. -Duncan Perry

CZECH DEFENSE MINISTRY ASKS FOR MORE MONEY. A spokesman for the
Czech Ministry of Defense appealed to parliament to increase
the defense budget by some 10 billion koruny ($320 million),
CTK reported on 13 April. The spokesman said at a press conference
that the 23 billion koruny envisioned for fiscal year 1993 was
not sufficient given the need to modernize the armed forces and
increase their compatibility with the armed forces of NATO member
countries. He said that the Czech army would barely survive on
its current budget and might lose its defense capability; this,
he said, is not acceptable given the unstable situation in the
East. The spokesman said that the Czech Republic aimed to join
NATO as soon as possible but this would be impossible if the
army was deprived of the means to restructure and modernize.
-Jan Obrman

SLOVAK MANDATORY SERVICE TO BE CUT. The Slovak Ministry of Defense
issued an instruction cutting mandatory military service from
18 to 12 months, TASS reported on 13-April. A spokesman for the
ministry said that a new law on military service would probably
be adopted only by the end of the year but the ministry wants
to adapt to European standards as soon as possible. The measure
will go into effect on 1 September. The Czech government is preparing
a similar cut of mandatory service. -Jan Obrman

POLES PROTEST RUSSIAN FISHING BAN. Polish trawlers are protesting
Russian attempts to prevent them from fishing in the open waters
of the central part of the Okhotsk Sea. Neither the Polish foreign
ministry nor the transportation and maritime ministry has received
official notification of the ban introduced by the Russian foreign
ministry on 9-April, PAP reported on 14-April. An official of
one of Poland's three major Baltic-based fishing companies told
PAP that the ban, apparently affecting also Chinese and South
Korean trawlers, should be treated as an international problem
since it set "a dangerous precedent on an international scale."
-Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

POLISH FISHERMEN RESUME PROTESTS. Resuming protest action begun
before Easter, Polish fishermen have prevented the unloading
of ships carrying imported fish. The action was begun on 13 April
and will be continued indefinitely, PAP reported. The Polish
Baltic Fishermen's Strike Committee is demanding lower fuel prices
for fishing boats, cheap credits for interventionary fish purchases,
and higher duty on imported fish. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

POLISH CATHOLICS COMMEMORATE GHETTO UPRISING. On 12 April, one
week before the official 50th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto
uprising is inaugurated, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, concelebrated
a Mass for Jews and Christians "so that they may show the world
by mutual forgiveness and genuine dialogue that they believe
in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," Gazeta Wyborcza reported
on 13 April. The liturgy included words of contrition for "all
the crimes against the Jewish people, the crimes of the holocaust,
all forms of anti-Semitism and intolerance, all hatred and violence."
Glemp said that the anniversary presented an opportunity to eliminate
mutual misunderstandings. The forthcoming anniversary has been
clouded by a delay in the transfer of Carmelite nuns from a building
on the site of the former Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz
to a new center just outside the camp's perimeter. Before his
departure to Vienna and Rome on 13 April, Glemp reiterated that
the Catholic Church hierarchy in Poland was fundamentally determined
to resolve the issue and confirmed that the nuns would leave
their present residence. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka

GERMAN, FINNISH HELP TO SOLVE BALTIC ECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS. Germany's
Environment Minister Klaus Toepfer said in Tallinn on 13 April
that his country wants to help Estonia deal with environmental
damage done by former USSR troops stationed there, and noted
the special problems posed by the nuclear reactors at the naval
base in Paldiski and the military facility that processes nuclear
waste near Sillamae. On 14 April Toepfer is to sign in Riga a
German-Latvian environmental protection accord. BNS also reported
on 13-April that Finland had presented Latvia with equipment
to monitor activities of industrial enterprises in the Gulf of
Riga region; the equipment is designed to test air quality, perform
microbiological analyses, and do other tasks necessary for helping
clean up the area. -Dzintra Bungs

RUSSIAN ASSOCIATION IN LATVIA WANTS RUSSIAN TROOPS OUT. The Russian
Citizens' Association, headed by V. Smirnov, and members of the
Liepaja city council have taken issue with the Russian government
leaders and politicians who link the situation of Russians living
in Latvia with the presence of Russian troops there, Diena reported
on 13-April. Considering such linkage to be political propaganda,
the association says that Russia is seeking excuses for not having
completed the troop withdrawal and does not feel that the association's
interests are served by such linkage. The association also blames
the Russian government, rather than Defense Minister Pavel Grachev,
for the demoralized state of the Russian military and feels that
the withdrawal of the troops from Latvia could help stop the
disintegration of the Russian armed forces. -Dzintra Bungs

ESTONIA CRITICIZES RUSSIA ON TROOP WITHDRAWALS. On 13 April at
an international conference in Copenhagen on economic prospects
for Eastern Europe attended by 19 Western and 11 Eastern Europe
states, Estonian Foreign Minister Trivimi Vellisti said that
Russia's delay in withdrawing its troops from the Baltic States
violated international norms and could have "serious adverse
effects," Western media report. The conference that will conclude
on 14 April will discuss the lowering and prospective abolishing
of custom tariffs between the East and the West, but will not
deal with East European countries wishing to join the European
Community. -Saulius Girnius

RUSSIA TO SELL MORE OIL AND REPAY SOME DEBTS TO LITHUANIA. Lithuanian
Deputy Energy Minister Robertas Tamosiunas said that Russia has
agreed to sell Lithuania 1.5-million tons of state oil and repay
debts of about 5 billion rubles, BNS reported on 13-April. At
negotiations last week with the Russian Economy Ministry that
Tamosiunas described as very difficult, Russia agreed to resume
the sale of the oil that had been cancelled after Lithuania signed
a refining contract with Lukoil. The debts for energy and transit
costs to Kalingrad will be transferred to Lithuania's 21-billion
ruble debt to Lentransgaz for natural gas. A trade-economic cooperation
agreement for 1993 between the two countries should be signed
soon. -Saulius Girnius

CONFLICT OVER BLACK SEA FLEET HEATS UP. The participation of
Russian-controlled naval vessels from the Black Sea Fleet in
operations connected to the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict has once
again raised tensions in Moscow and Kiev over the disposition
of the disputed fleet. Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 13-April
that Ukrainian legislators had denounced the Russian operations,
which were reportedly undertaken without the agreement of Ukrainian
authorities. The latest upswing in tensions led the Ukrainian
Defense Ministry to threaten renunciation of the Yalta agreement
and to demand, failing resolution of this and other problems,
the withdrawal of all Russian controlled naval vessels from the
territory of Ukraine. In a radio interview broadcast on 13 April,
Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk warned that Kiev's patience
on the fleet issue was almost at an end. The Russian naval command,
meanwhile, in remarks reported by ITAR-TASS on 13-April, charged
that Kiev's actions constituted a "provocation" that would worsen
the situation surrounding the fleet. -Stephen Foye

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES REVISED BUDGET. On 9 April, after
four days of debate, the Ukrainian parliament accepted the revised
draft budget for 1993, Ukrainian and Russian media reported..
Before the vote, the Ukrainian Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma successfully
appealed to the conservative former Communist majority not to
delay the privatization program any further. He stressed: "We
must not expect the West to help us; we must rely on ourselves...to
overcome this allergy to privatization and land reform." -Bohdan
Nahaylo

ILIESCU ENDS MIDDLE EAST TOUR. On 13 April Romania's President
Ion Iliescu ended a Middle East tour with a six-hour stopover
in Beirut., where he held talks on bilateral relations and the
Arab-Israeli peace negotiations with Lebanese President Elias
Harold and Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Iliescu 's tour began
with a three-day visit in the United Arab Emirates and continued
with a one-day visit Syria. Rompres reported that Romanians signed
economic and trade agreements with both The United Arab Emirates
and Syria. -Dan Ionescu

EXILED KING CANCELS EASTER VISIT TO ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest
announced on 13-April that Romania's former King Michael, who
lives in Swiss exile, canceled plans for an Orthodox Easter visit
to his native land because of conditions imposed by the authorities.
Romania's Foreign Ministry suggested last week that Michael might
receive a visa on condition that his visit remained strictly
private and that he avoided any political activity. Michael,
who was forced to abdicate in December 1947 by the Communists,
made several attempts to visit Romania since 1990, including
a successful one in April 1992, when he was greeted by enthusiastic
crowds. -Dan Ionescu

AFTERMATH OF WORKERS' PROTESTS IN ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest broadcast
on 13-April a government statement describing the workers' protests
of 12 April as an attempt to "replace constructive dialogue with
street pressure." On the other hand, Romania's main opposition
alliance, the centrist Democratic Convention, expressed support
for the protests. In a separate development, the National Trade
Union Bloc (NTUB), a union confederation, announced that it would
not join a nationwide strike on 20 April to be launched by the
National Consultative Council, an organization regrouping some
of Romania's largest unions, including Alfa, Fratia (The Brotherhood)
and the National Confederation of Romania's Free Trade Unions.
The NTUB decided to continue negotiations with the government
but said that it may stage strikes later this spring in case
the talks failed to produce an agreement, -Dan Ionescu

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Wendy Slater and Jan B. de Weydenthal















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(A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the
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