I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. - Rev. Martin Luther King 1929-1968
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 18, Part I, 25 January 1995

We welcome you to Part I of the Open Media Research
Institute's Daily Digest. The Digest is distriubed in two
sections. This part focuses on Russia, Transcaucasia and
Central Asia, and the CIS. Part II, distributed
simultaneously as a second document, covers East-Central and
Southeastern Europe.

The Daily Digest picks up where the RFE/RL Daily Report,
which recently ceased publication, left off. Contributors
include OMRI's 30-member staff of analysts, plus selected
freelance specialists. OMRI is a unique public-private
venture between the Open Society Institute and the U.S. Board
for International Broadcasting.

RUSSIA

YELTSIN MAY CREATE NATIONAL GUARD. President Boris Yeltsin's
advisers are preparing to set up a National Guard directly
subordinate to the president, Izvestiya reported on 24
January. According to documents Izvestiya cited, during a
political crisis, the guard will be an "armed organization .
. . that will be an instrument in the battle for political
power." In periods of stability, the National Guard will be
an "armed pillar for the political leader of the state." The
guard will mostly deal with internal problems and threats
which are outside the army's jurisdiction. Its membership
will be small, but elite. Aleksandr Korzhakov, chief of
Yeltsin's Presidential Guard, is said to be the main force
behind the creation of a new guard. The idea for it sprang
from an "analytical center" under his control which employs
between 60 to 100 former KGB experts and is headed by Georgii
Pagozin, Korzhakov's deputy. Korzhakov's Presidential Guard
currently has 4,000 men, according to AFP. The appearance of
this document adds to increasing evidence that Korzhakov is
exercising a hard-line influence on the president. -- Robert
Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

DUDAEV, GRACHEV ON SITUATION IN CHECHNYA. Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev said that Russian troops do not control any
part of Grozny and claimed that pockets of Russian forces in
the city are surrounded, according to an interview with radio
station Ekho Moskvy quoted by Western agencies on 24 January.
He again called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of all
Russian troops and asked for international observers to be
stationed in Chechnya. At a press conference in Moscow on 24
January summarized by ITAR-TASS, Russian Defense Minister
Pavel Grachev claimed that his troops had completed the
process of disarming illegal formations in Grozny and that
there were no longer any substantive centers of Chechen
resistance in Grozny or elsewhere. He said the army was ready
to turn over responsibility for restoring order to the
Russian Interior Ministry. A UN official, cited by Reuters on
24 January, estimated that some 42,000 refugees have fled the
fighting in Chechnya. A spokesman for the International
Organization for Migration in Geneva said that preparations
are being made to evacuate at least half of the 10,000
civilians still stranded in Grozny. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

FOUR JOURNALISTS SHOT, 107 BEATEN UP BY THE MILITARY. Four
journalists have been killed and 107 more intimidated while
working in Chechnya, according to a round-table discussion
attended by representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the
Ministry of Internal Affairs, the State Duma, the government,
public organizations, and the media. The 24 January
discussion, broadcast on Russian TV, dealt with reports that
the military has beaten up journalists, confiscated their
equipment, fired at their vehicles and even at journalists
themselves. While the officers accused the media of siding
with the Chechens, the journalists argued that the military
was not allowing them to report from the Russian side of the
conflict. A military spokesman confirmed that Defense
Minister Grachev had ordered his subordinates to keep
journalists away from battlefields because he wanted to
protect them. -- Julia Wishnevsky, OMRI, Inc.

GRACHEV TO FIRE GENERALS. The defense minister Pavel Grachev
said he intends to fire six or seven generals for refusing to
participate in the Chechen conflict, Interfax reported on 24
January. The only name he mentioned was Col.-Gen. Eduard
Vorobev--the first deputy commander of Ground Forces. Grachev
said three of his deputies who recently lost their posts--
Col.-Gens. Boris Gromov, Georgii Kondratev, and Valerii
Mironov--would not be dismissed from the armed forces.
Instead, they would be offered other positions "in military
or other structures" at the same rank. He added that he would
soon appoint two more deputies. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN SECURITY SERVICES ALLEGEDLY ACCUSE WESTERN INVESTORS
OF SUBVERTING RUSSIAN ECONOMY. Documents allegedly leaked
from Russian security services to a Russian newspaper accuse
Western investors of subverting the Russian economy, the
Financial Times reports. The attacks appeared in Rabochaya
Tribuna of 24 January and mentioned 15 specific Western
investments, including CS First Boston's acquisition of
portions of several oil companies and involvement by the
foreign metals trading company Transworld in the aluminum
sector. These investments represented part of "the hidden
intervention of foreign capital aimed at undermining the
weapons building capacity and economy of the country." the
Financial Times interpreted this assault on foreign
investment as a reflection of the ongoing struggle within the
Russian government over the future direction of the country's
economy. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN FIRES PRIVATIZATION CHIEF. President Yeltsin fired
Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Polevanov on 24 January on
grounds that the country's privatization chief "did not know
he needed to toe the government's pro-privatization line,"
AFP reported. Last week, Yeltsin publicly criticized
Polevanov for saying earlier this month that firms in the
fuel and aluminum industries which had been "unfairly
privatized" should be renationalized in the interests of
national security. Polevanov caused another stir earlier this
month when he prohibited foreigners and several journalists
from entering the State Property Committee headquarters. The
ex-privatization chief explained the action at the time as
"the need to protect state secrets." When First Deputy Prime
Minister Anatolii Chubais ordered him to reverse the
decision, Polevanov refused. Yeltsin said that with
Polevanov's dismissal, "nothing changes in the strategy and
tactics of reform in Russia on the part of the president or
the government." -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

UNEMPLOYMENT INCREASING. Some 1.88 million people were
officially registered as unemployed on 1 January 1995, 1.64
million of whom were receiving unemployment benefits,
agencies reported on 24 January. Fedor Prokopov, head of the
Federal Employment Service, stated that actual unemployment
in January was 5.3 million and that 13.5 percent of those who
want to work are now jobless, a figure that he said includes
hidden unemployment. The same day an Economics Ministry
official told a round-table discussion on unemployment in
Moscow that the number of officially registered people
without work is expected to reach 4.2 million by the end of
the year. He added that the official figure reflects just a
third of Russia's unemployed. Interfax quoted him as saying
that one in four never apply for a new job, some 5 million
are looking for work without the aid of the state employment
offices, and another 5 million work part-time. -- Penny
Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

1994 GRAIN HARVEST DIPS TO LOWEST POINT IN 13 YEARS. Russia
collected 81.3 million tons of grain in 1994, the lowest
harvest in 13 years, according to a Goskomstat report cited
by Interfax. Goskomstat said that in 1993 Russia harvested
99.1 million tons in comparison with a high of 116.7 million
tons reaped in 1990. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture
and Food told Interfax that its plant-growing department
estimates that 82 million tons of grain will be harvested in
1995. Ministry experts believe this can be achieved if state
support for agriculture stays at last year's level, 13.9
trillion rubles (3,947 rubles/$1). The ministry presented
this figure in its draft resolution on state regulation
measures and on economic conditions for the functioning of
Russia's agro-industrial complex. However, the 1995 draft
budget, which has been approved by the Duma on the
preliminary reading, only allocates 8 trillion rubles for
agriculture. Despite the final monetary allocation, Ministry
of Economics experts said that 108-110 million tons of grain
will be required to fulfill the population's needs this year.
-- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

CONFERENCE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO BE HELD IN FEBRUARY. The
Analytical Center led by Chief of Staff Sergei Filatov
decided to hold an all-Russia conference in February to speed
up the adoption of a new law on relations between the federal
and local governments, Interfax reported 24 January. The
conference will also examine controversial issues surrounding
tax and regional property rights. Filatov has made numerous
statements recently warning Russia's regions against trying
to take too much power. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

ZYUGANOV TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. The Communist Party has
decided to back Gennadii Zyuganov as its presidential
candidate, he announced at a press conference 24 January.
According to Interfax, he stressed he will seek alliances
with other groups favoring a strong state. The Communist
leader specifically named the Agrarian Party and the Russian
National Union as potential partners. Asked about working
with Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Zyuganov said, "sometimes in the
morning Zhirinovsky qualifies [as an ally] but then stops
after lunch." Zhirinovsky has already announced his intention
to run for Russia's highest office. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI,
Inc.

SPACE TROOPS LAUNCH AMERICAN SATELLITE. For the first time,
an American commercial satellite has been launched by Russia,
a spokesman for the Space Troops told Interfax on 24 January.
He said that a FAISAT experimental communication satellite,
belonging to the U.S. firm Final Analysis, Inc., had been one
of three satellites sent into space from the Plesetsk
cosmodrome that day aboard a Cosmos booster. Built by the
Polyet Aerospace Association in Omsk, the Cosmos is touted to
be the world's most reliable booster for placing light loads
in low earth orbit. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

GENERAL LEBED SAYS HE PASSED INSPECTION. Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr
Lebed, told Interfax on 23 January that his controversial
command of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova had been given a
clean bill of health from a group of Moscow military
inspectors, headed by Deputy Defense Minister Konstantin
Kobets. He was quoted as saying the inspection was
"successful, no serious reproaches were voiced." Like Kobets,
he also denied press rumors that the purpose of Kobets visit
had been to remove him from his post. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI,
Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TASHKENT PROSECUTOR THREATENS ACTION AGAINST FORMER PRIME
MINISTER. Tashkent Prosecutor Ergash Dzhuraev wants legal
proceedings brought against former Prime Minister Shukurulla
Mirsaidov, who recently announced that he was creating a new
opposition political party in Uzbekistan, according to an
article published in the Uzbek press on 21 January and
summarized by Interfax that day. Dzhuraev claimed that in
1990-1991, during his tenure as prime minister, Mirsaidov had
abused his official position, causing $5,635,000 in financial
losses. Uzbekistan's Supreme Court found him guilty, but he
was later amnestied on the first anniversary of the country's
independence. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

RUSSIA AND BELARUS SIGN TRADE AGREEMENT. Russia and Belarus
signed a trade and economic cooperation agreement for 1995 in
Moscow, Belarusian television reported on 23 January. Under
the terms of the agreement, Belarus is to receive 10 million
tons of oil from Russia and an additional four million tons
may be delivered if the two can work out a clearing
arrangement. The report says it will be difficult for Belarus
to deliver enough acceptable goods to Russia which would
cover the extra four million tons. After the agreement was
signed, Russia resumed oil deliveries to Belarus at Russian
domestic rates. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

CIS FOREIGN MINISTERS DISCUSS NEXT MONTH'S MEETING IN ALMATY.
Foreign ministers of the CIS states are scheduled to meet 25
January to discuss the agenda for next month's CIS summit in
Almaty, agencies reported. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan
Nazarbaev said they will discuss a Russian-authored draft
"peace and accord" pact. He added that such a pact "would be
a blessing for all peoples in the post-Soviet era." In a
related development, Russian officials responsible for CIS
affairs said that Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan
would sign agreements this week on convertible currencies, a
customs union and free trade.-- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former
Soviet Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is
published Monday through Friday by the Open Media Research
Institute. The Daily Digest is distributed electronically via
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