|When we can begin to take our failures non-seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves. - Katherine Mansfield|
No. 189, 01 October 1993
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. RUSSIA CHURCH-MEDIATED COMPROMISE REJECTED. Russian deputies still in the parliament building have rejected a compromise agreement with President Boris Yeltsin, Reuters reported on 1 October. The agreement had been reached at a meeting between representatives of Yeltsin and the parliament on the night of 30-September after the two sides held separate meetings with Orthodox Patriarch Aleksii II. The agreement would have restored some power and telephone links to the parliament building in exchange for the surrender of most weapons by those still inside, and would have established joint security patrols by the parliamentary guards and the Interior Ministry troops currently surrounding the building. However, the parliamentary presidium and the rival Interior, Defense, and Security ministers have demanded that deputies be allowed access to the building, that the rival ministers be allowed to carry out their duties, and that Yeltsin's 21-September decree dissolving parliament be revoked. -Wendy Slater YELTSIN AGREES TO CHANGES IN ELECTION LAW. At a meeting with representatives of pro-democratic parties and organizations on 30 September, President Yeltsin agreed to make changes to his decree on elections to the lower house of the proposed new parliament, ITAR-TASS reported. These include expanding the chamber, the State Duma, to 450 seats instead of 400 and allowing half (rather than one-third) of them to be elected from party lists by proportional representation. (The remainder will be elected from one-member constituencies.) These changes had been proposed earlier in the month [see RFE/RL Daily Report, no. 185]. Yeltsin reportedly welcomed increasing the role of political parties, because he preferred the "communists and national-patriots" to stand for election rather than on the barricades. -Wendy Slater REGIONAL LEADERS DEMAND END TO PARLIAMENT SIEGE . . . Representatives of 62 of Russia's 89-republics and regions met in Moscow's Constitutional Court building and demanded that Yeltsin lift the blockade of the parliament building, Russian TV and ITAR-TASS reported on 30 September. Most participants in the meeting represented regional and republican legislatures; only one in three delegates represented local executive bodies. The leaders threatened the president with "political and economic reprisals" from the regions if the blockade was not lifted by midnight on 3 October. They called on the disbanded Congress of People's Deputies to organize simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections by the end of the first quarter of 1994. Later in the day, participants in the meeting met with Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi to discuss the current crisis. -Vera Tolz . . . PROCLAIM CREATION OF NEW ASSEMBLY. Participants in the meeting also said they were forming a Council of Members of the Federation, ITAR-TASS reported. This announcement appeared to conflict with President Yeltsin's plan to form a Federation Council consisting of leaders of executive and legislative bodies in all of Russia's republics and regions. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai said the council created on 30-September could not be viewed as legitimate, because leaders of legislative bodies were overrepresented in it, whereas the majority of executive officials did not join. He also said that some of the participants in the Moscow meeting did not have the authority to sign any official documents. Vera Tolz THREE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT JUDGES SUSPENDED. On September 30 the Russian Constitutional Court suspended the membership of two judges, Ernst Ametistov and Nikolai Vitruk, because they had failed to attend four court sessions without a valid reason. The membership of another judge, Anatolii Kononov, was suspended due to his poor health. The anchor of the Ostankino newscasts in which the suspensions were reported observed that Ametistov and Vitruk had frequently disagreed with the decisions of the court majority. The news anchor failed to note that a few days earlier both Vitruk and Ametistov had declared their intention to suspend their own membership in the court. The Constitutional Court is legally entitled to suspend the membership of a judge who misses at least three consecutive sessions. -Julia Wishnevsky YELTSIN'S PRESS SERVICE DENIES MEDIA CENSORSHIP. President Yeltsin's press service denied on 30 September that media coverage of the country's political crisis was being censored, ITAR-TASS reported. In the past few days, a number of independent Russian journalists quoted from what they said were Russian government instructions to the state-run media on how to cover the crisis. The press service's denial came in response to a formal protest filed with the Russian government by a group of foreign journalists in Moscow who complained that their accreditations to the parliament had been taken away. This complaint was reported on 29 September in Russian TV "Vesti" newscasts, which said that Russian journalists probably would file a similar protest. Yeltsin's press service said that access to parliament for journalists was restricted because of concern for journalists' safety. -Vera Tolz and Julia Wishnevsky POLICE VIOLENCE IN MOSCOW. RL stringers in Moscow reported an increase in police use of force against supporters of the parliament, passers-by and journalists on 30 September. According to the reports, members of the elite riot police (OMON) and of the Ministry of Security (former KGB) attacked groups of people in the center of Moscow without determining whether they were supporters of the president's foes or innocent citizens going about their lawful business. Andrei Babitsky said the RL crew witnessed an OMON trooper beating up an elderly woman and breaking her leg in the course of a brutal police attack on would-be demonstrators approaching Pushkin Square. Other stringers reported that Viktor Alksnis, the well-known right-wing former deputy to the USSR Supreme Soviet, and Chairman of the Cheremushky Raion Soviet Stepovoi were attacked by police; Alksnis was hospitalized with a concussion and broken bones. Many sources noted police attacks on foreign journalists, in particular TV cameramen. Julia Wishnevsky YELTSIN, KOZYREV URGE HALT TO NATO MEMBERSHIP FOR EASTERN EUROPE. President Yeltsin has sent a letter to government leaders in the US, Britain, France, and Germany warning them against expanding NATO to include former Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe, Reuters reported. The warning comes less than a month after Yeltsin himself, during a trip to Poland, appeared to open the door for Eastern European countries to join the alliance. Unnamed NATO spokesmen were quoted by Reuters as suggesting that the letter had sent shock waves through the organization. They also said that it would infuriate countries like Poland and Hungary. Some of the points made in the letter were apparently echoed in an interview with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev published on 30 September in the German magazine Der Stern. According to Reuters, Kozyrev urged NATO not to isolate Russia by hastily expanding into Eastern Europe and suggested instead that NATO and Russia work in tandem to provide security in the region. -Stephen Foye CIS MASSANDRA SUMMIT DISAGREEMENTS CONTINUE. Disputes continue over the status of the agreements concluded at the Massandra summit. A Russian foreign ministry spokesman on 21 September said that the protocol on nuclear warhead withdrawal and dismantlement was void because it had been altered by hand after its signing by Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. On 24 September the UNIAR press agency reported a statement from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry asserting that the prepared typed text "was not the one discussed" and that the handwritten changes were made with Russian agreement. The statement noted that Russia had not questioned the change earlier and that it was inappropriate to do so via a press briefing rather than in a formal note. At a UN symposium held in Kiev on 27 September, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's planning department, Ednan Agaev, remarked that the agreement had not been formally annulled but that he "would not be surprised" if it were, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. -John Lepingwell DETAILS OF THE NUCLEAR AGREEMENTS REVEALED. An RFE/RL correspondent in Kiev has obtained copies of all agreements signed at the Massandra summit. While two protocols have been published, three additional agreements were signed by Kuchma and Chernomyrdin: two more detailed agreements on warhead dismantling and one on weapons maintenance. The "Agreement on the Utilization of Nuclear Warheads" specifies that uranium extracted from the warheads will be returned to Ukraine as reactor fuel, provided the reactors are under IAEA safeguards. A contract on the timetable is to be concluded within six months of ratification of the agreement. Russian costs for dismantling and converting the warhead materials will be deducted from the value of the returned material. According to the document "Basic Principles of Nuclear Warhead Utilization" compensation for each warhead will be received no more than one year after its withdrawal. Plutonium from dismantled weapons will be stored in Russia. -John Lepingwell AGREEMENT ON NUCLEAR MAINTENANCE. The Massandra agreement on maintenance appears to have escaped criticism and it is not tied to the apparently annulled protocol on warheads. The agreement allows Russian enterprises to conduct manufacturer's maintenance and oversight of weapons systems in Ukraine, and vice versa. Maintenance schedules will be set by the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) in agreement with Ukraine, and Ukraine will pay the SRF for the work. The agreement does not require ratification and entered into force on the date of its signing. -John Lepingwell TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA ABKHAZ FORCES TAKE OCHAMCHIRA, GALI. Forces loyal to ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia withdrew from the coastal town of Ochamchira on 29-September, paving the way for its capture by Abkhaz troops on 30 September; the Abkhaz then advanced to and occupied Gali, the last Georgian-held town in Abkhazia, Radio Mayak and Western agencies reported. Thousands of Georgian civilians continue to flee from Abkhazia. In Tbilisi, Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze has appointed his former defense minister Tengiz Kitovani as commander of what remains of the Georgian forces, according to AFP. Pope John Paul II and CSCE Council chairwoman Margaretha af Ugglas have both called for a halt to hostilities, according to ITAR-TASS. -Liz Fuller KARABAKH CEASEFIRE EXTENDED. The ongoing ceasefire agreed in July between Azerbaijan and the Karabakh Armenian authorities was extended for a further month, until 7-November, at a meeting in Moscow last weekend between Azerbaijan's acting President Geidar Aliev and the head of the acting government in Stepanakert, Robert Kocharyan, AFP reported on 30 September. -Liz Fuller CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN SERBS AND CROATS TIGHTEN STAND AGAINST MUSLIMS. Following the effective rejection of the Geneva peace plan by the mainly Muslim Bosnian legislature on 29-September, the Bosnian Croat assembly voted the next day to withdraw "concessions" the Croat side had made to the Muslims, international media report. These points include an outlet to the Adriatic Sea, and a provisional administration for Mostar. Elsewhere, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said his group's parliament will meet in a few days and similarly withdraw its earlier "concessions" toward the Muslims. Karadzic has repeatedly warned the Muslims that they had better accept the Geneva plan or face a real chance of being left with nothing. Finally, in the breakaway Bihac pocket, or Cazinska Krajina, under the maverick leadership of Fikret Abdic, forces loyal to Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic fired at the ground to disperse thousands of pro-Abdic demonstrators in Cazin. The protesters had earlier taken control of local broadcasting facilities, but now Abdic seems to control only his main power base of Velika Kladusa, having lost Bihac and Cazin to the pro-Izetbegovic troops. Reuters and Yugoslav-area media ran the story. -Patrick Moore NERVOUS COUNTDOWN CONTINUES OVER UNPROFOR'S MANDATE IN CROATIA. International media said on 30 September that the UN Security Council voted to extend the mandate for UN forces in Croatia by one additional day in hope of reaching a settlement on 1-October, but the BBC's Croatian Service suggested that the chances of success are slim. Zagreb is impatient with the failure of UNPROFOR to carry out key provisions of the January 1992 Vance plan, which include disarming Serb insurgents controlling about 30% of Croatia's territory, enabling refugees to return safely home, and economically and politically reintegrating the Serb-held areas with the rest of the republic. The UN troops have, in fact, simply acted as a buffer between Croat and Serb forces, and their withdrawal-if an agreement cannot be reached-could easily lead to a renewed large-scale Serb-Croat war. Impatience is running high in Croatia and the issue is the most important one in domestic politics, but most Western projections suggest that the Serbs would still outgun the Croats in any fresh fighting, although the Croatian military has been greatly strengthened over the past year and a half. -Patrick Moore BULATOVIC STONED IN PODGORICA. Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic was pelted with stones and bricks on 30 September by demonstrators favoring independence from Serbia. Belgrade media said that the president's car was demolished but that guards got him to safety. Montenegrin political life has long been torn between factions favoring union with Serbia and those wanting only loose ties or outright independence from their Serbian "cousins." Under the impact of economic sanctions, however, pro-independence groups have gained new strength, and Bulatovic himself has tried to acquire more equality and a clearer profile for Montenegro within rump Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, following a trip to Tirana on 15-September, Bulatovic said in an interview given to Politika on the 24th that Kosovo's problems in education, health-care and culture should be solved in a "flexible way." He noted that the Kosovo crisis "must be solved in a democratic way. Albania can help by recognizing that Kosovo is an internal affair of the Republic of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." He rejected any change in borders and denied that his visit indicated a rift between Montenegro and Serbia, adding that his trip had been coordinated with the rump Yugoslav government in Belgrade. -Fabian Schmidt US CONGRESS FAILS TO APPROVE FUNDS FOR EBRD. Wire services report that the US House of Representatives has not included any contribution for the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the foreign aid bill passed on 29-September. The EBRD is the only financial institution charged with lending money exclusively to post-communist countries. The move came after several House members objected to the bank's lavish spending on facilities and high salaries for executives. -Karoly Okolicsanyi WALESA CONVENES NEW PARLIAMENT. As required by the constitution, Polish President Lech Walesa scheduled the new Sejm's inaugural session for 14 October, PAP reports. The new Senate will convene on 15-October. In keeping with tradition, the oldest deputy, Aleksander Malachowski, will call the Sejm to order and take the oath of office from the new parliamentarians, who will then elect the Speaker of the Sejm. The largest parties have not yet reached agreement on a candidate for this post; both the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) are believed to seek control of the highest parliamentary office. Meanwhile, President Walesa on 30 September restated his refusal to begin consultations with the SLD on the formation of a new government until he receives the names of three prime minister candidates for consideration. Responding to the SLD's request to meet to discuss the situation in the country and the election results, a presidential staff-member said that "the president has an excellent sense of the current situation and his own analysis of 19-September," the date of the elections. -Louisa Vinton POLISH COALITION ACCEPTS "NON-INFLATIONARY" DEFICIT. Representatives from the PSL and the SLD met on 30 September to hammer out a government economic program acceptable to both coalition partners. The two sides agreed in principle that revenues should cover spending and that the budget deficit should be reduced. However, the two parties also concluded that, in the words of SLD economic spokesman Jozef Oleksy, "if money should be lacking for essential needs, then we allow the possibility of a slight, temporary, non-inflationary increase in the deficit." The SLD and the PSL also agreed on a list of economic priorities: export promotion; new investment in housing construction; easier credit for small firms and farmers; greater spending on education, health, and culture; higher wages for public sector workers; restructuring mining and the arms industry; increased assistance to the poor; and "radical" improvements in tax collection and customs enforcement. Asked how the government would fund these programs, coalition officials cited only back taxes and new revenues from economic growth. Polish TV carried the report. -Louisa Vinton POLISH RIGHT-WING REGROUPS. Forty-seven politicians representing eight different parties, including the Christian National Union, the Liberal Democratic Congress, the Center Alliance, the Party of Christian Democrats, the Real Politics Union, and the Coalition for the Republic, met in Warsaw on 30 September to discuss the "defeat of the Right" in the parliamentary elections, PAP reports. None of the parties is represented in the Sejm. The participants formed a "Polish Right Discussion Forum" as a start toward integrating Poland's many fractious right-wing parties. So far, the attempt to rebuild a united right wing seems to have been undermined by the same rival leadership ambitions that prevented the Right from uniting before the elections. -Louisa Vinton BODIES OF EXPULSION VICTIMS EXHUMED. Members of the Austrian Red Cross have exhumed the bodies of 15 Germans killed by Czechs during the post-war expulsion of Czechoslovakia's 3.5 million member-strong German minority, CTK reports on 30-September. Charles University professor Jan Mlynarik, who attended the opening of the mass grave, said that the 13-men and 2 women were inhabitants of Tust, a small village in southern Bohemia, who were executed by a member of the Czech "Red Guards" on 24 May 1945 on the order of a local teacher. Children and the remaining female inhabitants of Tust had been expelled to Austria a few days earlier. The bodies are to be transferred to the Austrian city of GmŸnd, where they will be reburied. This is the first known transfer of bodies of expulsion victims from the territory of the former Czechoslovakia to Germany or Austria. While representatives of the Sudeten Germans claim that up to 250,000 people were killed during the expulsion, many Czech historians assume that the figure of 40,000 is more realistic. -Jan Obrman RESTITUTION OF CHURCH PROPERTY IN SLOVAKIA. On 29 September the Slovak parliament passed a law on the restitution of property to churches and religious communities. Out of 106 deputies present, 76-voted in favor, 20 voted against, and 10 deputies abstained from voting, TASR reports. The law, which was approved by the Slovak cabinet on 20 July, involves the restitution of farmland, forests, vineyards and church buildings. Property taken after 1945 will be returned to Christian churches, while Jewish organizations will get back property confiscated after 1938. Any property which is already under private ownership will not be returned, Reuters reports. -Sharon Fisher SLOVAK PARTIES COMMENT ON EARLY ELECTIONS, "INDIAGATE." In a Christian Democratic Party press conference on 30 September, chairman Jan Carnogursky said that even if certain representatives of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the Party of the Democratic Left agree on early elections, "it does not mean that these parties will manage to persuade a majority of their parliamentary clubs to support this idea." Slovak National Party Deputy Chairman Anton Hrnko said in a 30 September press conference that following the results in Lithuania and Poland, "it would be very dangerous" to hold new elections before they take place in Hungary. Meanwhile, concerning the "Indiagate" affair, Carnogursky said his party "will search for an explanation of the whole incident, regardless of whether or not a parliamentary commission designated to investigate this matter is established." Hrnko said that since leading officials were implicated in the case, the government should conduct a serious investigation of the matter. -Sharon Fisher WALLENBERG WORKED FOR US AGENCY. Newly released CIA documents reveal that the Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who while stationed in Hungary saved thousands of Jews during the final phases of the Second World War, was working for a semi-clandestine US agency, Reuters reported on 1 October. Wallenberg is said to have received instructions, money, and information useful to his work from the US War Refugee Board, the CIA said in a newly declassified report. The US connection may possibly have led to his arrest by the Soviet authorities and subsequent disappearance, the CIA report said. -Karoly Okolicsanyi HUNGARIAN DAILY IN VOJVODINA TO BE CLOSED. Hungarian radio reported on 30-September that the only Hungarian language daily serving the Hungarian minority in Vojvodina, Magyar Szo, will cease publication on Friday. The editor-in-chief said that funds have run out and there is no more paper or ink. He also said that, lacking state support, the 50,000 million dinar revenues are not enough to cover even basic expenses. -Karoly Okolicsanyi SEVEN ROMANIAN VESSELS SEEN UNLOADING FUEL IN SERBIA. The customs chief of Romania, Mihai Pinzariu, said on 30 September in an interview with Radio Bucharest that seven Romanian vessels have been seen unloading fuel in Serbia in violation of the UN-imposed international sanctions. The vessels were part of a convoy led by the tugboat Giurgiu-18, which was detained one day earlier by custom officials on Romanian territory. The tugboat reached its original Romanian destination without the vessels, and the explanation offered, namely that it had suffered an engine defect, has been found to be untrue. -Michael Shafir IFC HEAD SAYS ROMANIA WEAK ON PRIVATIZATION; IMF STILL WITHHOLDING LOAN. A top official of the International Finance Corporation, a World Bank organization, says Romanian authorities have been "less strong" in their push for privatization than other former communist countries. An RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reports that Sir William Ryrie, executive vice-president of the IFC, on 30 September told journalists his organization is ready to help Romania launch a privatization program but that the initiative must come from Bucharest. In a related development Radio Bucharest on the same day quoted Mircea Cosea, Minister of State for Economic Reform and Strategy, as denying that talks with the International Monetary Fund which recently concluded in Washington had been "a failure" although aid from the IMF and the World Bank will be delayed at least a few months. Cosea was a member of the delegation which renewed talks in Washington following an IMF decision to postpone the granting of new loans pending a revision of Romania's economic policies. -Michael Shafir BEROV SAYS BALKANS NEED "EUROPEANIZATION." In an address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 30 September, Bulgarian Prime Minister Lyuben Berov said the solution to problems in the Balkans should be sought on a collective, European level. Berov stated that "without European unity there can be no peace in the Balkans, and without peace in the Balkans, there can be no united Europe." He also told the Strasbourg assembly that Bulgaria has endured "extreme hardship" when upholding United Nations sanctions against Iraq, and presently, against rump Yugoslavia, saying that total costs exceed $6 billion. On Bulgaria's democratic performance, Berov said there is a "steady commitment to peaceful and democratic means for resolving problems." In connection with the premier's visit to the Council of Europe, a Bulgarian member of the assembly, Lachesar Toshev of the Union of Democratic Forces, submitted a formal motion challenging the legitimacy of Bulgaria's key state institutions including the constitution. Toshev argues that most post-1989 institutions are illegitimate since created by the Bulgarian parliament elected in June 1990, a poll in which many irregularities were registered. An RFE/RL correspondent filed the report. -Kjell Engelbrekt CHORNOVIL ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY. Vyacheslav Chornovil, leader of the largest opposition political party Rukh, told a press conference in Kiev on 30 September that he will be a candidate in next summer's presidential elections in Ukraine, Western agencies reported. Chornovil said the electoral campaign will be discussed at the next Rukh congress. Pre-term presidential elections are slated for June 1994. -Roman Solchanyk CRIMEA OPPOSED TO KIEV'S STAND ON ECONOMIC UNION. The Crimean parliament has expressed its emphatic disagreement with the position taken by the Ukrainian delegation at the CIS summit in Moscow, Radio Ukraine reported on 30 September. Ukraine's rejection of full fledged membership in the economic union, argued the Crimean lawmakers, does not correspond to the national interests of Ukraine and the wishes of the majority of its citizens. Further, the statement maintained that Ukraine's position in Moscow reflected Kiev's readiness to make concessions to those forces bent on "isolationism." -Roman Solchanyk MOLDOVAN-ROMANIAN TALKS SET BACK. Talks between Moldova and Romania on a basic treaty have been deadlocked for nearly two years over Bucharest's insistence to codify the notions of "fraternity and integration." Now new Romanian demands have led to another setback in the negotiations. After the latest round of negotiations held in Chisinau, Romanian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Marcel Dinu on 29-September told Basapress that Romania proposes a "treaty of union," a concept that-he explained-"would establish the dimensions of a special relationship between Romania and Moldova, without necessarily involving their unification." In addition, Dinu called for the establishment of a "Romanian economic community" comprised of Romania and Moldova. Reflecting the disagreements, the talks have now been relegated from the political to the staff level. -Vladimir Socor ESTONIAN POPULAR FRONT TO DISBAND. On 30-September the Council of the Estonian Popular Front issued a statement declaring that its fifth and final congress will be held on 5-November, BNS reports. The front held its first congress on 2 October 1988 and served to unite the country in its campaign for Estonia's independence, but did not win the 1992 parliamentary elections and is today viewed as a center and left-of-center opposition. The statement noted that since almost all the goals of its original program of 1988 have been achieved and Estonian society has developed sufficiently, the popular movement no longer needs to play a role in the country's political life. -Saulius Girnius [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Bess Brown and Kjell Engelbrekt THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in North America: Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC-20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907; Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 80538 Munich, Germany;.Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624; Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.RFE/RL Daily Report
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