|Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau|
No. 214, 10 November 1994
RUSSIA CHERNOMYRDIN CONFIDENT THAT BUDGET WILL BE APPROVED. Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin expressed confidence on 9 November that the draft 1995 state budget will be approved by both houses of parliament, Interfax reported. Speaking in the town of Kirovsk, near Murmansk, Chernomyrdin described the draft budget as "not simply austere, but even cruel." He said 1995 must become a decisive year otherwise Russia will have to start over again. Chernomyrdin said the budget would make it possible to attain the key economic goals of bringing monthly inflation down to no more than two percent and stabilizing the financial situation. -- Pete Baumgartner, RFE/RL, Inc. ZHIRINOVSKY VISA ANGERS MP. Sergei Yushenkov, chairman of the State Duma's Defense Committee, told Interfax on 9 November that he was suspending all contacts with U.S. politicians until the State Department explains why it had granted an entry visa to Vladimir Zhirinovsky and other members of his party. Yushenkov explained that he was bewildered by the situation in which "elements with fascist-like tendencies" had been admitted to the U.S. while other Russians were denied entry. He pointed to the case of Pyotr Grigorenko--whom he described as the son of "a well-known defender of human rights"--who was only granted a visa to visit his sick mother after two parliamentarians concerned with human rights issues intervened on his behalf. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. FIVE KILLED IN RUSSIAN OMON RAID IN INGUSHETIA. A 30-strong OMON unit of Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs raided the village of Altievo in Ingushetia's Nazran raion on 6 November, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on 9 November. The unit was allegedly searching for "criminal participants" in the October-November 1992 clashes in North Ossetia's Prigorodnyi raion, whose Ingush population was, however, attacked and "ethnically cleansed" into Ingushetia on that occassion by the North Ossetians with Russian military support. The OMON unit raiding Nazran was met with resistance by local residents. Three officers and two villagers were killed, while others were wounded, some severely. Six villagers were detained in the raid. Ingush President Ruslan Aushev (a former Russian general) described the raid as "an attempt to disrupt the incipient process of repatriating the Ingush refugees to North Ossetia's Prigorodnyi raion." A rally was held on 9 November on the central square of Ingushetia's capital Nazran to protest the OMON action, Interfax reported. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. WORLD BANK APPROVES ENVIRONMENT LOAN FOR RUSSIA. The World Bank has approved a $110 million loan to Russia to help underwrite a program to begin dealing with massive deterioration in the environment, an RFE/RL correspondent reported 8 November. The project, to cost $194.8 million, will develop national institutions, management capabilities, data bases and cleanup methods and systems. Most of the costs will be borne by the Russian government and by domestic enterprises and banks. In addition to organizing national standards, the management project will finance initial regional programs in the Upper Volga, the Urals, and north Caucasus. The World Bank says that "environmental degradation" is evident everywhere in Russia because of mismanagement "traced to decades of inefficient economic development that basically failed to include environmental factors." -- Robert Lyle, RFE/RL, Inc. AIR FORCE GENERALS DISMISSED, SUE, AND ARE SACKED AGAIN. Two Air Force generals disciplined after a military plane crash in Siberia on 5 August were dismissed from the military by order of President Yeltsin after they sued Defense Minister Pavel Grachev to protest his similar actions. Lt.-Gen. Anatoliy Vasilyev was commander of the 23rd Air Army in the Transbaikal military district and Maj. Gen. Vladimir Zagitov his chief of staff when a military An-12 crashed at a military airport in Boda, near Lake Baikal, causing the deaths of 47 servicemen and dependents. According to ITAR-TASS and Interfax of 9 November, Air Force chief Pyotr Deynekin investigated the accident and recommended to Grachev that the two officers be dismissed. When the two sued Grachev, Yeltsin on 28 October dismissed them himself--ending the military court's jurisdiction. The two filed another lawsuit in the same court on 9 November, this time against Deynekin, seeking to reverse his original recommendation. Deynekin admits his action was harsh, but said "I cannot forgive the heavy loss of life, which was due to gross errors" made by the two officers. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. BOGOMOLOV, KARASIN IN ROMANIA. The noted Russian economist and foreign policy analyst Oleg Bogomolov, vice chairman of the Duma's Foreign Relations Committee, and Grigorii Karasin, the Russian Foreign Ministry's chief spokesman, paid separate visits to Romania on 7-9 November for talks with senior foreign ministry officials and parliamentary leaders. Bogomolov told Radio Bucharest on 8 November that "the difficulties were not resolved" in connection with the draft interstate treaty. Romania insists on including a condemnation of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact in language implying an admission of Russian responsibility for its effects on Romania and some recognition of Romanian rights to Bessarabia and northern Bukovina. Bogomolov countered with a proposal that Romania condemn its own "participation alongside fascist Germany in the war of aggression against the USSR," which Romania should find easy to offer "since it does not subscribe to fascist ideology as it did in the past." In more conciliatory remarks to Radio Bucharest and ITAR-TASS on 9 November, Karasin called for "stable and predictable" bilateral relations and regretted the "not fully satisfactory" state of economic relations. No public mention was made by either side of a visit to Romania by Yeltsin--a constant but unfulfilled demand of Bucharest ever since Yeltsin became President of Russia. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. KOZYREV IN IRAQ. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev arrived in Baghdad on 9 November for high-level meetings with Iraqi officials, including President Saddam Hussein, Russian and Western agencies reported. The main purpose of Kozyrev's mission is to facilitate and "formalize" Iraq's recognition of Kuwait's international borders. Vladimir Lukin, the chairman of the State Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee and former ambassador to the U.S.,has stated that Kozyrev's mission may draw some fire, particularly from the United States. For the past several weeks Kozyrev has been encouraging Baghdad to recognize Kuwait's borders and its sovereignty, a move that may result in an easing of international sanctions against Iraq which were introduced in 1990 after its invasion of Kuwait. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL, Inc. SOUTH AFRICAN JETS WITH MIG-29 ENGINES. Rostislav Belyakov, the chief designer of the Mikoyan aircraft complex in Moscow, told Interfax on 8 November that the first South African Mirage F-1 fighter equipped with a Russian-built MiG-29 engine will be displayed at a December air show in South Africa. Belyakov said that South Africa planned to re-equip two or three of its aircraft with the Russian engines in a trial test. A Russian-South African joint venture has been set up to fit the engines. Belyakov indicated that the Russian partner was based in St. Petersburg, which is where the Klimov Corporation--maker of the MiG-29 engines--is located. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. YELTSIN TO HONOR KALASHNIKOV DESIGNER ON 75TH BIRTHDAY. President Boris Yeltsin will travel to Izhevsk in the Udmurtian Republic on 10 November to present an award to Mikhail Kalashnikov, who designed the world-famous assault rifle that bears his name, and who celebrates his 75th birthday that same day, Interfax and Western agencies reported 9 November. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and the head of the Counter-Intelligence Service, Sergei Stepashin, will accompany Yeltsin. On 31 October Udmurtia Parliament Chairman Valentin Tubylov told Interfax that Kalashnikov was being promoted to Major General for his achievements and was to be awarded the recently introduced order "For Special Services to the Fatherland." Kalashnikov designed the first AK-47 in 1947. It and its successor, the AK-74, became the most widely used and most successful of all post-World War II small arms. They were built at the Izhmash plant in Izhevsk, and are still produced in several other countries, including China and Egypt. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA TAJIK ELECTION CRITICIZED. The 6 November presidential election in Tajikistan has been criticized as neither fair nor democratic by the human rights monitoring group Human Rights Watch, Western and Russian agencies reported on 9 November. The report asserted that the election was held in "an atmosphere of fear, deception, use of power and psychological pressure" by supporters of the victor, former parliament chairman and head of state Imomali Rakhmonov. Human Rights Watch observers also supported charges by the losing candidate, Abdumalik Abdullodzhonov, that media coverage was biased in favor of Rakhmonov and the media were not accessible to Abdullodzhonov. Although CIS election observers reported seeing few irregularities, an article in the 9 November issue of Nezavisimaya gazeta questions figures on the number of persons voting in regions such as Gorno-Badakhshan, and notes that few Tajik refugees in Moscow availed themselves of the chance to vote. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. BREAD PRICES RAISED IN ALMATY. Bread prices have been raised by an average of 30 percent in Kazakhstan's capital, and other regions of the country are expected to do the same, ITAR-TASS reported on 9 November. Bread prices were liberalized in Kazakhstan in mid-October to reflect the actual cost of production and prices rose steeply at that time; the price increase reported on 9 November is the second since prices were freed. Earlier rumors of price increases for bread were reported to have led to disturbances at bread shops in some areas. ITAR-TASS reported that on this occasion expressions of discontent were limited to complaints by bread shop customers that their living standard is worsening. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS RUSSIAN VICE PREMIER FOR CIS AFFAIRS APPOINTED. President Boris Yeltsin on 9 November appointed Aleksei Bolshakov to the post of Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in charge of CIS affairs. Bolshakov is not a political figure--a fact underscored by Yeltsin in remarking to ITAR-TASS on 9 November that he had chosen a technical expert for this post. Born in 1939, Bolshakov is a graduate of St. Petersburg's Electrotechnical Institute and has headed successively the telecommunications firms Dalnyaya Sviaz and Vysokos korostnye Magistraly. His chief task is likely to consist of representing Russia's interests on the recently established Interstate Economic Committee, intended by Moscow as an executive organ of the CIS Economic Union. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE KRAJINA SERB PLANE ATTACKS BIHAC. International media report on 10 November that a warplane flew the previous day from the Udbina airbase against Bihac, a UN-declared "safe area" in northwest Bosnia. It is not clear whether the Krajina Serb plane technically violated the "no-fly" zone over Bosnia, but it fired a missile that hit near the Una River. It is also unclear what, if anything, the UN or NATO will do in response. Radio Bosnia and Herzegovina said that there were ten casualties, but did not specify if this meant dead or wounded, the VOA reported. Elsewhere in the embattled republic, snipers wounded five civilians in Sarajevo, while Serb forces made some gains in the Bosanska Krupa area to the east of Bihac. Government forces were reportedly on the advance around Gradacac and on the road to Trnovo. Meanwhile, AFP quoted a UN spokesman as saying that non-Serbs in the Banja Luka area face systematic discrimination, including denial of medical attention, at "unbelievably bad" levels not seen in Europe since World War II. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. ROW IN BOSNIAN SERB PARLIAMENT OVER MARTIAL LAW. The Bosnian Serb legislature met on 9 November in Pale to discuss a proposal by Radovan Karadzic to impose martial law, but Borba of 10 November and Reuters report that deputies are resisting the measure. Apparently, they not only do not like the idea of voting themselves out of power and giving all authority to Karadzic and the army, but also are unwilling to give up their parliamentary immunity. One source called the clash "an insider fight almost as tough as any on the battlefield." Karadzic said he expects the outcome of the ongoing debate to be a compromise, which would allow him to impose martial law in selected areas. The crisis among the Bosnian Serbs began about two weeks ago, when Bosnian government forces broke out of the Bihac pocket and joined up with Croat forces to take Kupres, a town that had been about 50 percent Serb and 40 percent Croat but was assigned to the latter in the current peace plan for strategic reasons. The Guardian reported on 8 November that a "siege mentality" has taken hold of Karadzic and his entourage, with purges taking place even at the highest levels. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. WALESA EXPLAINS HIS VIEW OF LEGAL PROCESS. According to reports in Gazeta Wyborcza and Rzeczpospolita of 10-11 November, President Lech Walesa told a plenary meeting of Poland's Constitutional Tribunal that "in order to construct a lawful state [in the future] one has to accept [today] activities occurring on legal borderlines." He added that the acceptance of such activities "reflects the understanding of current processes" of reform. Neither the members of the tribunal nor numerous politicians attending the meeting appeared to have shared Walesa's views. The Constitutional Tribunal was set up in the 1980s to interpret laws and oversee their compatibility with the constitution. During a recent meeting with Sejm deputies representing the Freedom Union, a post-Solidarity group that is opposed to the current government, Walesa admitted that he often acted on the legal borderline; the union accused the president of "destabilizing the country." -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH POLICE FOIL HEROIN SMUGGLING ATTEMPT. Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 10-11 November that Polish police successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle a shipment of 22.5 kilograms of heroin from Turkey through Poland to Germany. The police estimated the value of the heroin at about $10 million. This was the largest ever seizure of heroin by the Polish police. The paper said that six persons were apprehended, including a Turkish citizen. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. ANOTHER CORRUPTION AFFAIR IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. A Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesman announced on 9 November that police had officially charged an unnamed person with attempting to bribe a public official. The person, who represents a company producing military equipment, allegedly offered a bribe to the Czech deputy defense minister during his trip to Israel in May 1994. Although the spokesman refused to reveal the names of those involved, CTK points out that Czech press reports say the deputy minister in question is Miroslav Kalousek and the person charged with attempting to bribe him is Vera Asherova, who represents the Singapore marketing firm Eagle Group. Asherova allegedly offered a payment to Kalousek in exchange for supporting a bid by the Israeli firm Elbit, which was interested in modernizing the Czech fighter plane L-159. The press reports say Elbit is a customer of the Eagle Group. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. KLAUS AT THE PEN CLUB'S WORLD CONGRESS. On 8 November Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus attended the Pen Club's World Congress in Prague to participate in a seminar titled "Intellectuals, government policies, and tolerance." Klaus argued that dividing intellectuals into "independent" and "dependent" [on the government] makes sense only in undemocratic societies. In Klaus's opinion, in democratic societies independent intellectuals should fear only themselves--the loss of their own integrity. Klaus disagreed with British writer Timothy Garton Ash, who argued that intellectuals "always look for the truth, whereas politicians are forced to work with half-truths," retorting that the only difference between politicians and intellectuals in this respect is that "the politician's truth can differ from that of the intellectual." According to the prime minister, there are politicians who know they will not be in politics for the rest of their lives, and one of the reasons they strive for democracy and freedom is that they want to be free when they are no longer politicians. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER ASKS KLAUS FOR EXPLANATION. Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan asked Czech Ambassador to Slovakia Filip Sedivy for an official explanation concerning a recent statement by Klaus, CTK reports on 9 November. In a recent interview with the Czech daily Lidove noviny, Klaus said that his government "is waiting for Slovakia's new cabinet, having been basically unable to negotiate with anyone since spring." -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. KOVAC DEMANDS REVIEW OF CONTROVERSIAL DECISIONS. On 9 November Slovak President Michal Kovac returned several controversial laws passed by the parliament on 3 November, Reuters and CTK report. One is the cancellation of all direct sale privatization projects approved by the Moravcik government since 6 September, and the other concerns an amendment to the privatization law which transfers authority over privatization from the government to the National Property Fund. The two laws had first been rejected by the Moravcik government, which remains in power until a new cabinet can be formed. The Moravcik government's request that Kovac also reject the no-confidence votes in Privatization Minister Milan Janicina and Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner prompted Kovac to ask the Constitutional Court for a review of the matter. Kovac accepted the parliament's decision to dismiss Attorney General Vojtech Bacho, but he said he would not approve the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia's new candidate, Ludovit Hudek, until his credentials could be reviewed. Meeting on 9 November in the central Slovak town of Badin, the Conference of Slovak Bishops issued a statement expressing serious concern about the current political and social situation in Slovakia. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL, Inc. HUNGARIAN-AMERICAN MILITARY COOPERATION. A meeting of the Hungarian-American working group dealing with questions of defense opened in Budapest on 9 November by Hungarian Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti, MTI reports. Keleti stressed that Hungary is determined to join NATO. He also pointed out that only the Hungarian air force has been supplied with the kind of detectors that reach NATO standards. US Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken called attention to the fact that Hungary's integration into the rest of Europe is very important for the US. Blinken said that Budapest has taken big steps toward membership in NATO and noted that the US would provide help for improving the Hungarian defense sector. -- Judith Pataki, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN DECISION IN BABY SMUGGLING CASE POSTPONED. On 9 November a court of appeals postponed ruling on an appeal by a British couple convicted of buying and trying to smuggle a baby out of Romania, Romanian television and Reuters reported. The presiding judge said the decision will be announced on 16 November. His statement followed acceptance by the prosecution that the 28-month prison sentence handed down to Adrian and Bernadette Mooney last month was too harsh and that the sentence should be shortened and possibly conditionally suspended. President Ion Iliescu has already said he will grant a pardon if the appeal court fails to overturn the sentence. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN CENTRAL BANK REJECTS PARLIAMENT'S CRITICISM. Romanian Central Bank Governor Mugur Isarescu defended the bank's policies and independence against criticism expressed in a parliamentary report. An RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest and local media reported that Isarescu told a joint session of the parliament's two houses on 8 November that the bank's monetary policies have resulted in positive trends over the past year. He cited a reduced inflation rate, strong commercial banks and a revived confidence in the national currency. Isarescu said general economic success cannot be achieved unless bold monetary policies are followed by independence of the banking system and rapid privatization of state-owned companies. The shortcomings cited in the parliamentary report, Isarescu said, are the result of delays in the transformation of the economy. The report said the Central Bank has manipulated financial policies for its own benefit and has neglected more general economic interests. However, President Ion Iliescu said on 8 November that attacks on the bank are ungrounded, while Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu asked the ruling party's parliamentarians (who are in majority on the commission that issued the report) to support Isarescu. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. BULGARIAN BOOK BAN SOUGHT. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre urged Bulgaria on 9 November to ban a recently published book blaming Jews for the deaths of three Russian Tsars and the advent of Communism. Shimon Samuels, the Centre's European director, said in a letter to President Zhelyu Zhelev that Bulgaria's reputation was violated by the book "Masons, Jews, and Revolutions: How these Forces of Satan are Preparing the End of Mankind." Samuels said the book was a "rehash of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a 19th century forgery used by Tsarist Russia to justify anti-Jewish pogroms. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. ALBANIAN GOVERNING PARTY REFUSES TO CONCEDE OVER REFERENDUM. The Democratic Party issued a statement denying defeat in the 6 November referendum on a new constitution, Reuters reported on 9 November. President Sali Berisha had linked his fortunes to the vote but on 7 November stated that the document "did not find the approval of the people." This followed unofficial reports that over 60 percent had voted "no." Now, however, his party says that "so far, only one thing is certain: the figures reported by some newspapers are extremely exaggerated and unrealistic." The vote was marred by some irregularities and unexplained acts of violence, but foreign observers said that the referendum was generally "free and fair." Elsewhere, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Washington that the International Development Association, which is associated with the World Bank, has granted Albania a $12.4 million credit to improve health care. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FEDERALISM IN MOLDOVA. Cosponsored by the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly and the CSCE mission in Moldova, an international conference on "Decentralization, Autonomy, Federalism: A Basis for National Conciliation and Security" was held in Chisinau on 7 and 8 November. Experts from Western and Eastern Europe discussed the experiences of Italy's South Tyrol region, Spain's Valencia and Catalan provinces, Finland within the former Russian empire, and other European cases and their potential applicability to Moldova's state organization. Senior "Dniester" and Gagauz political figures attended. Chisinau officials presented Moldova's offers of far-reaching regional autonomy to Transdniester and the Gagauz. The former, based on the CSCE mission's 1993 recommendations, has thus far been rejected by Tiraspol. The latter, worked out by Chisinau with the Gagauz leaders and cleared by the Moldovan parliament in the first reading in August, has been criticized in some West European forums and by some experts at this conference for going too far in setting a potential precedent for ethnic-territorial autonomy. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. BELARUSIAN ECONOMIC NEWS. On 8 November the Russian ruble officially stopped circulating as a legal tender in Belarus, Interfax reported. That same day the Belarusian parliament rejected a proposal by National Bank of Belarus Chairman Stanislau Bahdankevich that the bank independently decide the amount of money and credit to be issued. The parliament decided monetary-credit policy must be debated and approved by the parliament. Bahdankevich has advocated slashing credits and a much more stringent monetary policy than the parliament, which has so far granted large credits to the industrial and agricultural sectors. On 9 November Interfax reported that the Belarusian government has given the IMF a memorandum on its economic policy for 1995. The IMF will examine the memorandum and decide whether Belarus should be granted the first part of the Stand-by reserve credit, amounting to $160 million. In other news, on 7 November Belarus signed an economic cooperation agreement with Denmark. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. NPT DEBATE IN UKRAINE. On 9 November Ukrainian radio reported that the Ukrainian parliament has scheduled the debate on joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty for 15-18 November. This comes right before President Leonid Kuchma's scheduled 19 November visit to the US. One of the stumbling blocs to Ukraine's joining the NPT has been the issue of security guarantees from other nuclear powers. In recent weeks, however, other nuclear states have said they were prepared to extend such guarantees after Ukraine joins the NPT. Kuchma has repeatedly criticized the linkage of economic aid to Ukraine with the country's joining NPT, and he said this issue should have no bearing on his upcoming visit to the US, ITAR-TASS reported. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION CELEBRATIONS IN UKRAINE. On 7 November, the 77th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, left-wing groups held demonstrations in Kiev, Odessa, Simfereopol, and other cities to commemorate the event, Ukrainian radio reported. The turnout was largest in Kiev, where several thousand participated in the demonstrations. Nationalists held a counter-demonstration and clashed with police when they tried to disrupt the communist rally. Some injuries were reported. In Lviv, a nationalist center, a restaurant which was believed to be frequented by leftists was vandalized by nationalists. -- Ustina Markus, RFE/RL, Inc. SOVIET VETERANS IN RIGA MARK BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION. About 100 Soviet war veterans and pensioners gathered on 7 November in Riga's Vermane park to commemorate the anniversary of the Bolshevik uprising in Russia. They complained that the Soviet holiday is not observed in Latvia and that the press and the left-wing political organizations did not remind people to mark this important date in history. Many of the participants had red ribbons on their coats and some also held the red flags of the USSR and the Latvian SSR, BNS reported. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOW PROGRESS IN LITHUANIAN-BELARUSIAN BORDER TALKS. On 8 November in Vilnius Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Rimantas Sidlauskas and his Belarusian counterpart Stanislau Ahurtsau determined the border at the confluence of the Kleva and Gauja Rivers and decided that the Lithuanian Pagiriai enclave would be exchanged for some Belarusian territory, Radio Lithuania reported on 9 November. During a meeting on 13 October, the fate of the Adutiskis railroad station was settled; however, the follow-up meeting was postponed several times. The next round of talks is scheduled for 24 November in Minsk. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH LINK TO LITHUANIAN BOMB? On 8 November an anonymous caller telephoned the newspaper Respublika saying in Polish that the Polish National Liberation Movement took full responsibility for the recent railroad bridge bombing. A similar call in Russian was received by Lietuvos rytas the following day. Zbigniew Semenowicz, the leader of the Polish faction in the Seimas said he did not know of such an organization, and if it did exist, it would have been created by the KGB, BNS reported on 9 November. A high Security Department official said that it was "hardly likely" that the blast had been set by a mysterious Polish organization, for "Poles have no reason to make noise." The Lithuanian government that day offered a reward of 250,000 litas ($62,500) for information leading to the disclosure of the organizers and perpetrators of the bombing. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Sharon Fisher and Pete Baumgartner) 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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