|The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. - Plutarch|
No. 206, 28 October 1994
RUSSIA GOVERNMENT SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. Viktor Chernomyrdin's government survived a vote of no confidence in the State Duma initiated by the Communists and their allies, agencies reported on 27 October. Of the 450 deputies in the lower house, 194 voted against the government, 54 voted for it, 55 abstained, and 147 were absent. The opposition was thus 32 votes short of the majority required. The result has been viewed as a personal victory for President Boris Yeltsin, who managed to split the opposition by appointing Aleksandr Nazarchuk, a member of the Agrarian Party, as the new minister of agriculture before the vote was taken. As a result, the Agrarians, who generally work with the Communists, vowed not to vote against the government. The significance of the no-confidence vote is marginal, as the Duma has no power to force the government to resign but it can make substantial amendments to the austere budget submitted by Chernomyrdin earlier in the session. Announcing his proposals, the prime minister said the time for moderate economic reforms was over and stressed the importance of the fight against inflation. He added that only strict financial discipline would lead to economic stabilization and enable Russia to obtain the loans it has requested from the International Monetary Fund. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. YAVLINSKY: "YELTSIN'S REFORM POTENTIAL EXHAUSTED." The liberal Yabloko faction abstained from the vote of no confidence in the Chernomyrdin government. In a statement read by the faction's leader, the economist Grigorii Yavlinsky, Yabloko stressed the need to amend the constitution to ensure that society had more control over the authorities and to allow presidential elections to be held in 1995. Yabloko, Yavlinsky said, believed that it was "senseless to discuss the question of the government separately from the issue of the president." The faction noted Yeltsin's contribution to the dismantling of the totalitarian system in Russia, but added "we, the democratic opposition, regard his mission as complete and his reform potential as exhausted," Interfax reported. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. OVER 5 MILLION SAID TO HAVE TAKEN PART IN UNION RALLIES. Union officials estimate that more than 5 million people took part in rallies on the trade unions' "Day of Action" on 27 October, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Participants were demanding payment of back wages, in some cases owed since July, and protesting against the closure of many Russian industrial enterprises and growing unemployment. According to Russian TV news, 50,000 attended rallies in St. Petersburg and 300,000 in Primorsky Krai; in general, turnout was said to be unprecedentedly high. The demonstration in Moscow, intended by its organizers to focus purely on economic grievances, was disrupted by militant Communists belonging to Viktor Anpilov's Workers' Russia movement. In other places, however, the event could hardly be termed "nonpolitical," as protesters called for the immediate resignation of the president and the government. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. GORBACHEV CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE PARLIAMENTARY AND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev has joined the campaign for immediate elections to the Presidency and the parliament. In a statement reported by ITAR-TASS and Interfax on 26 October, Gorbachev said that under Yeltsin, "the country is being pushed into an abyss of military coups and a protracted period of social misery and decay." According to Gorbachev, the only way to save Russia is to call "free democratic elections" to all branches of the government. "Only democracy," he said, "can strengthen Russia's young statehood." Similarly, in a speech to the Moscow Institute of Youth, Gorbachev compared the Russian government to a "fire brigade." They merely put out fires, Gorbachev said, while Russia needs people capable of preventing them from flaring up, RFE/RL's Russian service reported on 27 October. Gorbachev said that he did not intend to run for the Presidency in the next elections but refused to name the candidate he supports "until the election campaign is announced officially." -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. CHERNOMYRDIN VOWS RUSSIA WILL KEEP KURILS. The prime minister told the State Duma on 27 October that the four islands in the southern Kuril chain claimed by Japan "were, are, and will remain Russian." According to Interfax, he said that the return of the islands to Japan could not even be discussed hypothetically. The USSR seized the islands in the last weeks of World War II. Yeltsin has indicated that he would honor a 1956 Soviet/Japanese agreement whereby two of the islands would be returned to Japan in exchange for a peace treaty. Chernomyrdin, on the other hand, has always followed a harder line on the disputed islands, and his position has been echoed in the military and the State Duma. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. LEBED DETERS BURLAKOV. Russia's Defense Ministry told ITAR-TASS on 27 October that Deputy Minister of Defense Colonel General Matvei Burlakov did not plan to inspect the 14th Army in Moldova. The demurral on Burlakov's behalf follows statements by the 14th Army's commander, Lieutenant General Aleksandr Lebed, reported by Novosti TV, Basapress, and ITAR-TASS on 25, 26, and 27 October, respectively, terming Burlakov "a common swindler"; vowing to prevent him inspecting the 14th Army; and threatening to confront him at Tiraspol airport, "arrange a scandal, and send him back to Moscow on the same plane." Lebed's statements also implicitly challenge Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, who recently picked Burlakov as deputy defense minister despite Burlakov's alleged involvement in illegal business activities while serving as the last commander of Russian forces in Germany. Obliquely also challenging Yeltsin, Lebed opined that Grachev should have been dismissed following the recent assassination of the Moskovsky komsomolets reporter Dmitrii Kholodov, who was investigating corruption in the military. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. LEGISLATORS AGAINST NEW COSMODROME. On 24 October the Russian parliament's defense committee rejected a request from the military Space Forces that a new space launching complex be built in the Far East, according to a 26 October Interfax report. The Space Forces want to build two new launch sites for the Angara rocket, Russia's next generation heavy-lift booster. The committee reportedly argued that Russia and Kazakhstan had just agreed that the Space Forces could use the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan--which has pads for the Proton heavy-lift booster--for the next 20 years, and that there was already a program for building Angara launch pads at the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia. The Space Forces will still be able to go ahead with their plans to launch Rokot light-lift boosters from the former Far East missile base Svobodny-18, since little new infrastructure is required. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. MONEY WOES DELAY SATELLITE LAUNCH. The military Space Forces had to postpone the launch of a weather satellite from the Baikonur cosmodrome because the factory supplying the special fuel refused to ship it before receiving payment. Interfax said on 27 October that the problem had been resolved and the fuel was now on its way but the launch--originally scheduled for 26 October--would be delayed by at least a week. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. FSK OFFICER KILLED BY EXPLOSIVE DEVICE. Lieutenant Colonel of the Federal Counterintelligence Service Mikhail Chekanov was killed when he tried to defuse an explosive device discovered in the office of a company in Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 October. Another FSK officer was badly wounded. FSK spokesman Aleksandr Mikhailov did not say who planted the bomb but said that the number of such explosions had sharply increased this year. He also noted that criminals were using both homemade and state-produced devices. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TAJIK PEACE TALKS DEADLOCKED. The third round of UN-sponsored peace talks in Islamabad between Tajik government and opposition representatives appeared deadlocked on 27 October after the government rejected the opposition's conditions for extending the current cease-fire, Reuters and Interfax reported. The opposition is demanding the release of all political prisoners, unhampered deliveries of food and medical supplies to opposition groups in Gorno-Badakhshan, and the creation of security zones monitored by CIS troops. On 27 October Tajikistan's permanent representative to the UN, Lakim Kayumov, again requested that the UN Security Council bestow on the CIS peacekeeping contingent in Tajikistan the status of a peacekeeping operation under the aegis of the UN, ITAR-TASS reported. Also on 27 October, the chairman of the Tajik parliamentary commission for legislation, public order, and human rights, Safarali Radzhabov, told Interfax that the imposition of a state of emergency and curfew in Gorno-Badakhshan violated the Tajik Constitution and therefore lacked legal force; he further said that there were no objective reasons for imposing a state of emergency in the region. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. GEORGIAN JOURNALIST MURDERED. Zurab Grdzelishvili, a special correspondent for the Georgian Information Agency who reportedly also owned a currency exchange office, was found shot dead in Tbilisi late on 26 October, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 October. Georgian police are investigating the murder. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RUSSIA NOT CLOSE, OTHERS NEARER TO COUNCIL OF EUROPE MEMBERSHIP. The secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Daniel Tarschys, told journalists in Bern, Switzerland on 27 October that Russia should not count on easy or speedy admission to the CE next year, ITAR-TASS reported on 27 October. He cited the underdeveloped state of legal institutions, inadequate protection of human rights, and the need for further development of democratic processes in Russia. Tarschys, who recently visited Russia, also based his conclusions on the findings of a team of four legal experts of the CE, who assessed legal and democratic development in Russia as "insufficient." The candidacies of Belarus, Latvia, Moldova, and Ukraine for full membership next year are, however, being viewed "positively" at the CE, the agency quoted Tarschys as saying. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. PRESIDENTS ATTEND TURKMEN PIPELINE CEREMONY. On 27 October Saparmurad Niyazov, Heidar Aliev, Suleyman Demirel, and Hashemi Rafsanjani, presidents of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Iran, respectively, attended the ceremonial welding in Turkmenistan of two segments of a projected pipeline that will carry Turkmen natural gas via Iran and Turkey to Europe. On the preceding day in Ashgabat, an interstate agreement had been signed on future deliveries of Turkmen gas via the pipeline to Turkey, in amounts due to rise from 2 billion cubic meters in 1998 to 15 billion by 2010. The projected pipeline is meant to provide an alternative export outlet that is not controlled by Russia and bypasses its territory. The signing ceremony, reported by ITAR-TASS on 27 October, was held on the third anniversary of Turkmenistan's referendum on state independence. The independence anniversary celebrations were also attended by Pakistan's Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who signed a number of bilateral economic agreements including one extending $10 million credit to Turkmenistan, ITAR-TASS reported on 26 October. -- Vladimir Socor and Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBRIGHT ON RUSSIAN POLICIES TOWARD NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES. In an address to the Polish-American Congress in New York, reported by ITAR-TASS on 25 October, the US Representative to the UN, Madeleine Albright, said that "Russia has a right like any other nation to look after its interests," "but that right cannot be exercised in violation of the sovereignty and independence of other states . . . Russia's policies and actions must reflect the fact that it is no longer surrounded by vassals, but by independent sovereign states." Citing Lebed's recent condemnation of her for having urged the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova, Albright said that "for me, that condemnation is a badge of honor." She noted the signing of the Russian-Moldovan troop withdrawal agreement and pledged that "the US will help to see that the agreement is carried out." -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE BOSNIAN ARMY ROUTS SERBS. International media continued to report on 27 and 28 October on the offensive by the Bosnian government's Fifth Corps in the Bihac area. The advance involved a two-pronged offensive, with one column moving east out of Bihac to secure the Grabez plateau and move on to Bosanska Krupa and the other pressing south toward Bosanski Petrovac to end the isolation of the "Bihac pocket." UN spokesmen said the Serbs were caught off guard, that "their command and control system is gone," and that their forces "crumbled," sending 7,000 civilians and soldiers fleeing. They also left two tanks and other equipment behind, which is not characteristic for retreating Serb forces and underscores just how much of a surprise the offensive was. The Serbs acknowledged "immense material damage and losses" but did not indicate whether a counteroffensive is in the offing. The Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje said "a huge turnabout seems to be taking place," although other observers were more cautious. Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic nonetheless said his forces could have done even better with more weapons: "Had we had arms before, there would have been peace a long time ago," he commented. Finally, other fighting was reported near Bugojno, Kupres, Doboj, and in the Posavina area. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. OTHER NEWS FROM FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. AFP on 27 October quoted UN spokesman Thant Myint-U as calling Serb behavior "deliberate, hostile, and provocative" in continuing to block fuel convoys headed for Sarajevo and the eastern Bosnian enclaves. Reuters reported that the first publicly acknowledged talks in seven months between Croatia and its Serb rebels took place in Zagreb, with the next round slated for 3 November in Serb-held Topusko. Mediators called the talks "constructive," but Serb spokesmen avoided talking to journalists. Croatian negotiator Hrvoje Sarinic said specific infrastructure issues had been discussed, but he insisted that Serb strongman Milan Babic must end his boycott and attend the next round for the talks to be serious. He also said Croatia would never consent to a Serb "state within a state." Meanwhile, Hina reported that the number of foreign tourists visiting Croatia in 1994 was up 55% over the previous year. Tourism has long been a major source of hard-currency income but suffered badly as a result of the 1991 war. Finally, Reuters reported from Rome that Italian and Slovenian foreign ministers met but were unable to resolve their dispute over property claims filed by Italians who fled what became Slovenia at the end of World War II. The ministers had wanted to reach an agreement before 31 October, when the EU is to discuss Slovenia's application for associate membership. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBIA'S NEW DEMOCRACY WILL CONTINUE BACKING SOCIALISTS. Borba on 28 October reports that New Democracy, at a party executive meeting the previous day, reaffirmed its de facto alliance with Serbia's ruling Socialist Party of Serbia. The 123 SPS deputies in the republic's 250-seat legislature have the backing of New Democracy's six parliamentary deputies, giving them a stable majority. Borba says that New Democracy, impressed by the SPS's apparent commitment to such goals as reforming the economy and combating crime, continues to "extend its full support to the government of Mirko Marjanovic." -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER RESIGNS. Andrzej Olechowski on 27 October resigned over charges that he had broken the law banning government officials from receiving subsidiary incomes by sitting on the boards of companies in which the state has a stake. Gazeta Wyborcza on 28 October quotes Olechowski as saying that "board membership is not a public function" and that a court should decide what is legal or not. He said he "had a clear conscience" and would take the case to court. To take effect, his resignation has to be approved by Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak. There has been no reaction yet from the Prime Minister's Office, while numerous politicians of various stripes are reported to have urged Pawlak to reject Olechowski's resignation. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA ASKS FOR STRONG EXECUTIVE POWERS. President Lech Walesa on 27 October told a nationwide television audience that Poland "needs order and strong government." He added that "a popularly elected president will . . . govern responsibly and will forcefully introduce order in the country. He will [be responsible] only to God and the constitution." Walesa also accused the current government and parliament of being responsible for economic disarray, the decline of educational and social services, the increase in crime, and widespread corruption. Walesa said he would run for reelection in 1995, provided that "there is a possibility of serving the country effectively." Polish media reported that the president's speech was generally seen as part of his unfolding election campaign. It is unlikely that it will sway parliamentarians working on the draft constitution. Rzeczpospolita on 28 October reports that in a recent nationwide opinion poll, 31% of the respondents expressed confidence in Walesa's leadership, while 48% had no trust in him. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. CHANGES IN CZECH CITIZENSHIP LAW URGED. CTK on 27 October reported that the US Congress's Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe has sent a letter to Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus asking him to push for changes in the Czech Republic's citizenship law. The letter says the law discriminates against the Czech Republic's Gypsies--the largest ethnic minority in the country--depriving them of citizenship on a scale unprecedented since World War II. Specifically, it notes that people are deprived of citizenship on the basis of crimes committed before the law took effect. The Czech Constitutional Court rejected this summer an appeal by 46 deputies to amend the law and claimed it was not discriminatory. The law was severely criticized in September by representatives of the Council of Europe and the CSCE at a meeting held in Warsaw to discuss issues concerning Gypsies. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DISMISSES CASES. The Constitutional Court on 27 October dismissed a complaint filed by the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and Slovak National Party about the Democratic Union's eligibility to participate in elections. It also rejected the union's complaint about MDS Chairman Vladimir Meciar's appearance on Slovak Television during the elections, TASR reports. Before the decision was announced, Meciar said that if the court failed to rule against the Democratic Union, the matter would "have to come under parliamentary control." Prime Minister Jozef Moravcik responded by saying such a view constitutes "a real threat" since Meciar is trying to "cast doubt on every state institution" in order to realize his "vision of a political arrangement based on a strong personality." -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. MECIAR ASKS KOVAC FOR MORE TIME TO FORM CABINET. Slovak President Michal Kovac on 27 October met separately with officials from each party with parliamentary representation, TASR reports. Most agreed that Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar should be given the chance to set up a government. Meeting with Kovac for the first time since the elections, Meciar told the president he will report to him again on 31 October, after the MDS Republican Council has met to make a decision on the party's next steps. Meciar rejected the possibility of new elections, saying the MDS needs to find partners to form a stable cabinet. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT COMPLETES 1995 BUDGET DRAFT. MTI on 27 October reported that the Hungarian government has finished drafting the 1995 budget and will submit it to the parliament and various interest groups next week. The draft provides for a deficit of 282.7 billion forint ($2.8 billion) or 5.5 percent of estimated GDP, excluding interest payments on the accumulated debt. Taxes on reinvested profits will be lowered, donations to various foundations will be tax-free, and company cars used privately will be taxed. Government housing assistance will be increased significantly: in particular, families with three children who are buying accommodation will be given government aid to the tune of 2.2 million forint ($22,000). The government also decided to forgive a 70 billion forint ($700 million) debt accumulated by the State Railroads and suggested closing some 900 kilometers of track. -- Karoly Okolicsanyi, RFE/RL, Inc. UN SECRETARY-GENERAL IN ROMANIA. Boutros Boutros Ghali on 27 October began a three-day visit to Romania, Radio Bucharest reports. He is scheduled to meet with Romanian President Ion Iliescu, Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, and other top Romanian officials. Topics to be discussed include Romania's role in international peacekeeping operations, the situation in former Yugoslavia, and other issues of common interest. Boutros Ghali, addressing a joint session of the two chambers of the Romanian parliament, said the end of the Cold War has brought a new "era of uncertainties." He also noted the threat to peace and democracy posed by "irrational and fanatical thinking." -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN MEDICAL UNIT RETURNS FROM SOMALIA. A Romanian medical unit operating in Somalia as part of the UN peacekeeping force stationed there has returned to Bucharest, an RFE/RL correspondent and Radio Bucharest reported on 27 October. A spokeswoman for the Romanian Defense Ministry said the early return from Mogadishu of the 236 Romanian medical staffers was part of a larger plan to reduce the number of UN troops in Somalia. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL, Inc. MOLDOVA SEES "DANGEROUS TURN" IN ROMANIAN POLICY. The government daily Nezavisimaya Moldova, in an editorial published on 27 October and reported by ITAR-TASS, condemned Bucharest's recent gestures of support for pro-Romanian groups in Chisinau and its official statements denying the legitimacy of Moldovan statehood and envisaging eventual unification. The editorial termed this "a dangerous turn" in the policy of Romania's ruling Party of Social Democracy aimed at gaining electoral advantage but jeopardizing Romania's relations with Moldova. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CANADIAN CONFERENCE ON AID TO UKRAINE. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, attending a conference on economic aid to Ukraine in Winnepeg on 27 October, called for $5.5 billion in aid to help with Ukraine's economic reforms, the closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, and improved safety measures at other nuclear power stations, international agencies reported. The conference was attended by representatives of the G-7 and Ukraine's main creditors--Turkmenistan and Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev told the conference delegates that Ukraine could defer payment of its $635 million debt to Russia until February. Ukraine owes Russia a total of $2.7 billion. Kozyrev also called upon the international community to grant Ukraine a $600 million credit to guarantee Ukraine's energy supplies from Russia until the end of the year. He pointed out that Russia was already helping Ukraine by charging only $50 per cubic meter of natural gas, while the world price was $70 per cubic meter. Kozyrev also urged Ukraine to accept the "zero option" by handing over its share of Soviet assets in return for debt relief. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY ON THE ARMED FORCES. The press office of Ukraine's Defense Ministry on 26 October said the Supreme Council has confirmed that the country's armed forces should have 450,000 personnel, Ukrainian Television reported. In accordance with this decision, the Defense Ministry is reducing its number of units. The announcement also said that in dismantling equipment under the terms of the CFE treaty, Ukraine is only destroying old equipment. This means that neither the quality nor the readiness of the armed forces has been affected, it added. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. LUKASHENKA'S FIRST 100 DAYS. Belinform-TASS on 27 October--100 days after Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka took office--reported the results of an opinion poll by the sociological survey service Belaruskyi Barometer. The poll suggests that 39.2% of Belarusians believe their president is not particularly gifted but sincere in his goals; 55.8% do not believe he will be able to pull Belarus out of its economic crisis; and only 38.9% believe their living standards will improve under Lukashenka. On a more positive note, 64.4% say they have at least some degree of confidence in the president. In another poll conducted in Minsk by Interfax, only 16.9% of the respondents believe Lukashenka is leading the country in the right direction; 19.7% said the direction was wrong; 41% said he was partly on the right track; and 20.6% were unsure. Only 20% of the respondents said he had put together a strong team, while 46% said he lacked the necessary experience to be president. 65.4% of farm workers and 49.2% of "working class" people said they supported Lukashenka. Asked who opposed Lukashenka, the respondents cited the mafia, corrupt officials, and old-guard managers. Communists and democrats were not considered to be his main enemies. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW PREMIER. The Estonian parliament on 27 October voted by 63 to 1 with 15 abstentions to authorize acting Environment Minister Andres Tarand to form a new cabinet, BNS reports. The 54-year-old Tarand received the support of the Pro Patria and Moderate factions as well as most of the votes of the National Independence Party, Liberal, and Rightist factions. The one dissenting vote was by an independent deputy. Tarand has seven days to submit his cabinet to President Lennart Meri for approval. The parliament on 13 October rejected Meri's first candidate--Bank of Estonia President Siim Kallas--by a vote of 40 to 55 with 5 abstentions. With parliament elections scheduled for 5 March 1995, Tarand said he did not plan to make any major policy changes and would probably replace five ministers at most. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN VISITS MOLDOVA, UKRAINE. Ceslovas Jursenas on 25 October arrived in Chisinau for an official visit aimed at improving bilateral political and economic relations. He met the next day with President Mircea Snegur and addressed the Moldovan parliament. Jursenas left for Kiev on 27 October where he held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Oleksander Moroz. He will also meet with President Leonid Kuchma and Prime Minister Vitalii Moroz, Radio Lithuania reports. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. PROSECUTION ASKS FOR DEATH PENALTY IN LINGYS TRIAL. Lithuanian Prosecutor General Arturas Paulauskas on 27 October requested the death sentence for Boris Dekanidze, charged with ordering the murder of Respublika deputy editor Vitas Lingys, Radio Lithuania reports. Paulauskas requested a life sentence for Igor Akhremov, who admitted to shooting Lingys on 12 October 1993, and sentences of 15 years for his accomplices, Boris Bobichenko and Viacheslav Slavitskii. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. FORMER LATVIAN COMMANDER APPOINTED PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER. Colonel Dainis Turlais, who resigned recently as commander of Latvia's Defense Forces, has been appointed adviser on defense and strategic planning issues to President Guntis Ulmanis. The president's adviser on military matters, Gundars Zalkalns, told Diena on 25 October that the position of commander of the Defense Forces was eliminated when Latvia's National Armed Forces were formed. He also noted that Defense Force units would now answer to the staff of the National Armed Forces. Turlais left the following day for the Netherlands to observe NATO maneuvers there, BNS reported on 26 October. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Jan Cleave and Penny Morvant) 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 Inquiries about specific news items should be directed as follows (please include your full postal address when inquiring about subscriptions): Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 Fax: (202) 457-6992 Internet: REEDB@RFERL.ORG Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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