If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them. - Francis Bacon
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 118, Part I, 18 JUNE 1996

This is Part I of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part I is a compilation of news concerning Russia, Transcaucasia and
Central Asia. Part II, covering Central, Eastern, and Southeastern
Europe is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues
of the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are available
through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/Index.html

RUSSIA

YELTSIN MAKES LEBED TOP SECURITY AIDE. President Boris Yeltsin on 18
June met with Aleksandr Lebed for the second time in two days and
appointed him Security Council secretary and national security aide,
replacing Oleg Lobov and Yurii Baturin, respectively, ITAR-TASS
reported. Yeltsin gave Lebed the posts in hopes of winning over his
supporters, who made up nearly 15% of the vote on 16 June. Yeltsin
described his alliance with Lebed, who has often been critical of the
president, as "the union of two politicians and two programs." Yeltsin
said that Lebed would help correct his course on military reform,
security issues, and the battle against crime and corruption. When
journalists asked Yeltsin if Lebed was the person the president had in
mind when he said on 14 June that he knows who will be president in the
year 2000, Yeltsin said, "it's early to speak about that," but added
with a smile, "you are thinking correctly." -- Robert Orttung

LEBED BACKS YELTSIN. After coming in third place in the first round of
the presidential election, Lebed has come out in strong support of
President Yeltsin, who narrowly defeated Communist challenger Gennadii
Zyuganov. Lebed said that there are two ideas in the country, "the old,
which has shed a lot of blood, and the new, which has, to date, been
realized very poorly," ITAR-TASS reported on 18 June. Lebed said that he
chose the new. "Eleven million people believed that I can impose order,
and I take on myself this difficult responsibility." -- Robert Orttung

GRACHEV REMOVED AS DEFENSE MINISTER. President Yeltsin on 18 June
declared that he had relieved Defense Minister Pavel Grachev of his
duties, Russian and Western agencies reported. Grachev, who had survived
countless rumors of his imminent dismissal, finally fell victim to the
pressures of electoral politics. Lebed and Grachev have been bitter
enemies since Lebed's days as commander of the Russian 14th Army in
Moldova, and the two men could not have easily worked together in
Yeltsin's administration. While Reuters reported that Grachev had
decided to resign rather than serve under Lebed, it is equally likely
that Lebed had insisted on Grachev's removal in exchange for supporting
Yeltsin. The chief of the General Staff, Army General Mikhail
Kolesnikov, will serve as acting Defense Minister, pending the
appointment of a permanent successor to Grachev. -- Scott Parrish

ZYUGANOV APPEALS TO LEBED . . . Zyuganov on 18 June said that "it is
still not too late" to conclude an agreement with Lebed, Russian media
reported. He said that he had assumed since the beginning of May that
Yeltsin would appoint Lebed to a high-profile position. Zyuganov added
that Lebed's electorate "does not take orders" and that if it feels it
has been deceived, it will vote for the popular-patriotic bloc. The day
before, Zyuganov was the first candidate to call on Lebed's voters for
support. "Lebed's electorate will either not go to vote or it will vote
for us," he argued. -- Anne Nivat in Moscow and Robert Orttung

. . . AND CHALLENGES YELTSIN TO A DEBATE. Zyuganov also once again
invited President Yeltsin to a television debate "as soon as the Central
Electoral Commission has finished the vote count." He criticized Yeltsin
for broadcasting a pre-recorded address to voters on ORT on 17 June,
thereby "openly violating the electoral law which doesn't allow any
propaganda for any candidate until after the official results." "If
Yeltsin would have spent less money on rock concerts and more on giving
workers their wages, he would have received more support," Zyuganov
commented. -- Anne Nivat in Moscow

LEBED VOTERS UNPREDICTABLE. Even though Lebed has explicitly backed
President Yeltsin over Zyuganov, there is no guarantee that his voters
will follow the general's advice in the runoff. Russian analysts believe
that Lebed's supporters come from diverse social and political
backgrounds, and their actions in the runoff are unpredictable. Lebed
apparently stole many votes from Zhirinovsky and it is not clear whether
these voters would be willing to back Yeltsin, Zyuganov, or just stay at
home. Lebed lacks a disciplined campaign organization, and there is not
much ideological unity among his supporters, according to Andrei
Neshchadin, director of the Russian Union of Industrialists and
Entrepreneurs Institute, Radio Rossii reported on 17 June. -- Robert
Orttung

YELTSIN NOW LOOKING FOR YAVLINSKII ALLIANCE. After his meeting with
Lebed, President Yeltsin expressed the hope that he would find a "common
language" with Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii but admitted that he
did not know how Yavlinskii would conduct himself, ITAR-TASS reported.
Yavlinskii has not yet announced his support for either of the two
candidates in the runoff. Grachev's departure will make it easier for
Yavlinskii to back Yeltsin, since this was one of Yavlinskii's demands
in earlier negotiations with the president. Aleksei Zakharov, the deputy
leader of the Yabloko Duma faction, said his bloc would back Yeltsin but
called for corrections in the president's economic policy, an immediate
end to the war in Chechnya, and changes in the government, ITAR-TASS
reported on 17 June. Duma Committee on International Affairs Chairman
Vladimir Lukin said that Yabloko voters would be more likely to turn out
in Yeltsin's favor than those who supported Lebed in the first round,
making an agreement with Yavlinskii as important as one with Lebed.
Yabloko will hold a congress on 22 June to decide whom it will back in
the second round. -- Robert Orttung

YELTSIN PROPOSES MOVING RUNOFF DATE TO BOOST TURNOUT. President Yeltsin
invited the Duma to make Wednesday, 3 July, a holiday to enable
presidential runoffs to be held on that day, ITAR-TASS reported.
Currently, the law specifies that the election must be held on a weekend
day. Yeltsin campaign advisers Sergei Filatov and Viktor Ilyukhin have
been pushing this idea in order to increase voter participation, Russian
Public TV (ORT) reported on 17 June. Yeltsin's team believes that if the
turnout had been higher than about 70% on 16 June, the president would
have received a greater percentage of the vote. Many Russians spend
their weekends at country homes, making it difficult to return to the
city where they are registered to vote. Yeltsin's advisers also blamed
the low turnout on the president's repeated statements that he would win
the election in the first round, and on the optimistic opinion polls
released on the eve of the voting. -- Robert Orttung

YELTSIN RESHUFFLES SECURITY ADVISERS. After appointing Lebed, Yeltsin
shifted his predecessors into other positions, leaving the division of
responsibilities among them unclear, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 June.
Yeltsin appointed Oleg Lobov, who had headed the Security Council since
September 1993, to the post of First Deputy Prime Minister, joining Oleg
Soskovets and Viktor Kadannikov, who also hold that cabinet rank. He
will also stay on as the presidential representative in Chechnya,
although it is unclear what other responsibilities Lobov will hold in
his new post. Meanwhile, Yeltsin also said that former national security
aide Yurii Baturin will remain as a presidential aide, but presidential
spokesman Sergei Medvedev said the division of duties among Yeltsin's
aides after Lebed's appointment remains undetermined. -- Scott Parrish

CONFUSION OVER ELECTION RESULTS IN TATARSTAN. Although initial reports
gave Zyuganov the lead in election results for Tatarstan, subsequent
reports put Yeltsin ahead, NTV reported on 17 June. The TV station said
that their correspondent had been told by the Tatar Electoral Commission
that preliminary results gave Zyuganov 41% to Yeltsin's 33%. ITAR-TASS
also put the Communist contender in front. Later results, however, gave
Zyuganov only 37.1% to Yeltsin's 37.7%. Yeltsin, who is supported by
Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev, had been expected to win in the
republic. -- Penny Morvant

BALTIC RUSSIANS PREFER ZYUGANOV; OTHER EX-PATS SUPPORT YELTSIN. Russian
voters in Latvia and Estonia opted overwhelmingly for Zyuganov in the
presidential election, Russian and Western agencies reported. Zyuganov
also came out on top in Lithuania but with a smaller lead. More than
23,000 Russians voted in Estonia, with the Communist contender taking
62.7%, according to preliminary results. Some 9,300 Russian voted in
Latvia, 64.5% of whom opted for Zyuganov. Voters, many of whom believe
they are treated unjustly by the Latvian and Estonian governments, were
presumably attracted by the Zyuganov's support for a reconstituted
Soviet Union. Ironically, the Russian Foreign Ministry had pushed for
more polling stations in both countries. Elsewhere, Yeltsin came out on
top. Embassies in the West not surprisingly reported massive wins for
Yeltsin, who also did well in most CIS countries. In Central Asia, where
citizenship rules exclude all but a handful of the area's Russians from
voting. -- Penny Morvant

LUZHKOV: NO MAJOR CHANGES IN MOSCOW GOVERNMENT. Moscow Mayor Yurii
Luzhkov, who won another four-year term with 89.65% of the vote in the
16 June election, said there will be no radical personnel changes in the
city's government, NTV reported on 17 June. According to the law on the
Moscow mayoral election, the old government must resign when the final
results are announced officially, and a new one will be formed. Luzhkov
promised that the new team will be apolitical and will concentrate on
fighting crime and resolving Moscow's environmental problems as well as
on the economy. Luzhkov added that his running mate, Valerii Shantsev,
who was badly injured in an attack on 7 June, should be back at work
within a couple of months. -- Penny Morvant

TRUCE IN CHECHNYA. Chechen Chief of Staff Aslan Maskhadov on 17 June
said that the Chechen opposition forces will refrain from further
hostilities until after the second round of the Russian presidential
election rather than risk jeopardizing the 10 June agreement on the
withdrawal of Russian troops, AFP reported. According to preliminary
election results released by the Chechen Central Electoral Commission on
17 June, 58% of eligible voters participated in the election for a new
Chechen People's Assembly and 60% participated in the Russian
presidential election, Ekho Moskvy reported. Of the latter, 39% voted
for Yeltsin. OSCE described the voting as "manipulated" and "a parody of
democracy," AFP reported. -- Liz Fuller

INTERNATIONAL REACTION TO ELECTION RESULTS. Western leaders hailed the
first round of presidential balloting as evidence that democracy is
taking root in Russia but also expressed relief that President Yeltsin
had finished in first place, Western and Russian agencies reported. U.S.
President Bill Clinton termed the vote "a milestone" for Russian
democracy but also congratulated Yeltsin on his "strong showing" in the
first round. Indirectly endorsing Yeltsin, Clinton added that he hoped
Russia "would continue to support reform." A French Foreign Ministry
spokesman made similar comments, as did the EU foreign ministers, who
were meeting in Rome. German Finance Minister Theo Waigel was more
direct, saying a Zyuganov victory in the upcoming second round would be
"catastrophic." Western leaders have invested considerable political and
financial capital in Yeltsin's campaign, and a Zyuganov victory would
represent a major foreign policy defeat. -- Scott Parrish

FINANCIAL MARKETS' REACTION TO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. President
Yeltsin's performance in the first round of the presidential election
resulted in a new flurry of activity on the Russian financial markets,
ITAR-TASS and Reuters reported on 17 June. Financial experts believe
that security prices--including those of government bonds (GKOs), which
have been falling since April--and trading volume were driven up by
foreign and Russian traders who are confident of Yeltsin's victory in
the second round, and are trying to invest all available resources in
still relatively cheap Russian stocks. Some securities rose on purchases
by Russian banks anxious not to let Western traders get in first. Still,
the largely speculative frenzy is likely to subside before the second
round in early July. -- Natalia Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

CHINA SEEKS CENTRAL ASIAN SUPPORT TO CURB UIGHUR SEPARATISM. China
believes that the Shanghai treaty signed in April to create a
demilitarized zone along the 8,000 km border separating China from
Russia and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and
Tajikistan will curb Muslim separatism in its Uighur-dominated
northwestern province of Xinjiang, AFP reported on 17 June, citing an
article in the government newspaper Xinjiang Daily. Uighur leaders
exiled in Kazakhstan continue to allege increasing repression of Muslims
in Xinjiang by the Chinese authorities since the signing of the Shanghai
pact. A visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to Uzbekistan,
Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan in early July is seen as an attempt to
further strengthen cooperation between the Central Asian states and
China in checking separatist activities in the border area. -- Bhavna
Dave

UN EXTENDS TERM OF OBSERVER MISSION IN TAJIKISTAN. The UN Security
Council on 14 June voted to extend the term of its observer mission in
Tajikistan until 15 December, RFE/RL and ITAR-TASS reported. Prior to
agreeing on the extension, members of the council issued a strong
warning to the warring parties in Tajikistan that visible progress must
be shown toward settling the conflict in the country. UN Secretary-
General Boutros Boutros Ghali noted earlier in the month that the
situation in Tajikistan has grown worse since May. The UN's Mission of
Observers in Tajikistan has 94 members, of which 44 are military
observers. -- Bruce Pannier

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

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