I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. - Booker T. Washington
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 23, Part I, 01 February 1996


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/Index.html

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
YELTSIN SACKS BLACK SEA FLEET COMMANDER. Ending nearly two weeks
of confusion, Russian President Boris Yeltsin has signed a decree
dismissing Admiral Eduard Baltin as commander of the Black Sea
Fleet, effective from 27 January. (See OMRI Daily Digest, 22 and
29 January 1996). The Black Sea Fleet press center told ITAR-TASS
on 1 February that Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev had
notified Baltin of his removal and given him 10 days to hand over
command to his first deputy, Vice Admiral Gennadii Suchkov, who
will serve as acting commander. Baltin, appointed by Yeltsin and
former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk in December 1992, has
long been viewed by many as hampering the settlement of the
dispute over the fleet. His dismissal may hasten its resolution,
perhaps triggering an improvement in Russian-Ukrainian relations.
-- Scott Parrish
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

RUSSIA

RUSSIAN COMMANDER IN CHECHNYA REJECTS FURTHER TALKS WITH DUDAEV. The
commander of federal forces in Chechnya, Lt.-Gen. Vyacheslav Tikhomirov,
argued on 31 January that attempts in 1995 to negotiate a settlement of
the Chechen conflict with President Dzhokhar Dudaev had led nowhere and
that the Russian leadership should concentrate on supporting the
government of Prime Minister Doku Zavgaev, NTV reported. Tikhomirov said
he did not plan military operations against the civilian population and
proposed concluding agreements with villages under the control of
Zavgaev's government as a precondition for the withdrawal of federal
troops from those areas. Also on 31 January, Russian State Duma deputies
voted to create a commission uniting all branches of federal power to
work for a settlement of the Chechen conflict. Meanwhile, talks are
still proceeding on conditions for the release of some 70 hostages still
held by Dudaev's field commanders. -- Liz Fuller

YAVLINSKII ISSUES APPEAL TO END WAR IN CHECHNYA. Besides "a small group
of operatives" in the Kremlin, all of Russia is against the war in
Chechnya, Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii wrote in Izvestiya of 1
February. He proposed a "clear and simple" plan to end the conflict:
first withdrawing all Russian troops from the breakaway republic; then
letting Dudaev and Zavgaev work out a "non-agression pact" among
themselves toward gradual demilitarization; and ultimately holding a
referendum in Chechnya to decide the republic's future status.
Yavlinskii also invited political parties, trade unions, human rights
groups, and other anti-war organizations to convene a Moscow conference
on peaceful solutions to the Chechen conflict, which "could not be
ignored" by the authorities. -- Laura Belin

LEBED JOINS RYZHKOV'S PARLIAMENTARY FACTION. Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Aleksandr
Lebed has joined the leftist Popular Power, the Duma faction led by
former USSR Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov, NTV reported on 31 January.
Ryzhkov said that Lebed would primarily work on military issues. Lebed's
decision may spark a split in the Congress of Russian Communities (KRO),
for in the past party leader Yurii Skokov has expressed less support for
the communists than has Lebed. The chairmen of the party's Krasnodar and
Rostov branches, Konstantin Zatulin and Viktor Petrov, have requested
that Lebed and Skokov call a meeting of the KRO's national council
shortly to clarify their relationship. -- Robert Orttung

ZYUGANOV RANKS NUMBER 2 ON LIST OF 100 LEADING POLITICIANS. Communist
Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov ranked directly behind President Yeltsin
on a list of 100 leading politicians published by Nezavisimaya gazeta on
1 February. The paper's panel of experts also see Zyuganov as likely to
win the presidential elections in June. Zyuganov moved past Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin following communist gains in the Duma and
the violence in Dagestan. Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov was listed as the
politician making the most useful contribution to Russian foreign and
domestic policy. -- Robert Orttung

ELECTORAL COMMISSION WANTS MORE INFORMATION ON SOSKOVETS' OFFICE.
Aleksandr Ivanchenko, deputy chairman of the Central Electoral
Commission (TsIK), told the Duma on 31 January that the TsIK still has
no information on the office set up to prepare for the presidential
elections under First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets and has
requested more from the presidential administration, NTV reported. The
government has already disclaimed any knowledge of Soskovets' office,
while Soskovets himself failed to make a scheduled address in the Duma
on 31 January. Yeltsin set up the office on 15 January, claiming that it
was non-partisan, but deputies have accused him of using state money to
support his campaign, while the TsIK believes that Soskovets' offices
duplicates its functions. Ivanchenko also said he had received
information about Transport Ministry workers who had allegedly been told
that their pay would be withheld if they did not sign petitions
supporting Yeltsin's candidacy. -- Robert Orttung

CHERNOMYRDIN REJECTS NOMINATIONS. Prime Minister Chernomyrdin called
"unacceptable" the formation of groups to support his candidacy for the
presidency, saying he knew nothing about them, ITAR-TASS reported on 31
January. Groups have appeared in St. Petersburg and Orenburg. The
Petersburg group, which includes members of Russia's Democratic Choice,
described Chernomyrdin as a "goal-oriented, strong-willed, centrist
leader" who could form a cabinet of professionals and stop the war in
Chechnya, Segodnya reported on 31 January. -- Robert Orttung

DUMA IN NO HURRY TO RATIFY START II. Despite President Yeltsin's request
that the START II treaty be ratified by April, on 31 January the Duma
failed to set a date for a vote on the agreement, instead referring it
to three committees for study, Russian agencies reported. Vladimir
Lukin, chairman of the Duma International Affairs Committee, described
the treaty as "extremely advantageous" for Russia and warned that if it
is not ratified, Russia may become a "secondary nuclear power." He
added, however, that ratification should be postponed to prevent the
treaty from becoming a "political football" in the upcoming presidential
elections and said newly elected deputies need more time to study it. In
a subsequent interview with Russian TV, Lukin suggested that even if the
Duma does not ratify the treaty, the Russian government may observe its
terms anyway, as the U.S. did with SALT II in the 1980s. -- Scott
Parrish and Doug Clarke

MIKHAILOV DENIES RUSSIA CHEATING ON URANIUM AGREEMENT. Russian Atomic
Energy Minister Viktor Mikhailov has refuted recent allegations that
inadequate inspection provisions could have allowed Russia to violate
the terms of a bilateral agreement under which it sells diluted uranium
extracted from dismantled nuclear warheads to the U.S. "We obtain high-
grade uranium when dismantling nuclear weapons," he told ITAR-TASS on 31
January, "then process it into a low-grade uranium for subsequent
deliveries abroad." He explained that U.S. experts had watched the
process at the two plants involved--Tomsk-7 and Sverdlovsk-44--but said
they "would like to make a more thorough analysis." Mikhailov said that
in turn Russia wants assurances that uranium shipped to the U.S. is not
re-enriched, complaining that the U.S. companies involved "seem
reluctant to see Russian experts at their enterprises." -- Doug Clarke
and Scott Parrish

RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS COMPLETE BOSNIA DEPLOYMENT. The deployment of the
1,600-man Russian airborne brigade that is participating in the
international Bosnian peace implementation force (IFOR), has been
completed, ITAR-TASS reported on 1 February. Col.-Gen. Yevgenii
Podkolzin, a spokesman for the Russian airborne forces, said it had
taken 76 transport flights and 11 trains to transport the brigade to
Bosnia from its central Russian base. The Russian troops will now begin
patrolling their assigned 70-km segment of the line separating Bosnian
government and Bosnian Serb forces in the eastern part of the Posavina
corridor, just south of the Serb-held town of Brcko. -- Scott Parrish

NUMBER OF CRIMES COMMITTED BY WOMEN INCREASING. The crime rate among
women in Russia is rapidly increasing, Interior Ministry official Yurii
Kalinin said on 31 January. ITAR-TASS said women committed about 238,000
crimes in 1995, up from 142,000 in 1993. Over 5,600 women were convicted
of premeditated murder and about 3,350 of grievious bodily harm. The
total number of recorded crimes in 1995 was about 2.75 million. Kalinin
attributed the rise in crime among women to growing unemployment, forced
migration, increased juvenile crime, and general moral decay. -- Penny
Morvant

MINERS STRIKE ACROSS RUSSIA. About half a million miners from over 120
pits and open cast mines went on strike on 1 February, a representative
of the Coal Workers' Union told ITAR-TASS. The coal association Rosugol
put the number of strikers at about 300,000. The miners are demanding
payment of over a trillion rubles in delayed wages and a schedule for
state funding of the sector in 1996. Rosugol Chairman Yurii Malyshev
appealed to miners to call off the strike on 31 January, promising that
agreement would soon be reached with the government on the provision of
more than 10 trillion rubles in support for the coal industry in 1996,
Radio Mayak reported. Meanwhile, strikes continued on 31 January at over
1,170 educational institutions in 23 regions of Russia, Interfax
reported. -- Penny Morvant

NUCLEAR ENERGY PRODUCTION UP IN 1995. Russia's nine nuclear power plants
generated 99.3 billion kilowatt-hours of energy in 1995, a 1.5% increase
compared with 1994, Russian agencies reported on 31 January. This is the
first sign of stabilization in the industry after two years of decline:
nuclear energy production plunged from 120 billion kilowatt-hours in
1992 to 98 billion in 1994. A spokesman for the Russian atomic energy
agency noted that the number of accidents in the industry declined from
95 in 1994 to 62 in 1995 (of which only three were classified as
serious, compared to eight in 1994). Russia's total energy production in
1995 was 862 billion kilowatt-hours, a 2% decline over 1994. -- Natalia
Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJAN JUSTICE MINISTRY TO BAN THREE POLITICAL PARTIES. The
Azerbaijan Ministry of Justice decided on 30 January to request that the
country's Supreme Court ban the Democratic Youth Organization, the Labor
Party, and the Gardashlyg Society on the grounds that all three have
sought since their inception to undermine Azerbaijani statehood, Turan
reported. The Democratic Youth Organization was founded by OPON police
chief Rovshan Dzhavadov, who was killed in a confrontation with the
Azerbaijani authorities in March 1995. The activities of the Labor Party
and Gardashlyg are said to be directed by ex-President Ayaz Mutalibov,
who is currently living in Moscow. -- Liz Fuller

INTENSIVE FIGHTING REPORTED IN TAJIKISTAN. Fighting has broken out in
the Tavil-Dara region, east of the Tajik capital Dushanbe, Russian and
Western media reported. Tavil-Dara has been the scene of a stand-off
between Tajik government troops and opposition forces, who captured
several villages in October 1995. According to an opposition spokesman,
the latest fighting has claimed at least 10 lives. Both sides have
accused each other of starting the violence. Meanwhile, Western media
reported that in Kurgan-Tyube, the commander of the Tajik army's first
brigade, Mahmud Khudaberdiyev, is distributing weapons to the
population, while about 1,000 citizens of Kabodien, a city nearby, have
surrounded the local police station, trapping police and security
officers. -- Bruce Pannier

TAJIK PEACE TALKS NEAR COLLAPSE IN ASHGABAT. The renewed hostilities in
Tavil-Dara have prompted the Tajik government representatives currently
in Ashgabat for peace talks to threaten to withdraw from the
negotiations, international media reported. Chief negotiator Talbak
Nazarov said the attack on 30 January was a flagrant violation of the
ceasefire agreement signed by the protagonists in 1994. The ceasefire
has been violated on numerous previous occasions. A spokesman for the
opposition, Ali Akbar Turajonzoda, claimed the problems were initiated
by the government. The recurrent problem of redistributing power in the
government to include members of the opposition parties has also
hindered progress in Ashgabat. ITAR-TASS reported on 30 January that
Tajik Prime Minister Jamshed Karimov said the government was willing to
step down if it would help stabilize the country. -- Bruce Pannier

YELTSIN DENIES RUSSIAN TROOPS INVOLVED IN TAJIK FIGHTING. Sergei
Medvedev, press spokesman for Russian President Yeltsin, said on 31
January that Russian troops in Tajikistan are only involved in guarding
military and other sites for which they are responsible, Russian
agencies reported. This statement came in response to rumors that
Russian forces in Tajikistan were participating in operations in Kurgan-
Tyube, Tursun Zade, and Tavil-Dara. Yeltsin himself said such activity
did not conform to the CIS peacekeepers' mandate. The Russian Foreign
Ministry expressed deep concern at the renewed unrest in Tajikistan and
stressed the need for a negotiated settlement. -- Bruce Pannier

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Penny Morvant

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) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                       All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


   Greg Cole, Director
   Center for International Networking Initiatives
   The University of Tennessee System                Phone:  (423) 974-7277
   2000 Lake Avenue                                    FAX:  (423) 974-8022
   Knoxville, TN  37996                     Email:  gcole@solar.rtd.utk.edu
   

 
         

[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