To get rid of an enemy, one must love him. - Leo Tolstoy
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 75, Part I, 14 April 1995

NOTICE TO READERS: THE DAILY DIGEST WILL NOT APPEAR ON MONDAY, 17 APRIL
1995, A CZECH NATIONAL HOLIDAY.

We welcome you to Part I of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily
Digest. 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.  Back issues of the Daily
Digest, and other information about OMRI, are available through our WWW
pages: http://www.omri.cz/OMRI.html

RUSSIA

RUSSIAN TROOPS CARRY OUT MASSACRE IN SAMASHKI. At least 47 people died
in a massacre in Samashki, a village of 7,000 to 15,000, on the night of
7-8 April, representatives of the Russian human rights organization
Memorial told NTV. Sergei Kovalev, President Boris Yeltsin's human
rights adviser, and Memorial member Andrei Blinushov, said the actual
number may be as high as 211, Ekho Moskvy reported. Official Russian
reports claim that troops captured 100 Chechen fighters and did nothing
wrong. Memorial told Russian television that the village was given an
ultimatum to turn over all its weapons within one and a half hours. When
it could not comply, masked soldiers entered the town and threw grenades
into basements where people were hiding and destroyed the buildings with
flame-throwers. Reuters reported that many of the Russian soldiers
injected themselves with drugs during the massacre and that the village
was still littered with used syringes on 13 April. According to Russia's
Choice Duma member Anatoly Shabad, the purpose of the massacre was to
"terrorize the Chechen population so that it would not resist any
further." Kovalev said it is still necessary to find out exactly what
happened in Samashki. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN TROOPS ATTACKING BAMUT. Russian troops are now attacking Bamut,
seven miles from Samashki, described as the last stronghold of the
Chechen resistance, Russian TV reported 13 April. The Russian air force
is participating and witnesses at the site report artillery fire. --
Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

RIGHTS GROUPS CALL ON WESTERN GOVERNMENTS TO SPEAK OUT. Memorial and
Human Rights Watch have appealed to Western governments to use their May
visits to Moscow to protest the war in Chechnya, AFP reported. Sergei
Kovalev said "Western leaders can be partially blamed for the bloodshed"
because of their refusal to act. Minister of Internal Affairs Viktor
Yerin, however, denounced the activists, saying "I suggest that those
activists stand in the trenches with the soldiers and officers who are
carrying out the special operations, walk together with them, and then
give their evaluations," NTV reported. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

DUDAEV ESCAPES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT. Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev
is in a military camp in the mountains near Bamut, in southern Chechnya,
according to reports on Russian TV. Earlier statements by Russian
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev that Dudaev had been killed or wounded
are not true, according to Ruslan Movsaev, commander of a Chechen
fighting unit, AFP reported. On 12 April, artillery destroyed the house
that Dudaev had occupied only hours earlier. The exact location of the
house is unclear. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

FEDERATION COUNCIL APPEALS TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OVER CHECHNYA DECREES
.. . . The Federation Council challenged the legality of secret decrees
on restoring law and order in Chechnya, Russian Public Television
reported on 13 April. By a vote of 97 to one, with two abstentions, the
Council decided to ask the Constitutional Court to rule on Yeltsin's
decrees of 30 November and 9 December, as well as the government's 9
December resolution. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai
said Russia's armed forces were sent to Chechnya in accordance with the
constitution, Interfax reported. He praised the draft law on settling
the Chechen conflict, which the Duma passed on 12 April, as an example
of cooperation between the legislative and executive branches. Shakhrai
said a conference on reaching a peaceful settlement would be held in
Grozny later this month, but he ruled out direct talks with Dudaev. --
Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

.. . . WHILE DEPUTIES CRITICIZE SHUMEIKO'S STAND ON CHECHNYA. Yelena
Mizulina, deputy chairman of the Federation Council's Committee for
Constitutional Law and Legal Matters, said Council Chairman Vladimir
Shumeiko should share the blame for the escalation of violence in
Chechnya, NTV reported. She said Shumeiko, who is a permanent member of
Yeltsin's Security Council, failed to express the views of the upper
house of parliament adequately to the president. Deputies also
criticized Shumeiko and Defense and Security Committee Chairman Petr
Shirshov for concealing the contents of Yeltsin's secret decrees on
Chechnya from the rest of the Federation Council. Shumeiko defended the
Security Council as a constitutional body and said he was obliged not to
reveal state secrets. He also threatened to sue deputy Viktor Kurochkin
for calling the Security Council a "gang" and accusing "the Politburo"
of starting a war in Chechnya. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

GOVERNMENT MAKES CONCESSIONS TO DISGRUNTLED WORKERS. At a cabinet
meeting on 13 April, the day after workers nationwide rallied to protest
wage arrears, First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets announced the
government's decision to pay in full the wages it owes workers in the
defense industry by the end of the week, Interfax reported. First Deputy
Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais reported on the improvement in the
situation in Primorsky Krai (see below) and said the government would
loan regional authorities 85 billion rubles to pay the wages owed to
school workers and teachers, Interfax reported. Noting the low average
wage in Russia, Labor Minister Gennady Melikyan conceded that trade
unions had reason to be unhappy. According to Minister of Internal
Affairs Yerin, 450,000 people took part in the day of action organized
by the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia; union
representatives said about 1.5 million participated. -- Penny Morvant,
OMRI, Inc.

PRIMORSKY MINERS GO BACK TO WORK. Ending a week-long strike, miners in
Primorsky Krai went back to work on 13 April as they began to receive
their wages, Interfax reported that day, citing the Fuel and Energy
Ministry. The miners were owed wages from as far back as November. In
Vladivostok on 12 April, Fuel and Energy Minister Yury Shafranik said
the government had found the means to pay the miners in full and that 80
billion rubles were being dispatched to the krai, Ekho Moskvy reported.
Shafranik, like First Deputy Prime Minister Chubais, was very critical
of the performance of the krai administration and Governor Yevgeny
Nazdratenko in particular. Chubais accused Nazdratenko of exacerbating
tensions, recalling that he had urged a blockade of the Trans-Siberian
railway, and vowed to investigate his "political games." He was also
critical of the governor's decision to leave for an EBRD meeting in
London at a critical juncture. In response to the allegations, Nazdra-
tenko's deputy argued that the main cause of the miners strike was
delays in federal subsidies to the energy sector. On 13 April, Izvestiya
questioned what had happened to a 600-billion-ruble federal subsidy sent
earlier to the krai, noting that the miners had only received 20 billion
of those funds, although coal provides 90% of the region's energy. The
paper also said it had been unable to find any trace of Nazdratenko in
London. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

FINANCE MINISTER SAYS RESERVE FUND EMPTY. Vladimir Panskov told a
cabinet meeting on 13 April that the reserve fund for 1995 has been
completely exhausted, Interfax reported. The fund is used to cover
expenditures for emergency situations and other measures not foreseen in
the regular budget. He did not indicate whether measures would be taken
to replenish the fund. Earlier in the week, Panskov announced a 7-
trillion-ruble shortfall in first-quarter revenue, which amounts to
about 14% less than calculated in the budget. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI,
Inc.

RUSSIANS PUSH FOR CHANGE IN ARMS TREATY. The "flanks" restrictions in
the CFE treaty must be changed if the accord is to be viable, according
to Grigory Karasin, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, who
was commenting on the current Vienna meeting of the treaty's Joint
Consultative Group. The Russian military has long complained that the
limits unfairly restrict the amount of military equipment it can deploy
in the strategic North Caucasus Military District. Karasin told ITAR-
TASS that Russia expected its treaty partners "to produce a constructive
response" to its compromise proposals, adding that the treaty "must
correspond to new realities." -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

TAJIK ROUND-UP. Fighting in Gorno-Badakhshan continued as
opposition forces shelled Khorog, and Russian border guards retaliated
with missile and bomb strikes, using helicopter gunships and planes
belonging to CIS peacekeeping forces, Interfax and Western agencies
reported on 13 April. ITAR-TASS reported that six more frontier guards--
raising the estimated number of deaths to 42--were killed the same day.
An estimated 200 Tajik opposition fighters have died to date. A Tajik
government delegation, led by parliament Deputy Chairman Kazidavlot
Koimdodov and other high-ranking officials, left for Badakhshan to
analyze the military and political situation there, Interfax reported.
President Yeltsin called for "immediate measures," including dispatching
technical and military aid to Tajikistan; his defense minister had
earlier gone on record opposing such measures. The UN Security Council
expressed its "deep concern" on 12 April and said the Tajik opposition
is jeopardizing an earlier cease-fire agreement, Reuters reported.
Multiple sources noted increasing coordination between the Ismaili
Pamiri forces and the Afghanistan-based Islamic Tajik opposition. As
both the Russian and Tajik opposition forces are said to be receiving
reinforcements, the conflict looks set to continue. -- Lowell Bezanis,
OMRI, Inc.

AFGHANISTAN PROTESTS RUSSIAN BOMBING. The headquarters of the Islamic
Renaissance Party in Toluqan was bombed killing 40 civilians, according
to Deputy Chairman Kazi Akbar Turadzhonzoda, Interfax reported on 13
April; Kabul Radio, however, cited 100 dead and 200 wounded. Repeated
strikes against alleged opposition targets in Takhar and Badakhshan
provinces have occured in recent days, and the Kabul government has
protested Russian bombing of its territory to the UN. -- Lowell Bezanis,
OMRI, Inc.

AZERBAIJAN REJECTS IRANIAN CRITICISM OVER OIL DEAL. Azerbaijan
Parliament chairman Rasul Guliev has rejected as "totally
incomprehensible" Iran's angry reaction to his government's decision to
cancel an agreement giving Iran a 5% share in the consortium to develop
three Caspian oil fields, Interfax reported on 13 April. Instead,
Azerbaijan has given a 5% stake to Exxon and another 5% to the Turkish
company TPAO. Also on 13 April, a spokesman for Azerbaijan's State Oil
Company SOCAR said Iran would be offered a share in the development of
the Shakh Deniz oil and gas deposits as compensation. Meanwhile, an
Azerbaijani government delegation traveled to Moscow on 13 April for
talks on lifting the transport blockade imposed on Azerbaijan late last
year. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

KURDS KILLED TRYING TO ENTER NAKHICHEVAN. Azerbaijani border guards have
in recent days repelled numerous attempts by groups of Kurds to cross
the border from Iran into the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhichevan, AFP
reported on 13 April, quoting a security ministry official in Baku.
Several Kurds have been killed in the attempt. Iran has closed its
border with Turkey to prevent the PKK from launching cross-border
attacks. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

AS MANY AS 3 MILLION RUSSIANS MAY MIGRATE TO HOMELAND. Only 2-3 million
ethnic Russians are likely to migrate to Russia from other countries in
the CIS, not the tens of millions that some estimate, according to Emil
Pain, a member of the Presidential Council. Interfax reported on 12
April that the main problem confronting ethnic Russians in the "near
abroad" is getting used to changing economic circumstances, not ethnic
discrimination. Citing opinion polls conducted in Kazakhstan and Estonia
in December 1994, Pain said 66% of the Russians in Kazakhstan consider
low living standards the worst problem and 87% of the Russians in
Estonia said they never had any problems with the local population.
However, Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on 13 April that migration from
Kazakhstan to Orenburg Oblast increased dramatically in the first
quarter of 1995, mainly by families interested in pursuing Russian-
language education for their children. -- 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
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