Comedy is an escape, not from truth but from despair; a narrow escape into faith. - Christopher Fry
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 228, 5 December 1994

                              RUSSIA

RUSSIAN BUILDUP REPORTED TO CONTINUE ON CHECHEN BORDER. Western
correspondents reported on 5 December that a Russian military
buildup is continuing on the border of Chechnya. They saw heavy
weaponry, including 50 tanks, in a neutral zone between North
Ossetia and Ingushetia. Ingush President Ruslan Aushev opposes a
Russian invasion of Chechnya and warned that if Russian tanks
attempted to reach Chechnya through Ingushetia, the Ingush would
stage an uprising. Russian President Boris Yeltsin has threatened
to declare a state of emergency in Chechnya to stop fighting
between Chechen government troops and the Chechen opposition.
Russian media reported on 4 December that the Chechen opposition
had agreed to talks with a special Russian commission, but
according to Reuters on 5 December, the opposition denied the
reports. In an appeal made public on 4 December, the opposition
Chechen Provisional Council called on the government, styling it
an "illegal regime," to lay down its arms; a congress of Muslim
clergymen held on 3 December called on Chechen President Dzhokhar
Dudaev to start talks to end the fighting. Russian media asserted
on 4 December that the Chechen government was willing to talk with
the Russian commission, but Chechen Vice President Zelimkhan
Yandarbiev told Reuters that officials would be willing to discuss
only Chechnya's independence. Also on 4 December, a Chechen
official told foreign correspondents that the Chechen government
expects a major air raid on Grozny within the week and is setting
up partisan bases throughout the republic, supplied with weapons,
ammunition, and food for a year. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL, Inc.

FSK DENIES WRONGDOING IN CHECHEN CRISIS. Speaking on Russian TV on
3 December, Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) spokesman
Aleksandr Mikhailov denied the evidence contained in media reports
of 2 and 3 December that Russian army servicemen have been
recruited to fight as mercenaries on the side of the Chechen
opposition. Mikhailov said that Russian servicemen captured in
Chechnya were not mercenaries, but volunteers. Chechnya is part of
Russia and Russian officers can act on its territory both covertly
and overtly to restore constitutional order, said Mikhailov.
Yeltsin's military adviser Dmitrii Volkogonov said that no country
in the world recognizes Chechnya's independence, so that the
soldiers captured in Chechnya, which is part of the Russian
Federation, are not POWs but hostages. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL,
Inc.

COMMANDER OF ELITE UNIT RESIGNS OVER COVERT OPERATIONS. The
commander of the elite Fourth "Kantemir" Tank Division has
resigned in protest against the recruitment of men from his
division without his knowledge for secret operations in Chechnya.
In a 3 December interview excerpted by Interfax, Major-General
Polyakov said that he had submitted his resignation to the
commander of the Moscow Military District. The Kantemir division
is based at Naro-Fominsk near Moscow. Several Russian servicemen
from this division were captured by supporters of Chechen
President Dzokhar Dudayev during an abortive attempt to capture
Grozny on 26 November. Some among them said they had a contract
with the Federal Counterintelligence Service to fight in Chechnya.
-- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

YELTSIN, KARAGANOV OPPOSE NATO ENLARGEMENT. "Russia opposes the
enlargement of NATO's area to the East because its border in that
case would reach the border of the Russian Federation," President
Boris Yeltsin told the media on 4 December. The remark would seem
to imply either that a contry bordering on the Kaliningrad exclave
may not join NATO or that candidates for membership which are
bordering on Ukraine are being viewed as if they were bordering on
Russia. Foreign policy analyst and member of Yeltsin's
Presidential Council Sergei Karaganov told ITAR-TASS on 2 December
that "such a shift of NATO's borders would be assessed as an
anti-Russian and hostile step." In common with other Russian
officials, Karaganov invoked the alleged anti-Western mood of
Russian public opinion, although known surveys do not substantiate
such a claim. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

MORE FALLOUT FROM RUSSIAN SNUB TO PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE. Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev favors turning the North Atlantic
Cooperation Council (NACCA, the consultative forum grouping NATO's
member states and the non-member countries participating in NATO's
Partnership for Peace program) into a European security body, and
establishing a NACCA Executive Council, Interfax reported on 2
December. The proposal seems to be part of the recent series of
Russian proposals designed to stop NATO's enlargement, to dilute
its role in favor of unwieldy all-European bodies with little
capacity for action, and to establish within those bodies a new
hierarchy awarding Russia a major share of decision-making powers.
On the other hand, Deputy Defense Minister Georgii Kondratev, a
member of Russia's delegation to NACCA, appeared to regret that
Kozyrev had thrown into question Russia's participation in PfP.
Kondratev told Interfax that Russia could not live in isolation
and that PfP could only benefit Russia, its armed forces, and
European stability. Reacting to Kozyrev's attempt to delay NATO's
enlargement by withholding Russia's participation in PfP, Estonian
Foreign Minister Juri Luik said that "if we really have common
values then we should not do something like this." Czech Foreign
Minister Josef Zelenec said that "this is our affair and NATO's
affair, not Russia's." Ukraine, whose national cohesion is
directly affected by the question of NATO's enlargement, has taken
a cautious middle position. Foreign Minister Gennadii Udovenko and
his first deputy, Boris Tarasiuk, said that no one had a right to
block NATO's enlargement, this being an issue for the alliance and
the countries seeking membership; but that Kiev favors an
evolutionary approach to enlargement and sees Russian
participation in PfP as important to European stability. Ukraine
will in any case participate in PfP but "needs not raise today"
the issue of its possible membership in NATO, Interfax cited them
on 3 and 4 December. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

SECURITY AGENTS RAID MOST CORPORATION. The special task force of
the Main Administration for Protection of the Russian Federation
(GUO) raided the premises of the financial group Most in the
building of the Moscow mayoralty and disarmed several private
guards belonging to Most's security service, Russian news agencies
reported on 3 December. ITAR-TASS quoted security sources as
saying that the action was taken strictly in accord with Yeltsin's
decree on combatting organized crime; its objective was to obtain
documents showing "links between the board of Most-Bank and
corrupt functionaries in state and municipal organs." Most, which
is closely connected with Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, is one of
Russia's largest financial and mass media groups. Relations
between Most and the government deteriorated when the Russian
Security Council described Most-Bank as a major players in the
ruble's destabilization in October, and when Rossiiskaya gazeta
disclosed in November that Most's mass media outlets had organized
an election staff for Luzhkov and his economic adviser Grigorii
Yavlinsky. Most president Vladimir Gusinskii charged that the raid
stemmed from government annoyance that Most finances independent
mass media. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

DISMISSAL OF MOSCOW FSK CHIEF CONNECTED WITH MOST AFFAIR.
President Yeltsin dismissed the Chief of the Moscow Administration
of the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK), Evgenii
Savostyanov, ITAR-TASS reported on 3 December. Although Yeltsin's
decree cites no reason for Savostyanov's ouster, there is little
doubt that this step is linked with the Most raid the same day.
Savostyanov is reputed to be the Moscow city government's man
within the FSK. Before his appointment as Moscow FSK chief in
1991, Savostyanov worked as an assistant to former Moscow Mayor
Gavriil Popov and his deputies, Luzhkov and Sergei Stankevich. In
this capacity he was responsible for the organizational and
financial infrastructure of the Moscow city government, including
the Most-Bank. Most's Gusinskii reported that during the raid on
the Most premises by GUO, he had phoned Savostyanov, who sent
agents of the Moscow FSK to Gusinskii's office; but the FSK
officers were turned back by agents of GUO whish is directly
subordinate to Russia's president. -- Victor Yasmann, RFE/RL, Inc.

GEN. GROMOV STRIPPED OF SOME DUTIES. On 2 December Russian Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev took away some of the responsibilities of
one of his deputies--Col. Gen. Boris Gromov, the last commander of
Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Interfax reported that another
deputy defense minister, General Konstantin Kobets, would take
over the supervision of air defense while the directorate for
military cooperation with CIS countries had been completely
disbanded. Grachev has made no secret of his dislike for Gromov,
and the once-popular general has been rumored recently to be on
the way out. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc.

                               CIS

MORE ON DEFENSE MINISTERS' DECISIONS. Following the 30 November
meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of CIS member states
(see Daily Report, 2 December), Russian Lt.-General Leonid
Ivashov, Secretary of the Council of Ministers of CIS member
states, told a briefing on 2 December that a CIS defense union
could be established, along with CIS political and economic
bodies, within two and a half to three years, Interfax, Russian
TV, and Nezavisimaya gazeta reported. Among early steps to be
taken, Ivashov listed integration in the area of military
technology and formation of a joint air defense system; the latter
will be the focus of the next Defense Ministers' meeting in late
February or early March. These possibly overoptimistic claims
lacked immediate corroboration from other participants. Regarding
peacekeeping operations, Ivashov indirectly admitted that the
participants had eschewed Russian requests for substantial
material and token troop contributions to the operation in the
Georgian-Abkhaz area: "Russia will continue to bear the brunt of
contributions while the others will contribute according to their
capacities," he announced. Ukraine did not rule out some
participation, which would almost certainly be welcomed by
Georgia. In Tajikistan on the other hand, the Russian commander of
the CIS operation, Col.-General Valerii Patrikeev, was empowered
to involve the contingents of member states other than Russia in
battle without prior authorization from the respective political
leaderships--a first departure from the coalition principle. In
another precedent-setting move if carried out, Ivashov suggested
that CIS member states send military observers--but not troops--to
a possible Russian-led peacekeeping operation in Chechnya, i.e.
for the first time on the Russian Federation's territory. --
Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc.

                    CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SERBS HOLD 359 PEACEKEEPERS HOSTAGE. The Los Angeles Times on 5
December reports that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic did not
follow up on his promise to UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi to
release trapped UNPROFOR soldiers. Only 53 of the 412 men in
question were freed; one Bangladeshi soldier has died owing to
lack of medical treatment and a Jordanian's heart condition is in
danger of worsening after Serbs used him as a human shield against
possible air attacks. Meanwhile, The New York Times quotes
incoming Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as calling the UN
"totally incompetent" and NATO "pathetic and helpless." Gingrich
backs other Republican calls for a tougher policy and favors a UN
withdrawal, the arming and training of the Bosnian government
forces by the US, and a threat of air power against the
Serbs--"like Desert Storm," if they launch an offensive. Finally,
the Turkish daily Hurriyet on 4 December quoted former Defense
Chief of Staff General Dogan Gures as saying that Turkey had tried
to arm Bosnian government forces but that Croatia took "90%" of
the material en route. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

KARADZIC THREATENS ZAGREB. International media on 3 December
quoted the Bosnian Serb leader as saying again that his forces
would target the Croatian capital if Croatia does not remove its
troops from Bosnia. Croatian defense officials have said their
forces may intervene in Bosnia in response to the Serbian
offensive against Bihac and its strategic rail line. Borba on 5
December says that the Croatian Serbs' top military body has
ordered a mobilization. The newspaper also reports on the signing
of an economic agreement by Zagreb and Krajina officials to
restore key infrastructure links. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

MILOSEVIC PROMISES SUPPORT FOR HURD AND JUPPE. The Serbian
president told the British and French foreign ministers in
Belgrade that he welcomes the new "clarification" they have
offered to give the Bosnian Serbs confederal links to
Serbia-Montenegro. He urged the international Contact Group also
to consider changes in the "take-it-or-leave-it" map to the
advantage of the Serbs and promised to use his influence with the
Bosnian Serbs to bring them around to accepting the package. It is
not clear how he intends to achieve that, given his bad relations
with the Karadzic leadership. International media also reported on
4 December that Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic said his
government accepts the plan in its present form and will agree to
no further changes. Borba on 5 December quotes him as saying that
"we have already offered up half of Bosnia on a silver platter to
a fascist regime." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc.

BERISHA SHAKES UP ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT. Following widespread public
charges of incompetence and corruption against the Albanian
government, President Sali Berisha has made major changes in the
cabinet, Koha Jone reported on 1 and 2 December. Deputy Prime
Minister Bashkim Kopliku, Defense Minister Safet Zhulali, Foreign
Minister Alfred Serreqi, Finance Minister Pirro Dishnica, Culture
and Youth Minister Dhimiter Anagnosti, and Housing and
Construction Minister Ilir Manushi have all been dismissed.
(Reuters on 4 December offered a slightly different list of the
ministers affected.) The number of ministries will be reduced, but
the new cabinet has not yet been announced. Meanwhile, the
Socialist Party supported the Democrats in the parliament, where
four law amendments were passed without any opposition, Rilindja
Demokratike reported on 2 December. These changes seem to reflect
a new policy on Berisha's part aimed at dialogue with the
opposition, after he failed to muster public support for a new
constitution in a recent referendum. The personnel changes may
also indicate that Berisha is cleaning house within his own party.
But Reuters on 4 December quoted a Socialist spokesman as saying
the reshuffle is not enough and that new elections are the only
alternative in the wake of the referendum. -- Fabian Schmidt,
RFE/RL, Inc.

CSCE SUMMIT OPENS IN BUDAPEST. The two-day summit of the
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe opens in Budapest
on 5 December, MTI reports. Hungarian President Arpad Goncz met
the previous day with leaders attending the summit, including
Ukrainian and Russian Presidents Leonid Kuchma and Boris Yeltsin.
Yeltsin repeated his concerns about NATO's eastward expansion,
according to MTI. The Hungarian side said NATO expansion would
enhance Central European stability and stressed it was the
sovereign right of each country to decide whether to join the
alliance. In separate talks with Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo
Kovacs, Andrei Kozyrev talked at length about the consequences of
NATO's expansion for Russian domestic politics. Kovacs said
Kozyrev did not indicate that Russia was opposed to Hungary's plan
to join NATO. The same day, Kovacs and Prime Minister Gyula Horn
held talks with their Russian counterparts in a meeting that
lasted well into the night. -- Edith Oltay, RFE/RL, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TO SIGN NPT ONLY WITH SECURITY GUARANTEES.
Leonid Kuchma, arriving in Budapest on 4 December for the CSCE
summit, was quoted by Reuters as saying he had come ready to sign
the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, provided he received
assurances of Ukraine's security from the five declared nuclear
powers. "We agreed that we bring the treaty and that they would
provide the security guarantees," Kuchma said before leaving Kiev.
China, in a statement issued on 4 December, formally pledged that
it recognized the independence, sovereignty, and territorial
integrity of Ukraine. As reported by the Xinhua news agency, the
statement welcomed Ukraine's accession to NPT as a
non-nuclear-weapons state. The other four nuclear powers--the
United States, France, Russia, and Britain--are expected to give
similar assurances. The signing ceremony is scheduled to take
place on 5 December and is to be presided over by US President
Bill Clinton. -- Doug Clarke and Jan Cleave, RFE/RL, Inc.

SEJM OVERRIDES WALESA'S VETO. The Sejm on 2 December overrode
President Lech Walesa's veto of a bill providing for high income
tax rates (21, 33, and 45 percent, depending on income level) by a
vote of 327 to 93. The president has seven days either to sign the
bill, thereby ensuring its implementation in 1995, or to send it
to the Constitutional Tribunal to determine whether it complies
with the constitution. Gazeta Wyborcza on 3 December speculated
that the president may sign the bill but will veto other economic
legislation proposed by the government. Meanwhile, the Sejm on 2
December failed to approve proposed legislation on reprivatizing
property illegally nationalized in the late 1940s. As in the case
of the vote on the tax bill, the deciding ballots were cast by the
government coalition parties and the leftist Union of Labor. --
Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

GERMAN BANK INVESTS IN POLAND'S FINANCIAL SECTOR. The German
Commerzbank on 1 December agreed to take a 21 percent stake in the
Polish Export Development Bank. This is the first time that a
German bank has invested directly in Poland's financial sector.
The Commerzbank investment amounts to DM 80 million and provides
the German bank with a local partner to deal with its clients in
Poland. Another German bank, the Dresdner, as well as the French
Banque Nationale de Paris, are currently setting up branches in
Poland, but similar attempts by other Western banks have run into
opposition from the Polish National Bank, which insists that
investors buy into existing Polish banks to help strengthen the
Polish banking system. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH-RUSSIAN DEBT TALKS. Czech and Russian media reported on 3
December that Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Czech
Finance Minister Ivan Kocarnik had met to discuss debt settlement
and oil and gas supplies. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yurii
Yarov, who also took part in the talks, said the two sides
continued to discuss ways of rescheduling Russia's $3.5 billion
debt to the Czech Republic. He added that the two sides discussed
plans for setting up a joint venture in which Czech Skoda Cars
would be assembled in Russia. Russian and Czech officials also
discussed proposals for cooperation in culture, science, and
education. The two sides on 4 December signed agreements on
long-term oil supplies to the Czech Republic and cooperation in
nuclear power engineering. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

CZECH SKINHEADS SENTENCED. A court in the town of Pisek on 2
December sentenced two skinheads to one year each in jail for
deliberately causing the death by drowning of a Gypsy. CTK
reported that 14 other skinheads were acquitted for lack of
evidence. The victim died in September 1993 in Pisek after the
skinheads--armed with baseball bats, chains, and sticks--chased
him into the freezing waters of the Otava river and prevented him
from being rescued. Shortly after the court proceedings, one of
the skinheads who had been on trial was stabbed several times by a
young Gypsy on the town's main square. The assailant was taken
into police custody. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

MECIAR'S PARTY CLOSE TO FORMING A COALITION. Former Slovak Labor
Minister Olga Keltosova, who has been heading coalition talks
between Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, the
Slovak National Party, and the Association of Workers, said on 2
December that they were close to reaching an agreement on a
government with Meciar as prime minister. "We expect a government
[to be formed] within seven to ten days," Keltosova said. She
declined to confirm a TASR report that the Association of Workers
would get the justice and privatization portfolios and the SNP the
education and defense posts, while the MDS would take all other
ministries. The same day, Meciar refused to meet with outgoing
Prime Minister Jozef Moravcik to discuss the government's proposal
for the state budget. He indicated that his party would vote
against the budget proposal in the parliament. The prime
minister-designate suggested that Slovakia will have to adopt a
provisional budget until his government can push through its
version. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

SLOVAK CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS REELECT CARNOGURSKY. The congress of
the Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia reelected Jan
Carnogursky as party chairman on 3 December, TASR reported.
Frantisek Miklosko, Ivan Simko, Mikulas Dzurinda, and Jan Sigel
were elected deputy chairmen. In his speech to the congress,
Carnogursky said he did not see any possibility for holding talks
with Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, which
won the recent parliamentary elections. He said that the MDS is
causing conflicts on the domestic political scene and is leading
Slovakia into international isolation. "We have established
ourselves as a party of decent people, and our party represents a
real alternative to the future government [of Meciar],"
Carnogursky said. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc.

ROMANIAN SECRET SERVICE PLOTTING TO KILL PRO-HUNGARIAN ACTIVIST?
Radio Bucharest on 2 December quoted the chief of the Austrian
Counterintelligence Service, Peter Blumauer, as saying in an
interview with AFP that the Romanian Intelligence Service was
plotting to kill Austrian lawyer Eva Maria Barki. Barki, who is of
Hungarian origin, has long been regarded in Romania as an
extremist and has actively promoted the rights of the Magyar
minority in Romania, including territorial autonomy. Blumauer said
the RIS planned to liquidate Barki by faking a road accident,
using methods employed in the past by the Securitate, the former
political police. He said Barki has been warned by the Austrian
service to change her daily schedule and take other precautions.
According to Blumauer, two other Hungarians were being targeted by
the RIS, including Reformed Bishop Laszlo Tokes. RIS spokesman
Nicolae Ulieru responded by telling Radio Bucharest the same day
that the service has never employed "elimination methods" and was
not permitted by law to act abroad. Eva Maria Barki, he added, had
been declared persona non grata in Romania for "activities that
infringe on the laws of the Romanian state." -- Michael Shafir,
RFE/RL, Inc.

NATIONALIST LEADER ACCUSES PSDR OF NOT KEEPING PROMISES ON
COALITION. The leader of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania
Party, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, has accused the Party of Social
Democracy in Romania of reneging on its promise to sign a formal
protocol of collaboration, which would include its joining the
ruling coalition. At a press conference carried by Radio Bucharest
on 2 December, Tudor said the protocol, which provided for
collaboration between the present coalition members (the PSDR and
the Party of Romanian National Unity) on the one hand, and the GRP
and the Socialist Labor Party (both of which support the
government in parliament) on the other, was drafted on 5 November,
after the GRP threatened to withdraw its support unless it was
allowed to formally join the coalition. The GRP National Council,
which met on 5 and 6 November after issuing an ultimatum-like
demand to the PSDR, postponed its decision to withdraw for three
months. Tudor said at the press conference that once the danger
had passed, the PSDR leadership ignored its promise and continued
to display "an arrogant attitude" toward the GRP. -- Michael
Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc.

LITHUANIAN SENTENCED FOR 1991 COUP ATTEMPT. The Lithuanian Supreme
Court on 2 December sentenced General Ginutis Taurinskas, former
head of the Lithuanian Voluntary Society for Cooperation with the
Army, Air Force, and Navy, to two-and-a-half years in prison, a
200 litai ($50) fine, and confiscation of property, BNS reported
on 3 December. Taurinkas had been accused of attempting to
overthrow the Lithuanian government in January 1991 and of
participation in the seizure of several buildings with the
assistance of Soviet troops. As he was arrested in September 1993,
he has already served almost half his term. -- Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR ON BILATERAL RELATIONS.
Meeting with President Guntis Ulmanis in Riga on 2 December,
Russian Ambassador to Latvia Aleksandr Rannikh endorsed the idea
of future meetings between the Latvian and Russian foreign
ministers. The first such meeting is to take place in Budapest
within the framework of the CSCE conference. If it is successful,
the next meeting may be held in early 1995 in Riga. Rannikh
presented Ulmanis with a copy of the Russian State Duma's response
to the Baltic Assembly's resolution on Kaliningrad Oblast. --
Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

LATVIANS DO NOT TRUST STATE OFFICIALS. A recent public opinion
poll indicates that about 60 percent of Latvians think that state
officials are easy to bribe and dishonest, while only 3 percent
believe they are fair and do not accept bribes. About 13 percent
of the respondents said they have declined to bribe an official
who hinted he would accept such payment, while 6.7 percent of
respondents have paid officials for housing, medical, and
commercial services. On the positive side, 78% percent of the
respondents have not experienced corruptness among officials this
year. State Reform Minister Vita Terauda says the situation could
be improved by the adoption and implementation of appropriate
laws, which are currently being drafted, BNS reported on 2
December. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

ESTONIAN POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS. The Estonian government on 1
December accepted the resignation of Police Department
Director-General Uuno Ellen and appointed Herman Simm, chief of
the Harjumaa police and president of the Estonian branch of the
International Police Association, as his replacement. It is
unclear why Ellen, who held the position for only eight months and
had started to reorganize the police force, decided to step down.
Ellen was the successor of Igor Amann, whom the government
dismissed in January, BNS reported on 2 December. -- Dzintra
Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc.

DIVERS EXAMINE SUNKEN ESTONIAN FERRY. A spokesman for the Swedish
maritime affairs directorate said that divers examining the
interior of the sunken ferry "Estonia" have recovered two
satellite navigation receivers but failed to find the bridge
computer or "black box," Western agencies reported on 4 December.
The divers, who began their scheduled four-day search on 2
December, described the ship's decks as "demolished." The ship
rolled over before hitting bottom and is lying on its side about
80 meters underwater. The divers' mission is to find evidence to
help officials decide whether to refloat the ferry, to retrieve
the bodies, or to leave the bodies and fill the wreck with sand to
"bury" the victims and protect the wreck from scavangers. The
decision is expected to be made this month. -- Saulius Girnius,
RFE/RL, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Jan Cleave and Bess Brown)
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
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Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.


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