Drug - zerkalo dlya druga, net zerkala svetlej! - Anvari
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 157, 19 August 1994


ROUNDUP ON NUCLEAR SMUGGLING. German-Russian relations have not
been harmed by the row over the origins of weapons-grade plutonium
seized recently by Munich police, Chancellor Helmut Kohl's chief
aide, Friedrich Bohl, said on German television on 18 August.
According to Bohl, the German Chancellor views Russian President
Boris Yeltsin's willingness to discuss the problem of nuclear
smuggling with Western leaders--and to seek solutions to the
problem--as a positive development. The chief of the Russian
Counterintelligence Service (FSK), Sergei Stepashin, has also
emphasized that his agency is ready to cooperate with its Western
counterparts in related investigations. However, Georgii Kaurov,
an official of the Ministry of Atomic Energy, told RFE/RL's Moscow
correspondent that he considers the publicity generated by the
smuggling cases to be a "Western police provocation." In Kaurov's
words, the quantity of plutonium seized in Munich would have
required lead containers so heavy that the alleged smugglers could
not conceivably have passed through Sheremetevo airport or
Lufthansa security check points. Russian television has commented
only briefly on Western reactions to the plutonium scandal, and
has generally highlighted those Western reports which cast doubt
either on the Russian origins of the seized plutonium or on
assertions that it is of weapons-grade quality.  Victor Yasmann,
RFE/RL, Inc.

dismissed predictions voiced recently by opposition leaders that
Russia faces the prospect of political and social disturbances
this fall, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 August. Speaking on the eve of
the third anniversary of the anti-democratic August 1991 coup,
Stepashin said that the situation in Russia has stabilized.
Despite complicated economic and social problems in several
regions of Russia, he said, the FSK feels "no concern" over the
population's reactions to these problems or over the possibility
of political instability. Stepashin added that the FSK cannot
exist "outside of politics" and that his service "openly supports
the existing power structure as it is embodied in the head of
state." Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

LEBED'S POLITICAL PROSPECTS. The liberal Novaya ezhednevnaya
gazeta predicted on 17 August that Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed,
commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, "may become the
frontrunning candidate in Russia's coming presidential election."
It described Lebed as "a figure of national dimensions, his entire
future still ahead of him," and a more serious candidate than
either Liberal Democratic Party head Vladimir Zhirinovsky or
former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi. Lebed, meanwhile, having
just received Yeltsin's support despite the Defense Ministry's
apparent attempt to dislodge him from his command, has again, if
obliquely, attacked the President. The General told Izvestiya of
17 August that private as opposed to national interests are
"precisely what guides the people from the President's closest
circle." Asked whether he would answer the political call of
"patriotic forces," Lebed said that he would avoid both
"left-radical and right-radical patriots." A portrait of Lebed in
the latest (no. 7) issue of Zhurnalist reveals that he was a
member of the Central Committee of Ivan Polozkov's Russian
Communist Party and made speeches at the CC plenums calling for
the restoration of order in the USSR.  Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL,

MMM OPERATIONS TO RESUME SHORTLY? An Ostankino TV news program on
18 August broadcast what it described as "a sensational" report
from the Moscow Sailor's Resort prison, where Sergei Mavrodi, the
president of the controversial MMM investment company, is locked
up on charges of tax evasion and obstructing the work of tax
inspectors. According to the newscast, Mavrodi has sent a message
from his prison cell which orders the resumption of MMM operations
on Monday, 21 August.  Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

"Vesti" opened with two reports on the workers' movement in
Russia. According to the first, independent unions representing
Russian coal miners have issued an ultimatum threatening the
government with major industrial protests if the miners are not
paid several months back salary by the end of September. This item
was followed by a story on a conference of the confederation of
official trade unions, which is reportedly considering a national
strike if the government fails to make good its debts to
state-owned enterprises. It is worth noting that various Russian
political actors and organizations, including Boris Yeltsin, have
attempted at various times over the past three years to call a
general strike in Russia. Thus far none has been successful. Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc.

announced on 18 August that some 500 Russian and US soldiers, 250
from each country, would conduct a joint peacekeeping exercise
from 2 to 10 September at the Totsk training ground in the
Orenburg region of Russia, Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported. The
exercise, to be called "Peacemaker 94," will be followed by a
second similar exercise next year in the US, Pentagon officials
said. The maneuvers were originally scheduled for early July in
Russia, but were postponed after objections were raised to them by
nationalists in the Russian parliament. Russia's Defense and
Foreign Ministries have generally favored holding the exercises
and, after some initial hesitation, Boris Yeltsin appears to have
sided with them.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.

unidentified but "high-ranking" official of Russia's Foreign
Ministry was quoted by Interfax on 18 August as saying that Russia
would ignore US objections and would continue to pursue
military-technical cooperation with Iran. The official said that
Russia was following through on obligations assumed by the USSR
and that Moscow properly documents its arms transfers to Iran in
the UN register on conventional weapons. He denied charges that
Russian exports to Iran include potentially destabilizing dual-use
technologies, and accused the US of hypocritically trying to use
trade prohibitions against Iran to protect its own access to the
Iranian market.  Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc.


ARMENIAN PATRIARCH DIES. Vazgen I, the head of the Armenian
Apostolic Church, died of cancer in Erevan on 17 August at the age
of 85, ITAR-TASS reported. Since his consecration as Catholicos in
1955 Vazgen had actively defended Armenian national values and the
role of the church in Armenian society. Armenian President Levon
Ter-Petrossyan has announced three days' national mourning
culminating in a state funeral on 28 August.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,

opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front were detained during a police
raid on the Baku editorial office of the Front's newspaper,
Azadlyg, on 18 August, AFP reported. A Front spokesman denied any
involvement in a demonstration in Baku earlier on 18 August by
some 200 veterans of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh who demanded
increased medical and social care. AFP quoted an unidentified
diplomatic source as claiming that the veterans' demonstration had
been orchestrated by Prime Minister Suret Huseinov in an attempt
to embarrass the leadership of Heidar Aliev.  Liz Fuller, RFE/RL,

TV's domestic programming, Davlatali Rakhmonaliev, was shot and
killed outside his home in Dushanbe on the morning of 18 August,
Russian news agencies reported. Rakhmonaliev was a former director
of the state TV in Kulyab, the home of chief of state Imomali
Rakhmonov and many supporters of the present neo-Communist
government. Sources reporting the murder refrained from
speculating on who might be behind the killing, and whether it was
motivated by political or regional antagonisms. Bess Brown,
RFE/RL, Inc.


RUSSIAN CALL FOR "TOUGH" CIS. The Deputy Chairman of Russia's
Federation Council, Valerian Viktorov, told a briefing in Moscow
on 18 August that CIS member states are "fed up with their
sovereignty" and that Russia is "the locomotive capable of pulling
them out of crisis," Interfax reported. Viktorov predicted the
formation within one or two years of a "tough" CIS in which "the
republics will resolve jointly all economic and social problems."
He called for the establishment of "a legislative body to
determine the rules of the game for the CIS countries." Vladimir
Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

vacationing in Sochi, Boris Yeltsin is expected to discuss with
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev a number of military issues
including the future of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, Interfax
reported on 17 August. Yeltsin had on 15 August publicly disavowed
the Ministry's plan to reduce that Army's personnel and status,
preparatory to its gradual withdrawal under the Russian-Moldovan
agreement initialed on 10 August. Russia's officially controlled
TV channels have since pointedly commented that the ministry must
obey the president. The 14th Army's commander, Lt. Gen. Aleksandr
Lebed, who opposes a withdrawal and is otherwise a critic of
Yeltsin, has now found it possible to term the President's
intervention in the matter "brilliant," according to ITAR-TASS on
16 August. Meanwhile, Russian Federation Council Deputy Chairman
Valerian Viktorov told a briefing on 18 August that it will take
six months for the Russian government to "draft and sign" the
agreement to withdraw the troops within three years, Interfax
reported; Moldova had expected it to be signed next month without
any further "drafting." Argumenty i Fakty, no. 32, cites Ministry
of Defense sources as "not doubting that the 14th Army will be
kept in Transdniester under a different name such as a 'limited
contingent'." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

RESULTS OF BLACK SEA FLEET TALKS. The head of the Ukrainian
delegation in Moscow negotiating the division of the Black Sea
Fleet, deputy premier Yevhen Marchuk, has said that the Ukrainians
hoped the fleet would soon be divided into two separate navies,
Ukrainian radio reported on 17 August. He also said that Ukraine
was preparing a proposal for a system of rental payments for the
use of Crimean territory which would take Crimean interests into
account. The head of the Russian negotiating team, Yurii Dubinin,
said that the talks should result in the formulation of concrete
proposals resolving the division of the Black Sea Fleet which will
be presented to the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Interfax
reported on 18 August that the issue of basing (which had proved
to be a stumbling bloc in earlier negotiations) had not been
raised. The talks reportedly focused more on improving cooperation
between the Ukrainian navy and Black Sea Fleet, rather than on the
division and basing of the fleet itself.  Ustina Markus, RFE/RL,

  [As of 1200 CET]
  Compiled by Stephen Foye and Sharon Fisher
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