Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man. - Leon Trotsky
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 183, 26 September 1994

                              RUSSIA

YELTSIN ARRIVES IN NEW YORK FOR UN SESSION, SUMMIT. Russian
President Boris Yeltsin arrived in New York on 25 September to
address the UN General Assembly and meet with US President Bill
Clinton, Western and Russian news agencies reported. On his
arrival in New York, after a weekend of talks in the United
Kingdom with Prime Minister John Major, Yeltsin said that he
expected serious discussions with Clinton, adding that "we will
discuss everything." -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

CONTROVERSY OVER YELTSIN'S SUMMIT DELEGATION. The absence of four
influential members of Yeltsin's staff in the official delegation
accompanying him on his trip has aroused a flood of speculation in
the Russian and foreign media. The four officials have been
involved in shaping Yeltsin's policies: they are the president's
chief spokesman, Vyacheslav Kostikov; his foreign-policy adviser
Dmitrii Ryurikov; his speechwriter Lyudmila Pikhoya; and his aide
Georgii Satarov. In an interview with Interfax on 25 September,
Satarov said that he could not go with Yeltsin because he was too
busy preparing for the forthcoming session of the parliament.
However, this was not the only reason for the failure to include
the four in the delegation, Interfax added. Western agencies cited
"well-informed sources" as claiming that the advisers had been
excluded because of serious political disagreements over Yeltsin's
speech to be delivered to the UN General Assembly on 26 September.
-- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

UNITED DEMOCRATIC CENTER ESTABLISHED. The founding congress of the
United Democratic Center was held in Moscow on 24 and 25
September. According to Russian TV newscasts and ITAR-TASS
reports, it was attended by more than 50 regional delegations
representing 39 proreform parties and movements, among them the
Democratic Party of Russia, Yabloko, the Party of Russian Union
and Concord, and Russia's Democratic Choice. The task of the new
organization, it was said, would be to consolidate the work of all
democratic activists and coordinate their efforts during the
campaign for the 1996 presidential elections. The veteran Russian
liberal Aleksandr Yakovlev, who addressed the opening session as a
guest of honor, was quoted by ITAR-TASS as saying that "the word
'union' must be sacred for democrats." Democrats should remember,
Yakovlev warned, that a conservative opposition could come to
power in Russia by democratic means if its ranks were united and
those of the democrats were not. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

GAIDAR'S PARTY CONDEMNS "AUTHORITARIAN-CRIMINAL REGIME" IN RUSSIAN
FAR EAST. The leadership of Russia's Democratic Choice headed by
the father of market reform, Egor Gaidar, has asked President
Yeltsin to investigate alleged human rights violations and abuse
of office by the governor of Primorsky Krai, Evgenii Nazdratenko.
The party also requested the Supreme Court to stop the regional
gubernatorial elections scheduled for 7 October, as contradicting
all known democratic norms, Russian TV and Interfax reported on 24
and 25 September. Nazdratenko, who had been appointed by Yeltsin a
year ago, has been accused by many of torturing his political
opponents and a local radio journalist; of banning media that
dared to criticize him; and of corruption and financial violations
in the course of privatizing local industries. Russia's Democratic
Choice said that an atmosphere of terror prevailed even among top
officials in the krai's capital, Vladivostok, and it condemned
Nazdratenko's rule as an "authoritarian-criminal regime." -- Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

PUBLIC CHAMBER SUGGESTS CANCELLATION OF ANTICRIME DECREE. The
Public Chamber, which had originally been set up by Yeltsin to
neutralize his political opponents in the Russian parliament, has
voiced its concern over what it termed "the dangerous situation
regarding human rights in Russia." At a session on 24 September
covered by Russian TV and news agencies the participants put
forward a list of detailed recommendations for the president,
among them a proposal that his controversial 14 June decree on
combating crime be annulled. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

REPORTED KREMLIN SUPPORT FOR KHASBULATOV OVER CHECHNYA.
Independent Russian Television (NTV) claimed on 23 September that
Ruslan Khasbulatov, the former chairman of the Russian parliament
and Yeltsin's archenemy--now the leader of the opponents to
Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev--had been promised full support
by the Kremlin. According to NTV and the RIA news agency,
Khasbulatov is expected to leave Moscow for Chechnya in the next
few days. Meanwhile, Interfax reported on 25 September,
representatives of the Moscow Chechen community have set up a
National Salvation Committee in the capital supporting the
policies of Khasbulatov's "peacekeeping group." -- Julia
Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

ANOTHER POWER SHUTOFF. Shipyards in the Arctic port city of
Severodvinsk that build and repair Russian nuclear submarines were
forced to shut down when the local power company cut off their
electricity, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 September. The regional
governor told the agency that the city's defense plants owed the
local electricity company, Arkhenergo, $29 million. The article
added that the plants also owed their workers some $112 million in
back wages. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

FIRST LAUNCH FROM NEW COSMODROME POSSIBLE NEXT YEAR. The Russian
Space Forces could launch a small satellite from a new space
launch site in the Far East as early as 1995, an official told
Interfax on 23 September. This would take place at Svobodny-18, a
former strategic missile base near the Chinese border some 600
kilometers west of Khabarovsk that once housed 60 SS-11 missiles.
All but five of the silos have been destroyed. At least one of
these is to be converted to fire a "Rokot" launch vehicle--a new
design based on the SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missile.
Interfax reported that the old missile command center at
Svobodny-18 had been refitted to launch the "Rokot" and all that
remained was for an order to be given to transfer the SS-19 launch
equipment to the new site. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

GERMAN OFFICIAL: RUSSIAN ARMS WENT TO SERBIA. The German weekly
Bild am Sonntag cited a senior German intelligence official as
saying that Russian arms withdrawn from Eastern Europe had gone to
Serbia instead of back to Russia. Bernd Schmidbauer, Chancellor
Helmut Kohl's intelligence coordinator, was reported as saying
that Russian weapons might have been diverted to Syria as well.
Reuters reported on 24 September that the German weekly claimed to
have information that former Soviet arms such as 100-mm antitank
guns and 120-mm mortars had been transferred to Serbia from East
Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic since 1991. The UN
Security Council embargoed arms shipments to the former Yugoslavia
on 25 September that year. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

SIBERIAN FACTORY TO SELL GUNSHIPS TO ALGERIA. Interfax reported on
24 September that the aircraft plant in Ulan-Ude, capital of the
Buryat Republic, had begun to fill "an urgent order" from Algeria
for 47 Mi-8 helicopter gunships. The report indicated that they
had been built as transport helicopters but the company's
traditional Russian buyers had not been able to pay for them. They
would be equipped for combat operations for Algeria and delivered
over the next nine months. Interfax said that Algeria was the
second-largest buyer of helicopters from Buryatia after China. --
Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc.

YELTSIN MUSEUM TO OPEN IN HIS BIRTHPLACE. The inhabitants of the
village of Butka in Sverdlovsk Oblast have decided to open a
museum in honor of Yeltsin, ITAR-TASS and Russian TV reported on
24 September. He was born in that village on 1 February 1931. --
Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL Inc.

                  TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KARIMOV WANTS "MULTIPARTY" ELECTIONS. Uzbekistan's Supreme Soviet
ended its final session on 23 September and set 25 December as the
date for elections to the country's new postindependence
parliament, the Olii Majlis, Western and Russian agencies
reported. The previous day President Islam Karimov told the
deputies that the country's main achievements in three years of
independence had been stability and progress toward a market
economy and toward a sense of nationhood after 100 years of
colonialism, and he called for economic self-sufficiency,
especially in the energy sector. Karimov asserted in his speech
that he wanted the parliamentary election in December to be "free
and democratic" and multiparty. A Foreign Ministry spokesman later
enlarged on Karimov's statement, saying that Karimov's own Popular
Democrats, the successor to Uzbekistan's Communist Party, and the
Homeland Progress Party would be able to nominate candidates. The
latter party was set up at Karimov's instigation in 1992 to give
an appearance of a loyal opposition; apparently genuine opposition
groups, such as the banned Uzbek nationalist Birlik Movement and
the Erk Democratic Party, will not be allowed to participate. --
Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

ALIEV DEFENDS OIL DEAL. Before setting off for New York to attend
the UN General Assembly session and meet with Bill Clinton,
Azerbaijani President Geidar Aliev defended his country's signing
of an agreement with an international consortium to exploit oil
reserves on the Caspian Sea shelf off Azerbaijan, Western agencies
reported on 25 September. Russian officials have objected to the
deal, ostensibly on ecological grounds. Aliev made his remarks at
a stopover in Istanbul; a Turkish firm is one of the members of
the consortium that will develop the oil field. Azerbaijan's
opposition also supports the oil deal, saying that it will
strengthen the country's ties with the West. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL
Inc.

TURKMEN GAS SHUT OFF AGAIN. Gas supplies from Turkmenistan to
Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan were shut off again on
23 September, Russian sources reported, but this time the reason
was technical--the breakdown of a compressor plant--rather than
nonpayment of bills. Earlier in the year Turkmen authorities had
turned off gas supplies--on which the four countries are
dependent--to Ukraine and the three Caucasian states in
retaliation for those countries' failure to pay their gas bills
from 1993 and 1994. The four came to various arrangements with
Turkmenistan for meeting their arrears, but Turkmen officials are
reported to have complained that Ukraine has not been meeting its
obligations. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

GEORGIAN REFUGEES PROTEST ABKHAZ PLANS. Georgian refugees from
Abkhazia staged a massive rally in Zugdidi on 23 September,
Interfax reported; they were protesting Abkhaz leader Vladislav
Ardzinba's recent statement that refugees would not be allowed to
return to the Gali region on 1 October and that only 200-300
Georgian refugees would be allowed to go back to their homes in
Abkhazia throughout October. Interfax also reported having learned
that Abkhaz forces were laying mines on the Inguri River bordering
Georgia and that several Georgians had already been injured or
killed by these devices. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UN PASSES RESOLUTIONS ON SANCTIONS . . . International media
reported on 24 September that the UN Security Council voted the
previous day to approve Resolution 943, thereby easing sanctions
against Serbia-Montenegro. The resolution provides for a100-day
suspension of sanctions on sporting and cultural ties, the
Belgrade airport, and the Bari-Bar ferry link, conditional on the
Serbs' keeping the border with the Bosnian Serbs closed. The
Security Council also passed Resolution 942, which is aimed at the
Bosnian Serbs. The document virtually bans their leaders' trips
abroad, closes river traffic, imposes economic sanctions, and
calls for the Bosnian Serbs' political isolation. US Ambassador to
the UN Madeleine Albright warned, however, that her government
"continues to believe that Belgrade authorities bear primary
responsibility for what has happened in the former Yugoslavia
during the past three years. Belgrade's long-term intentions are
not yet clear. That is why we will insist that it strictly comply
with its commitment to keep the border closed. And that is why we
are not basing this decision on trust." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL
Inc.

. . . WHILE GENERAL MLADIC THREATENS REPRISALS AGAINST UNPROFOR.
Serbian officials and media on 24 September generally welcomed the
easing of sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, but Bosnian Serb
officials had tough words about Resolution 942. Their
parliamentary speaker, Momcilo Krajisnik, called Serbia's efforts
to have sanctions against itself lifted a "cheap betrayal" of the
Serbian cause. The Bosnian Serb commander, General Ratko Mladic,
broke the silence he has largely kept since the Belgrade-Pale feud
came out in the open. Austrian Television showed footage of him
calling UNPROFOR "arrogant" and an "occupying force." He also
threatened reprisals for the UN-ordered NATO air strikes on a
Serbian T-55 tank on 22 September. The BBC on 24 September said UN
officials were taking Mladic's threats seriously and putting their
forces on special alert, while Bosnian Serb forces continued to
harass peace-keepers. Borba and Serbian Television also ran an
interview with Mladic, who apparently addressed the media to
counter Croatian press reports that he was wounded in recent
action against Muslim forces. Other Bosnian Serb leaders have also
been active: Krajisnik gave a lengthy interview to the Belgrade
weekly NIN, while Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic met his
ally from Krajina, Milan Martic, in Bijeljina, the scene of
recent, extensive "ethnic cleansing," Borba reports. -- Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

SARAJEVO UPDATE. International media reported on 26 September that
Bosnian Serb forces began the previous day to allow supplies of
natural gas to flow to Sarajevo, after a more than 10-day
blockade. Water and electricity still remain cut off, and Bosnian
Serb military authorities have threatened that "any UN plane
[flying into the city] would be shot." A UN spokesman said
Sarajevo would run out of food in two weeks. -- Patrick Moore,
RFE/RL Inc.

CROATIA PUTS CONDITIONS ON EXTENDING UNPROFOR MANDATE. A familiar
drama is again playing itself out in Croatia: for weeks the media
thunder at UNPROFOR's failure to allow refugees to return to their
homes in Serb-held territory or to dislodge the Serbs from their
holdings; Croatia's legislature passes a tough resolution
attaching conditions to the upcoming renewal of UNPROFOR's
mandate; Croatia's leaders assure their people that the renewal
granted under Western pressure marks a victory for their side; and
UNPROFOR continues to act as a buffer between Serbian and Croatian
forces, effectively safeguarding Serbian conquests. In the latest
installment of the drama, parliament has demanded that UNPROFOR
return the Serb-held areas generally if inaccurately known as
Krajina by 10 January or leave. Croatian Radio on 23 September
quoted Foreign Minister Mate Granic as saying the deadline gave
the international community sufficient time to act. -- Patrick
Moore, RFE/RL Inc.

WILL THE LIFTING OF SANCTIONS DEPEND ON KOSOVO? Ibrahim Rugova,
president of the Kosovar "shadow state," has said that "if
confederal relations between the Bosnian Serbs and Serbia are
legalized, we will establish confederal relations with Albania,
too," Borba reports on 24-25 September. He was referring to the
Bosnian Serbs' plans to establish a confederation with Serbia as
their answer to the Croat-Muslim confederation. Borba also quoted
Rugova as saying that "Kosovo is already included in the package
[plan] of the international community" and that a solution to the
Kosovo crisis will be a precondition for lifting the sanctions
against rump Yugoslavia. Rugova, however, did not specify what he
meant by that. Meanwhile, Shkelzen Maliqi, the influential former
leader of the Kosovar Social Democrats, called for a solution
whereby an international governor would administer Kosovo but the
rump Yugoslav army would remain in the province. This contradicts
Rugova's plan, which foresees a demilitarized Kosovo as a UN
protectorate. -- Fabian Schmidt, RFE/RL Inc.

WALESA DISMISSES BROADCASTING COUNCIL MEMBERS. President Lech
Walesa has dismissed Marek Markiewicz and Maciej Ilowiecki, whom
he appointed to the nine-man National Broadcasting Council in
April 1993, for "flagrant violation" of the broadcasting law, PAP
reported on 23 September. Walesa suggested to Sejm Speaker Jozef
Oleksy that the Sejm and Senate also dismiss their appointees,
because "new times required new people." Walesa's conflict with
the NBC over the latter's insistence on its independence turned
into all-out war after the council granted the sole national
commercial television license to PolSat against the president's
wishes. The latest decision follows the Supreme Administrative
Court's ruling upholding the validity of PolSat's license but
questioning the additional frequencies subsequently granted to
PolSat to make up for the lack of the full national coverage that
had originally been promised. Most Polish politicians deplored
Walesa's move and cast doubt on its legality, but analysts have
pointed out that Polish law is unclear in this respect. -- Anna
Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc.

REACTIONS TO REJECTION OF BROWN AMENDMENT. Polish domestic media
on 26 September reported disappointment over the US Congress
decision to reject an amendment introduced by Senator Hank Brown
that would have enabled Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary to
receive excess US arms supplies on preferential terms. Gazeta
Wyborcza said the decision meant the closure of the "fast track to
NATO" for which the three countries had hoped. Prime Minister
Waldemar Pawlak said, however, that the US decision was dictated
by "very practical considerations" and did not suggest lack of
confidence in Poland. -- Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka, RFE/RL Inc.

CZECHS URGED TO ALTER CITIZENSHIP LAW. The European Union has
joined the United States in urging the Czech Republic to amend its
citizenship law to avoid discriminating against Gypsies,
international media reported on 23 September. The US and EU
expressed their concern at an international seminar in Warsaw on
the situation of the Roma. The law, which went into effect at the
beginning of 1993, imposed conditions for citizenship that many
Gypsies are unable to meet. Most important, applicants are
required to prove that they had no criminal record in the five
years prior to applying for Czech citizenship and that they lived
on Czech territory for the past two years. The Czech
Constitutional Court upheld the law on 13 September, rejecting a
suit by 46 deputies demanding that the court revoke what they saw
as discriminatory clauses. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

EDITOR OF CZECH ANTI-SEMITIC JOURNAL SENTENCED. Josef Tomas, the
editor of Politika, an anti-Semitic journal closed down by the
authorities in 1992, was given a seven-month suspended jail
sentence on 22 September for disseminating racial hatred and
defaming the Czech nation. A Prague court sentenced Tomas for
publishing a list of what was called "Jews and half-breeds" in
December 1992. The newspaper also called for a campaign to
designate the Talmud, the basic code of Jewish religious and civil
law, a racist document. An editorial in Politika commented that
the "stupid Czech nation is merely sitting back and watching this
Jewish looting continue." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

MEETING OF HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY PRESIDIUM. The Presidium of
the ruling Hungarian Socialist Party met behind closed doors on 24
September to prepare for the party's congress on 7-9 October, MTI
reports. Presidium leader Ivan Vitanyi said after the meeting that
the HSP's position radically changed when it became the ruling
party, causing problems for both the HSP leadership and its
members. Referring to obvious differences among the government
coalition partners, Vitanyi said "Hungary does not have a social
liberal government but a social and liberal cabinet." He also
noted that there were differences of opinion within the HSP over
the party's economic program, drawn up by Finance Minister Laszlo
Bekesi. Vitanyi said the party had accepted the draft of the
program, but it still needed to be worked on. -- Judith Pataki,
RFE/RL Inc.

UPROAR IN ROMANIA OVER JEWISH US ENVOY TO BUCHAREST. Seven
Romanian parliamentarians have sent a note to US Senator Jesse
Helms protesting the appointment of Jewish leader Alfred Moses as
US ambassador to Romania, Radio Bucharest announced on 22
September. The note was endorsed the same day by the extreme
nationalist Party of Romanian National Unity, a member of the
ruling coalition. The Romanian government denounced the move,
saying, among other things, that it would undermine President Ion
Iliescu's unofficial visit to the US beginning on 26 September. A
24 September meeting between the Party of Social Democracy in
Romania and the PRNU was canceled when the PRNU representatives
failed to show up. The PSDR leadership said Senator Simeon Tatu, a
nationalist priest representing the party in parliament, had
decided to withdraw his signature from the protest note because
"the national interest must prevail over personal sentiments." The
Liberal Party '93 expelled Senators Alexandru Popovici and Dumitru
Caluianu for endorsing the letter. Both men said their signatures
had been fraudulently obtained but they accepted responsibility.
The National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic also denounced the
move but took no measures against an NPP-CD representative who had
endorsed it. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL Inc.

BULGARIAN INTERIOR MINISTER ON FIGHT AGAINST CRIME. At a press
conference in Sofia on 23 September, Viktor Mihailov said all
Bulgarians have the right to carry firearms and defend themselves
against criminals. He noted that Bulgarian citizens must be
allowed to protect themselves against criminals since the state is
unable to do so. Mihailov argued that insufficient police powers
and lax prosecution are mainly responsible for the current crime
wave in Bulgaria. He added that he admired those who have formed
citizen defense organizations, since the judicial system refuses
to dispense justice. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc.

IMF LOAN TO UKRAINE. Ukraine has reached a preliminary agreement
with the IMF that will pave the way for the first IMF loan to
Ukraine, various agencies reported on 24 September. The agreement
must still be approved by Ukraine's cabinet and the IMF board. The
exact details of the accord are not yet known, but Ukraine will
reportedly have to tighten fiscal and credit policy, balance its
budget, liberalize prices and exchange rates, and ease trade
restrictions. Should the agreement be approved, an IMF credit
worth $350 million could be released to Ukraine by the end of
October. The release of the second installment--also worth $350
million--will depend on the progress of economic reform. -- Ustina
Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

UPDATE ON UKRAINIAN CHOLERA OUTBREAK. The number of cholera cases
in Ukraine is rising sharply. Interfax reported on 25 September
that 336 people--most of whom are homeless--are now suffering from
the disease. It is believed that cholera was carried to Ukraine by
onion pickers from Daghestan in Russia. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL
Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT'S LATEST DECREE. Alyaksandr Lukashenka has
signed a decree on measures to ensure adequate supplies of goods
and prevent price hikes, Belarusian Television reported on 22
September. While full details of the decree have still to be
published, local councils have reportedly been called upon to
implement measures that would increase the amount of consumer
goods being manufactured in their districts and ensure that these
go on sale locally. The decree gives the Ministry of Trade the
right to annul any decisions by local trade organizations that
contradict Belarusian laws or are detrimental to the current
supply situation. Serious violations of the law carry the penalty
of dispossession of all special privileges and licenses for trade.
-- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL Inc.

BELARUSIAN POLITICIANS APPLY FOR RUSSIAN CITIZENSHIP. Four
prominent Belarusian politicians--including former Deputy
Secretary for CIS Affairs Henadz Kazlau--have applied for Russian
citizenship at the Russian embassy in Minsk, Interfax reports on
25 September. All were reportedly pro-Russian supporters of former
Prime Minister Vyachelsau Kebich. A Russian diplomat in Minsk said
the embassy receives such applications regularly. Belarus's law on
citizenship does not allow for dual citizenship. -- Ustina Markus,
RFE/RL Inc.

UPDATE ON BALTIC PEACEKEEPING BATTALION. The Latvian National
Security Council approved on 23 September the establishment of the
Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion's (BALTPAT) training base at
Latvia's Adazi training center. It also supported the allocation
of additional financial resources for this purpose so that Latvia
meets its obligations in the joint endeavor. The same day BNS
reported that the Latvian defense forces lack funds to revamp the
training center at Adazi, which used to be a Soviet military base
and is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of December. If
the Latvian government does not find a solution soon, Lithuania
will put in a bid to have BALTPAT train there. The joint Estonian,
Latvian, and Lithuanian force, which is planned to be operational
by November 1995, will act under the auspices of the UN, the CSCE,
NATO, and the Western European Union. It will also comply with
internationally recognized military and peacekeeping principles
and join peacekeeping missions in trouble spots around the world.
-- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

RUSSIAN MILITARY AND THE BALTICS. In response to Lithuanian
objections, Russia's Baltic Sea Fleet canceled the weapons firing
exercises scheduled for 26-29 September off the coast of Lithuania
within that country's economic zone. The scheduled exercises had
provoked sharp protests among Lithuanians, BNS reported on 23
September. The previous day the Latvian-Russian committee dealing
with differences over the troop pullout convened in Riga to
discuss the withdrawal of the remaining Russian troops in Latvia,
the military's electricity and heating debt, and other issues. The
Russian representatives promised to make proposals for resolving
the issue of the 1,115-2,060 servicemen who were supposed to have
left Latvia by 31 August but have not yet done so. -- Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

LITHUANIA TO PROSECUTE NAZI WAR CRIMINALS. In a television address
on 22 September, Lithuanian Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius
said the government will assume responsibility for prosecuting
people who took part in the mass killings of Jews in Lithuania
during World War II, BNS reported on 23 September. He added that
although the government's efforts to carry out this task
consistently, honestly, and openly will not make up for the wrongs
committed against the Jews, it will be a major step toward the
administration of justice. Slezevicius made the statement on the
eve of the day commemorating Jewish victims, which is observed in
Lithuania on 23 September. He said that "although the killings
were a realization of the Nazi policy to pit nations against one
another, the fact that more than 100 Lithuanians directly
participated in the genocide against Jews requires us to utter
words of repentance, to apologize to the Jewish nation for the
sufferings of our innocent countrymen, for deportations to
concentration camps and killings." Welcoming the prime minister's
statement, Simon Alperovich, chairman of the Jewish Community in
Lithuania, said it was significant in light of Slezevicius'
scheduled visit to Israel in early October. An estimated 240,000
Jews lived in Lithuania before World War II, of whom 93% perished
in the Nazi Holocaust. Alperovich said the majority of the 6,000
Jews currently living in Lithuania came from Russia. -- Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL Inc.

[As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Eileen Downing and Jan Cleave)
The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, produced by the RFE/RL Research
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