If we are to live together in peace, we must first come to know each other better. - Lyndon B. Johnson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 165, Part I, 24 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 Central, Eastern, 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

NEW PATRIOTIC BLOC FORMS. The new political movement "For the Revival of
Great Russia," which seeks to appeal to military officers, held its
founding congress on 22 August, NTV reported. The movement unites Maj.
Gen. Aleksandr Sterligov's Russian National Assembly (RNS), Col. Gen.
Vladislav Achalov's All-Russian Officers' Assembly (VOS), and 1991 coup
leader Aleksandr Tizyakov. However, the patriots appear to be just as
divided as the democrats. Other patriotic military groups have begun
allying with rival blocs. For example, Lt. Col. Stanislav Terekhov's
Officers' Union will be working with Nikolai Ryzhkov's Power to the
People, while Lt. Col. Viktor Alksnis will cooperate with former Vice
President Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Rutskoi's Derzhava. Both were excluded
from the leadership of the VOS, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 August. --
Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

PAMFILOVA, LYSENKO TO LEAD NEW ELECTORAL BLOC. Ella Pamfilova, the
former minister for social security in the Yegor Gaidar government, will
top the party list of a new electoral bloc created by the centrist
Republican Party, Interfax reported on 23 August. Pamfilova was elected
to the Duma in 1993 as a leading figure in Russia's Choice. She resigned
from her post as minister in January 1994 because of the slow pace of
reform and quit Gaidar's party later in the year because of its support
for the government's social policies. The second and third candidates on
the new electoral bloc's party list will be Republican Party Chairman
Vladimir Lysenko, who joined Yabloko during the 1993 campaign but left
the group the following year, and Aleksandr Gurov, whom Mikhail
Gorbachev appointed to lead the Soviet Interior Ministry's department
for fighting organized crime. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

DUMA MEMBER ATTACKED IN DAGESTAN. State Duma deputy Sergei Reshulskii
was brutally attacked in the entrance of his apartment building in
Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, Sovetskaya Rossiya reported on 24
August. Reshulskii was on his way to an organizational meeting of the
republican Communist Party where his nomination for the post of first
secretary was to be considered. He is now in the intensive care unit of
the city hospital. On 14 August, unidentified assailants fired a grenade
at the home of Dagestan Prime Minister Abdurazak Mirzabekov, Radio Mayak
reported. There were no casualties, but the apartment sustained
considerable damage. Neither of the cases has been solved. -- Robert
Orttung and Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

ROSSEL'S FIRST STEPS AS SVERDLOVSK GOVERNOR. Eduard Rossel, the newly-
elected governor of the Sverdlovsk Oblast, appointed former deputy
administrative head Valerii Trushnikov to lead the regional cabinet,
Russian Public TV reported on 23 August. Trushnikov finished third in
the first round of the gubernatorial elections in Sverdlovsk, but he
threw his support behind Rossel in the runoff against administrative
head Aleksei Strakhov, the candidate backed by Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin's bloc Our Home Is Russia. Rossel also announced that when
he meets with President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow on 24 August he will ask
him to sign a power-sharing agreement between federal authorities and
Yeltsin's home region of Sverdlovsk within 60 days, Interfax reported.
-- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

DISARMAMENT TALKS CONTINUE IN CHECHNYA. Talks between Russian and
Chechen negotiators on the implementation of the 30 July military accord
continued on 23 August, Western and Russian agencies reported. After the
talks concluded for the day, General Anatolii Romanov, commander of
federal forces in Chechnya, said the two sides had agreed that Chechen
formations in the regions of Achkhoi-Martan and Sunzhan would disarm by
30 August, by which time federal troops would also withdraw from those
areas. However, Minister for Nationalities Viktor Mikhailov complained
in Moscow that a list of Chechen units to be disarmed under the accord,
which Chechen military commander Aslan Maskhadov recently submitted, is
incomplete. There is mounting speculation about whom President Yeltsin
will appoint as his special representative in Chechnya to oversee the
peace process. Mikhailov, Arkadii Volskii, and Oleg Lobov are the most
frequently mentioned candidates for the position. -- Scott Parrish,
OMRI, Inc.

SOSKOVETS PROPOSES OIL SHIPMENT TO YUGOSLAVIA. Following a meeting with
rump Yugoslav Trade Minister Djordje Siradovic, Russian First Deputy
Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets asked the ministries of Fuel and Energy
and Foreign Economic Relations to draft proposals for the shipment of an
unspecified quantity of natural gas to rump Yugoslavia, Interfax
reported on 23 August. Soskovets also asked the Ministry of Emergency
Situations to prepare a proposal to ship 5,000 tons of fuel oil to rump
Yugoslavia. Both shipments are intended as "humanitarian aid." Soskovets
asked the Foreign Ministry to draw up a corresponding proposal for
consideration by the UN International Sanctions Committee. Siradovic
said a protocol calling for rump Yugoslavia to sell Russia 2 million
tons of wheat and 1 million tons of corn is ready for signing, adding
that "sanctions must be lifted from Yugoslavia as soon as possible"
because of the influx of refugees from Krajina. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI,
Inc

RUSSIA AND CHINA SIGN BORDER AGREEMENT. After holding talks with the
leaders of China's three "power" ministries in Beijing, Col. Gen. Andrei
Nikolaev, head of the Federal Border Troops, signed an agreement on
strengthening cooperation in guarding the 4,334 km Russo-Chinese border,
ITAR-TASS reported on 23 August. The deputy commander of the Border
Troops' maritime forces, Admiral Sergei Skalinov, told the agency that
the new measure would provide for better information exchange and allow
for improved means of preventing violations on both sides, such as
smuggling and poaching. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

MOSCOW MAYOR DISPLEASED WITH CITY POLICE. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov
says he is ready to begin "an internal war" with the capital's police
force because of its failure to combat crime, Interfax reported on 23
August. Luzhkov made the statement at a meeting with Moscow trade union
leaders in response to a complaint by the Moscow police union that
Interior Department heads are squandering money allocated to fight
crime. The Moscow police have received "unprecedented financial aid over
the past few years," enabling the force to be equipped "at the level of
the New York police," Luzhkov asserted. Crime in Moscow rose by over 7%
in the first six months of 1995 compared with the same period last year,
international agencies reported on 26 July. Premeditated murder,
kidnapping, extortion, swindling, and drug-related offenses were all up.
-- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN SIGNS LAW ON BENEFITS FOR SEMIPALATINSK RADIATION VICTIMS.
President Yeltsin has signed the Law on Social Protection for the
Victims of Radiation Caused by Nuclear Tests at the Semipalatinsk test
site in Kazakhstan, Krasnaya zvezda reported on 24 August. The law,
passed by the Duma on 20 July, entitles people who suffered from
radiation caused by the nuclear tests at Semipalatinsk between 1949 and
1963 to privileges and benefits equal to those granted to the victims of
the Chornobyl accident. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

DUMA CRITICISM FOR PENSION REFORM PLAN. Sergei Kalashnikov, head of the
Duma Committee for Labor and Social Security, has criticized a program
recently approved by the government to reform the country's pension
system, Segodnya reported on 23 August. According to Finansovye
izvestiya on 22 August, the plan envisages replacing the current uniform
pension system with a Western style three-tier scheme consisting of
basic pensions, pensions that are dependent on contributions, and non-
state pensions. Kalashnikov objects to the concept in its present form
because it does not link the basic pension to the subsistence minimum.
He also argues that the draft pays insufficient attention to state
regulation of non-state pension funds. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

FORMER DEPUTY MINISTER DETAINED ON SUSPICION OF SMUGGLING. Federal
Security Service officers have detained Andrei Dogaev, former deputy
minister for foreign economic relations and now general director of the
Mashinimport firm, on suspicion of involvement in the attempted
smuggling of scrap copper from Russia, Segodnya reported on 23 August.
Investigators believe that when, as deputy minister, Dogaev was
responsible for supervising the licensing of raw material exports, not
all licenses were given on sufficiently lawful grounds. As yet no
charges have been brought against Dogaev. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

DATA ON JUVENILE DELINQUENCY. The number of juvenile crimes rose by 11%
over the last three years, Interior Ministry official Yakov Stakhov told
ITAR-TASS on 22 August. He added, however, that the number of crimes
committed by minors during the first half of this year has fallen.
Segodnya on 23 August quoted Stakhov as saying that the number of
murders and cases of grievous bodily harm committed by youths over the
last two years has doubled. It also said that over a third of juvenile
offenders are aged 13 to 15, many of whom have been expelled from
school, and that there has been a sharp rise in the number of drug-
related offenses. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

FOOD SITUATION IN THE MILITARY BECOMING CRITICAL. The head of the
Defense Ministry's central food directorate said in a 22 August
interview on Russian TV that underfinancing of the military's food
supplies is bringing the armed forces "to the brink of a critical
situation when there will simply be nothing to feed the personnel . . .
with." Vyacheslav Savinov said that the ministry currently owes almost
700 billion rubles ($160 million) to food suppliers. Lt. Gen. Valentin
Panichev, the chief military prosecutor, told ITAR-TASS that a number of
units are feeding their personnel with dry bread and canned food from
emergency stocks. With the military behind in paying salaries, many
officers and NCOs have had to moonlight at other jobs just to feed their
families, while other servicemen have turned to crime to raise money. --
Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

CITIZENS LOSE 20 TRILLION RUBLES TO FRAUDULENT FIRMS . . . Russians who
were lured by promises of high interest rates to entrust their money to
fraudulent firms lost 20 trillion rubles ($454.5 million) over the last
two years, Gennadii Mironov, head of the independent Association of
Private Investors, told Interfax on 23 August. Mironov said that about
135 firms defaulted on their obligations to depositors in Moscow, while
there were over 220 such firms all over Russia. He said that the
association demands that the government repay the depositors for their
losses. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

. . . GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO COMPENSATE FOR LOSSES. Meanwhile, on his
working trip in Altai Krai this week, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin
said the "government will be deaf to the outcry of defrauded
depositors," Moskovskii komsomolets reported on 24 August. The
government refused to compensate those who incurred losses from dealing
with now defunct "pyramid" companies, such as Tibet and Selenga, despite
the claims that those companies operated with unspoken approval of the
Central Bank of Russia. The report said that in September 1994 the bank
"mildly reproached" the managers of the companies for not applying for
an official license to operate with individual depositors. However,
Tibet and Selenga continued operating until January 1995 without a
license. With the collapse of these schemes, investors were left high
and dry. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

BROKERS TO ESTABLISH STOCK MARKET ORGANIZATION. The leaders of the
brokerage associations in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, and St.
Petersburg will join forces to establish a single nationwide stock
market organization, Interfax reported on 23 August. The president of
the Moscow-based Professional Association of Stock Market Agents
(PAUFOR), Dmitrii Ponomaryov, told the news agency that the creation of
this organization, will be the first step towards uniting trading
entities and developing inter-regional rules for off-exchange stock
trading. PAUFOR encompasses 64 investment companies and brokerage firms.
It was founded in mid-1994 to standardize off-exchange activities. The
association trades stocks through an electronic system accessible only
to its members. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ANTI-REFERENDUM ACTIVISTS REPRIMANDED. Conflicting reports continue on
the action taken against the anti-referendum activists in Almaty.
Authorities in Kazakhstan have fined 17 opposition activists for staging
an unauthorized rally and hunger strike outside the parliament building
on 21 August, Interfax reported on 22 August. The opposition sources
stated that a former parliament deputy who went on a hunger strike,
Vladimir Chernyshev, was beaten at the entrance of his apartment on the
night of 21 August and received "serious brain damage, rib fractures,
and other injuries." If the new constitution is approved by voters in
the referendum on 30 August, the day is likely to become a new national
holiday. The draft constitution, which incorporates the 1,100 most
important additions proposed in the course of a nationwide discussion,
was published on 1 August. -- Bhavna Dave, OMRI, Inc.

BHUTTO VISITS KAZAKHSTAN, KYRGYZSTAN. Kazakhstan and Pakistan signed
several agreements on economic cooperation during Pakistani Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto's visit to Almaty, ITAR-TASS reported on 23
August. Among those are agreements on protecting investments, double
taxation, visas, and travel. Both countries agreed to step up
cooperation to tackle terrorism and drug trafficking. This was Bhutto's
first visit to Kazakhstan; a visit scheduled for the summer of 1994 was
canceled due to Islamabad's displeasure over Kazakhstan's decision to
bar flights from Pakistan, alleged to be carrying cholera-infected
visitors. Bhutto will arrive in Kyrgyzstan on 25 August to take part in
the 1,000th anniversary celebrations of the folk epic Manas. Pakistan,
Iran, and Turkey are founding members of the 10-nation Economic
Cooperation Organization (ECO), which includes the five Central Asian
republics, Azerbaijan, and Afghanistan. -- Bhavna Dave, 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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