Increase The Peace. - John Singleton
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 119, Part I, 19 June 1996

***********************************************************************
Available soon -- The OMRI Annual Survey of Eastern Europe and the
Former Soviet Union -- "1995: Building Democracy."
Published by M.E. Sharpe Inc., this 336-page yearbook provides a
systematic and comprehensive review of the most pivotal events in the 27
countries of the former Communist bloc and former Soviet Union during
1995. Available to OMRI subscribers at a special price of $25 each (plus
postage and handling). To order, please email your request to:
annual@omri.cz
***********************************************************************

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

LEBED CLAIMS TO FOIL COUP ATTEMPT. New Security Council Secretary
Aleksandr Lebed on 18 June said that he had prevented a coup by "circles
close to the Defense Ministry" who were unhappy about the dismissal of
Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, NTV reported. Lebed said the coup
plotters included five generals (Barynkin, Shulikov, Sitnov, Kharchenko,
and Lapshov), the outgoing defense minister's press secretary, Yelena
Agapova, and Georgian Defense Minister Vardiko Nadibaidze. He said he
took preventative measures but did not describe in detail how the coup
was to have been carried out. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said he
knew nothing about the alleged coup. -- Robert Orttung

LEBED TO REVAMP SECURITY COUNCIL . . . Newly-appointed Security Council
Secretary Aleksandr Lebed declared on 18 June that he will subject the
council to "shock therapy," and boost its role in policy-making, Russian
agencies reported. Lebed said he will create a new "operational council"
of the Security Council, consisting of permanently-delegated top
officials from each of the ministries and agencies that have seats on
the council. The operational council would monitor and control the
implementation of Security Council decisions. Lebed added that Yeltsin
will now coordinate all top personnel appointments in these ministries
with him. Lebed's changes seem designed to transform the Security
Council into a "super-ministry," supervising the "power ministries."
President Yeltsin, however, is notorious for creating overlapping
authority structures that allow him to maneuver among his subordinates,
and ITAR-TASS on 18 June suggested that newly-appointed First Deputy
Prime Minister Oleg Lobov will oversee the "power ministries." -- Scott
Parrish

. . . BUT NOT OPPOSE NATO EXPANSION. Lebed also said that if NATO "has
sufficient strength and money, then expand," Russian and Western
agencies reported on 18 June. Lebed added that Russia is "no longer
fighting with anyone," and has sufficient strength "not to redraw the
political map," suggesting indifference to whether NATO accepts new
members or not. However, he said that he would "find a way to make clear
to British and American taxpayers" that the alliance's expansion would
cost them about $250 billion. His remarks mirror comments he made in
Nezavisimaya gazeta last month, when he suggested that Russia need not
worry about NATO expansion, as Western politicians and voters would soon
discover that its costs do not match the meager benefits it would bring.
He suggested Russia could best cope with NATO expansion plans by
reforming its military, to demonstrate that Russia presents no threat to
its neighbors. -- Scott Parrish

LEBED, ZYUGANOV MEET. Zyuganov and Lebed met on 19 June but did not make
any significant agreements, ITAR-TASS reported, citing informed sources.
After the meeting, Zyuganov did not rule out including Lebed in his
government, saying that "all men who have knowledge, capability, and
talent, who would like to serve the country," could enter his coalition,
AFP reported. -- Robert Orttung

SPECULATION ON GRACHEV SUCCESSOR. President Yeltsin will reportedly
choose a new defense minister from among four candidates--acting Defense
Minister Army General Mikhail Kolesnikov, former Deputy Defense Minister
Col. Gen. Boris Gromov, former Deputy Defense Minister Col. Gen. Valerii
Mironov, and First Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kokoshin--according to
ITAR-TASS on 18 June, citing anonymous sources. Gromov, now a Duma
deputy, and Mironov, now military adviser to Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, were both forced out of the Defense Ministry by Grachev,
while Kokoshin is the only civilian in the top ranks of the ministry.
Ekho Moskvy and Komsomolskaya pravda tapped Kokoshin as the most likely
candidate, while Izvestiya cautiously abstained from predictions, while
adding former presidential national security aide Yurii Baturin to the
list of possible replacements, as well as the Far Eastern Military
District commander, Col. Gen. Viktor Chichevatov. -- Scott Parrish

TENSION INCREASING AMONG YELTSIN ADVISERS. Tensions are increasing among
President Yeltsin's campaign advisers, according to ITAR-TASS. At the 18
June meeting of Yeltsin's campaign staff, Presidential Security Service
chief Aleksandr Korzhakov recommended that the head of the All-Russian
Movement for the Social Support of the President, Sergei Filatov, and
council member Anatolii Chubais appear less often on TV, since "they do
not make a good impression on the people." Other advisers, such as
Aleksei Salmin, disagreed, saying that Filatov's soft-spoken manner made
him popular among the intelligentsia. ITAR-TASS claimed that the aides
are already jockeying for influence over the president in the
expectation that he will win the second round. -- Robert Orttung

YAVLINSKII REJECTS POSSIBILITY OF SERVING IN GOVERNMENT. Yabloko leader
Grigorii Yavlinskii rejected the possibility of serving in President
Yeltsin's government, saying that "we do not need comfortable couches in
big offices, we need a real opportunity to do something useful for
Russia," ITAR-TASS reported on 19 June. He said that under no
circumstances would Yabloko back Zyuganov in the second round.
Yavlinskii called on his supporters to participate in the second round,
but he did not explicitly say to vote for Yeltsin. Many of his
supporters may simply vote for none of the above, a move that would hurt
Yeltsin's chances. -- Robert Orttung

ZYUGANOV BACKS 3 JULY RUNOFF DATE. Zyuganov surprisingly said that he
would back President Yeltsin's proposal to hold the runoff on 3 July,
Reuters reported. Yeltsin believes that he will benefit from the higher
turnout that may appear on a weekday. The Duma is expected to vote on
the idea on 21 June. Additionally, a group of deputies has proposed
changing the electoral law to extend the time that the polls are open
from the current 8 a.m.-10 p.m. to 6 a.m.-midnight. -- Robert Orttung

TsIK LACKS MONEY FOR SECOND ROUND. The Central Electoral Commission
(TsIK) currently does not have enough money to conduct the second round
of the election, Izvestiya reported on 19 June. The TsIK has only
received 693 billion rubles ($144 million) of the 1.9 trillion rubles
the Finance Ministry set aside for it in the budget. Ministry officials
claim that they do not have the money, without which the TsIK cannot
print the ballots. Campaigning for the second round can legally begin as
soon as an runoff date is set, ITAR-TASS reported. Yeltsin and Zyuganov
will each get free broadcast time on working days in the week leading up
to the voting. The overall amount of paid advertising will not be
allowed to exceed the free broadcast time. The law prevents campaigning
on the day before the voting and election day itself. -- Robert Orttung

KURANTY ACCUSES COMMUNISTS OF LAW VIOLATIONS. The liberal Moscow
newspaper Kuranty on 18 June claimed that the Communists violated the
electoral law on voting day. The paper reported that a "typical
irregularity" featured Communist observers trying to convince people to
vote for Zyuganov at the polling stations. The Communists had planned to
send some 200,000 observers to the country's 93,000 polling places. The
paper also claimed that illegal election day campaigning for Zyuganov
was evident "all over the country." -- Robert Orttung

LEBED TO TAKE CHARGE OF CHECHEN PEACE TALKS. Following an 18 June
session of the state commission for regulating the Chechen conflict,
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Kadannikov told reporters
that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had endorsed measures for
implementing the 10 June Russian-Chechen peace agreement, Russian Public
TV (ORT) reported. In an interview with NTV, Aleksandr Lebed said he
would personally take charge of the Chechen peace talks, according to
AFP; however, ITAR-TASS quoted pro-Moscow Chechen head of state Doku
Zavgaev as saying that personnel changes in Moscow would have no impact
on developments in Chechnya. Zavgaev also said in Moscow that 90% of the
97 seats in the new Chechen People's Assembly had been filled during the
14-16 June voting, which the OSCE assessed as "neither free nor fair,"
according to Reuters. The deputies include former Grozny Mayor Beslan
Gantemirov, currently under investigation for embezzlement, ORT
reported. -- Liz Fuller

TATAR COMMUNIST PARTY HEAD ALLEGES VOTE RIGGING IN KAZAN. Aleksandr
Salii, first secretary of the Communist Party in Tatarstan, told the
republic's electoral commission on 18 June that he plans to contest the
results of the presidential election in Kazan, Ekspress-khronika
reported. Salii claimed that although the vote was generally fair in
Russia, there was mass vote rigging in the Tatar capital. He noted that
the results in Kazan--more than 60% for Yeltsin--were the opposite of
those elsewhere in the republic and claimed to have evidence to support
his allegations of electoral fraud. There has been confusion over the
results in the republic; preliminary results from the Central Electoral
Commission gave Zyuganov 40.5% of the vote to Yeltsin's 37%, but more
recent reports have given Yeltsin 39.5% and Zyuganov 39.2%, RFE-RL
reported. -- Penny Morvant

YELTSIN ORDERS SOCIAL REFORM PROGRAM. President Yeltsin on 18 June
decreed the formation of a government commission to draft a program of
social reforms, Russian agencies reported. The commission, to be formed
in two weeks, will be headed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. The
draft program should be submitted to the president by 1 October. The
president said there is a need to outline social priorities more clearly
as the steps the government has taken in this sphere have yielded
inadequate results because of poor implementation. Upgrading social
policies is a major element of Yeltsin's election platform, and he
clearly wants to maintain the momentum in the days before the second
round. Also on 18 June, Yeltsin issued a decree on a national plan of
action to improve the position of women in Russia by the year 2000. A
third decree rehabilitated people persecuted for their part in peasant
uprisings in the USSR from 1918 to 1922. -- Penny Morvant

MVD ANNOUNCES RESULTS OF "CLEAN-HANDS" OPERATION. Senior Interior
Ministry (MVD) official Maj. Gen. Svyatoslav Golitsin said on 18 June
that 1,277 police officers were convicted during the 1995 "clean-hands"
campaign, 533 of them for abuse of office, ITAR-TASS reported. It is
widely believed that these figures are only the tip of the iceberg.
Golitsin heads the MVD's Administration for Internal Security, which was
set up in January this year to fight crime within the MVD. Among the
problems it deals with are bribery, penetration of the police by
criminal groups, and the flow of information on police operations to
criminals. One of new Security Council head Lebed's main electoral
promises is to tackle corruption among state officials, but bribery and
extortion are so pervasive it is doubtful that he will be able to do
much about it. -- Penny Morvant

BANKER INJURED IN ATTACK. Banker and businessman Boris Fedorov was
seriously injured in an attack in Moscow on 19 June, ITAR-TASS reported.
Fedorov was shot and then stabbed by an unknown assailant when he was
sitting in his car. Formerly head of the National Sports Foundation,
Fedorov is chairman of the National Credit Bank. The Sports Foundation,
set up by Yeltsin's tennis coach and Sports Minister Shamil Tarpishchev,
long benefited from low customs duties on the importation of alcohol and
tobacco to finance sporting activities. Fedorov was fired from the post
of foundation president after he was arrested in May for possession of a
small quantity of cocaine. Speculation in the Russian press linked his
arrest to the foundation's financial activities. -- Penny Morvant

MOSCOW IMPOSES LIMIT ON NUMBER OF FOREIGN WORKERS. The Moscow city
government has decided to limit the number of foreign workers in order
to avoid an increase in unemployment and discrimination against
Muscovites, ITAR-TASS reported on 18 June. They intend to restrict the
number of registered foreigners to 5% of the labor force. A special
committee will be formed to crack down on unregistered workers. Foreign
employees in Moscow include some 3,000 highly qualified specialists from
the West, and more than 500,000 economic migrants from Ukraine, Belarus,
Georgia, Vietnam, and China, mostly working in construction, transport,
and retailing. -- Natalia Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

GAMSAKHURDIA ASSOCIATE SENTENCED TO DEATH. Badri Zarandia, who was
involved in late President Zviad Gamsakhurdia's unsuccessful attempt to
regain power in 1993, was sentenced to death by a Georgian court on 17
June on charges of treason, banditry, and murder, ITAR-TASS and Reuters
reported. -- Liz Fuller

TURKMENISTAN RATIONS GASOLINE, DIESEL. Turkmen President Saparmurad
Niyazov announced that subsidies on gasoline and other fuels will be cut
on 1 July, and car owners will be limited to 100 liters of gas a month,
Reuters reported on 19 June. The rationed fuel will cost 200 manats
($0.05) a liter. -- Lowell Bezanis

KAZAKHSTAN TAKES RUSSIAN NEWS PROGRAM OFF THE AIR. The state television
news agency Khabar took the Russian language news analysis program
"Nedelya" off the air on 16 June after the program featured an election
appeal by Russia presidential candidate Aleksandr Lebed without the
agency's knowledge, according to a Kazakhstani TV report monitored by
the BBC. Khabar claimed that the unauthorized broadcast had compromised
the agency in the eye's of its viewers. A replacement program in Kazakh
and Russian is scheduled to begin broadcasting on 23 June. -- Bhavna
Dave

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             SUBSCRIBING/UNSUBSCRIBING
1) Compose a message to LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
2) To subscribe, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L FirstName LastName (include your own name)
   To unsubscribe, write:
     UNSUBSCRIBE OMRI-L
3) Send the message

                                  REPRINT POLICY
To receive a copy of OMRI's reprint policy, contact OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
or see the Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

                              OTHER OMRI PUBLICATIONS
TRANSITION
OMRI publishes the biweekly journal TRANSITION, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ


ECONOMIC DIGEST
The OMRI Economic Digest is for those who need more detailed economic
news from the region.  There is a four-week free trial subscription
available; for more information, write ECON@OMRI.CZ or go to the
Economic Digest Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Econ/Info.html


RUSSIAN DAILY DIGEST
The OMRI Daily Digest is translated into Russian and distributed the
following day.
1) Compose a message to MAJORDOMO@DEMOS.SU
2) In the body of the message, write SUBSCRIBE OMRI 
   (be sure to replace  with your own name).
3) Send the message


[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