Comedy is an escape, not from truth but from despair; a narrow escape into faith. - Christopher Fry
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+- | Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to | | reprint or redistribute the OMRI Daily Digest. Before reprinting or | | redistributing this publication, please write for a | | copy of the new policy or look at this URL: | | | -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+- OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 157, Part II, 14 August 1995

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning East-Central and
Southeastern Europe. Part I, covering Russia, Transcaucasia and Central
Asia, and the CIS, is distributed simultaneously as a second document.
Back issues of the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are
available through OMRI's WWW pages:


a decree on 10 August reinstating Vladislav Datsiuk as general
prosecutor, Ukrainian TV reported the same day. Datsiuk was dismissed by
the parliament after he was accused of failing to address growing crime
and corruption. Datsiuk denied the charge and claimed the move was
motivated by his ongoing investigation into charges of corruption among
parliamentary leaders, especially into alleged money-laundering by
deputy speaker Oleksander Tkachenko. Prior to his dismissal, Datsiuk
formally requested the legislature to strip Tkachenko of his immunity
from criminal prosecution so that the prosecutor's office could file
official charges. Kuchma overturned the removal of Datsiuk on the
grounds that it was contrary to a recent so-called constitutional accord
between himself and lawmakers, which gave him authority to appoint
government ministers and officials. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN MEDIA NEWS. Crimean Parliament Speaker Yevhen Supruniuk told
UNIAN on 11 August that the Ukrainian government allotted 14 billion
karbovantsi (over $100,000) to the region's TV transmission center and
Crimean TV, which will enable Ukraine's recent decision to switch
Russian Public TV from the country's Channel One to a channel with a
less powerful signal to be reversed. Supruniuk said he discussed the
issue with President Leonid Kuchma after the mostly Russian-speaking
Crimeans complained that the transmission quality was poor for the
popular programming. He said Kuchma promised another 100 billion
karbovantsi for the repair and purchase of new equipment for the local
transmission center. Ukrainian State TV and Radio said it was forced to
change the channels on 1 August after the Russian broadcasters failed to
pay some $8 million in fees. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN ECONOMIC NEWS. Belarusian Television reported on 10 August
that Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir discussed economic problems with the
Belarusian economic court. Over the past six months, the court has
examined over 5,000 cases, a five-fold growth over the previous year.
The head of the court, Uladzimir Boika, said there is a serious problem
with the court's judgments not being carried out. Chyhir affirmed that
there was a problem with economic laws in the country, and said the
cabinet was taking measures to rectify the situation. Chyhir informed
Belarusian Radio that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has reconsidered
his decrees forbidding pensioners to claim both a working income and
their pensions. Now the president has decided working pensioners should
be entitled to both, but those earning over 360,000 Belarusian rubles
($31) per month should get only half of their pension. On 11 August,
Belarusian radio reported that the Ministry of State Assets and
Privatization has confirmed a list of 624 state enterprises to be
privatized this year. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

Vahi and Adolfas Slezevicius discussed issues concerning their countries
and the whole Baltic region during their meeting in Tallinn on 11
August, BNS reported. The premiers talked about preparing bilateral
agreements for investment protection and on social guarantees as well as
establishing a Baltic customs union for which a common transit agreement
is being prepared. They also discussed the situation of their UN
peacekeeping units in Croatia and the Danish initiative to set up a
security council for the Baltic area. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN ORGANIZATIONS IN LITHUANIA. The editorial board of the largest
Russian-language newspaper in Lithuania, Ekho Litvy, published an appeal
on 10 August asking for support for founding an independent, apolitical
organization that would unite all Russian speakers in Lithuania, BNS
reported the following day. Noting that the organizations of ethnic
minorities and the Union of Russians in Lithuania currently being formed
are political, the appeal asserts the need for "a general, social and
civic organization of fellow countrymen" regardless of political views
and professions. It underlines the fact that the Russian Federation has
drafted a law that would offer "financial aid and other benefits to
organizations of ethnic Russians and to businesses, operating within
these organizations' frameworks." -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

plans to postpone the presidential elections, which would require
changing the constitution, are still dividing Polish politicians.
According to presidential candidate and Democratic Left Alliance leader
Aleksander Kwasniewski, the idea originated in June and came from a
Democratic Union leader, Bronislaw Geremek. Geremek confirms talking in
June with Kwasniewski and Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy and saying that
Kwasniewski's candidacy "is now not good for the Polish state," but
denies conducting negotiations on extending current president Lech
Walesa's term for another two years, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 12-13
August. Rzeczpospolita on the same day commented that "establishing a
formula of government by a political arrangement and not by elections is
an indecent act directed towards the electorate." In other developments,
presidential candidate and former Labor Minister Jacek Kuron proposed on
13 August that every presidential candidate should answer five questions
concerning Poland's future, such as what to do in order to assure that
"the state functioned well and was friendly to citizens." Gazeta
Wyborcza reported on 14 August. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.


SERBIA WANTS REFUGEES TO FIGHT IN BOSNIA. International media report on
14 August that Serbian authorities have closed the border to Krajina
Serb refugee males of military age. Huge jams at frontier crossings have
resulted, since the women refuse to proceed without their menfolk. The
Serbian authorities want the men to join Bosnian Serb forces, despite
the fact that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has publicly
distanced himself from the Bosnian Serb leadership. Reuters on 13 August
quoted one of the women as saying that "there is nothing left for our
men to defend," and the BBC cited others as saying that they would go to
Serbia, Krajina, or abroad, but did not want to fight in Bosnia. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

continued over the weekend to be driven out of the Banja Luka area by
Bosnian Serbs and Krajina refugees. According to Reuters on 14 August,
"this is the final touch to a three-year-old barbarity that will make
the name of Banja Luka go down in history as the heart of darkness," UN
refugee agency spokesman Kris Janowski remarked. He said that 1,600
expellees are expected by 16 August. The Roman Catholic Church in the
area has issued a special protest. Croatian and international media
since 11 August have also reported that Croats and other non-Serbs are
being "ethnically cleansed" from Vojvodina, ostensibly to make room for
Krajina refugees. Meanwhile, in Petrinja in the formerly Serb-held
Krajina, Croats are returning to the homes the Serbs chased them from
four years ago. AFP on 14 August quoted one as saying that the Serbs the
whole time "lived among utter rubble" without water, electricity, or
reconstruction. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

forces shelled the Dubrovnik area. The Croats attacked in return, and
Vjesnik and the BBC reported on 12 August that Serbs in Trebinje in
eastern Herzegovina are fleeing into Montenegro. Eastern Herzegovina has
long been a Serbian stronghold and for Serbs to flee Trebinje would
certainly be a new development. Meanwhile in central Bosnia, government
forces have been pressing the Serbs back. The Fifth Corps is advancing
eastward toward Bosanska Krupa and Prijedor, while other units are
moving with Croatian artillery support northward to Donji Vakuf. Their
goals appear to be to improve road transportation links and move on to
Jajce. Government forces in both Prijedor and Jajce would then be in a
position to advance on Banja Luka in a pincer movement. The morale of
the Serbs is particularly low after a series of crushing defeats, while
the mainly Muslim forces include men fighting to retake their homes. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

Alija Izetbegovic said in a television interview on 13 August that "we
will not give up Gorazde even if we have to wage war for 15 years."
There has been speculation that the latest U.S. peace plan would require
him to give up the last remaining Muslim enclave in eastern Bosnia. The
entire area had a large Muslim population in places like Visegrad before
the Serbs launched their "ethnic cleansing" campaigns. Izetbegovic added
that the siege of Sarajevo would be lifted by November, and that there
would be some personnel changes in the Bosnian military. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

quoted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as saying that any agreement
reached in Moscow without his consent would be invalid. The New York
Times reported that Karadzic and his estranged military commander,
General Ratko Mladic, have had another exchange of words, this time
reflecting on Karadzic's prewar profession as a psychiatrist. Karadzic
said that the general was certifiably crazy. Mladic returned the
compliment, telling Karadzic that he had "spent too long with his
patients." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN AID ARRIVES IN BELGRADE. Three Russian Ilyushin-76 aircraft
arrived on 12 August at Belgrade airport carrying some 90 tons of
humanitarian aid for Serb refugees, AFP reported the same day. Moscow
has said that the aid package, consisting almost entirely of foodstuffs
and medical supplies, ought not be regarded as a violation of
international sanctions against rump Yugoslavia. On 12 August, however,
the Russian Duma passed a resolution calling for a unilateral lifting of
the sanctions (see related items in Russian section). Meanwhile,
additional Russian aid is slated for shipment to the rump Yugoslavia. --
Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SERB REFUGEES SETTLE IN KOSOVO . . . International agencies reported on
14 August that 670 Krajina Serb refugees arrived in Prizren and Pec the
previous day. Some additional families have also reached the region to
join relatives there, a Red Cross official said. Rump Yugoslav
authorities have reportedly said they want to settle 16,000 refugees in
Kosovo, but other estimates mention 20,000. Many refugees have
reportedly refused to be settled in the poor region. Previous efforts to
settle Serbs in Kosovo have failed. Out of a total of 500,000 refugees
to rump Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav war, only about 4,000 have so far
been settled in Kosovo and have been accommodated mainly in school
buildings. Rump Yugoslavia decided two years ago to build nearly 2,000
apartments, 400 houses and 11 camps to accommodate the influx of
refugees, but only two camps have so far been constructed, at Junik and
Velika Reka. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

member of the leadership of the Democratic League of Kosovo, said that
the settlement of Krajina refugees in Kosovo was a "project of
colonization" and accused Belgrade of trying to alter the ethnic balance
in Kosovo, international agencies reported. That view was supported by
the Albanian Foreign Ministry: in a declaration published in Rilindja
Demokratike on 12 August, it called the settling of refugees in Kosovo a
"part of [rump Yugoslavia's] ethnic cleansing policy." Macedonian
Defense Minister Blagoj Handziski warned against "a heightening of
tension" in the province. The United States also expressed fears that
the resettlement plan could extend the conflict. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

Partnership For Peace naval exercise on the Danube, Radio Bucharest and
Reuters reported. The exercise, known as "Danube '95," is scheduled to
end on 16 August. It is designed to show Romania is able to protect
humanitarian aid convoys in "hostile waters." On 13 August a mock aid
convoy, protected by Romanian military river boats and by a Ukrainian
ship, sailed up a 20-km stretch of the Danube between the ports of
Galati and Braila. The flotilla fired its weapons to repel simulated air
and land attacks. NATO and PFP observers from France, Germany, the US
and other countries watched the exercise. A NATO official described the
exercise as "a good demonstration of what can be done in an area where
NATO has not yet really operated." -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

CHOLERA EPIDEMIC REACHES ROMANIA. In a statement released on 12 August,
Romania's Health Ministry confirmed that three cases of cholera were
registered in the Danube ports of Galati and Tulcea, Radio Bucharest
reported. The statement added that medical authorities were taking steps
to prevent the spread of the infection. Meanwhile, the number of cholera
cases in the neighboring Republic of Moldova rose to 116, a health
official told BASA-press on 12 August. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

Party of Moldova (PDAM) published their "ideological platform" in the
last issue of the party's mouthpiece, Pamint & Oameni, BASA-press
reported on 12 August. The platform stresses that Moldova should
consolidate its independence while continuing to be a haven for people
with various ethnic and religious backgrounds. It also says that the
PDAM opposes economic reforms which might endanger the country's
production capacity and impoverish the population. The PDAM, which has
recently shaken by serious infighting, plans to hold an extraordinary
congress aimed at clarifying the organization's future orientation. --
Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN SOLDIERS DIE IN ROAD CRASH. On the evening of 11 August, 11
soldiers and four officers were burnt alive when the truck they were
traveling in crashed into a trailer near Sofia and exploded, AFP
reported the following day. Only one soldier survived the accident, but
he is in a critical condition. Police said the truck was traveling "at a
speed not appropriate to the situation." The soldiers belonged to an
engineering unit and were returning from work on a site near Sofia. A
defense ministry commission has started an inquiry. Demokratsiya on 14
August said that soldiers in the unit are regularly sent to work on
private building sites after their normal duty hours and on weekends. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

August reports that President Zhelyu Zhelev will not accept all the
personnel changes in the top ranks of the army announced by the
government on 11 August. The cabinet wants to replace or shift some 30
high ranking officers. Presidential aides said that while some of the
General Staff changes are justified by appointments to the newly formed
inspectorate of the army, others have clearly political reasons.
According to Demokratsiya, the Socialist government also wants to
replace Chief of the General Staff Gen. Tsvetan Totomirov. Meanwhile,
Duma says Zhelev "dramatizes" the situation in order to attack the
government. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

Dimitrov on 11 August announced that tuition in Russian will be
intensified from the next school year. Trud on 12 August cited Dimitrov
as saying that "Russian is the only language of a great power
[Bulgarians] can master easily." He said compulsory tuition will also
create new jobs for unemployed teachers. Russian was compulsory until
the 1990/1991 school year, and optional since then. Also on 11 August,
Dimitrov signed an agreement with the British Council, which will train
English teachers in the next year. Dimitrov complained that more than
half the English teachers do not hold a university degree. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

Herzegovina signed a military cooperation agreement providing for
collaboration in training, technology and in the medical field on 10
August, AFP reported the same day. The agreement, signed in Ankara by
Muhammed Lemes, Bosnia's Assistant Defense Minister, and Ahmet Corekci,
Turkish Deputy Chief of Staff, is similar to other cooperation deals
Turkey has signed with Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Late last month
Ankara stressed that the agreement with Bosnia would not break Turkey's
commitment to the arms embargo against former Yugoslavia. -- Lowell
Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

OZGEN'S PARTING SHOT. The departing commander of the 30,000-strong
Turkish forces stationed in northern Cyprus, Gen. Necati Ozgen, warned
Greek Cypriots against any "folly" leading to war, AFP reported on 11
August. Denying any desire to "target" the territories of others and
pointing out that "we want peace," he warned Greek Cypriots that "this
time" the objective will be Paphos if Greek Cypriots "commit any sort of
folly." As Paphos is on the extreme southwest corner of the island, his
words may be interpreted as an implicit threat to occupy all of Cyprus
if the Greek Cypriots initiate hostilities. Turkish and Turkish Cypriot
officials have been expressing growing concern over what they see as the
excessive Greek Cypriot military buildup, which they fear may be a
precursor to a sudden attack against northern Cyprus. Ozgen's
replacement, General Hasan Kundakci, is battle-tested: he is being
transferred from Diyarbakir where he led the massive operation against
the PKK in northern Iraq from late March to early May. -- Lowell
Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Steve Kettle

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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Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to
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of the new policy or look at this URL:

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570

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