|When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. - Mark Twain|
No. 162, 26 August 1994
RUSSIA SITUATION IN CHECHNYA. Hundreds of armed followers of Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev held a rally marked by anti-Russian slogans in the center of the capital, Groznyi, on 25 August, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Chechnya. Dudaev addressed the rally, swearing to continue his struggle for independence; he called his opponents "Judases who sold their country for thirty pieces of Russian silver." The demonstrators also criticized the Chechen opposition Provisional Council and former Russian parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov. The latter is offering to mediate between Moscow and Groznyi and is closely associated with the Provisional Council. Chechen government officials told the RFE/RL correspondent that Groznyi's central square and all roads leading to the capital were guarded by forces loyal to Dudaev. Meanwhile, Khasbulatov organized an anti-Dudaev demonstration in the village of Staraya Sunzha, five kilometers outside Groznyi, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 August. Khasbulatov threatened to try Dudaev and his allies in accord with the Muslim religious law. The opposition Provisional Council held a rally the same day in the council's stronghold of Znamenskoe. The Russian government issued a statement on 25 August, asserting that Chechnya is an integral part of the Russian Federation and that all the goings on in this Caucasian republic are an internal Russian affair. According to the "Vesti" newscast, this statement was made in response to interference in the civil conflict in Chechnya by members of the North Caucasian diaspora in some Middle Eastern countries. The same day, the leader of the Chechen Provisional Council confirmed for the first time that the activities of his self-proclaimed government are financed by the Russian state purse. Vera Tolz and Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN: "DANGER OF RUSSIA'S DISINTEGRATION IS OVER." On 26 August the Russian daily Trud contained a long interview with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, recalling his recent travel across the Volga River, in which Yeltsin says that his trip convinced him that there is no danger of the disintegration of the Russian Federation. He added that there are still problems and they require a new model for relations between the regions and the central authorities. Yeltsin also denied that the Russian people are fed up with politics, saying that he had witnessed the opposite during his trip. Citizens are making new demands of politics, Yeltsin said, but some politicians are incapable of meeting them. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. . . . AND GORBACHEV IS EVEN MORE OPTIMISTIC. In an article published in the Italian daily La Stampa on 25 August, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev predicted that the states of the former Soviet Union will move towards reunification. Gorbachev added that the process will be gradual and should not alarm the West. Gorbachev termed "wise" a remark of US President Bill Clinton that the West would not mind reintegration of the former USSR, providing that the will of people is respected and if reforms continue. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. CASE OF LIBERAL PRIEST'S MURDER CLOSED. The office of the Moscow prosecutor has closed the investigation of the murder of Father Aleksandr Men, Russian TV news reported on 25 August. A Russian Orthodox priest who converted from Judaism, Father Aleksandr played a key role in the revival of religion in Russia under Leonid Brezhnev. From the early 1960s until his tragic death in 1990, Father Aleksandr was the spiritual head of the liberal community of intellectuals, including author Nadezhda Mandelshtam. Some of his younger followers were imprisoned for their religious activities, and Father Aleksandr was routinely harassed by the KGB. He was murdered in September 1990. Both Soviet President Gorbachev and his Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, intervened personally in the investigation of this case with requests that the murderer be identified and punished. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN SUBS REAPPEAR IN NORTH ATLANTIC. Senior Icelandic officials were quoted by Reuters on 25 August as saying that, after an absence of some two years, submarines from the Russian Northern Fleet have again been observed patrolling the waters of the North Atlantic. The officials said that the subs did not appear to pose a threat, and they speculated that Moscow may simply "be trying to keep the fleet active" and the submarines from "going rusty." Icelandic leaders were said to be more concerned by the possibility of accidents involving the nuclear-powered submarines than by the military threat that they represent. In the midst of economic upheaval and falling defense budgets, Russia has over the past few years given greater priority to the Northern Fleet than to its other fleets; however, even the Northern Fleet has not escaped a serious deterioration of its combat capabilities. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. US COMPANY WINS RUSSIAN HOUSING CONTRACT. A Delaware subsidiary of the California-based Ralph M. Parsons Company has been awarded a $68-million federal contract to build 2,500 housing units throughout Russia for demobilized military officers, the Los Angeles Daily News reported on 25 August. The construction, aimed at providing housing for between 7,500 and 10,000 people, is part of the US economic assistance program to Russia and was developed as part of a pilot project program under the Russian Officer Resettlement Program, the newspaper said. The US program was described as similar to a German plan which will provide about 15,000 housing units for Russian troops returning from the former East Germany. Stephen Foye, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN CONSCRIPTION IN MOLDOVA. Lt.-General Stanislav Khazheev, defense minister of the "Dniester republic," was quoted in Rossiiskaya vesti of 23 August as saying that his forces and Russia's 14th Army jointly conduct military conscription in eastern Moldova, despite political tensions between the Army command and the "Dniester" leadership. Under an arrangement between the two forces, the fittest serve in the 14th Army on contract and the rest are drafted into the "Dniester" forces where they acquire skills for later service with the 14th Army. Khazheev's remarks corroborate several statements to the same effect by the 14th Army's commander, Lt.-General Aleksandr Lebed, who has also disclosed that those serving with the 14th Army are given Russian citizenship. Despite violation of international law which forbids recruitment by armies in foreign territories and the unilateral grant of another state's citizenship to local residents, Moldova has shied away from raising these issues in international forums. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW DEMAND FOR BASING RIGHTS IN MOLDOVA. In the same issue of Rossiiskaya vesti, Lebed contended that transporting his army's massive arms and ammunition stockpiles from Moldova to Russia would be prohibitively expensive. He predicted that Russia will not foot the bill, demanded that Moldova do so "because it needs the withdrawal more [than Russia does]," and admitted that Moldova can not afford it either. "Since we cannot solve the problem of withdrawing the troops, we should come to an agreement on the conditions for keeping the troops here." Interviewed in Dnestrovskaya pravda of 25 August, as cited by Basapress, Lebed said that "Russia retains the role of a great power and guarantor of peace on its border and the border of its neighbors in the Dniester region." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. KOZYREV FOR STRENGTHENING SANCTIONS AGAINST BOSNIAN SERBS. On 25 August Reuters reported that Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told media that Russia is interested in seeing Serbia be rewarded for supporting the international community's peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina with an easing of the sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, adding that the Bosnian Serbs should be dealt even harsher sanctions precisely for continuing to reject the peace plan. Kozyrev added that Serbia's current position on the Bosnian peace plan warrants an "immediate" lifting of some sanctions against rump Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, on 26 August Reuters also reported that "major powers" are prepared to "reward" Serbia with an easing of sanctions if President Milosevic accepts international monitors on Serbia's border with Bosnia, an eventuality Milosevic has so far rejected as a violation of Serbia's sovereignty. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIAN MILITARY SANATORIUM IN GUDAUTA ATTACKED. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Georgii Kondratyev and Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov escaped unharmed when the Russian military sanatorium in Gudauta was subjected to automatic fire during the early morning of 25 August, Interfax and ITAR-TASS reported. The unidentified attackers escaped. An Abkhaz spokesman suggested that the shooting had resulted from a brawl between a local resident and Russian servicemen; Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Georgii Karasin refuted speculation that the incident constituted an assassination attempt. Kondratyev and Pastukhov are part of the Russian delegation currently negotiating the deployment of additional Russian peacekeeping troops in Abkhazia. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. RADICAL OPPOSITION HOLDS CONFERENCE IN TBILISI. At a recent conference in Tbilisi, 37 Georgian opposition parties, including those still loyal to the late president Zviad Gamsakhurdia and the National Independence Party, signed a convention denouncing the current Georgian leadership as illegal and characterizing Georgia as a state "occupied by Russia"; they pledged to defend Georgia's independence, according to Interfax. Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. KOZYREV IN TASHKENT. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev began an official visit to Uzbekistan on 25 August, Russian and Western news agencies reported. One of the main topics discussed was the situation in Tajikistan; Kozyrev told a press conference that Russia would use "the language of war" in dealing with the Tajik opposition if that was the opposition's choice, but that Russia prefers for the two sides in the Tajik conflict to resume their talks. Interfax reported having learned that Otakhon Latifi, head of the opposition delegation to earlier talks with the Tajik government, is prepared to go to Tashkent. Kozyrev also said that Russia supports the holding of the presidential election scheduled for 25 September; the opposition has called for a boycott. Sergei Stepashin, head of Russia's Federal Counterintelligence Service who is part of the delegation accompanying Kozyrev, told Interfax after the first Russian-Uzbek meeting that there are no differences in the Russian and Uzbek positions on Tajikistan. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RUSSIA TO PROPOSE ECONOMIC CENTRALIZATION IN CIS. Izvestiya made public on 25 August details of proposals to be submitted by Russia to a meeting of Prime Ministers of CIS member states scheduled for 9 September in Moscow. A draft agreement to establish a Payments Union, with mutual convertibility of national currencies, would make it "inadmissible for individual republics to limit on their territories the circulation and use of the partners' currencies as instruments of payment." The arrangement is likely in practice to ensure the supremacy of the Russian ruble and, in a follow-up stage, "become the basis for establishing a Currency Union." An accompanying proposal would turn the existing Consultative-Coordinating Committee into an Intergovernmental Economic Committee as a "controlling and decision-making" body, issuing "binding decisions in transnational spheres: transport, communications, oil and gas pipelines." Creation of the IEC allegedly reflects "the objective need to create supranational organs of the CIS." Participating states would be expected to "renounce some of their national prerogatives and turn them over to the supranational body." The authors of the plan expect only 4 or 5 member states to go along at this stage, with others to follow suit later on. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE US CONGRESS APPROVES MOVE OF RFE/RL TO PRAGUE. In a statement issued in Washington on 25 August, the chairman of the US Board for International Broadcasting (BIB), Daniel Mica, announced that the board had received congressional approval for the move of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty from Munich to Prague. Mica said the move "opens a new era for RFE/RL." US President Clinton had approved the move on 5 July, subject to congressional approval. Preparations to relocate the stations had been on hold pending approval from the six committees and subcommittees in each house of the congress which authorize and appropriate the money granted to operate the radios each year. That final approval of the relocation plan came on 25 August. Mica said the move should be completed by mid-1995 and that broadcasting from the new location could begin within six months. He expressed gratitude to the Czech government for its "generous offer" of the former federal parliament building in Prague as the new home for RFE/RL. RFE/RL News and Current Affairs, RFE/RL, Inc. OPPOSITION PARTIES ATTACK MILOSEVIC. On 25 and 26 August Serbian media reported on a 25 August special session of the Serbian parliament, convened at the opposition parties' insistence and dealing with the international community's peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Proceedings opened with a statement by Serbian Premier Mirko Marjanovic, who slammed the Bosnian Serb leadership for failing to accept peace, a move that he said was making it difficult to have sanctions removed against rump Yugoslavia. Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was criticized by the ultranationalist leader of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav Seselj for what he suggested was a sell-out of the Bosnian Serbs. Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic, according to AFP, said it was improper for Milosevic to be blockading and exerting pressure on the Bosnian Serbs to accept the peace plan before Bosnian Serb territories could be united with Serbia. While the extraordinary parliamentary session did not shake Milosevic's or his party's hold on power, it may have been calculated to lend Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic a measure of moral support: Bosnian Serbs are slated go to the polls on 27 and 28 August in a referendum to vote on whether to accept the peace plan. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. UN SEEKS CROATIA'S HELP WITH REFUGEES. On 25 August Reuters reported that the UN had asked Zagreb to accommodate hundreds of refugees fleeing Bosnia's Bihac pocket in the wake of rebel Muslim leader Fikret Abdic's defeat. Some 800 have found their way into what has been described as a no man's land between the Croatian army and Serb-held territory in Croatia commonly known as Krajina. This latest group of 800 joins another 800 who have been stranded there since 21 August. Zagreb has called on the refugees to return to Bihac. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. UN SAYS SERBS NOW RESPECT MACEDONIAN BORDER. The UN Protection Force Commander in Macedonia, Brig. Gen. Trigve Teleffsen, confirmed on 25 August that tensions along the Serbian-Macedonian border had decreased in recent weeks. Earlier in 1994 the UN complained of repeated incursions by Serb patrols and incidents in which peacekeepers were temporarily detained, but Teleffsen said the attitude among Serb forces had changed following meetings between the Macedonian and Serb authorities. At the same time he urged both sides to create a joint commission to decide on exactly where the border should run, since this remains unclarified. In the Macedonian town of Tetovo, police reportedly clashed with ethnic Albanian soccer fans. The town has been the scene of ethnic tension on several occasions in recent years. Western agencies carried the stories. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSPORT CEILINGS THREATEN POLISH EXPORTS. Poland's transport ministry has found itself increasingly under attack since Poland exhausted its 1994 quota of permits for goods trucks entering Germany at the beginning of August and the German authorities simultaneously announced new ceilings on Polish barges. On 24 August Polish carriers warned the Sejm's transport commission that exports would suffer and companies unable to fulfill contracts already signed would face bankruptcy, PAP reports. The deputies called for clear criteria to regulate allocation of permits and demanded a formal statement from transport minister Boguslaw Liberadzki. The quota arrangement was instituted two years ago in order to ensure parity, protect German companies against undercutting by the cheaper Polish carriers, and limit pollution. The Poles have so far accounted for some two-thirds of the traffic, however. Negotiations between the two governments resulted on 12 August in a temporary raising of the ceiling and extra permits for "green lorries." A group of former ministry officials who lost their jobs after the postcommunist government took over accused the new team of ignoring warnings, indiscriminately allocating permits, and favoring the predominantly postcommunist International Carriers Association. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. STRAK POLLS LOCAL AUTHORITIES ON DECENTRALIZATION. Head of Poland's Council of Ministers' Office, Michal Strak, circulated a questionnaire to local government authorities concerning the division of powers between the local and central government administration, and the possibility of changes in the administrative and territorial division, in particular the introduction of the powiat or intermediary level of local government between the gmina and the voivodship. Over 40 of Poland's largest municipalities, which have been participating in a pilot scheme to take over administrative functions that would accrue to the powiat, described their experiences as positive, according to a government document. Strak himself and the Polish Peasant Party, to which he belongs, are known as opponents of the scheme, preferring to keep central control over public administration. Strak told reporters at a 24 August press conference that the results of the questionnaire would not be binding on the government. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECHS ON BRIBERY, CORRUPTION. According to an opinion poll conducted by the Institute for Public Opinion Research in July, 87% of Czechs believe that bribery is a "very serious" problem. Of the 1,097 respondents, 89% thought that standards of morality had fallen and 90% were concerned about cases of corruption within the country's voucher privatization scheme. The results of the poll were reported by Czech and international media on 24 August. Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAKIA PREPARES FOR ANNIVERSARY. Slovakia is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising, to be held in Banska Bystrica on 27 August. More than 80,000 Slovaks participated in the uprising, which began on 29 August 1944 and marked Slovakia's fight against fascism. Guests from at least 22 foreign countries are expected to attend the festivities, including the presidents of Slovakia's immediate neighbors and other high-ranking officials from East and West. Veterans of the uprising will be honored. Since 1989 a large number of studies have been devoted to the uprising. Although most assessments have been positive, nationalist groups in Slovakia have accused the insurgents of fighting against their own state. The present government has favored the positive interpretation, but the opposition Slovak National Party has taken the opposite view. In a recent poll conducted by the Slovak Statistical Office, 71% of respondents said they viewed the uprising positively, while only 5% had a negative view. A total of 67% said they thought it was supported by a majority of Slovaks, while 13% said it was a conspiracy led by the communists. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. BUDGET CHANGES IN HUNGARY. Finance Minister Laszlo Bekesi announced amendments to the budget, MTI reported on 25 August. The changes, necessitated by falling revenues and increased expenditures, are intended to keep the deficit at the projected, record-high level of 330 billion forint ($3 billion). The 50 billion forint ($462 million) package provides cuts totaling 37 billion forint and 13 billion forint in new revenues. On the revenue side, the turnover tax will be increased from 10% to 12%, on 1 October. Telephone and hotel services will be subject to a 25% turnover tax. Consumer tax on luxury items and fuel will be increased by 15% but the 10% tax on income from interest on savings accounts will be eliminated. The revised budget will also include an additional 11 billion forint for wheat purchase subsidies. The amendments will be submitted to parliament on 9 September, Bekesi said. Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIA REORGANIZES FOREIGN INVESTMENT AGENCY. On 25 August the Bulgarian government adopted a set of statutes which alter the character and functions of the Commission on Foreign Investments, BTA reports. The CFI, which was set up in 1992, will from now on be subordinated to the cabinet and implement government policy in the field of foreign investments. To underline that point, Deputy Premier and Trade Minister Kiril Tsochev was selected to chair the reorganized agency. The CFI has also been charged with coordinating the actions of different state bodies. It will seek to resolve concrete problems involving foreign investors. The adoption of the statutes is evidently a response to criticism that Bulgaria's liberal investment law is not enough to attract investors, but that it has to be accompanied by an institutional framework to facilitate the activities of investors. Statistics show that Bulgaria received merely $498 million worth of direct investments between 1 January 1990 and 4 August 1994, which is less than one tenth of the sum invested in Hungary or roughly one fifth of that in the Czech Republic. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT OPENS PARLEYS WITH NATIONAL-COMMUNISTS. Leaders of the parties represented in the coalition held on 25 August a first round of talks with representatives of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party (GRP) and the Socialist Labor Party (SLP), the heir to the Romanian Communist Party. Both parties are considered to be "national-communist" in outlook. Rompres said the purpose of the meeting was to "reach a political agreement" that would constitute a "basis for collaboration at legislative and executive levels." The two parties have supported the Vacaroiu government in parliament since 1992. After the extreme nationalist Party of Romanian National Unity joined the coalition last week, the GRP said future support of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania would be conditional on its joining the coalition, too. Opposition parties criticized the talks. Ioan Diaconescu, Vice-Chairman of the National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic, said the presence of the GRP and the SLP in the government would further damage Romania's credibility. The Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Party-National Salvation Front, Adrian Vilau, said that if these plans materialized, the country would be ruled by a "very red cabinet." Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIA TO CONTROL ABORTIONS. Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 25 August that Tirana will soon draft a law to control abortion which has become a widespread practice. This move is apparently related to the forthcoming UN population conference in Cairo. A government official told the daily that a sharp increase in abortions took place after the Communists liberalized their policy in 1990. The number of abortions for recent years has been 30,000 per year (Albania's population is 3.3 million). In Tirana alone it equals the number of births at 30 per day. The same official reported a downward trend in abortions as a result of the policy of family planning which was introduced two years ago. The new law would allow abortions up to the twelfth week of pregnancy, and not without preliminary sociological and psychological consultations. The various religious denominations will be consulted. The Catholic Bishop Frano Ilia is said to have called on other religious communities, the government and the parliament to oppose abortion. Louis Zanga, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW ACTING FOREIGN MINISTER APPOINTED IN UKRAINE. On 25 August President Leonid Kuchma appointed Hennadii Udovenka acting foreign minister, various agencies reported. Udovenko replaces Anatolii Zlenko, who had been foreign minister since 1990. Prior to his appointment Udovenko had represented Ukraine in the United Nations in Geneva and New York, and served as Ukraine's ambassador to Poland since 1992. Udovenko said one of his policy priorities will be normalizing relations with Russia. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. LUKASHENKA DISMISSES POLICE CHIEFS AND ORDERS INQUIRY INTO BORDER GUARD. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has dismissed the chiefs of police in Minsk and all of the country's regions on the same day, Interfax reported on 25 August. He also ordered an inquiry into the activities of the country's border guards. The move was prompted by the growing number of border violations involving illegal migrants. Over 2,000 illegal migrants were detained on Belarus's western border last year and it is reported that as many as 300,000 people may be living illegally in the country. Most are nationals of Asian and African countries traveling from Russia in an attempt to enter western Europe through Belarus and Poland or Lithuania. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. VODKA PRICES RISE BY 75% IN BELARUS. As of 25 August vodka prices are to rise by 75% in Belarus, Belarusian radio reported. This means prices for a half liter bottle will cost close to 5,000 rubles. In July the average wage in Belarus stood at 879,191 rubles per month. Reuters reported that the move caused popular dissatisfaction. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. 70% OF MINSK SCHOOLS WILL BE TEACHING IN BELARUSIAN. On 24 August Belarusian radio reported that 70% of Minks's 230 schools will be teaching in the Belarusian language this academic year. This is in accordance with the Law on Language which aims to make Belarusian the official language. To date Russian is still widely used in the armed forces and is the language of most parliamentary debates. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN REFERENDUM. Chairman of the Lithuanian Chief Elections Commission Zenonas Vaigauskas announced that 2,552,000 people in Lithuania are eligible to vote in the 27 August referendum on illegal privatization, devalued bank deposits and shares, and violations of the law, Radio Lithuania reported on 26 August. There will be separate votes for the referendum's 8 points each of which will be passed only if it receives support from more than half of the eligible voters. President Algirdas Brazauskas, the ruling Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party, and several smaller parties expressed their opposition to the referendum, and it seems unlikely that enough voters will participate to pass any of its points. Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. UPDATE ON RUSSIAN TROOP DEPARTURES FROM LATVIA. Although Russian troops and military equipment--reports vary as to their numbers--are being steadily pulled out of Latvia, it is still unclear whether the 31 August deadline for the completion of this process will be met. First Deputy Commander of Russia's Northwestern Group of Forces in Riga, Fedor Melnichuk, said that the remaining Russian forces--only 97 officers, 50 conscript soldiers and 8 armored personnel carriers--would be pulled out of Latvia before 31 August. But, according to Ludis Povilonis of the Latvian office monitoring the troop withdrawals, delays may occur as a consequence of unpaid debts by the Russian military for electricity, heating, hot water, and land tax, and Moscow's inability to provide departing officers with housing in Russia. In such cases, the officers could stay on in Latvia until 31 December, LETA and BNS reported on 22 and 23 August. Povilonis's office said that there are 1,358 Russian servicemen in Latvia who must leave by the end of August; they are stationed in 8 facilities that have still not been handed over to Latvia. The Russian military has not yet vacated resorts in Majori and Jurmala, a section of the Riga airport, the Tosmare ship repair works in Liepaja, and the aviation equipment factory in Riga. The Russian radar station at Skrunda with a personnel of 699 and thousands of Russian military pensioners, will remain for five years. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Bess Brown and Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, 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, is available through electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU. This report is also available by postal mail, as are the other publications of the Institute, and by fax. 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