You always pass failure on the way to success. - Mickey Rooney
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 182, Part I, 19 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

YELTSIN SETS REGIONAL ELECTIONS. President Boris Yeltsin ordered members
of the Russian Federation to elect their heads of administration in
December 1996, Russian agencies reported. The elections are to be held
in all regions where the current governor was appointed by Yeltsin.
Until now, elections of regional governors were held on an ad hoc basis
and Yeltsin has recently faced an increasing number of petitions from
regions requesting elections. The issue is doubly sensitive because
Yeltsin wants to have governors appointed ex officio to the Federation
Council. Elections to the regional legislatures to be held in December
1997. Russia's ethnic republics fell into a separate category and most
of them have held elections. -- Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

INTEREST IN DUMA RACES HIGH AMONG CONTENDERS. As of 18 September, there
are already an average of 28 candidates competing for each of the 225
seats to be determined by party list and 14 in each of the 225 single-
member districts, according to Nikolai Ryabov, chairman of the Central
Electoral Commission (CEC). The CEC has already registered candidate
lists from 41 parties and blocs, ITAR-TASS reported. -- Robert Orttung,
OMRI, Inc.

IZVESTIYA NOTES CHANGE IN ELECTION CAMPAIGNING. The political content of
the current parliamentary campaign has changed markedly from earlier
Russian electoral cycles, with slogans of stability and order replacing
calls for radical change, according to a report by Yurii Levada in
Izvestiya on 19 September. In the previous elections of 1989-90 and
1993, the competing groups tried to push the state toward one extreme or
another, but now they are engaged in a battle for the political center.
Levada stressed that negative voting will dominate the December polls,
since voters find it easier to identify parties they would never support
than parties they like. As in past elections, voters are more oriented
toward individual personalities than party identities, Levada argued. --
Robert Orttung, OMRI, Inc.

LOGOVAZ TO FINANCE NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA? Nezavisimaya gazeta editor in
chief Vitalii Tretyakov is once again firmly in control of the paper,
having been promised financial support from the Obedinennyi (United)
Bank, which is owned by Boris Berezovskii's Logovaz company, according
to Segodnya on 16 September. Acting editor in chief Igor Kuzmin and
others on the editorial board who voted on 30 August to sack Tretyakov
have submitted their resignations. Segodnya reported that a private
security firm linked to Logovaz provided the armed guards who
accompanied Tretyakov when he reclaimed his office on 11 September.
Nezavisimaya gazeta suspended publication on 24 May due to financial
problems. Berezovskii is co-chairman of the board of directors for the
pro-government Russian Public TV (Channel 1), and he is closely involved
with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin's bloc, Our Home Is Russia. --
Laura Belin, OMRI, Inc.

SITUATION IN GROZNY TENSE. Arriving in Grozny on 18 September, Russian
presidential representative Oleg Lobov called for "effective political
measures" to stabilize the situation in Chechnya, Russian Public TV
reported. Lobov characterized the situation in Grozny, where some 250
supporters of President Dzhokhar Dudaev blocked an approach road to the
city to demand the withdrawal of all federal troops from the country, as
alarming. A Russian military spokesman rejected charges by Chechen
military commander Aslan Maskhadov that Russian troops had repeatedly
violated the 30 July ceasefire agreement, most recently by attacking the
village of Chernoreche on 18 September, according to Interfax. At a 17
September meeting, members of Dudaev's leadership condemned the alleged
failure of the OSCE mission in Chechnya and raised the possibility of
formally requesting a UN peacekeeping mission; they also voted to
postpone the presidential elections scheduled for 27 October when
Dudaev's four-year term in office expires. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

CHERNOMYRDIN AND VIDENOV DISCUSS OIL PIPELINE. In yet another maneuver
in the ongoing struggle for control of the Caspian region's oil, Russian
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his Bulgarian counterpart Zhan
Videnov discussed a Russian-Bulgarian-Greek pipeline project, Western
and Russian agencies reported on 18 September. The proposed pipeline,
running from the Bulgarian port of Burgas on the Black Sea to the Greek
Aegean port of Alexandroupolis, would permit the export of Caspian shelf
oil via Russia without sending tankers into the Bosporus and Dardanelles
straits, through which Turkey has unilaterally restricted tanker
traffic. Talks to be held in October will finalize the details of the
project. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN SERB REPRESENTATIVE APPEALS FOR RUSSIAN AID. The "foreign
minister" of the self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb Republic, Aleksa Bukha,
arrived in Moscow on 18 September to request assistance, including
weapons, Russian and Western agencies reported. ITAR-TASS reported that
he would meet with Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and President
Yeltsin's special envoy to the former Yugoslavia, Aleksandr Zotov.
Meanwhile, at the UN, Russia demanded that the Bosnian Muslims and
Croats halt their offensive in Western Bosnia. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI,
Inc.

RUSSIAN PARATROOPERS TO ENFORCE PEACE SETTLEMENT? A Russian Airborne
Forces spokesman told ITAR-TASS on 18 September that Major-General
Nikolai Staskov, deputy head of peacekeeping operations, had recently
begun an inspection tour of the 1,500 Russian peacekeepers currently
stationed in Eastern Slavonia and around Sarajevo. U.S. Defense
Secretary William Perry's earlier statements that Russia should
participate in implementing any Bosnian peace settlement have triggered
speculation that Russian troops will be dispatched to the region to
reassure the Bosnian Serbs. -- Scott Parrish, OMRI, Inc.

GERMANY AGREES TO RESCHEDULE RUSSIAN DEBT. Germany and Russia have
signed an agreement to reschedule DM 4.8 billion ($3.2 billion) in
Russian debt over a 15-year period, Western and Russian agencies
reported on 18 September. The German Finance Ministry said the agreement
implements part of an accord reached between Russia and the 17-member
Paris Club of creditor nations this June (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 June
1995), which called for the rescheduling of $7 billion in Russian debts
that fell due this year. In 1993 and 1994, Germany also rescheduled more
than $8 billion in Russian debt, the ministry added. -- Scott Parrish,
OMRI, Inc.

LAWMAKER: CONSCRIPTION SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. On 1 October, a new
wave of conscripts will be joining the Russian army for two years of
service. In April, President Yeltsin signed a controversial law
extending the draft from 18 to 24 months. Sergei Yushenkov, chairman of
the State Duma Defense Committee, urged Yeltsin to cut the length of
service by 10 to 12 months, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 September.
Yushenkov said Yeltsin has three amendments to the law on military
service on his desk: one would increase the length of service to two
years only for those drafted after 1 October of this year; the second
would limit the time of service of those serving in trouble spots to 15
months; the third restored draft exemption to those whose parents are
over 50 years of age. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

INDEPENDENT TRADE UNIONS FORM LABOR CONFEDERATION. A number of Russia's
free trade unions, primarily from the transport sector, have united to
set up the Confederation of Labor of Russia, Radio Mayak reported on 18
September. Among the participating groups is Solidarity, a regional
association that includes all the free trade unions in the St.
Petersburg area. Anatolii Kochev, one of the leaders of the
confederation, said the organization would defend the social and
professional interests of workers in dealings with the government. The
free trade unions have no ties with Mikhail Shmakov's Federation of
Independent Trade Unions of Russia (FNPR), which has formed the Union of
Labor electoral bloc with Vladimir Shcherbakov's United Industrialist
Party. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

ENVIRONMENT THREATENED BY "FLOATING CHORNOBYLS." Aleksei Yakovlev,
chairman of the Russian Security Council's ecological security
commission, described some of Russia's older nuclear submarines as
"floating Chornobyls" in an interview with Germany's ARD television
channel on 18 September. He said 10 of the submarines have defective
reactors, but Russia cannot dismantle them with its current resources.
Admiral Oleg Yerefeev, the commander of the North Sea Fleet, told the
same program that the vessels could sink at any moment, leading to "an
ecological disaster." Meanwhile, at the opening session of the
International Atomic Energy Agency's annual general meeting in Vienna,
Russian Nuclear Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov said Russia is
concerned that the agency is focusing on "regulatory and inspection
functions" to the detriment of concentrating on new technologies that
would enhance nuclear safety and help dispose of waste, AFP reported. --
Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

DRAFT BUDGET RELEASED FOR 1996. The government has published a draft of
the 1996 budget, Rossiiskaya gazeta reported on 19 September. It
projects an end to the fall in GDP and inflation of only 35% for the
year 1996. The budget expects to raise 15% of revenue from non-tax
sources (the sale of assets and the issuance of bonds)--down from the
22% of revenue which these sources were supposed to generate in 1995.
Defense spending will rise 16% in real terms to 79 trillion rubles ($17
billion), although the ministry requested a 55% increase. Of this sum,
41 trillion rubles will be spent on the upkeep of the armed forces and
12.7 trillion on equipment. The budget includes sharp cuts in some
spending items (such as a 50% reduction in subsidies to northern
regions) that are sure to meet with parliamentary opposition when the
Duma reconvenes and considers the budget in October. -- Peter Rutland,
OMRI, Inc.

SHAKHRAI PUSHES FOR INCOME DISCLOSURE LAW. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei
Shakhrai has drafted a law that would require all government ministers,
parliamentary deputies, and candidates to file a public declaration of
their personal income and assets, Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 19
September. Shakhrai, the leader of the Party of Russian Unity and
Accord, proposed a similar law prior to the 1993 elections. Shakhrai
released a statement listing his own income and assets. He earned 2.5
million rubles a month ($560) in 1995, and has a mere 14,000 1993 rubles
in the bank ($3 at the current exchange rate). He has no shares or
foreign bank accounts, and his family owns one car, four bicycles, and
no computer. -- Peter Rutland, OMRI, Inc.

BUDGET EXPERIMENT IN SAMARA. Samara Oblast is being allowed to retain
federal revenues for certain programs, rather than remitting the money
to Moscow, Russian TV reported on 15 September. Konstantin Titov,
governor of Samara Oblast and a leader of the Chernomyrdin bloc,
complained that in the first half of 1995 Samara had sent 1.8 trillion
rubles ($400 million) to Moscow but had only received 200 billion rubles
($45 million) in federal spending in return. In future, the oblast will
be able to retain 100% of the revenues raised to finance the
construction of military housing and health and education facilities.
That will give the oblast authorities an incentive to make sure federal
taxes are paid. -- Peter Rutland, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

UN OBSERVER KILLED IN TAJIKISTAN. An Austrian lieutenant colonel of the
UN observer mission was killed in the Kurgan-Tyube region on 18
September, Western sources and ITAR-TASS reported. Wolf Sponner was
traveling to the area to investigate the clash between the 1st and 11th
brigades that broke out on 17 September. Sponner is the first UN
observer killed in Tajikistan since the UN began work there in October
1994. -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

NEW PUBLIC MOVEMENT IN KYRGYZSTAN. A group of Kyrgyz parliament deputies
from the Communist and Peasant's parties have joined with others to form
a new public movement called "Adilet" (Justice), according to a 12
September article in Res Publica cited by the BBC. The movement issued a
statement that criticizes the economic performance of the government of
President Askar Akaev. The statement mentioned the dissolving of the
Kyrgyz parliament in September 1994 and the possibility of a referendum
extending Akaev's term as president until the year 2001, saying "the
president and his entourage are continuing to preach the basic
principles of democracy in words, but in their deeds they have turned to
usurping power." -- Bruce Pannier, OMRI, Inc.

CHINA AND KAZAKHSTAN TO JOINTLY MONITOR EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR TESTS.
Kazakhstan and China will set up commissions to work jointly to monitor
the effects of Chinese nuclear tests on the environment in Kazakhstan,
Xinhua reported, citing a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on 15
September. President Nursultan Nazarbaev had discussed the issue of
Chinese underground nuclear tests at Lob Nur in the Xinjiang Autonomous
Republic with Chinese President Jiang Zemin during his official visit to
China last week. Xinhua quoted the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman as
saying that China's nuclear tests have not had a negative effect on the
environment in Kazakhstan, a fact he claimed is confirmed by Kazakhstani
ecological experts. -- Bhavna Dave, 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

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 varnumk@omri.cz for a copy
of the new policy or look at this URL:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

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