The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. - George Bernard Shaw
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 191, Part I, 2 October 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

SUBSIDIES FLOW AS ELECTIONS APPROACH. Over the weekend several
government ministers announced special subsidies for hard-pressed
economic sectors. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, visiting drought-
stricken Orenburg, promised that prices for the region's transport and
energy supplies would be frozen till the end of the year, ITAR-TASS
reported on 30 September. He also banned electricity cutoffs to
husbandry farms and food processing plants in the region. The same day
ITAR-TASS reported that Fuel and Energy Minister Yurii Shafranik
promised 1.3 trillion rubles ($290 million) to help firms buy winter
fuel; while First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets, visiting
Tatarstan, promised federal money for Tatar shipyards and to pay for
trucks the Defense Ministry ordered from the KamAZ plant. -- Peter
Rutland

OUR HOME IS RUSSIA REJECTS POPULIST MEASURES. The campaign manager for
the pro-government Our Home is Russia bloc, Sergei Belyaev, acknowledged
the government's unpopularity among voters but rejected any populist
moves to attract more support, Russian Public TV (ORT) reported on 29
September. However, the government is developing a program to help the
estimated 35 million investors who lost their savings in risky
investment funds, Kommersant-Daily reported on 30 September. Belyaev
said that he expects only a third of the voters to participate in the
elections and that his bloc will garner 8-12%. -- Robert Orttung

LAWYERS JOIN THE CAMPAIGN. Arguing that "professionals should make
laws," the Association of Lawyers of Russia has nominated its own party
list of 137 attorneys, procurators, judges, and investigators for the
December parliamentary elections, Russian TV and ITAR-TASS reported on
29 September. Federation Council deputy Anatolii Fedoseev, who is on the
list, said a shortage of jurists in the current Duma was to blame for
its "extremely low" productivity and what he called the "catastrophic
legal illiteracy" of a number laws passed. -- Laura Belin

COMMUNISTS WIN THE ELECTIONS TO VOLGOGRAD DUMA. Communist Party
candidates won in 22 out of 24 constituencies in the 1 October elections
to the Volgograd City Duma, which were contested by 193 candidates,
ITAR-TASS reported. However, Volgograd Mayor Yurii Chekhov, who quit his
membership in the Our Home Is Russia political bloc before the election
campaign, won the mayoral elections held the same day. Meanwhile, the
Tambov City Duma voted to restore the Soviet of Peoples' Deputies and
its executive committee (ispolkom), instead of maintaining the current
bodies, ITAR-TASS reported on 29 September. -- Anna Paretskaya

SHCHERBAKOV CALLS ON DUMA TO DISBAND. Vladimir Shcherbakov, one of the
leaders of the bloc uniting the Federation of Independent Trade Unions
and the Russian United Industrialist Party, called on the State Duma to
disband itself. He said that such a move would create equal conditions
for all candidates, whether they are incumbents or not, NTV reported on
29 September. He argued that the deputies will only try to score
political points in the waning days of the session and that they can no
longer be trusted to adopt important decisions. He said that as the
elections near, there will be an increasing number of calls to end the
Duma's session early. -- Robert Orttung

SOURING RELATIONS BETWEEN YELTSIN AND CHERNOMYRDIN. The relationship
between President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin is souring,
according to Segodnya on 30 September. In recent days, news agencies
have twice reported that the two leaders would meet at Yeltsin's
vacation residence in Sochi, but no such meetings took place. Recent
remarks by members of the government and presidential advisers have
added to the perception that a rift has occurred between them.
Presidential economic adviser Aleksandr Livshits, for example, recently
suggested that the prime minister continue working in the government
rather than take a leave of absence to campaign for the Duma. A break
between Yeltsin and Chernomyrdin could undermine the government's
ability to continue its current reform policy. -- Robert Orttung

CHUVASH LEGISLATURE POSTPONES REFERENDUM DECISION. The State Soviet of
Chuvashiya postponed for at least one week a vote on whether to call a
referendum on abolishing the presidency in the republic, ITAR-TASS
reported on 29 September. Chuvash President Nikolai Fedorov was elected
in December 1993 with less than 30% of the vote and has since been at
odds with the majority in the legislature. Although more than 30,000
signatures have been gathered in support of holding the referendum,
Fedorov recently told Obshchaya gazeta (No. 37) that calls for
abolishing his office bother him "less than a mosquito bite." -- Laura
Belin

FEDERAL SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES WAR ON CORRUPTION. FSB
Director Mikhail Barsukov has started a corruption purge within his own
agency, Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 28 September. According to a
recent presidential decree, the FSB will monitor corruption in the
Interior Ministry, the Federal Agency for Government Communications and
Information, and the Tax Police. This arrangement existed under former
Soviet leader Yurii Andropov but was later changed under pressure from
the Interior Ministry. -- Constantine Dmitriev

NEW RUSSIAN MILITARY DOCTRINE?. An anonymous source in the General Staff
reported that a new version of the Russian military doctrine was
recently completed, Komsomolskaya pravda reported on 29 September.
According to the draft version, Russia will counterbalance NATO's
eastward expansion by deploying tactical nuclear weapons in western
Russia, Belarus, and in the Baltic Sea. Komsomolskaya pravda also
reported that the Defense Ministry wants to amend the CFE treaty and to
change the current international nuclear nonproliferation regime. --
Constantine Dmitriev

NATIONAL REPUBLICAN PARTY HEADQUARTERS RAIDED. Two armed men raided the
headquarters of the ultranationalist National Republican Party in St.
Petersburg on 29 September, Russian and Western agencies reported. The
assailants beat a party activist and made off with lists of 30,000
signatures the party had collected in preparation for the December
parliamentary elections. (Parties need 200,000 signatures to register.)
A police spokesman said the attack could have been carried out by the
party's political rivals, but he did not rule out the possibility that
the party had staged the raid itself for publicity reasons. Party leader
Nikolai Lysenko was the instigator of the fistfight in the Duma on 9
September, when he lunged at fellow deputy Gleb Yakunin. -- Penny
Morvant

YAKUBOVSKII'S LAWYER MURDERED. Yevgenii Melnitskii, a St. Petersburg
lawyer defending Dmitrii Yakubovskii, was murdered on 25 September,
Russian and Western media reported. The controversial Yakubovskii was
arrested late last year in connection with the theft of rare manuscripts
worth about $100 million from St. Petersburg's National Library. The
head of St. Petersburg's criminal investigations department, however,
expressed doubts that Melnitskii's murder was linked to the case, noting
that Melnitskii had recently become active in local politics. -- Penny
Morvant

RUSSIAN OFFICIALS BLAST NATO EXPANSION DRAFT. In response to the release
of a NATO study on enlarging the alliance eastward, Russian officials
issued warnings on 29 and 30 September against any expansion of the
alliance, Russian and Western agencies reported. First Deputy Foreign
Minister Nikolai Afanasevskii told Interfax that Russia would "take
adequate response measures" if the alliance started accepting new
members. Russian officials have previously cited withdrawal from CFE,
the formation of a CIS military bloc, and forward deployment of tactical
nuclear weapons as possible reactions to NATO enlargement. -- Scott
Parrish

SOBCHAK AS POLITICAL COMMENTATOR DRAWS CRITICISM. Anatolii Sobchak's
twice weekly televised political commentary on St. Petersburg's Channel
Five has drawn criticism from the Legislative Assembly, Smena reported
on 29 September. The deputies sent a letter to the television company
arguing that the mayor's position as a state official disqualifies him
from acting as an objective political commentator. Chas pik reported on
29 September that the St. Petersburg branch of Yabloko issued a
statement criticizing Sobchak for endorsing pro-government parties in
his commentary. It noted that when Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin
was in St. Petersburg, the mayor had billboards advertising Our Home is
Russia erected. -- Brian Whitmore, OMRI Inc in St. Petersburg

RUSSIA SAID TO GET U.S. WEAPONS FROM SERBS. The Russian military has
been given two American "Tomahawk" cruise missiles and electronic
equipment from a downed U.S. reconnaissance aircraft by Bosnian Serbs,
Ekho Moskvy reported on 28 September, citing an officer "from one of the
special services." The two missiles are part of the group of three that
failed to explode after they were fired at Bosnian Serb targets earlier
in the month. -- Doug Clarke

POLL SURVEYS ATTITUDES TOWARD U.S. A poll conducted by the Public
Opinion Foundation and reported in the weekly Obshchaya gazeta on 28
September showed a slight overall increase in positive attitudes towards
the U.S., with 23% of respondents reporting improvement in their opinion
of the U.S. since 1985, while 51% reported no change, and only 13%
reported deterioration. While 43% of respondents across Russia said they
would welcome U.S. investment in their region, 32% would oppose it, and
13% expressed indifference. -- Scott Parrish

ZOTOV SAYS RUSSIA MUST PARTICIPATE IN YUGOSLAV SETTLEMENT. Attempting to
bolster Russia's dwindling role in the Bosnian peace process, Aleksandr
Zotov, the special presidential representative to the former Yugoslavia,
told ITAR-TASS on 29 September that Russia could not be excluded from
the implementation of any political settlement there. Zotov reiterated
Russia's opposition to the creation of an exclusively NATO-commanded
peace implementation force and said Russia would also demand that the UN
Security Council approve any such deployment. First Deputy Foreign
Minister Igor Ivanov claimed the agreement recently signed by the
warring parties in New York was not an achievement of U.S. diplomacy
alone but resulted from the work of the entire Contract Group. -- Scott
Parrish

ATLANTIC-RICHFIELD ACQUIRES STAKE IN LUKOIL. The Atlantic-Richfield
Company (ARCO), a U.S. oil giant, invested $250 million to buy a 5.7%
stake in Lukoil, Russia's biggest oil corporation, Western agencies
reported on 29 September. This represents one of the largest single
investments by a foreign firm in post-Soviet Russia and one of the first
times a foreign oil company has purchased an equity interest in a major
Russian oil concern. ARCO purchased bonds which will be converted into
$40.9 million worth of voting shares in April 1996. The Los Angeles-
based ARCO agreed not to try to increase its stake to more than 7.99% of
Lukoil's voting stock. -- Thomas Sigel

WORLD BANK LAUNCHES HOUSING PROJECT. With the assistance of a $400
million World Bank loan, Russia launched a $758 million housing
construction project on 29 September, Russian Public TV announced on 29
September. Five Russian cities--St. Petersburg, Novgorod, Nizhnii
Novgorod, Tver, and Barnaul--were selected for the first stage of the
project, which includes plans for auctioning land and assisting private
construction firms. -- Thomas Sigel

TRANSCAUCASIA & CENTRAL ASIA

NIYAZOV FOR LIFE. The Democratic Party of Turkmenistan will debate
awarding the republic's president, Saparmurad Niyazov, life-long powers
to rule the party and state, the Turkmen Press news agency reported on
27 September. The decision was reached at the eighth plenum of the
political council which met the same day in Ashgabat, according to the
report monitored by the BBC. The Turkmen Communist Party renamed itself
the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan in December 1991 under Niyazov's
leadership; there is one other government-sponsored party in the
republic, the Peasants' Justice Party. -- Lowell Bezanis

FORMER UZBEK COMMUNIST PARTY LEADERS RELEASED FROM JAIL. The "victims"
of the Uzbek "cotton affair" continue to be rehabilitated in post-Soviet
Uzbekistan. According to a 27 September Interfax report, Uzbekistan's
Supreme Court dropped all charged against a former party boss, Viktor
Yesin. Yesin, who held the post of Navoi Obkom first secretary, had been
serving a six-year prison sentence since 1989 for bribery. This is the
latest in a series of reversals from the original anti-corruption
campaign that dominated the 1980s. Other notables most recently released
from prison include the first secretary of the Uzbek Communist Party
from 1986 to 1989, Imanjon Usmankhojaev, former Supreme Soviet speaker
Akil Salimov, former Ideology Secretary Ideology Rano Abdullayeva, and
former Prime Minister Narmonkhonmadi Khudaiberdiyev, all prominent Uzbek
officials in the late 1980s. -- Roger Kangas

PROTESTS IN KYRGYZSTAN. The decision to hold presidential elections in
December has drawn a crowd of more than 200 demonstrators to the
parliament building in the capital, Bishkek, according to RFE/RL.
Striking miners in southern Kyrgyzstan's Osh region have linked their
cause with that of the demonstrators in Bishkek. Their strike,
originally against corruption in management, has expanded to include the
policies of President Askar Akaev. A state of emergency, implemented
after the 1990 riots, is still in effect in the Osh region. According to
a 28 September report by Kyrgyz Kabar cited by the BBC, the state of
emergency will have to be lifted before elections can take place. --
Bruce Pannier

[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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