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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. 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