Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 150, Part I, 3 August 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

BARSUKOV NAMED TO SECURITY COUNCIL. President Boris Yeltsin appointed
Federal Security Service Director Mikhail Barsukov to the Security
Council on 1 August, ITAR-TASS reported. The appointment was widely
expected and continues a pattern by which Yeltsin has been appointing
personal friends to run the most powerful security bodies. Barsukov was
formerly head of the State Protection Administration, the Kremlin
security service, and has close ties to Aleksandr Korzhakov, head of the
presidential security service. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

DEPUTIES SEEK SPECIAL DUMA SESSION. Duma representatives from the
Communist Party, New Regional Policy, and Yabloko deputy groups have
collected more than two-thirds of the 90 signatures needed to call a
special Duma session for 11 August to pass a law defining the district
boundaries for the 225 single-member Duma districts in the December
elections, Ekho Moskvy reported on 2 August. The deputies fear that if
the law is not adopted and Yeltsin is unhappy with the results of the
elections, he may question their validity in the Constitutional Court,
preventing the new Duma from meeting. Once the signatures are collected,
one of the parties must make the proposal to the Duma Council which
adopts the final decision on holding the session. To overcome the recent
Federation Council veto of the law, the Duma can either override it with
300 votes or pass a new law which will automatically go to the president
if the vacationing Federation Council does not act on it in two weeks.
Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin is skeptical about the need to call the
session, arguing that a presidential decree would be sufficient to
define the district boundaries, NTV reported on 1 August. -- Robert
Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

MOSCOW CITY GOVERNMENT ACCUSES OBLAST DUMA OF PLAYING NATIONALIST CARD
IN ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN. The Moscow city government accused the Moscow
Oblast Duma of inciting inter-ethnic strife after the Duma issued an
appeal to federal and city leaders not to allow the construction of a
synagogue and mosque next to the Orthodox church in the WWII memorial on
Poklonnaya Gora, Segodnya reported on 2 August. The Oblast Duma's appeal
stated that the "building of a separate memorial in Victory Park only in
memory of the Jews is impermissible because the inappropriate separation
of this ethnic group creates prerequisites for continual, heated
interethnic conflict." The Moscow city government said it would "curb
any attempts to foment interethnic strife in the city" whatever the
source. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN: WAR IN CHECHNYA IS OVER. In an interview with ITAR-TASS on
2 August, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin asserted that the military
accord recently signed in Grozny means that "the war is in fact over."
Chernomyrdin praised the Chechen negotiators who signed the accord as
"courageous people" and expressed confidence that fighting in the
republic would now end, "despite provocation," even though the agreement
did not address the issue of Chechnya's status. Many Russian
commentators have expressed doubt that the agreement will bring lasting
peace to Chechnya. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

DUDAEV APPROVES AGREEMENT. In Chechnya, Movladi Udugov, a spokesman for
Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev, told ITAR-TASS by telephone on 2
August that Dudaev had now reviewed and approved the agreement. He also
confirmed the replacement of former Chechen lead negotiator and Usman
Imaev, who signed the deal. In Grozny, the process of prisoner exchange
began with the simultaneous release of two Russian soldiers and three
Chechen fighters. Military officials from the two sides also exchanged
prisoner lists, which caused some disagreement. The Chechens listed only
seven prisoners, while Russian military officials claim 100 of their
troops are in captivity. Likewise, Chechen delegates said 5,000 Chechens
are in Russian custody, while the official Russian list numbers only
1,200. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

CENTRAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION PROPOSES RESTRICTIONS ON CAMPAIGN COVERAGE.
The Central Electoral Commission advanced a controversial proposal that
would allow only fully state-owned radio and television companies to
devote air time to campaign-related appearances by candidates or
campaign advertising, Russian media reported on 2 August. Under the
proposed guidelines, after 15 November state-owned companies would
devote some free air time to political parties and could also accept
paid political advertising, but other stations, including privately-
owned NTV and partly-private Russian Public TV (ORT), would be
prohibited from broadcasting political ads of any kind. Media leaders
almost unanimously criticized the proposal. Despite the fact that state-
owned Russian TV (Channel 2) would benefit from the proposal, its
chairman Anatolii Lysenko, charged that such restrictions would lead to
an "official" and an "unofficial" campaign. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF JOURNALIST DENOUNCED. The Glasnost Defense
Foundation denounced the criminal investigation of NTV journalist Yelena
Masyuk in connection with her 26 June televised interview with Chechen
field commander Shamil Basaev, ITAR-TASS reported on 1 August. The
Procurator General's Office is investigating whether Masyuk violated
Article 189 of the Criminal Code (harboring a criminal) or Article 190
(not reporting information concerning a crime to law enforcement
authorities). The foundation noted that other journalists also
interviewed Basaev following the Budennovsk hostage crisis, but only
Masyuk was subsequently investigated. The foundation added that Arkadii
Volskii, a member of the government's negotiating team in Grozny,
recently met with Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev, who is wanted by
Russian law enforcement authorities. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

ANOTHER DEFENSE PLANT SHUTS DOWN. One of Russia's largest defense plants
laid off its 1,500 employees on 2 August because it had run out of
money, ITAR-TASS reported. The Defense Ministry owes the Vladivostok-
based Dalpribor company 5.5 billion rubles but has not paid anything to
it this year, Dalpribor's directors told the agency. The workers, who
were last paid in April, have been laid off for 45 days during which
time the directors said they hope to find a solution to their financial
crisis and resume production. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

GOVERNMENT COMMISSION TO REVIEW FOREIGN MINISTRY. Prime Minister
Chernomyrdin appointed his deputy, Vitalii Ignatenko, to lead a
government commission reviewing the performance of the Foreign Ministry,
agencies reported on 2 August. The commission was formed in response to
appeals from Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev for additional resources.
In a recent letter to President Yeltsin, quoted by AFP, Kozyrev said
inadequate financial and technical support for the ministry poses "a
real threat to the country's security." The letter complained that
insufficient financing of Russian embassies "has a negative impact on
Russia's image abroad," adding that diplomatic personnel are paid only
one-third of the salaries of comparable personnel at the Finance
Ministry. In the past three years, the letter noted, more than one-
quarter of the diplomats at the ministry had quit, causing an "acute
shortage of specialists." The commission has two months to formulate
proposals for improving the ministry. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA CRITICIZES U.S. HOUSE VOTE ON ARMS EMBARGO. Aleksandr Zotov,
President Yeltsin's special envoy to the former Yugoslavia, urged U.S.
President Bill Clinton to veto a bill, now passed by both houses of
Congress, which calls for the U.S. to ignore the UN arms embargo in
Bosnia. If the embargo ended, Zotov said, "the whole methodology of
dealing with this conflict would collapse." Zotov also told journalists
that Moscow would play an important role in any political solution of
the conflict in Bosnia, since "when it comes to producing influence on
the ground, the road is usually through Moscow." Izvestiya argued on 3
August that recent Bosnian Serb actions demonstrated Moscow's complete
inability to influence the situation. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

EBRD TO GRANT $300 MILLION TO SMALL BUSINESSES. The EBRD will grant $300
million in long-term credits to Russian small businesses, ITAR-TASS
reported on 2 August. Under the program, Russian small businesses will
be able to receive a two-year credit of up to $50,000 to finance
production and/or service oriented projects. In some cases, sums of up
to $75,000 may be granted. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

PARAMONOVA TO REMAIN ACTING HEAD OF CENTRAL BANK. President Yeltsin
decided not to nominate a candidate to head the Central Bank of Russia
until parliament returns from its summer recess in October, ITAR-TASS
reported on 2 August. Acting head Tatyana Paramonova, whose candidacy
has been rejected twice by the State Duma, will remain in charge in the
meantime, Yeltsin's press office announced. Paramanova's tight monetary
policy has helped bring down inflation, but she has alienated Duma
groups such as the powerful banking lobby, by requiring commercial banks
to increase compulsory reserves; and the agrarian lobby, who insist on
continuing centralized credits. According to Russian law, she can be
nominated by Yeltsin one more time. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

RASHID BEKDZHAN IMPRISONED. Rashid Bekdzhan, elder brother of the leader
of the banned Uzbek opposition party Erk, Mohammed Salih, was recently
sentenced to five years in jail by a court in Khorezm province,
according to RFE/RL's Uzbek service, which cited sources in the
Association of Young Democrats of Turkistan (YDT), an illegal youth wing
of Erk on 1 August. YDT sources indicate Bekdzhan was tried on trumped
up charges of "negligence" at the state enterprise where he worked. They
allege that Bekdzhan has been jailed for political crimes and his
connections to Erk. They believe his imprisonment is directly related to
his involvement in the YDT and their samizdat publication "Yildirim"
(Thunderbolt) which criticized the Uzbek authorities and urged Uzbek
citizens to boycott last December's "undemocratic" elections. They claim
as well that Bekdzhan has been tortured in jail and that the Uzbek
authorities have not respond to letters sent by international human
rights organizations inquiring into the case and the allegedly
deteriorating health of the prisoner. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

TAJIK DEPUTY KILLED IN DUSHANBE. The head of the Tajik parliament's
administration, Ainulo Nimatov, was murdered on 1 August, Russian and
Western agencies reported. According to the reports, Nimatov was shot in
his government car by unknown assailants. The motives for the killing
are unknown. Nimatov is the fourth deputy killed this year. -- Bruce
Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN FEDERAL COUNCIL APPROVES MILITARY ADVISERS TO TAJIKISTAN. The
Russian Federation Council ratified a law on sending Russian military
advisers to Tajikistan, according to a 2 August article from Rossiiskie
vesti. The advisers are to help train the Tajik army, which must contend
with the Tajik-Afghan border problems and the lingering effects of the
civil war in the republic. The Council also ratified the agreement on
the rules for maintaining and using the optical communications unit of
the space control system "Nurek" in Tajikistan. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI,
Inc.

KAZAKH FARMERS COMPLAIN TO PRIME MINISTER. Kazakh Prime Minister Akezhan
Kazhegeldin attended the recent congress of the Peasants Union and had
to listen to "sharp disagreement" with the government's policies,
according to Pravda on 3 August. Union chairman Koshebai Zhanatov said
farmers are suffering from the high cost of fuel and electric energy. By
his estimate, farmers are losing $50 on every ton of wheat produced.
Zhanatov said that farmers' average monthly wage is 1,600 (about $25)
tenge compared to the government's official minimum wage of 2,230 tenge
(about $35). -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

CHKALOV ASSEMBLES IMPROVED IL-76. A new aircraft designed by the
Ilyushin design bureau and assembled at the Chkalov aircraft factory in
Uzbekistan has successfully passed a test flight, Russian Public TV
reported on 2 August. The new aircraft is outwardly identical to the IL-
76; it now carries a PS-90A model engine manufactured by Perm Motors.
The new engines emit much less noise than the old IL-76, permitting them
to land at airstrips worldwide. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

NAVAL PARADE SLIGHTS ANNOY UKRAINIANS. A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry
statement on 2 August denounced a weekend incident in which the
commander of the Ukrainian navy was prevented from taking his seat on
the reviewing stand at the Sevastopol Navy Day parade, Reuters reported.
The Ukrainians charged that the Russians "did everything possible to
make the naval parade of the joint fleet look like a parade of Russian
ships under Russian flags . . ." Ukrainian Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk
and Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov both postponed planned visits to
Moscow. While the official reason for the delays was that the Ukrainian-
Russian commission had not had time to prepare all the documents on the
division of the fleet, ITAR-TASS quoted unofficial sources in Kiev as
saying the Ukrainians were incensed at the slight, and at fleet
commander Admiral Eduard Baltin's statement at the event that "the Black
Sea Fleet was, is, and will be Russian." The agency said the Ukrainian
Foreign Ministry had prepared an official note denouncing the statement
and charging that Baltin is "playing a destructive role in Ukrainian-
Russian relations." -- Doug Clarke, 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 OMRI Daily
Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
quotation marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
No subject line or other text should be included.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ

Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole