Одиночество так же необходимо разуму, как воздержание в еде - телу, и точно так же гибельно, если оно слишком долго длится. - Вовенарг
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 174, Part I, 7 September 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

DUMA COUNCIL CALLS FOR YELTSIN TO SACK KOZYREV. The NATO airstrikes
against the Bosnian Serbs continue to provoke political controversy in
Moscow. In response to a petition signed by more than 100 deputies, on 6
September the Duma Council decided to convene a special session on 9
September to discuss the situation in the former Yugoslavia, Western and
Russian agencies reported. The council also suggested that President
Yeltsin immediately sign the law, passed by the Duma on 12 August,
calling for Russia to unilaterally withdraw from UN sanctions against
rump Yugoslavia, reconsider Russian membership in NATO's Partnership for
Peace program, and coordinate Yugoslav policy with Ukraine and Belarus,
who have also criticized the airstrikes. The council also recommended
that Yeltsin sack Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, whose "many serious
mistakes" had led to a "humiliating defeat of Russian diplomacy in the
Balkans." Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin told Radio Mayak that the council
meeting had been "hot," with several deputies calling for even more
extreme measures, such as withdrawing from the UN altogether. -- Scott
Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN SAYS RUSSIA MAY SUPPORT BOSNIAN SERBS. Responding to the Duma,
President Yeltsin complained to visiting Spanish Prime Minster Felipe
Gonzales, who currently holds the rotating EU presidency, and European
Commission President Jacques Santer, that NATO had unilaterally
appointed itself "judge and executioner" in the former Yugoslavia,
Western agencies reported on 7 September. Yeltsin also charged NATO with
employing a "double standard" by punishing the Bosnian Serbs for attacks
while doing nothing in response to aggression by Croat and Muslim
forces. He added, "it might come to the Russian side taking an adequate
response," suggesting some form of aid to the Bosnian Serbs. Yeltsin
also warned that if unilateral NATO action continues, Russia would have
to "reconsider relations" with the alliance, and noted that Russia must
be given a bigger role in ongoing discussions of a new pan-European
security system, saying that otherwise, Europe might "return to two
camps which are at war with one another." -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

FRENCH NUCLEAR TEST: RUSSIA CONDEMNS, ZHIRINOVSKY PRAISES. Presidential
press secretary Sergei Medvedev told journalists on 6 September that
Russia condemns the nuclear test carried out by France on the South
Pacific atoll of Muraroa on 5 September. The Russian Foreign Ministry
described the test as a "serious blow" to international negotiations on
disarmament and nonproliferation, ITAR-TASS reported. Vladimir
Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, on the other hand,
told Russian Public Television that he had sent a letter to French
President Jacques Chirac expressing support for the French test. --
Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

NEW COMPUTER SYSTEM WON'T COUNT VOTES IN COMING ELECTIONS. The new
automated vote-counting system "Vybory" will not be used in the upcoming
parliamentary or next year's presidential elections, according to
Nikolai Ryabov, chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, Segodnya
reported on 6 September. The system will be implemented slowly through
2000 and only a few components will be tested in the 1995 and 1996
elections. Until now, Ryabov had planned to use the system to quickly
tally preliminary results, while the official results would still be
determined by hand. The use of the system has aroused considerable
controversy among groups critical of President Boris Yeltsin, who charge
that it could make voting falsification easier. Ryabov also warned that
local officials had formed only 34 of the 225 district electoral
committees and that if they were not formed by 15 September, the Central
Electoral Committee would do the job itself, Kommersant-Daily reported
on 6 September. According to current legislation, the local executive
and legislative branches should each form half of the committee, Ogonek
(issue #28) reported. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT FACES QUANDARY OVER FEDERATION COUNCIL. The Russian
Constitutional Court cannot resolve the dispute between the parliament
and Yeltsin over whether the Federation Council should be elected or
appointed because the constitution says that this decision is determined
by law, according to Constitutional Court Chairman Vladimir Tumanov. He
said "the Constitutional Court cannot take on the responsibility which
the constitution gave the legislature because then the Constitutional
Court itself would be violating the constitution," Ekho Moskvy reported
on 6 September. Despite this, Tumanov indicated that the court will
probably decide in Yeltsin's favor, by declaring the parliament's
version of the law unconstitutional. The court has tried to avoid
becoming entangled in political questions, but, as in the case of the
Chechen war, has tended to favor the president. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI,
Inc.

"HOT LINE" FOR JOURNALISTS OPENS. Journalists will now be able to call a
"hot line" for information on President Yeltsin's daily program and on
laws and decrees he has signed, Izvestiya reported on 6 September. The
gesture reflects the president's campaign to win back the support of
liberal journalists. Opening the "hot line" was one of many promises
Yeltsin made in his 1 September address in Moscow to the Democratic
Press Forum. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

AGRARIANS, COMMUNISTS FIGHT EACH OTHER IN BRYANSK. The Bryansk Oblast
Communist Party has rejected cooperation with the local branch of the
Agrarian Party. The Agrarians had proposed to the Communists that they
divide the oblast's two Duma districts, nominating a Communist in one
district and an Agrarian in the other, and then uniting their campaign
efforts, Radio Rossii reported on 6 September. However, the Communists
rejected the proposal and nominated their candidates in both districts.
Several of the local democratic parties have united to avoid the
mistakes of the last elections, Bryanskii rabochii reported on 4 August.
In 1993, Bryansk elected one Communist and one Agrarian from the single
mandate districts, although Vladimir Zhirinovsky's party won 27% of the
party list vote. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

INGUSH PRESIDENT SHUNS UNION OF MUSLIMS. Ruslan Aushev, the president of
the Republic of Ingushetiya, refused offers to lead the party list of
the Union of Muslims of Russia (SMR), Ekho Moskvy reported on 6
September. Aushev's rebuff is the latest sign of conflict within the
union, which claims to represent the interests of 20 million Muslims in
the Russian Federation. Moskovskii komsomolets noted that Federation
Council Deputy Chairman Ramazan Abdulatipov also has not joined the
union's leadership. According to the 3-10 September edition of
Moskovskie novosti, protests at the SMR's 1 September conference in
Moscow forced the union's organizer, Akhmet Khalitov--who helped
Vladimir Zhirinovsky create the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia--to
give up his LDPR membership. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

CHECHNYA MARKS FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE. Some 3,000 to 5,000
people assembled in Grozny on 6 September to mark the fourth anniversary
of the violent dispersal by Dzhokhar Dudaev's supporters of the Chechen-
Ingush Supreme Soviet and concomitant declaration of independence,
Russian media reported. Participants in the demonstration carried
banners praising Allah and Dudaev and calling for those Russian
officials responsible for the carnage in Chechnya to be brought before a
war crimes tribunal. Addressing the demonstration, Chechen military
commander Aslan Maskhadov warned against a new "fratricidal war" between
rival Chechen factions, according to Ekho Moskvy. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI,
Inc.

SOBCHAK SEEKS TO EXPAND ST. PETERSBURG'S BORDERS AND HIS OWN POWER. St.
Petersburg Mayor Anatoli Sobchak introduced two draft laws to the
legislative assembly (city council) that would significantly alter the
city's geographic size and administrative structure, the paper Chas pik
reported on 6 September. The first proposal would end the current
administrative system based on "raions" and replace them with districts
more directly under the control of the mayor's office. The second draft
law would incorporate the suburbs of Pushkin, Pavlovsk, Petergof,
Kronshtadt, Lomonosov, and Kolpino into St. Petersburg. These suburbs,
which currently elect their own administrative organs, would be made
administrative districts of St. Petersburg and be placed under the
control of the mayor's office. -- Brian Whitmore, OMRI, Inc., in St.
Petersburg

CAMPAIGN TO BUY UP ILLEGAL ARMS IN TATARSTAN, TULA. In an attempt to
reduce the number of crimes involving firearms, the Tatar government has
decided to pay people who hand in illegal weapons. Izvestiya reported on
7 September that those taking up the government's offer will be immune
from criminal proceedings and their names will not be revealed. A
similar program has also been introduced in Tula Oblast, home of a major
weapons factory. But, as NTV noted on 3 September, the campaign's
prospects are poor, since the 150,000 to 200,000 ruble compensation
($33-44) being offered by the local authorities is well below the sum
the weapons would fetch on the black market. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI,
Inc.

YELTSIN CALLS FOR CIVIL SERVICE REFORM. Speaking at the Government
Service Academy in Moscow on 6 September, President Boris Yeltsin called
for changes in the civil service, particularly in its personnel policy,
to address the perennial problem of corruption and ensure the successful
implementation of reforms. The president admitted that mistakes had been
made in hiring in 1992 and 1993, when half the staff of federal
administrative bodies and a third of regional administrative personnel
were replaced. He said some officials had sacrificed the interests of
the state to line their own pockets, leading to a decline in efficiency.
Yeltsin called for a clear delimitation of powers between federal and
regional structures and the introduction of a program to attract young
people into the civil service. A law on the fundamental principles of
state service was signed by the president about one month ago. -- Penny
Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

NEW STRATEGIC MISSILE TESTED. Russia's newest strategic intercontinental
ballistic missile was successfully launched from Plesetsk on 5
September, ITAR-TASS reported. The Topol-M, a modernized version of the
SS-25, is to be the backbone of Russia's future land-based, strategic
missile force. The first test, a success, took place in December 1994,
but the missile failed in its second test in May 1995. -- Doug Clarke,
OMRI, Inc.

DEFENSE WORKERS KEEP GRACHEV FROM SEEING NEW SUB. Workers at the
"Vostok" shipyards in Vladivostok spoiled Russian Defense Minister Pavel
Grachev's World War II victory celebrations by not allowing a new
nuclear-powered submarine to take part in a scheduled review. According
to the paper Vladivostok of 6 September, the workers kept the new Akula-
class attack submarine "Dragon" blockaded in the shipyard for four days.
They were said to be indignant at not being paid for four months with
the defense ministry owing the shipyard 57 billion rubles ($13 million).
The submarine was released only after two high-ranking military
officials visited the yard and promised to settle the wage problem. --
Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

NIZHNII NOVGOROD TO COMPENSATE DEFRAUDED DEPOSITORS. The Nizhnii
Novgorod legislative assembly approved Governor Boris Nemtsov's proposal
to partially compensate defrauded depositors, Radio Rossii reported on 6
September. The decision only applies to the clients of two insolvent
Nizhnii Novgorod banks. Two other city banks, which are solvent, will
start paying the debts of these insolvent banks, provided that the
regional administration becomes a shareholder and contributes municipal
property to their charter capital. Nemtsov said that the pilot project
will probably serve as a model for the entire country to resolve the
widespread problem of defrauded depositors. The report suggested that
some 200,000 Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast residents have been swindled. --
Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

DROUGHT COMPENSATION FOR KALMYKIYANS. Due to a drought which has cut in
half expected grain harvests of 600,000 tons, the Russian government
plans to issue a natural disaster decree which will allocate financial
compensation to Kalmykiyan residents for losses, Segodnya reported on 5
September. Agricultural damage is estimated at 17 billion rubles ($3.8
million). -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

KAZAKH DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER ON TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION. The military
collegium of Kazakhstan's Supreme Court is examining charges of
corruption "on a particularly large scale" against Deputy Defense
Minister Valerii Satbaev and one of his subordinates, Kazakh TV reported
on 6 September. The TV report mentioned that the National Security
Committee decided to conduct the trial behind closed doors because the
case pertains to the use of state military secrets. Satbaev and one of
his subordinates were detained in April after Military Prosecutor Yurii
Khitrin issued a report charging them with illegal arms trading and
negligence in carrying out official duties. Satbaev has now challenged
Khitrin's nomination as prosecutor, arguing that as Khitrin's signatures
appears on a number of documents related to the case, he could appear as
a witness, but not be a prosecutor. Satbaev's arrest is part of a
crackdown on crime and corruption launched in April. -- Bhavna Dave,
OMRI, Inc.

BIDS ON TURKMEN OIL REFINERY. The Turkmenbashi oil refinery, built
during World War Two and in need of upgrading, is reviewing
modernization offers from companies representing fifteen countries,
ITAR-TASS reported on 6 September. The current capacity of six million
tons will be increased by one million tons after upgrading, and will be
oriented towards high-octane fuels. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Pete Baumgartner

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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