Silence is the real crime against humanity. - Nadezhda Mandelstam
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 147, Part I, 31 July 1995

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

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULING: SECRET DECREES ON CHECHNYA LEGAL.
Representatives of the Russian Constitutional Court announced on 31 July
that the court ruled that two secret decrees issued by the president and
government authorizing the military campaign in Chechnya were fully in
accordance with the constitution, an RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow
reported the same day. The court also decided that it was beyond its
competence to rule on two other decrees relating to Chechnya whose
legitimacy had been challenged by parliamentary representatives. At
press time, more details about the ruling were not available. Deputies
from both the State Duma and the Federation Council had challenged the
decrees on several grounds; their main argument was that troops cannot
be deployed on the territory of the Russian Federation unless a
presidential decree establishing a state of emergency has been
published. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

MILITARY ACCORD SIGNED IN GROZNY . . . Russian and Chechen negotiators
initialed a military agreement on 30 July but again postponed the
resolution of troublesome political issues, Western and Russian agencies
reported. The long-anticipated agreement provides for the cessation of
military activities, a prisoner exchange, the disarmament of Chechen
fighters, and the withdrawal of most federal troops from the republic. A
mixed commission will monitor its implementation. After a three-day
break, talks on the political status of Chechnya are scheduled to resume
on 3 August. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

. . . BUT DUDAEV REJECTS IT. Chechen President Dudaev reportedly
rejected the agreement, telling an RFE/RL correspondent on 31 July that
it "had no legal force" because the Russian delegation had resorted to
"blackmail, threats, and physical pressure" to coerce the Chechen
delegation into signing it. He added that he had not seen the accord,
and it is "not valid" without his "confirmation." Dudaev also rejected a
provision of the accord that calls for the surrender of Shamil Basaev,
leader of the raid on Budennovsk, saying, "a deal on that matter is
inappropriate." Russian commentators have likewise expressed doubts that
the military accord will lead to lasting peace in Chechnya. -- Scott
Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN AND CLINTON DISCUSS BOSNIA. Russian President Boris Yeltsin
discussed the situation in Bosnia by telephone with U.S. President Bill
Clinton on 28 July, Western agencies reported. Yeltsin reiterated
Russia's commitment to finding a "political solution" and expressed
concern that lifting the UN arms embargo on Bosnia could lead to an
escalation of the fighting. Speaking in Brunei, on 30 July, Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev said Yeltsin had sent the UN Security
Council a proposal to dispatch Russian troops as reinforcements for
peacekeepers in the UN "safe area" of Gorazde. In Moscow, presidential
adviser Yurii Baturin warned in a 29 July interview with NTV that if the
U.S. unilaterally lifts the arms embargo against the Bosnian government,
as recently called for by the U.S. Senate, it would strengthen "hawks"
in the Duma, like Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who want Russia to unilaterally
ignore the UN embargo against Serbia. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN PLANS TO VETO FEDERATION COUNCIL LAW. President Yeltsin told
Federation Council Speaker Vladimir Shumeiko that he will veto the law
on the formation of the Federation Council in a telephone conversation
on 28 July, ITAR-TASS reported. Yeltsin will also appeal to the
Constitutional Court to define exactly what the constitution states
about forming the upper house. If no compromise can be found by the
December elections, Yeltsin will issue a presidential decree to define
the membership of the Federation Council. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN PROMOTES KORZHAKOV, REARRANGES SECURITY SERVICES. Yeltsin
promoted the head of the Presidential Security Service (SB), Aleksandr
Korzhakov, from major general to lieutenant general, NTV reported on 29
July. In a separate decree, Yeltsin made the SB part of his
administration, but explicitly stated that Chief-of-Staff Sergei Filatov
would not have jurisdiction over it. Additionally, Yeltsin subordinated
the formerly independent Main Protection Administration (GUO) to
Korzhakov's Security Service. The previous head of the GUO, Mikhail
Barsukov, was recently named to head the Federal Security Service. The
new head of the GUO will be Yurii Krapivin, Barsukov's former first
deputy, who was also promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. --
Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

REACTION TO SECURITY RESTRUCTURING. NTV speculated on 30 July that the
restructuring could presage an attempt by Yeltsin to bring the power
ministries under Korzhakov's control. The decision on the GUO "seriously
strengthened Korzhakov's political position" and gave him access to more
information, NTV concluded. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
apparently knew nothing about the decree before it was adopted. Aides to
presidential adviser for national security Yurii Baturin and legal
affairs adviser Mikhail Krasnov said they had nothing to do with
Yeltsin's decrees, NTV reported on 29 July. Filatov refused to comment
in detail but did not deny that the decree had not been checked with him
beforehand. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

TRETYAKOV: NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA TO RESUME PUBLICATION SOON. Nezavisimaya
gazeta has received credit from an unnamed Russian commercial bank and
will resume publication soon at its previous circulation of 56,000
copies, the newspaper's editor-in-chief Vitalii Tretyakov told Ekho
Moskvy on 30 July. Tretyakov said work on transforming the newspaper
into a joint-stock company continues. Financial problems forced
Nezavisimaya gazeta to suspend publication on 24 May. -- Laura Belin,
OMRI, Inc.

CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION TRIES TO LIMIT CANDIDATES' USE OF MASS
MEDIA BEFORE CAMPAIGN. In a document approved and released on 28 July,
the Central Electoral Commission asked all politicians running for
parliament to refrain from using media appearances for campaign purposes
until they are officially registered as candidates, ITAR-TASS reported
the same day. In addition, the commission asked editors not to give air
time or space in print to any political figures, "regardless of their
official position and political views, for campaign agitation" before
the campaign officially begins on 17 September, three months before
scheduled Duma elections. The commission did not specify how remarks by
government officials or Duma deputies in the mass media concerning
policy matters could be distinguished from campaigning. -- Laura Belin,
OMRI, Inc.

JOURNALIST: PROCURATOR GENERAL'S OFFICE AGAINST NTV. Journalist Yevgenii
Kiselev, the moderator of the NTV weekly program "Itogi," suggested on
30 July that the Procurator General's Office is pursuing a "coordinated"
campaign against NTV. On 13 July, procurators began investigating NTV
journalist Yelena Masyuk for her 26 June interview of Chechen fighter
Shamil Basaev, who led the raid on Budennovsk. If Masyuk is prosecuted
and convicted for not revealing Basaev's whereabouts to the authorities,
she could receive up to five years in prison. On 14 July, procurators
opened a criminal case against the NTV puppet show "Kukly" for allegedly
insulting the president and other high government officials. Kiselev
charged that the procurators' decision to initiate both investigations
almost simultaneously could not be a coincidence. -- Laura Belin, OMRI,
Inc.

BORDER GUARD GOES ON RAMPAGE. A border guard stationed at the Popova
Island outpost in far-eastern Russia fired on his comrades-in-arms while
on guard duty early in the morning of 30 July, ITAR-TASS reported the
same day. Russian TV reported that his fellow border guards had accused
him of being an informer and had threatened him. The son of the guards'
commander, two sergeants, and two privates were killed and six other
people were wounded, including an officer's wife. -- Alaina Lemon, OMRI,
Inc.

EXPLOSION IN CAR PARK CALLED TERRORISM. Five cars and a minibus were
destroyed in an explosion in Vladivostok, Interfax reported on 31 July.
The explosion occurred in the parking lot of the joint-stock company
Dalzavodservis, and Interfax referred to it as an act of terrorism. The
three-year-old Dalzavodservis company buys cars in Japan and sells them
in Russia's eastern territories. -- Alaina Lemon, OMRI, Inc.

BURYAT FUNDS GO TO BAIKAL. The government of Buryatiya has allocated
almost 10 million rubles ($2,300) to the preservation of Baikal, ITAR-
TASS reported on 31 July. The money will pay for the construction and
reconstruction of heating sources for settlements in the reservoir zone
of Baikal and for equipping the republic's buses with exhaust filters.
The presidential press service and the government stated that the
measures are part of a complex federal program for preserving Baikal.
ITAR-TASS did not mention whether any funds had been allocated to
maintaining the ecological balance of the lake itself, which is affected
in several areas by industrial waste. -- Alaina Lemon, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSO-CHINESE BORDER GROUP ENDS MEETING. The head of Russian delegation
to the sixth round of the Russian-Chinese Border Demarcation Commission
expressed satisfaction with the results of the latest talks. The Foreign
Ministry's special envoy, Genrich Kireev, told ITAR-TASS on 28 July that
the commission had "settled many issues" and signed several protocols at
its meetings in Chita. A seventh round is to be held at a future date in
China. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

SECURITIES EXCHANGE COMMISSION APPROVES MUTUAL FUND RULES. Seeking to
attract billions of dollars hoarded by ordinary Russians, Russia's
Securities Exchange Commission approved rules to create a network of
mutual funds, Russian and Western media reported on 28 July. The funds,
in contrast to the so-called investment funds that mushroomed after the
country launched its privatization campaign, will be required to provide
detailed information about their investment activities and full
financial details to shareholders, according to Dmitrii Vasilev, the
Securities Exchange Commission director. Last year, thousands of
investors lost money by investing in pyramid schemes. Investors are also
distrustful of depositing money in banks, for fear that opening accounts
will lead to financial scrutiny from the tax authorities or even the
mafia. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

CENTRAL BANK TO TIGHTEN CONTROL OVER HARD CURRENCY. Russia's Central
Bank and the State Customs Committee announced a new measure effective
on 1 November that tightens control on cash flowing abroad, Segodnya
reported on 29 July. The rules have been designed to curtail the main
channel of capital flight, namely money transfers under fake import
deals, according to acting Central Bank Chairwoman Tatyana Paramonova.
Under the new rules, an importer must give the bank a customs
declaration certifying that goods have been delivered or an authorized
notification that they had been dispatched before making a money
transfer at a bank. Paramonova said a bank would need "convincing
guarantees" that goods would be delivered in case of advance payment.
The banker said the breach of import rules costs Russia $300-400 million
a month. Central bank officials estimate overall capital flight from
Russia at $30 billion since the start of 1990. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI,
Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

NEW ARMENIAN MINISTER OF INFORMATION. Armenian Prime Minister Hrant
Bagratyan's nomination of the 43-year-old philologist and poet Hrachya
Tamrazyan to head a new Ministry of Information that will coordinate
media policy nationwide appears to be a badly-needed public relations
exercise following international criticism of the 5 July parliamentary
elections. A former head of the state publishing house, Tamrazyan is a
supporter of Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan, with whom he
worked at the Matenadaran in the early 1980s. He is not, however, a
member of the ruling Armenian National Movement; his political
affiliation is characterized by RFE/RL's Armenian service as "liberal."
The nomination has not yet been approved by the new parliament. -- Liz
Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

TAJIKISTAN'S PRISONS. Inmates at Tajikistan's prisons and camps are
starving, 80% have no footwear, and all are in need of medical
attention, according to an interview with Djumboi Niyezov, the recently
elected chairman of the banned Democratic Party of Tajikistan, published
in Obshchaya gazeta on 27 July. Niyezov, who was himself imprisoned in
the overcrowded Yavansky camp until 1994 when he was released in a
prisoner-exchange deal, said 10-12% of the inmates in his camp were
political prisoners. Most had been arrested on charges of "illegally
storing weapons" or drug possession. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

REFERENDUM DATE SET IN KAZAKHSTAN. A constitutional referendum will be
held in Kazakhstan on 30 August, according to a recently published
presidential decree, cited by Reuters on 31 July. A draft of the
constitution will be published on 1 August. Public debate on the merits
of the constitution that hands sweeping powers to President Nursultan
Nazarbaev is to continue until the referendum is held. -- Lowell
Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

MINISTER SAYS GEORGIA WANTS RUSSIAN BASES TO STAY. Lt. Gen. Vardiko
Nadibaidze, the Georgian defense minister, told a visiting NATO
commander that Russian military bases must remain in Georgia because
Russia is its "major partner," ITAR-TASS reported on 28 July. Nadibaidze
met with British Lt.-Gen. Sir Jeremy McKenzie, and was said to have
briefed him on the Georgian armed forces. The NATO delegation also
discussed Georgia's individual Partnership for Peace program. -- Doug
Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
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Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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