Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 218, Part I, 8 November 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.
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

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
LEBED CALLS FOR MILITARY FORCE TO PROTECT RUSSIANS ABROAD. Congress of
Russian Communities deputy chairman Aleksandr Lebed said Russia should
solve the problem of ethnic Russians living "outside the borders of
their historic homeland" with "any available means, including military,"
Radio Mayak reported on 7 November. Lebed said that he was not concerned
about the reaction to his remarks. However, with respect to Chechnya,
the retired lieutenant general said that he would immediately withdraw
Russian troops to the administrative border. He also said he would
withdraw "the population," presumably meaning the Russians living there.
-- Robert Orttung
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
RUSSIA

COMMUNISTS MARK HOLIDAY ACROSS RUSSIA. Pro-communist rallies
commemorating the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 were held across Russia
on 7 November, Russian media reported the same day. Speakers including
Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov and Aleksandr Prokhanov, editor
of the hard-line newspaper Zavtra, addressed a crowd of about 10,000
people in Moscow's Teatralnaya Square. Police estimated the total number
of demonstrators around the country at 100,000, NTV reported. In
Volgograd, where communists won elections last month, the City Duma
marked the day by renaming itself the Soviet of People's Deputies. --
Laura Belin

COMMUNISTS RALLY IN ST. PETERSBURG. Tens of thousands of St. Petersburg
communists rallied on 7 November to mark the 78th anniversary of the
October Revolution. Carrying red flags and banners calling for the
resurrection of the Soviet Union and attacking Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin's Our Home Is Russia, the mostly elderly participants from
four communist groups marched down Nevskii Prospekt and gathered on
Dvortsovaya Square. Speakers at the rally, including the extreme
communists Nina Andreeva and Eduard Limonov, urged the demonstrators to
vote in the December elections in order to destroy the current regime
"from within." The demonstration was good-humored but subdued and failed
to attract widespread support. -- Penny Morvant in St. Petersburg

WHITES MARCH IN MOSCOW. About 30 men dressed in the uniforms of the
White Guards' elite Drozdovskii regiment marched through the center of
Moscow on 7 November. They sought to honor the memory of officers and
cadets killed during the 1917-1920 Civil War, ITAR-TASS reported.
Members of the regiment fought in October 1993 in Yeltsin's campaign
against the "red parliament" and have demonstrated in front of the
Kazakhstani embassy to "defend the rights of Russians abroad," AFP
reported. Many now devote themselves to reviving the memory of the
Whites' exploits which were suppressed by Communist censors. -- Robert
Orttung

ANTI-COMMUNISTS MARK "DAY OF TRAGEDY." Anti-communist groups met in
Moscow's Lubyanka Square, the former site of the KGB headquarters, to
denounce 7 November as a "day of tragedy" and to warn against a
communist return to power, Ekho Moskvy reported. Duma Deputy Sergei
Yushenkov, a member of Russia's Democratic Choice, addressed the rally,
which was organized by the Moscow Anti-Fascist Center. Former political
prisoners and children of those labeled "enemies of the people" held a
similar rally in Tomsk, near a labor camp believed to have held 100,000
prisoners during the Soviet period, according to Radio Rossii.
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the radical Democratic Union compared
the holiday marking the Bolshevik Revolution to Halloween, which it said
is also a day for "evil spirits and demonic forces," Ekspress-khronika
reported. -- Laura Belin

DUMA REPRESENTATIVE FAILS TO SHOW UP FOR HEARING ON JOURNALIST SUIT. The
Duma's representative failed to show up for a hearing in the law suit
brought by Novoe vremya Deputy Editor Kronid Lyubarskii against the
parliament on 2 November. Lyubarskii is suing the Duma over a report
released by Stanislav Govorukhin's Chechnya Commission that accused the
deputy editor and other journalists of taking money from Chechen
President Dzhokhar Dudaev in exchange for writing critical reports on
Russia's military campaign (see OMRI Daily Digest 22 September 1995).
Lyubarskii said the Duma representative's failure to show up
demonstrates that the deputies do not recognize that "the laws are
written for all citizens," Interfax reported. The next hearing is
scheduled for 6 December. -- Robert Orttung

ZAVGAEV SAYS CHECHNYA NOW HAS COALITION GOVERNMENT. Speaking with
journalists in Grozny, Moscow-backed Chechen head of state Doku Zavgaev
declared that since half the current Chechen government supports
separatist President Dzhokhar Dudaev, it is already based on a
"coalition," Russian agencies reported on 7 November. Zavgaev expressed
willingness to include more Dudaev supporters in the government if doing
so would promote political stability and repeated his suggestion of
direct talks with Dudaev. Following a meeting with Zavgaev on 7
November, mediator Ruslan Khasbulatov expressed guarded support for the
new Chechen head of state but said he would not accept a post in the
government. Meanwhile, 45 attacks by separatist fighters killed four
federal servicemen on 6 November, ITAR-TASS reported. -- Scott Parrish

RUSSIA, NATO SAID TO BE CLOSE ON BOSNIAN PEACE FORCE. A formula has been
found that will allow Russian forces to serve in the Bosnian peace
implementation force, NATO officials in Brussels told Reuters on 7
November. Russian unwillingness to serve under a NATO commander had been
the sticking point, but the sources said that NATO will propose that
Russian troops be given a specific task by the overall NATO commander
which they will then carry out under their own tactical theater command.
U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry and his Russian counterpart, Col.
Gen. Pavel Grachev, are to meet in Brussels on 8 November to finalize
the accord. -- Doug Clarke

PRELIMINARY STUDIES COMPLETED AT BUSHEHR. Reza Amrollahi, the head of
the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, told journalists on 7 October
that preliminary studies of the Bushehr reactor site in southern Iran
have been completed, ITAR-TASS reported. Amrollahi said the first VVER-
1000 reactor at the site would be completed within three years. Russian
officials had earlier said that construction would begin late this year
and would take four years to finish. Despite continuing vocal U.S.
opposition to the power plant, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksei
Bolshakov reiterated his government's intention to complete it during
his recent visit to Tehran. -- Scott Parrish

CAVIAR SUPPLIES DEPLETING. Caspian Sea sturgeon--the world's main source
of caviar--could face extinction unless the five nations that border the
sea reach an accord to protect them, Russian and Western agencies
announced on 7 November. Stocks of sturgeon in the Caspian have dropped
from 200 million five years ago to no more than 60 million today. The
drop is attributed to pollution, low water levels, and increased
poaching. Before 1991, the area's caviar industry was tightly controlled
by Iran and the Soviet Union, but following the USSR's collapse,
controls disappeared. The Russian Fisheries Committee recommends that
Russia create a governmental body to monitor the fish. -- Thomas Sigel

CHORNOBYL WORKERS PROTEST LACK OF BENEFITS. A group of workers who
helped clean up the Chornobyl nuclear disaster continued their hunger
strikes for the fourth day to protest cutbacks in benefits, Russian and
Western agencies reported on 7 November. The strikers in the Ural city
of Chelyabinsk are demanding the reopening of a regional rehabilitation
center and the implementation of a law on social protection for citizens
exposed to radiation. Many of the estimated 600,000 people who worked on
the cleanup of the Chornobyl disaster in 1986 are sick from radiation
and have suffered as a result of sharp reductions in health and social
benefits. Ukrainian authorities estimate a total of 8,000 people have
died as a result of the accident. -- Thomas Sigel

MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX DEMANDS MORE MONEY FROM THE BUDGET. Spending
on defense procurement for 1996 should be increased to 50-54 trillion
rubles ($11-12 billion) from the current allocation of 13 trillion
rubles ($2.9 billion), Viktor Glukhikh, the chairman of the State
Committee for Defense Industries, told Interfax on 4 November. The
Defense Ministry also needs 5 trillion rubles ($1.1 billion) to repay
its debts to defense plants (including unpaid wages). -- Natalia
Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF GEORGIAN ELECTIONS. Parliament chairman Eduard
Shevardnadze has won the Georgian presidential elections with more than
70% of the vote, while his main opponent, former Communist party leader
Dzhumber Patiashvili, has received only 17% of the popular vote,
according to the Central Electoral Commission. Turnout was reported to
be 63%. Meanwhile, the results of the parliamentary elections are not
clear yet, Russian media reported on 7 November. The commission said
that so far only three parties have overcome the 5% threshold necessary
to gain representation in the new parliament. They are: the Union of
Citizens of Georgia, led by Shevardnadze, the National Democratic party,
and the Revival All Georgian Union. The final results of the
parliamentary elections will be announced next week. -- Irakli Tsereteli

ELECTION PREPARATIONS IN AZERBAIJAN CRITICIZED. International observers
in Azerbaijan have expressed their "unease" at the exclusion of a number
of political parties and independent candidates from the parliamentary
election scheduled for 12 November, AFP reported on 8 November. A joint
statement by observers from the UN and OSCE said the elections could be
illegal as the registration of candidates and parties are based on
"disputable criteria," and independent experts have been unable to
examine, confirm, or object to the official decisions. Azerbaijan's
electoral commission has refused to register Musavat, the Communist
Party, the People's Democratic Party, and the Hope Party; on 7 November,
ITAR-TASS reported that 600 independent candidates had been barred from
the elections. -- Lowell Bezanis

NEW TALKS ON KARABAKH BEGIN IN MOSCOW. Talks between Azerbaijan and
Armenia aimed at settling the prolonged dispute over the Nagorno-
Karabakh enclave began in Moscow on 7 November, ITAR-TASS reported on 8
November. The Armenian delegation is headed by Foreign Minister Vartan
Oskanian and the Azerbaijani team is represented by Deputy Foreign
Minister Tofik Zulfugarov. The head of the press service of the Armenian
embassy in Moscow, Gevorg Oganesian, told an ITAR-TASS correspondent
that the first day of talks promise "the beginning of a dynamic process
in search of solutions." The talks, which are to continue until 10
November, follow OSCE-mediated negotiations held in Finland in mid-
October. -- Bhavna Dave

UZBEK DEFENSE MINISTER SUPPORTS CIS MILITARY AGREEMENTS. In an interview
with Radio Mayak on 7 November, Lt. Gen. Rustam Akhmedov, the Uzbek
defense minister, voiced his support for greater cooperation within the
CIS on military affairs. Speaking on the issue of defending Uzbekistan's
borders, Akhmedov stressed that his government believes each country
should be able to defend its borders independently. However, that does
not exclude cooperative efforts, including the deployment of combined
units, to defend CIS borders. Indeed, the defense minister noted that
Uzbekistan has been interested in greater CIS military cooperation since
1992 and President Islam Karimov has called for a regional air defense
network. Those efforts, Akhmedov concluded, would not compromise the
independence of any CIS member state. -- Roger Kangas

TALKS ON PIPELINES IN ASHGABAT. The five-nation Economic Cooperation
Organization (ECO) met in Turkmen capital Ashgabat on 7 November to
discuss the creation of four major pipelines, ITAR-TASS reported the
next day. Officials from Turkmenistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
and Iran discussed plans for the following pipelines: Baku-Ceyhan
(Turkey); Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan to the Indian
Ocean; Turkmenistan-Iran-Turkey toward Europe; and the supply of Uzbek
and Turkmen gas to Pakistan through Afghanistan. -- Bhavna Dave

NEW KYRGYZ POLITICAL PARTY. A congress of the new People's Party of
Kyrgyzstan met in Bishkek on 7 November, Interfax reported. The party is
led by Melis Eshimkanov, editor of the Asaba Kyrgyz newspeper. It is
said to have 22,500 members, the next largest after the republic's
Communist Party. The congress was attended by 500 delegates, who
listened to Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev deliver the keynote address.
Observers speculate that the new party was set up to create a base of
support for Akaev, who will be running for re-election on 24 December.
-- Bruce Pannier

CORRECTION: In the 7 November OMRI Daily Digest, the item on the
Medzamor nuclear power plant in Armenia incorrectly abbreviated
megawatts. It should have been written Mw.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
Union and Central, Eastern, 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