Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone. - Edith Cavell 1865-1915 (Spoken to the chaplain who attended her before her execution by firing squad, 12 Oct. 1915.)
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 208, Part I, 25 October 1995

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
On Friday, 27 October, OMRI will publish a Russian Election Survey --
the first in its series of special reports on important developments.
Distributed as a supplement to the OMRI Daily Digest, the Russian
Election Survey will appear twice a week and contain the latest news
about developments in the election campaign in Russia. Future
supplements will also focus on important events in Eastern European
countries.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We welcome you to Part I of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily
Digest. This part focuses on Russia, Transcaucasia and Central Asia.
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

MILLIONS OF CITIZENS MAY BE PREVENTED FROM VOTING. As many as 7-10
million citizens may not be able to exercise their right to vote because
they do not live at the address listed on their residence permit,
according to Nezavisimaya gazeta on 24 October. Voting rolls are based
on a person's official residence. Many citizens who rent apartments are
not officially registered, because the landlords do not want to pay
taxes on the rent. In other cases, residents cannot afford to pay the
fees required to register when they acquire a new residence. In
principle, such voters may travel to the place they are registered to
vote, but, in practice, few are likely to bother to do so. -- Robert
Orttung

RYZHKOV DENOUNCES YELTSIN STATEMENT. President Boris Yeltsin's
statements at his 19 October press conference about the need to prevent
a Communist victory have "practically unleashed total war against the
Communist and national-patriotic electoral blocs," former Soviet Prime
Minister and now leader of the Power to the People bloc Nikolai Ryzhkov
wrote in Pravda on 24 October. Ryzhkov complained that by supporting the
parties Our Home is Russia, Yabloko, the Bloc of Ivan Rybkin, and the
Congress of Russian Communities, Yeltsin had "practically divided
society in two." By presenting himself as a victim of the authorities,
Ryzhkov hopes to employ the same strategy that gained Yeltsin and
Vladimir Zhirinovsky much of their initial support. -- Robert Orttung

RYABOV CRITICIZED FOR TAKING YELTSIN'S SIDE. ITAR-TASS commentator
Tamara Zamyatina criticized Central Electoral Commission (TsIK) Chairman
Nikolai Ryabov on 24 October for defending President Yeltsin's recent
comments concerning a possible Communist victory in the parliamentary
elections. Ryabov said the president is not subject to the electoral law
article prohibiting employees of federal bodies from campaigning for or
against political parties. Zamyatina said Ryabov too often presents his
own opinions in the name of the TsIK, giving rise to doubts about his
objectivity. She added that the TsIK must adhere to both the letter and
the spirit of the electoral law, or else the election results will not
be trusted. Although ITAR-TASS is a state-owned news agency, Zamyatina
has published controversial commentaries in the past, including a 1994
critique of Yeltsin's top bodyguard Aleksandr Korzhakov. -- Laura Belin

SKURATOV WINS CONFIRMATION AS PROCURATOR-GENERAL. Ending months of
wrangling, the Federation Council voted on 24 October by 139-0 to
approve President Boris Yeltsin's nomination of legal expert Yurii
Skuratov to the post of procurator-general, Russian and Western agencies
reported. Yeltsin had made every effort to find a replacement for
Aleksei Ilyushenko who was acceptable to both the executive and the
legislature, so the outcome of the vote was never in doubt. One of
Skuratov's first tasks will be to choose a new team. According to NTV,
he has a list of people he would like to see return to the Procurator's
Office, including former Moscow Procurator Gennadii Ponomarev, who was
dismissed in the wake of the murder of television star Vladislav Listev.
-- Penny Morvant

TsIK HALTS REGIONAL COMMISSION'S DECISION. The Central Electoral
Commission (TsIK) ordered the electoral commission of Kalmykiya to
register Vladimir Kolesnik as a candidate for the Duma elections from
the Kalmykiya single-member district, ITAR-TASS and Russian Public TV
(ORT) reported on 24 October. Recently Kolesnik appealed to the TsIK
after the regional electoral commission claimed that he failed to
acquire enough signatures to register. TsIK Chairman Nikolai Ryabov
warned that the election campaign in Kalmykiya could be suspended if
further procedural violations are discovered, ITAR-TASS reported on
October 23. The two commissions have already clashed over the 15 October
presidential elections in Kalmykiya, which the TsIK considers invalid.
-- Anna Paretskaya

RUSSIAN MILITARY ATTACK INGUSH AIRPORT. One civilian was killed and six
wounded on 24 October when Russian special forces landed from two
military helicopters at Sleptsovskaya airport in Ingushetiya and opened
fire on passengers and airport staff, Russian media reported. NTV quoted
an unnamed Defense Ministry official as saying the attack was launched
in response to an erroneous report that forces loyal to Chechen
President Dzhokhar Dudaev had occupied the airport. Ingush Vice
President Boris Agapov condemned the military's actions, Interfax
reported. -- Liz Fuller

ZAVGAEV CONFIRMED AS NEW CHECHEN PRIME MINISTER. Former Chechen-Ingush
Supreme Soviet Chairman Doku Zavgaev was confirmed as Chechen prime
minister at sessions of the Committee for National Reconciliation and
the Chechen Supreme Soviet on 24 October, Russian Public TV (ORT)
reported. The head of the Russian delegation to the Chechen peace talks,
Vyacheslav Mikhailov, said the change of leadership would expedite the
peace process; Zavgaev himself told Radio Rossii that his top priority
is to achieve a cessation of hostilities and political stability.
Supporters of Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev staged a demonstration
in Grozny to protest Zavgaev's appointment which was forcibly dispersed
by police at the orders of Grozny Mayor Beslan Gantemirov, according to
Interfax. -- Liz Fuller

RYBKIN BLASTS NATO EXPANSION PLANS. At the opening session of a Russian-
French parliamentary commission in Paris, Duma Speaker Ivan Rybkin said
that plans to expand NATO eastwards are "a violation of international
disarmament accords," Russian and Western agencies reported on 24
October. Rybkin expressed outrage over talk of deploying NATO nuclear
weapons in Eastern Europe, when Russia has spent billions of dollars
dismantling nuclear missiles in accordance with arms control agreements.
While criticizing U.S. policy, Rybkin praised French leaders for their
understanding of Russian concerns. -- Scott Parrish

REACTION TO YELTSIN-CLINTON SUMMIT. While Russian state-run media lauded
the results of the Yeltsin-Clinton meeting in Hyde Park, New York, as a
"breakthrough," independent media expressed skepticism. Russian Public
TV (ORT) showed Yeltsin affirming the "strength" of Russian-U.S.
partnership, but the independent station NTV termed the meeting "warm,
but empty." The NTV report criticized the vague agreement on Bosnia and
noted that Yeltsin and Clinton had not even mentioned NATO, as if its
possible expansion were not a major problem in Russian-U.S. relations.
Izvestiya and Komsomolskaya pravda expressed doubts that the meeting
would produce any substantive improvement in Russian-U.S. ties. -- Scott
Parrish

FEDERATION COUNCIL CONDEMNS U.S. EMBARGO ON CUBA. The Federation Council
passed a resolution condemning the recent passage of a bill in the U.S.
Senate, aimed at tightening the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, Russian and
Western agencies reported on 24 October. Among other provisions, the
Senate bill would cut aid to Russia in retaliation for trade and
investment in Cuba. The Federation Council resolution said the Senate
bill violates international law and accepted international trade
practices, adding that Russia would continue to develop economic ties
with Cuba despite U.S. sanctions. -- Scott Parrish

DUMA ECONOMICS COMMITTEE ON SHADOW ECONOMY. According to the Duma
Committee on Economic Policy, retail trade turnover in the shadow
economy amounted to 88 trillion rubles ($20 billion) in 1994 out of
total turnover of 216 trillion, ITAR-TASS reported on 24 October. The
committee estimates that this year the government will lose 46.7
trillion rubles in value-added tax as a result of undeclared trading. --
Penny Morvant

LIVING STANDARDS: HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL? In a Vox Populi opinion
service poll conducted last month, 3% of respondents considered
themselves to be well-off, 37% said they did not live badly "but have to
work day and night," while 52% said they had difficulty making ends meet
and 8% that they lived in poverty. Boris Grushin, a Vox Populi
representative, interpreted the fact that 40% of respondents say they
have adapted to the new conditions as a positive phenomenon that makes
any return to the egalitarianism of the past extremely unlikely, Russian
TV reported on 24 October. Meanwhile, the economist Pavel Bunich argues
that Russians' living standards have fallen to an unacceptably low
level. According to Radio Rossii, Bunich noted that so far this year
average real incomes have declined by 12% and the real incomes of state
sector employees by 24-30%. -- Penny Morvant

TARIFF BARRIER AGAINST RUSSIAN ROLLED STEEL. The results of an
investigation conducted by the European Association of Steel Producers
prompted the EU to introduce a 43% custom duty on rolled steel imported
from Russia, ITAR-TASS reported on 24 October. That decision would be
reconsidered in four months. Russian exports of rolled steel to the EU
increased from 924 tons in 1990 to 11,582 tons in the period from
January 1993 to April 1994. The experts' conclusion that the price of
Russian rolled steel is too low was based on comparison with the price
of analogous steel exports from Brazil. Russia is not the only source of
cheap steel: European producers are also threatened by imports from
South Korea, Japan, Brazil, Poland, and the Czech Republic. -- Natalia
Gurushina

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS. The Russian government has announced a new
program to support small business in 1996, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported
on 24 October. Under the program, 707 billion rubles ($157 million) will
be channeled through the newly created Federal Fund for Small Business
Support, and a further 250 billion rubles through a network of regional
funds. Government policy will focus on issuing guarantees for loans from
commercial banks and will move away from direct subsidies for small
businesses. -- Natalia Gurushina

GOVERNMENT DEBATES MEASURES TO HELP BANKS. In a 24 October interview on
Russian Public TV (ORT), presidential economic aide Aleksandr Livshits
denied reports that First Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Chubais had
ordered the Central Bank of Russia to reduce the level of commercial
banks' mandatory reserves. However, Livshits noted that recent economic
developments, such as the introduction of the ruble corridor, put many
Russian banks in a difficult situation. He argued that the banks deserve
support from the Central Bank and said he favors easing the tax burden
on them. -- Natalia Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

RUN-UP TO ELECTIONS IN AZERBAIJAN . . . Representatives of the Musavat,
National Independence, and Independent Democratic parties of Azerbaijan
have protested arbitrary refusals by the Central Electoral Commission to
register candidates and restrictions on access to the media, according
to Turan. Musavat party spokesman Arif Hadjiev accused the country's
authorities of launching a psychological terror campaign against the
electorate. On 24 October, AFP quoted the head of the OSCE monitoring
mission in Baku as saying that the authorities had agreed to reassess
the petitions of parties and candidates barred from participating in the
elections. -- Liz Fuller

. . . AND IN GEORGIA. The Georgian Central Electoral Commission has
refused to register four former cabinet ministers including Prime
Minister Otar Patsatsia and deputy Prime Minister Tamaz Nadareishvili as
election candidates, Ekho Moskvy reported. As the Georgian election law
precludes the candidacy of government ministers, all four had submitted
their resignations, but those have not yet been accepted by the existing
parliament. Over 2,100 candidates have been registered to run in 85
single-mandate constituencies, the Sakinform news agency reported on 18
October. -- Liz Fuller

GEORGIAN-ABKHAZ TALKS IN JEOPARDY. Abkhaz representatives refused to
attend a further round of peace talks with Georgia scheduled to open in
Moscow on 24 October because of a Russian naval blockade of the Abkhaz
port of Sukhumi, Reuters reported. Russian Public TV (ORT), however,
quoted a spokesman for the Russian maritime border guard as denying that
such a blockade had been imposed. -- Liz Fuller

TURKMENISTAN, BELARUS BARTER. Turkmenistan has agreed to supply 2
billion cubic meters of gas to Belarus in exchange for potatoes,
tractors, and other consumer durables, Interfax reported on 23 October.
According to Turkmenistan's ambassador to Belarus, an agreement has
already been signed to provide 100,000 tons of potatoes to Turkmenistan.
Ashgabat's debts to other CIS countries is estimated at around $2
billion; roughly half of that sum represents rescheduled debts owed by
Ukraine alone. -- Lowell Bezanis

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY NOMINATES AKAEV FOR PRESIDENT. Kyrgyz President
Askar Akaev's nomination was forwarded by the Kyrgyz Legislative
Assembly on 23 October, according to a Kyrgyz Radio broadcast monitored
by the BBC. The report also listed five other candidates for the post of
president: Ata-Meken Party Chairman Omurbek Tekebaev, Communist Party
leader Absamat Masaliev, the Adilet public movement head Yuruslan
Toychubekov and the recently dismissed former director of the Kadamzhay
antimony plant in southern Kyrgyzstan, Mamat Aybalaev. Medetkan
Sherimkulov has already registered as a candidate. The election is
scheduled for 24 December. -- Bruce Pannier

[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 omripub@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