The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 178, Part I, 13 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

GROMOV, SHATALIN DESERT RYBKIN BLOC. The My Fatherland movement issued a
statement on 12 September announcing its withdrawal from State Duma
speaker Ivan Rybkin's bloc. Col. Gen. Boris Gromov and economist
Stanislav Shatalin were among the prominent members of the bloc who
signed the document. They decided to cut their ties with Rybkin because
of his "political sluggishness and indecision, his tendency to remain
aloof from major events, and his unwillingness to consider himself a
member of the constructive opposition to the executive," Russian TV
reported. My Fatherland will now campaign as an independent party. These
defections are the latest in a series of setbacks for Rybkin as he tries
to establish the bloc at the president's bidding. -- Robert Orttung,
OMRI, Inc.

BLOC "89" CEMENTS SPLIT WITHIN RUSSIA'S CHOICE MOVEMENT. The creation of
the new electoral bloc "89," named for the number of regions in the
Russian Federation, cements the split within Russia's Choice, the
leading pro-reform movement in the 1993 parliamentary elections,
Segodnya reported on 12 September. The schism has been brewing since
Yegor Gaidar, leader of the parliamentary delegation Russia's Choice,
founded the party Russia's Democratic Choice (DVR) in June 1994. The
Russia's Choice movement formed "89" at a 9 September congress, to which
Duma deputies from the Russia's Choice faction, most of whom now support
Gaidar's party, were not invited. Only two of the five original co-
chairmen of Russia's Choice--Pavel Medvedev and Viktor Davydov--joined
"89." Gaidar's party has already decided to compete in this year's
parliamentary elections as part of the United Democrats bloc. -- Laura
Belin, OMRI, Inc.

ILYUKHIN ACCUSES SHUMEIKO, SOSKOVETS OF CORRUPTION. Denouncing
corruption "in the top echelons of power," Duma Security Committee
Chairman Viktor Ilyukhin accused Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets
and Federation Council Chairman Vladimir Shumeiko of conducting shady
business deals, Ekho Moskvy reported on 12 September. According to
Ilyukhin, Valentina Soloveva, who is being prosecuted for the activities
of her now-defunct Vlastelina company, implicated Shumeiko in
profiteering operations and said Vlastelina issued a 200 billion ruble
($1.8 million) loan to Soskovets in 1993. The Federation Council press
service dismissed Ilyukhin's charges as campaign mudslinging, Russian TV
reported. Ilyukhin is a leading member of Gennadii Zyuganov's Communist
Party of the Russian Federation. -- Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

PRIMORSK KRAI DUMA CALLS FOR GOVERNOR'S ELECTIONS. The Primorsk Krai
Duma has asked President Boris Yeltsin to authorize elections on 17
December to the governorship of the krai, ITAR-TASS reported on 13
September. The Primorsk Duma told the president it had just adopted
necessary legislation for the elections, which would help "stabilize the
socio-economic situation" in the krai. Yeltsin appointed Yevgenii
Nazdratenko Primorsk governor in May 1993, and Nazdratenko was
subsequently elected to the Federation Council. The Primorsk governor
tried to hold gubernatorial elections in October 1994, but these were
canceled by a decree issued by President Yeltsin. -- Robert Orttung,
OMRI, Inc.

KARACHAEVO-CHERKESSIYA SELECTS NEW PRIME MINISTER. Vladimir Khubiev,
head of the administration of Karachaevo-Cherkessiya, named Anatolii
Ozov the republic's first prime minister, with the approval of the
People's Assembly, ITAR-TASS reported on 12 September. Khubiev had held
both posts since January 1993. However, a law recently adopted in the
republic stipulated that it was unacceptable for one person to serve in
both positions. The republic's first professional parliament was elected
on 10 June, after several years' wrangling over the structure of the
republic's legislature. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA ACCUSES NATO OF GENOCIDE. In a rhetorical blast reminiscent of
the cold war, a Russian government statement said the "unilateral" NATO
airstrikes in Bosnia had caused significant civilian casualties and
threatened the Bosnian Serbs with "genocide," Russian and Western
agencies reported on 12 September. NATO officials have repeatedly denied
Bosnian Serb claims that civilians have been bombed, and Bosnian Serb
authorities have refused to allow UN observers into areas where they
claim civilians were killed. In a further signal of Russian frustration,
Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin expressed "great regret and
concern" that a memorandum, which Russia claims was agreed between the
UN and NATO last month, was not discussed with Moscow. According to
ITAR-TASS, the memo allowed NATO to launch sweeping air attacks against
the Bosnian Serbs. Meanwhile, at the UN, a Russian draft resolution
calling for a halt to the airstrikes failed in the Security Council,
meeting opposition from 10 of its 15 members. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI,
Inc.

IZVESTIYA CRITICIZES RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES. In a front-page
article on 13 September, Izvestiya criticized the Russian intelligence
community for an amateurish attempt to convince the Russian public that
the mortar attack on a Sarajevo marketplace which precipitated the
current NATO airstrikes was a provocation. An earlier report by ITAR-
TASS had cited an "anonymous source" from a Russian intelligence agency
who claimed the mortar attack had not been launched by the Bosnian
Serbs, as the UN had concluded, but was the result of a
Western intelligence operation, code-named "Cyclone," designed to
provide NATO with a pretext to launch a massive air offensive. Izvestiya
said its own investigation had failed to uncover any information
supporting this report and that when queried, even the main Russian
intelligence agencies now denied responsibility for the implausible
story. The paper concluded that someone in the government had floated
the rumor in an unsuccessful attempt to manipulate public opinion and
justify Russia's opposition to the NATO airstrikes. -- Scott Parrish,
OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA REITERATES OPPOSITION TO BALTIC STATES JOINING NATO. Speaking at
the Fourth Parliamentary Conference of the Nordic Council on Cooperation
in the Baltic Region, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Krylov
declared that the eastward expansion of NATO "contradicted Russian
national interests," Russian and Western agencies reported. Mocking his
Baltic counterparts, Krylov asked, "Everybody in Europe says they have
no enemies anymore, so why is it important to expand NATO? Just who is
the enemy?" Krylov added that if NATO expanded eastward to the borders
of Russia by admitting the Baltic states, Russia would be forced to
respond with economic, political, and even military measures, although
he ruled out direct military intervention in the Baltics as a possible
response. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

LAX OFFICIALS BLAMED FOR MINE BLAST. Investigators looking into the 4
September explosion at the Pervomaiskii coal mine in the Kuzbass
concluded that it was caused by gross safety violations and sacked 5 of
the mine's officials, including its director. The explosion of methane
and coal dust caused a cage bringing workers down to the bottom of the
pit to collapse, resulting in 15 deaths. According to Russian and
Western agencies, the investigators said that the unexpected release of
methane was caused by poorly made equipment and that miners should have
been ordered to leave the danger area sooner. Meanwhile, miners in
Sakhalin have stopped coal deliveries to consumers in protest against
wage arrears, and their colleagues in Primorsk Krai are preparing to
strike, also on account of delayed wage payments. -- Penny Morvant,
OMRI, Inc.

CENTRAL BANK TO RELEASE DATABASE INFORMATION ON BANKS. Russia's Central
Bank, in efforts to broaden the country's securities market, will
release its financial information database to the public, Russian TV
reported on 12 September. Central Bank Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov
said that the database, which goes back two years, includes key
financial and business data, including balance sheets of about 1,000
banks. Kozlov said that any bank issuing securities is required to file
information with the Central Bank, which has set up a national computer
network to collate it. The banker noted that the Central Bank does not
verify all the data, so it cannot guarantee the soundness of the
information. -- Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRADING AND FINANCIAL GIANTS MERGE. One of Russia's largest trading
companies, AO Mikrodin, and FPG Interros, a top financial and industrial
group, have agreed to merge to form one of the country's largest
industrial conglomerates, Russian and Western agencies reported on 12
September. AO Mikrodin has huge stakes in several industrial companies,
including truck maker AMO Zil. FPG Interros, an umbrella holding
organization created by presidential decree last year, has a stake in
Oneximbank, Russia's fourth largest commercial bank, and RAO Norilsk
Nikel, the country's largest nickel smelter. Mikrodin President Dmitrii
Zelenin will serve as general director of the new venture, with
Oneximbank President Vladimir Potanin as chairman of the board. --
Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ABKHAZ DEPUTY PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN MURDERED. The eminent historian and
deputy chairman of the Abkhaz parliament, Yurii Voronov, was stabbed and
then shot in Sukhumi on 11 September, Ekho Moskvy reported on 12
September. Abkhaz President Vladislav Ardzinba said that the murder was
"a political act by a hired assassin," who has been apprehended and is
under interrogation. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

NAZARBAEV REVIEWS ARMED FORCES, PROMISES PROTECTION. In an interview
with TV Kazakhstan on 9 September, Kazakhstani President Nursultan
Nazarbaev promised to take steps to improve the situation in the armed
forces. Reports of discontent over pay and the diminishing morale in the
armed forces have surfaced in recent months (see OMRI Daily Digest, 12
September). Nazarbaev promised a special presidential decree within a
month, which will provide for a "wide-scale program of social
protection." Nazarbaev said that Kazakhstani officers with training in
the "highest military academies" in the Russian Federation will join the
country's armed forces next year but promised that Kazakhstan will set
up its own military academy. -- Bhavna Dave, OMRI, Inc.

NAZARBAEV CALLS FOR GREATER SINO-KAZAKHSTANI COOPERATION. On the second
day of his visit to China, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbaev
urged Chinese business people to invest in Kazakhstan, saying the
country's new constitution offers greater security to foreign investors,
Xinhua news agency reported on 12 September. Nazarbaev assured China
that Kazakhstan adheres to a "one-China" policy and that it will not
develop official relations of any sort with Taiwan. Chinese President
Jiang Zemin expressed appreciation for Kazakhstan's support on that
issue, as well as its support on the Tibet question. -- Bhavna Dave,
OMRI, Inc.

KYRGYZ PARLIAMENT TO DEBATE REFERENDUM. The Kyrgyz parliament is to
convene before the end of September to discuss holding a referendum on
extending the mandate of President Askar Akaev until 2001, Interfax
reported on 11 September. A spokesman for the Kyrgyz Central Electoral
Commission reported that over a million signatures--amounting to 50% of
the total electorate--have been collected in support of a referendum.
The standing chamber of the Kyrgyz parliament, the Legislative Assembly,
proposed an amendment to ban a referendum on extending the presidential
mandate, Interfax reported on 22 August. Presidential elections are
scheduled for autumn 1996. -- Bhavna Dave, OMRI, Inc.

DISPUTE OVER VENUE FOR NEXT ROUND OF TAJIK TALKS. According to an RFE/RL
correspondent's report, the governments of Tajikistan, Russia, and
Turkmenistan plan to hold the next set of negotiations between the Tajik
government and the opposition, scheduled to begin on 18 September, in
the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat. The opposition has been against holding
talks in Ashgabat, preferring Tehran instead. According to Interfax, one
opposition representative, Ali Akbar Turadzhonzoda, said that
Turkmenistan's poor record on human rights makes it inappropriate for
peace talks. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

UZBEKISTAN JOINS THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK. Uzbekistan has taken
another step toward integration into the Asian community. According to
ITAR-TASS on 12 September, Uzbekistan has officially become a member of
the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Representatives of the organization
will visit the country to determine the extent and type of aid needed
for Uzbekistan's economy. An ADB official stated that the main effort of
the bank will be aimed at assisting in the transition to a market
economy. -- Roger Kangas, OMRI, Inc.

CIS

FEW CIS STATES WILL MEET CFE DEADLINE. Economic, technological, and
political problems will prevent most CIS states from fulfilling the
terms of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty when it comes
into force on 17 November, representatives of various CIS countries said
on 12 September. The statements were made by officials from Russia,
Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan while meeting to discuss disarmament at
the CIS headquarters in Minsk, Interfax reported. The Ukrainian
representative cited problems in resolving the dispute over the division
of the Black Sea Fleet, although the CFE does not cover naval weapons.
The official from Belarus said President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's
decision to halt the destruction of weapons in February prevented
compliance, but he added that Belarus would resume destruction soon. --
Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Penny Morvant

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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