|Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most times he will pick himself up and carry on. - Winston Churchill|
No. 166, 1 September 1994
RUSSIA YELTSIN, KOHL SPEECHES REFLECT DIFFERENT VIEWS. Russian President Boris Yeltsin and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl both spoke at the 31 August Berlin ceremony marking the departure of the last Russian soldiers from Germany. The points raised by each leader illustrate that there remains at least a partial East/West divide over how best to guarantee the future security of Europe. As seen on Russian television, Yeltsin said he was confident a military threat to Russia would never again come from Germany. The Russian president, who did not once mention NATO in his lengthy remarks, stated that it was the idea of European cooperation and the democratic principles of the CSCE that had brought an end to the Cold War and that it was the CSCE that would be able to "guarantee security and stability all the way from Vancouver to Vladivostok." Kohl, on the other hand, ignored the CSCE in his shorter remarks, which were carried by ARD television, but noted that NATO had reached out to its former opponents in its Partnership for Peace program and that NATO and Russia would cooperate closely on both the political and the military level. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. REACTION OF RUSSIAN MASS MEDIA TO TROOP WITHDRAWAL. In a commentary on 31 August Rossiiskaya gazeta argues that the final withdrawal of Russian troops from Europe marks the end of a chapter in postwar history and will create a new geopolitical situation in Europe that, in the twenty-first century, will be defined by the new relationship between Russia and Germany. In the opinion of Izvestiya, German-Russian relations following the troop withdrawal will be more stable and positive. The newspaper Segodnya reminds its readers that the Russian troops stayed in Germany not only as the victors of fascism, but also as the protectors of a totalitarian communist regime. Russian television, meanwhile, interviewed the deputy director of the Europe Institute, Sergei Karaganov, who said that the Soviet military presence in Europe constituted an enormous economic burden for his country. Russia's interests, he added, lie not in integration with Europe but in remaining an independent geopolitical entity that is not isolated from Europe. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. COMMUNISTS TO COLLECT SIGNATURES FOR EARLY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. On 31 August Ostankino Television showed footage of a news conference held earlier that day in the press center of the State Duma by the leadership of the Russian Communist Party. The Communists elaborated the position of the communist faction in the Russian parliament in regard to a proposal made by the speaker of the Council of Federation, Vladimir Shumeiko, to prolong the mandates of members of both houses for a further two years without new elections; deputies were elected for a two-year term in December 1993. According to the party's chairman, Gennadii Zyuganov, his party opposes Shumeiko's idea (as do the overwhelming majority of Russian politicians on all sides of the country's political spectrum). Asked about the possibility of prolonging the term of office of President Yeltsin, who was elected for five years in June 1991, Zyuganov disclosed that the Communist Party intended to collect signatures in favor of holding new presidential elections next fall--that is, a few months before Yeltsin's term expires. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN AND GERMAN SECRET SERVICES TO COOPERATE. Chancellor Kohl and President Yeltsin approved a memorandum on cooperation between the Russian and German security services in combating the smuggling of nuclear materials, a spokesman for the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) told an RFE/RL correspondent in Berlin on 31 August. The memorandum was signed in Moscow on 22 August during a visit by Chancellor Kohl's security coordinator Bernd Schmidbauer and following a series of scandals concerning the smuggling of fissile materials from Russian nuclear installations. The FSK spokesman did not, however, give any details of the agreement. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. SOLZHENITSYN TURNS DOWN TOLSTOY PRIZE. According to Komsomolskaya pravda of 30 August, the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has declined the literary prize awarded him by the leadership of the ultranationalist Union of Russian Writers. Following the collapse of the August 1991 coup attempt, the RSFSR Writers' Union split into three bodies reflecting its members' varying political convictions. The union that awards the Tolstoy prize, named after the great nineteenth-century Russian liberal Count Leon Tolstoy, is notorious for its illiberal, procommunist, and anti-Semitic statements. However, according to Komsomolskaya pravda, the Nobel prizewinner did not attribute his decision to political reasons but remarked only that there were many other writers in Russia who needed it more. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE FOCUSES ON ECONOMIC SURVEILLANCE. Economic intelligence has become a priority for Russian Foreign Intelligence (SVR), agency spokesman Yurii Kobaladze told ITAR-TASS on 31 August. In the past gathering economic data was part of political intelligence, he said, adding that today the SVR pays more attention to the situation on world markets and the credibility of Russia's trade partners. While before we were interested in what was going on in foreign Ministries of Defense, now we are concentrating on Ministries of Finance, he remarked. Kobaladze also said that his service was not "working against" the former republics of the USSR but was carefully monitoring the situation there. Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. WHY HAS YELTSIN SUPPORTED LEBED? According to Nezavisimaya gazeta of 30 August, Yeltsin's decision to support Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lebed against the top military command, disavowing its plan to reduce the 14th Army and to ease Lebed out of the military, was made on the advice of security and counterintelligence officials. They reportedly argued that the planned measures would severely damage the president's domestic political standing, that Lebed was in a position to "blackmail" the authorities by threatening to resign, and that the 14th Army might refuse to obey Moscow, choosing to become "autonomous," if Lebed were replaced. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. LIBERALS FOR LEBED. Throughout the affair, Lebed has been supported by liberal Russian media. Nezavisimaya gazeta, for example, in the above-mentioned commentary, expressed regret that Lebed did not command Russia's troops in the Baltic States, for he might have prevented their "shameful withdrawal" (as he resists a Russian pullout of Moldova). It chastised "practically all Russian generals" for meekly allowing "agreements to be prepared for Yeltsin's signature which damage Russia's national security." The generally pro-Yeltsin and proreform Russian TV, which has repeatedly given Lebed the opportunity to challenge his superiors and civilian authority, commented on 30 August that the liberal media have boosted Lebed's image just as the liberal press "made" Kornilov in 1917. "We journalists, just like all citizens, long for a good [military] boot, and Lebed fits the bill perfectly." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. INTELLECTUALS CALL FOR NO DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION TO YELTSIN. On 30 August Izvestiya carried an appeal signed by 13 prominent cultural figures calling on the Russian intelligentsia to unite. The document asserts that Russia has no need of a "democratic opposition" to the current regime and urges all democrats to vote for the same candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections. The thirteen say the appeal is in response to the "not guilty" verdict returned by the Supreme Court's Military Collegium in the trial of General Valentin Varennikov, the only organizer of the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in August 1991 to have faced trial. According to Novaya ezhednevnaya gazeta, democratic politicians rallying in front of the former parliamentary building to mark the third anniversary of the putsch on 20 August called on President Yeltsin to dissolve the Russian Supreme Court. Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. DOCKING FAILURE THREATENS RUSSIAN SPACE PROGRAM. A commentator writing in Izvestiya on 1 September said that a failure on the third attempt to dock the space ferry Progress M-24 with the Mir orbital space station could wipe out the entire program of Russian manned space flights. The Progress vehicle is carrying 659 kilograms of food, water, oxygen supplies, and scientific equipment. A faulty computer is blamed for the failure of the two previous docking attempts. Mir crew commander Aleksandr Malenchenko will make a final attempt at manual docking on 2 September. Should that fail, the Mir crew would have to be returned to earth within a few weeks. Plans for an October visit to the space station by a European Space Agency astronaut would have to be abandoned, and the Russian Space Agency would have to pay what the commentator called ruinous damages for American and Japanese equipment that would be lost should the Progress ferry not be recovered. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. DEFENSE PLANT SENDS WORKERS HOME. The "Yurii Gagarin" aircraft plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur announced that it was sending as many as 70% of its staff on forced vacation for two months beginning 1 September. According to Interfax of 31 August, the enterprise is in dire financial straits because the Defense Ministry has refused to take delivery of half of the aircraft it had ordered. The plant produces the Su-27 fighter. The plant's management hopes to alleviate its money problems by selling combat aircraft abroad. The employees who are kept on will build the prototype of the S-80 multipurpose turboprop transport--a contract which also involves the Defense Ministry. Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIA WANTS IN ON KAZAKHSTAN GAS FIELD. Kazakhstan's Deputy Minister of the Oil and Gas Industry Bulat Elemanov was quoted by Interfax on 30 August as saying that Kazakhstan and Russia intend to set up a working group to draft joint agreements on the development of the Karachaganak gas field in northwestern Kazakhstan. For months Russian officials have been pressuring their Kazakhstani counterparts to allow Russian firms a share in exploiting the field after British Gas and Italy's AGIP won an international competition for the right to develop the gas deposit. Russian participation at Karachaganak was among the issues raised at a recent meeting between Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Sergei Tereshchenko. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. SECOND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE REGISTERED IN TAJIKISTAN. Tajikistan's Central Electoral Commission has registered former Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullozhonov as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, Interfax reported on 31 August. Earlier in the week the commission reported that Abdullozhonov's documentation had been lost. At least one region of Tajikistan, the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, which supports Abdullozhonov, was considering boycotting the election if there was only one candidate. The first candidate, who registered with no difficulty, was the present head of state, Supreme Soviet Chairman Imomali Rakhmonov. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. UZBEKISTAN TO RECEIVE INDIAN TV. India's Ambassador to Uzbekistan, D. Mehta, has presented the Uzbek State TV and Radio Company with technical devices that will permit the reception and rebroadcast of Indian television programs, which will begin imminently, Interfax reported on 31 August. An agreement on the exchange of TV programs between India and Uzbekistan was made during Indian Premier Narasingha Rao's visit to Tashkent in 1993. Presumably for Uzbek viewers Indian TV programs will help fill the gap that will result from the loss of most Russian TV programming because of a dispute over financing between Uzbekistan and the Russian state system. Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE RUSSIAN TROOPS LEAVE ESTONIA, LATVIA. Russian forces left Estonia and Latvia on 31 August, as announced by Russian and other media in advance. Though their departure formally marks the end of Moscow's military presence in the two countries, several thousand Russian military personnel and their families remain there. Before leaving Riga, Commander of Russia's Northwestern Group of Forces Lt. Gen. Fedor Melnichuk told President Guntis Ulmanis that those officers (who, according to Latvian estimates, number at least 1,115) decommissioned in Latvia after Russia took over command of the Soviet military on 28 January 1992, would leave by the end of the year. As for the Russian naval officers formerly stationed in Tallinn who had recently complained of being decommissioned illegally in Estonia, authorities in Moscow said most had homes in Estonia and had been issued Estonian visas, Interfax reported on 31 August. This would seem to suggest they would not be pulled out of Estonia. More than 200 Russian specialists remain to dismantle the atomic reactors at the Paldiski submarine base in Estonia and more than 600 specialists continue to man the radar station in Skrunda, Latvia. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. BALTIC, WESTERN LEADERS WELCOME RUSSIAN TROOP DEPARTURES. In a statement issued on 31 August, US President Bill Clinton said the departure of Russian troops from Germany and the Baltic States brought to an end a chapter in post-World War II history and opened the door to a new era of regional stability and cooperation. Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt sent letters of congratulation to the presidents of Estonia and Latvia. Welcoming the new security situation in the region, Bildt promised increased economic aid to the Baltics. In a joint statement, the presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia said that for the first time since 1940 the three Baltic States were becoming true masters of their own affairs. This, they added, offered the possibility of combining efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and improve the quality of life. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. KRYLOV: RUSSIA HAS WAYS OF INFLUENCING BALTIC STATES. As the Russian troops were leaving Estonia and Latvia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov warned that Russia had "generally accepted political, moral, economic, and other ways" of influencing the Baltic States, if they violated the rights of the Russian community. He told Interfax that Russia would expect assistance from those countries that had insisted on the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltics. Krylov said military steps should be the last resort. At the same time Krylov noted there was no reason at present to assume that agreements on the rights of the Russian community in the Baltics would not be observed. He added that Russia would remain in touch with ethnic Russians, primarily those who kept their Russian citizenship. He said those who accepted local citizenship would pose a greater problem. Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. MEETING OF BALTIC AND NORDIC FOREIGN MINISTERS. On 31 August the foreign ministers of the Baltic States and the Nordic Council (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland) met in the Lithuanian seaside resort of Palanga, BNS reports. They welcomed the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia and Estonia and focused on three main issues: European cooperation and integration, regional security and stability, and cooperation between the Baltic and Nordic countries. The ministers decided to form a joint expert group to examine the possibility of giving Nordic consular assistance to Baltic citizens in countries where there are no Baltic consular representatives. The meeting did not issue the expected joint communique calling for the demilitarization of Kaliningrad, although Swedish Foreign Minister Margaretha af Ugglas said the Russian military concentration there was "an absolute anomaly . . . incongruous with stability." Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. MILOSEVIC SAYS HE MAY AGREE TO MONITORS. On 31 August Reuters and Belgrade dailies reported that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has expressed willingness to have some 400 international monitors along Serbia's border with Bosnia and Herzegovina who would monitor traffic between Serbia and Bosnian Serb-held territory in Bosnia. However, he attached certain conditions: the monitors would have to come from "friendly" states such as Russia and Greece, would not be permitted to wear uniforms, and would have to be chaperoned by rump Yugoslav police officials. Borba noted that Milosevic had also called for "observers" along Croatia's border with Bosnia as a guarantee that arms did not reach Bosnian government forces. Milosevic's willingness to accept the monitors comes in the wake of recent meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who, Reuters reports, is seen by Belgrade as the greatest potential advocate, within the ranks of the "contact group," of Milosevic's reported offer. AFP reported on 31 August that France had tacitly backed Kozyrev's calls for holding a "contact group" meeting to discuss possible responses to Belgrade's blockade of the Bosnian Serbs. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. BOSNIAN SERBS CUT LINKS WITH SERBIA. On 31 August Reuters reported that Bosnian Serbs had severed financial links with rump Yugoslavia in what one Bosnian Serb source described as retaliation for Belgrade's embargo against the Bosnian Serbs. The same unidentified source also told Reuters that "our next move is either to issue new currency or coupons." Bosnian Serbs had adopted the rump Yugoslavia's "super dinar" in January. Meanwhile, the self-styled Bosnian Serb parliament is slated to meet on 1 September in order to rubber-stamp the results of the 27-28 August referendum, which overwhelmingly rejected the international "contact group's" peace plan for Bosnia. It is also expected that the Bosnian Serb parliament will reiterate its somewhat dubious commitment to the peace process. Finally, international media report that sniping incidents and shootings continue in and around Sarajevo. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. MUSLIM WARLORD REJECTS REFUGEE REPATRIATION PLAN. On 31 August Hina reported that deposed Muslim warlord Fikret Abdic had rejected a plan for the return of some 25,000 refugees to Bihac enclave, in northeastern Bosnia. The plan, backed by the US and supported by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, envisages establishing a UN-supported refugee center in Velika Kladusa. Abdic's response came at a meeting arranged by UNPROFOR and attended by head of Croatia's Office for National Security Hrvoje Sarinic, US ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, and UNPROFOR Civil Affairs head Sergio de Mello. Zagreb, for its part, has pressed for the refugees' repatriation. Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. GREECE'S FEARS OVER CRISIS IN RELATIONS WITH ALBANIA. In an interview with Greek Television on 31 August, Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias spoke candidly about the government's deeper fears over the present crisis in relations with Albania. He suggested Turkey might be trying to open "a new front . . . on the Greek-Albanian border." In detailing Athens's concerns, Papoulias noted that Tirana and Ankara had recently developed increasingly close ties and that Turkey, in accordance with a bilateral agreement signed last year, had begun training Albanian police and army staff and had offered to deliver military equipment. Speaking on his return from Cyprus--since 1974 the focal point of Turkish-Greek confrontation--he said Greece believed Ankara was in effect acting behind the scenes to boost its influence both in Albania and elsewhere in the Balkans. In a related development the previous day, Russia's Foreign Ministry deplored the fact that growing Greek-Albanian tensions seemed to contradict the trend of reducing regional tensions. It urged both sides to try and settle bilateral disputes. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA CALLS FOR TEAM SPIRIT. On the 14th anniversary of the 1980 Gdansk agreement that gave rise to the Solidarity movement, President Lech Walesa attended Mass at the Basilica of St. Brygida and laid a wreath at the monument to fallen Gdansk shipyard workers, PAP reported on 31 August. Walesa told Solidarity members that their movement had achieved independence and democratic rule for Poland. He added, however, that democracy did not provide automatic solutions but only the opportunity to make choices. Things were much more complicated than Solidarity had imagined 14 years ago, he said. Walesa stressed that the achievements of the last five years should be measured against the devastation of the previous 50 years. Expressing concern about certain regressive trends since the postcommunist election victory in 1993, Walesa called on all those who hailed from the Solidarity tradition to show "new solidarity." "There are too many fouls on our field," he said, "and not enough team play." Pluralism and differences of opinion were good but did not exclude "the outstretched hand" for which all Poland was waiting, he noted. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. SEJM APPROVES 1993 REPORT. The Sejm voted to approve the government's financial report for 1993 by 278 votes to 23, with 61 abstentions, PAP reported on 31 August. The debate, though lively and critical, was less politically slanted than the previous year's discussion, which had turned into a political condemnation of the ousted government of Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka rather than an evaluation of how the annual budget had been implemented. The deputies were strongly critical of the performance of the Polish National Bank, whose chief executive was appointed by President Lech Walesa. Nonetheless, the vote was 156 in favor of approving the report, with 79 against and 23 abstentions. Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ASKS CZECHS, SLOVAKS FOR APOLOGY. Speaking at a press conference in Prague on 31 August, Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs said the Hungarian people would appreciate it if the two successor states of former Czechoslovakia "asked for forgiveness in connection with injustices against Hungary after World War II," when Hungarians were declared by Czechoslovakia to be "a nation that bears collective guilt for war crimes." Kovacs said "psychological and legal" steps could redress this "injustice." He added that some legal measures had already been taken but that "Hungary is still waiting for an apology." Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. GOOD ECONOMIC NEWS FROM SLOVAKIA. A National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) spokesman said Slovakia's trade surplus with the Czech Republic totaled 208 million ecu at the end of August. Under the Czech-Slovak trade agreement, if one country's trade deficit exceeds 130 million ecu, the debtor country has to pay the amount in excess of that limit in hard currency. Thus, the Czech Republic now owes Slovakia 78 million ecu in hard currency, TASR and CTK reported. On 31 August the NBS released a report on financial developments in the first half of 1994. Total inflation for the first six months was 4.1%, while the bank's foreign-currency reserves (excluding gold) rose $239.7 million to $716.5 million by 30 June. The Slovak Statistical Office reported that GDP increased 4.4%, compared with the first half of 1993, mainly as a result of growth in exports and consumption. As of 30 June, Slovakia's budget deficit was 10.5 billion koruny, mainly because of its large trade deficit with the Czech Republic earlier in the year. Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIA COMPLAINS ABOUT TREATY TALKS WITH HUNGARY. Mircea Geoana, a spokesman for the Romanian Foreign Ministry, told journalists on 31 August that there had been little progress recently in negotiations with Hungary over a bilateral cooperation treaty. Geoana said Hungary had failed to respond to proposals made by Romania in 1993. He expressed hope that the negotiations would be given a boost by the visit of Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu to Budapest starting 5 September. Romania insists that the treaty include a clause on border inviolability, while Hungary wants Romania to commit itself to observing the rights of the Magyar minority in Transylvania and the Banat. Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT ADOPTS ANTI-CRIME PACKAGE. On 30 August the Bulgarian cabinet approved an anti-crime package providing for an additional 5,000 police officers, the setting up of an intergovernmental crime prevention working group, the release of 50 million leva for technical equipment, and an improved retirement scheme for employees of the Interior Ministry, BTA reports. Speaking to journalists after the cabinet meeting, Interior Minister Viktor Mihaylov said "billions of leva" would probably be required to combat crime in Bulgaria but the adopted package was the best the ministry could offer under existing financial constraints. As if to underline the seriousness of the crime issue, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, head of the country's Sports Union and deputy chairman of a civil initiative against crime, was shot to death the same day in a Sofia street. While some regard Tsvetanov's self-defense group Zashtita as complementing the limited resources of the police, others say it is involved in the same kind of racketeering and smuggling activities that it has vowed to oppose. Kjell Engelbrekt, RFE/RL, Inc. REPORTS, DENIALS IN CRIMEA. On 31 August Uniar and Interfax reported that Crimean President Yurii Meshkov was preparing a decree suspending the Crimean parliament and scheduling a referendum on its future for 7 November. These reports were denied by Meshkov's press office, which said there were no plans to issue such a decree. Meshkov and the Crimean parliament recently have been engaged in a power struggle. On 30 August Ukrainian Radio reported that the Presidium of Crimea's parliament had ruled that Meshkov's decrees regarding the security services on the peninsula were unconstitutional and the armed units of the services illegal. The Presidium recommended that the security services no longer be financed and that a decision be made ordering them to vacate their premises. Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINE PREPARING LANGUAGE LAW. According to Ukrainian Radio on 30 August, the proposed law on languages would make Ukrainian the state language, while Russian would be an official language. The proposal also states that any language may be an official language if speakers of it live in Ukraine. Despite the leniency toward the status of other languages, all citizens would be required to learn Ukrainian and government officials would have to demonstrate a good command of Ukrainian. Granting Russian the status of an official language has been viewed negatively by nationalists and even led to a fight in the parliament in July (see RFE/RL Daily Report, 27 July). Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBRIGHT STRESSES US SUPPORT TO MOLDOVA ON RUSSIAN TROOPS. Visiting Chisinau on 31 August, US Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright told President Mircea Snegur and local media the US regarded the withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army from Moldova as "a matter of primary importance." Welcoming the troop withdrawal agreement, recently initialed by Russia and Moldova, as "an important step," Albright said the US and the international community closely followed this issue. She also noted the withdrawal must be orderly and complete. During her forthcoming visit to Moscow, she would stress that the troop withdrawal was important not only for Moldova but also for Russia's peaceful and democratic development. Albright discussed with Snegur steps to be taken in "international organizations that can influence Russia to withdraw the 14th Army." Joining in Snegur's condemnation of "separatism," Albright handed over a message from President Clinton stressing once again support for Moldova's independence, territorial integrity, and democratic development. The US "highly approves" of Moldova's political and economic reforms, she said. Albright's remarks and the official release were reported by ITAR-TASS, Reuters, and an RFE/RL correspondent. Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. DNIESTER RUSSIANS "MORE RUSSIAN THAN THOSE IN RUSSIA." "Dniester republic" leader Igor Smirnov told Russian TV on 30 August that his constituents insisted on maintaining Russia's military presence in that part of Moldova "because we are more Russian than some of those who live in Russia." Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army, told the same TV program that "Dniester" leaders displayed "mendacity and drunkenness" compounded by "criminal behavior." Smirnov, a native of Khabarovsk who came to Moldova only in 1985, and other "Dniester" leaders have claimed to be "more Russian" to Russian media. But in Moldova they insist they are part of the "multinational Dniester people," which "forms the basis of the Dniester republic." Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Penny Morvant and Jan Cleave 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. RFE/RL NEWS BRIEFS, an edited compendium of items first published in the Daily Report, is distributed along with the RFE/RL RESEARCH REPORT, a weekly journal providing topical analyses of political, economic and security developments throughout the Institute's area of interest. Longer analyses are available in a monograph series, RFE/RL STUDIES, and brief analytic summaries appear monthly in the RESEARCH BULLETIN. 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