Forty is the old age of youth; fifty, the youth of old age. - Victor Hugo
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 123, Part I, 25 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

FINAL OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS. The results printed in
the OMRI Daily Digest on 21 June, taken from Reuters, were incorrect.
Here are the correct final results published in Rossiiskaya gazeta on 22
June. The percentages are calculated based on the number of voters
participating in the voting (75,587,139), the method used in the 1995
Duma elections.

Registered voters 108,495,023
Total valid ballots 74,515,019
Total invalid ballots 1,072,120
Turnout 69.8%

                        % of votes / # of votes
Boris Yeltsin              35.28    26,665,495
Gennadii Zyuganov          32.03    24,211,686
Aleksandr Lebed            14.52    10,974,736
Grigorii Yavlinskii         7.34     5,550,752
Vladimir Zhirinovsky        5.70     4,311,479
Svyatoslav Fedorov          0.92       699,158
Mikhail Gorbachev           0.51       386,069
Martin Shakkum              0.37       277,068
Yurii Vlasov                0.20       151,282
Vladimir Bryntsalov         0.16       123,065
Aman Tuleev                 0.00           308
Against all candidates      1.54     1,163,921

-- Robert Orttung

ZYUGANOV PROPOSES COALITION GOVERNMENT. Communist presidential candidate
Gennadii Zyuganov said on 24 June that, in the event of his victory, he
would create a coalition government that would include one-third from
the present government, one-third from his "popular-patriotic bloc," and
one-third from Duma factions not represented in the bloc, NTV reported.
Zyuganov also proposed creating a new state institution to be called the
Council of National Accord, which would form the government and
determine key policies. The council would include Duma leaders, party
leaders, government figures, and scholars, Russian Public TV reported.
Zyuganov said that he had already talked to 12 unnamed ministers and 27
deputy ministers about the idea and that the council would include
prominent members of the Communist bloc as well as key regional leaders,
but not hard-liners like Workers' Russia head Viktor Anpilov. He did not
explain how the council would interact with the government or other
state institutions. -- Robert Orttung

REACTION TO ZYUGANOV PLAN. Rossiiskaya gazeta on 25 June criticized
Zyuganov's plan, arguing that it was not new since Yeltsin had proposed
a similar idea in the Treaty on Social Accord in 1994 which the
communists rejected. The paper also claimed that the communists were
getting desperate if they sought to include in their coalition leaders
who have made clear that they support Yeltsin. After meeting with
Zyuganov, Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov said that he was not interested in
participating in the government, NTV reported. Bashkortostan President
Murtaza Rakhimov also rejected the idea, describing the inclusion of his
name as a "provocation," Reuters reported. -- Robert Orttung

CAMPAIGN IN MEDIA TO RESUME ON 26 JUNE. The Central Electoral Commission
allocated the free air time President Yeltsin and Gennadii Zyuganov will
receive between 26 June and 1 July by random drawing, Russian media
reported on 24 June. Each candidate will receive a total of two hours
(10 minutes per day) on Russia's three state-run national networks:
Russian Public Television (ORT), Russian TV (RTR), and St. Petersburg
Channel 5. They will also receive free air time on two state-run radio
stations. In contrast to the rules on campaign before the first round,
the candidates do not have to use their time each day all at once, but
may divide it into blocks of one or two minutes, ORT reported. The
candidates will not receive free air time over the weekend of 29-30
June, but they may air paid political advertisements on those days. --
Laura Belin in Moscow

NO SHAKEUP YET AT SECURITY COUNCIL. Deputy Security Council Secretary
Vladimir Rubanov refuted reports that he had been sacked by his new boss
Aleksandr Lebed, Russian media reported on 24 June. ITAR-TASS had
reported that Rubanov resigned at Lebed's request, speculating that
Lebed did not want to work with Rubanov, a protege of former Security
Council Secretary Oleg Lobov. Rubanov had earlier made critical comments
about Lebed's approach to his new position. -- Scott Parrish

TIKHOMIROV SLAMS CHECHEN TALKS. Speaking at a press conference in Grozny
on 24 June, the commander of the Russian federal forces in Chechnya,
Lt.-Gen. Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, stated that attempts at constructive
dialogue with the Chechen opposition were pointless, and that Chechen
military units were still conducting operations in Grozny, Gudermes and
Shali, Russian media reported. Tikhomirov said that, in spite of these
violations of the 10 June ceasefire agreement, the 245th motorized
infantry division would begin withdrawing from Chechnya on 28 June;
ITAR-TASS reported on 19 June that this unit had already begun to
withdraw. Sergei Slipchenko, spokesman for the Russian State Commission
for a solution to the Chechen conflict, denied charges by the Chechen
opposition that the Russian military were violating the ceasefire, ITAR-
TASS reported. -- Liz Fuller

RUSSIA CRITICIZES U.S. STANCE ON UN SECRETARY-GENERAL. An anonymous
official at the Russian Foreign Ministry blasted the United States for
publicly declaring that it will oppose UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros-Ghali's bid for a second term, Russian and Western agencies
reported on 22 June. The official termed the U.S. declaration
"unprecedented," claiming that decisions about who would be chosen as
the next Secretary-General were traditionally made in private by
consensus among the five permanent members of the Security Council--the
U.S., Russia, France, Britain, and China. Moscow had seemed likely to
back Boutros-Ghali for a second term before the U.S. announcement. He
visited Moscow in May to discuss the issue, and in what some viewed as a
quid pro quo, praised both President Yeltsin and lauded the success of
CIS peacekeeping missions. -- Scott Parrish

RUSSIA, CHINA, MONGOLIA SIGN BORDER AGREEMENT. Meeting in Beijing,
Russian, Chinese, and Mongolian diplomats on 24 June signed a tripartite
agreement defining the two points at which the Russian, Chinese and
Mongolian borders intersect, ITAR-TASS reported. Russian delegation head
Genrikh Kireev said the agreement was a significant step in legally
defining the intersection of the three borders, reached after four years
of negotiations. The intersection point of the three borders will also
serve as a reference point in the ongoing process of demarcating the
Russo-Chinese border, which runs along a 54 km stretch to the west of
Mongolia and also extends some 4,300 km to the east of it. -- Scott
Parrish

FINES INTRODUCED FOR INSULTING TATAR PRESIDENT. Tatar President Mintimer
Shaimiev issued a decree on 24 June imposing fines of up to 30 million
rubles ($5,900) on those who insult him, ITAR-TASS reported. First
offenders are liable to a fine equal to 20 times the minimum wage in the
republic (about 4 million rubles), while recidivists and those who libel
the president in the press could pay as much as 7 million rubles. Mass
media that disseminate defamatory statements are liable to a fine of 30
million rubles, and all copies of the offending newspaper or magazine
will be confiscated. Shaimiev, who became Tatar president in 1991, was
reelected for a second term unopposed this March. -- Penny Morvant

VOTERS SHOW LITTLE INTEREST IN TOMSK MAYORAL ELECTIONS. Less than 32% of
registered voters took part in the first-ever mayoral elections in the
Siberian city of Tomsk, Radio Rossii reported on 24 June. Of the four
contenders, the current mayor Gennadii Konovalov won 38.5% of the vote
and his main rival, Aleksandr Makarov, almost 47%. These two will face
each other in a run-off. Radio Rossii said that many Tomsk residents had
decided not to vote because of the dirty campaign tactics employed by
the contenders. -- Penny Morvant

BILL PROPOSES HIGHER FINES FOR DRAFT-DODGING. The Duma has adopted in
the first reading a draft law envisaging tougher financial penalties for
people who ignore a summons to the military registration and enlistment
office, Russian television reported on 22 June. At present the fine is
only one-tenth of the minimum wage, or about 8,000 rubles ($1.60). If
the proposed amendments are incorporated into the Criminal Code, the
fine will be raised to 500 times the minimum wage. Col.-Gen. Vyacheslav
Zherebtsov, deputy head of the General Staff, said the number of
offences linked to military registration in 1995 exceeded 400,000, a 50%
increase over 1993. According to Duma Defense Committee member Eduard
Vorobev, more than 30,000 people evaded the draft last year. -- Penny
Morvant

HARD TIMES IN CHUKOTKA. Aleksandr Nazarov, governor of Chukotka, reports
that 60,000 of the region's 154,000 residents have left in the last
three years. Chukotka lies across the Bering Strait from Alaska.
Speaking on NTV on 21 June, Nazarov described much of the remaining
population, which includes 15,000 pensioners, as "hostages of the
north," because they have nowhere else to move to. Many wages have not
been paid for three to 12 months, and food in shops and canteens is
given out on credit "like under communism," Nazarov said. The main
employer, the Anadyrsk coal mine, has seen output fall from 1 million
tons to 300,000. -- Peter Rutland

GOVERNMENT MUST CUT BACK ROLE IN ECONOMY. At a press conference on 24
June, the head of the Institute of Economic Analysis, Andrei Illarionov,
and the head of the Institute of the National Economic Model, Vitalii
Naishul, said that budgetary problems will not be solved until the
government reduces its spending. Illarionov and Naishul remarked that
only Aleksandr Lebed's economic program discusses the need to reduce the
government's role in the economy. In May 1996 the deficit of the
consolidated budget (federal and regional combined) reached 11.8% of
GDP. Since January 1996 state borrowing has increased by $20 billion,
including a $16 billion increase of the internal debt. Yet at the G7
meeting in Lyon on 25 June, IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus told
ITAR-TASS that the Russian government is on target to hold the budget
deficit to 4% of GDP in 1996. -- Natalia Gurushina in Moscow

DUMA PROPOSAL TO MANAGE NATIONAL DEBT. On 22 June Kommersant-Daily
reported that the head of the Duma Committee for Financial Institutions
and the Securities Market, Vladimir Tarlachev, has introduced new draft
legislation for managing the national debt. Responsibility for debt
management would be transferred from the Finance Ministry to the Central
Bank, and there would be annual limits on the issuance of state
securities in order to halt what Tarlachev regards as the government's
"financial pyramid scheme." -- Peter Rutland

NUCLEAR WORKERS NEAR ST. PETERSBURG PROTEST. A trade union leader at the
Sosnovy Bor nuclear power plant near St. Petersburg went on hunger
strike on 24 June to protest delays in the payment of workers' wages,
Radio Rossii reported. Other plant operators are holding protest
meetings at the end of their work shifts. The workers, who have not been
paid since the middle of March, are owed about 50 billion rubles ($9.8
million). The plant's management blames nonpayments by consumers, but
the trade union argues that the debts are due to managerial
shortcomings. The Sosnovy bor plant has four upgraded RBMK reactors and
is a principal souce of energy for the area. -- Penny Morvant

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

GEORGIAN DEMONSTRATORS PROTEST HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS. Georgian human
rights activists staged a demonstration outside the EU mission in
Tbilisi on 24 June to protest human rights violations by the Georgian
government, specifically the death sentence passed last week on Badri
Zarandia, who in 1992-1993 was military commander of the pro-
Gamsakhurdia stronghold of Zugdid in western Georgia, Radio Rossii
reported. Zarandia has been subjected to torture while in detention and
subsequently had one leg amputated. -- Liz Fuller

UNEMPLOYMENT IN KAZAKHSTAN. A survey by Almaty's independent Giller
Institute has disputed the claim of the Employment Section in
Kazakhstan's Ministry of Labor that unemployment in the country is 3.6%,
ITAR-TASS reported on 22 June. The Giller Institute survey, conducted in
eight major oblasts, shows that 28.8% of the 1,513 respondents admitted
to having no fixed jobs in the course of several months. Sociologist
Leonid Guryevich, the director of the Giller Institute, told ITAR-TASS
that the unemployed in Kazakhstan number about 1 million, and not
236,000 as claimed by the Ministry of Labor. The survey noted that about
29% among the unemployed survive by selling crops grown in dachas, over
27% are engaged in re-selling foodstuffs and other goods, another 27%
have irregular income and the remaining 13% survive with help from
relatives and friends. -- Bhavna Dave

NIYAZOV: CORRUPTION WIDESPREAD IN MILITARY. Turkmenistan's President
Saparmurad Niyazov criticized "widespread" corruption among the
republic's military and law enforcement officials, ITAR-TASS reported on
21 June. According to the report, monitored by the BBC, Niyazov signed a
decree which would strip negligent and corrupt personnel of their
positions. When speaking to an enlarged session of the Defense and
National Security Council one day earlier, he cited links between
officials and the criminal world and demanded urgent measures to
strengthen discipline. -- Lowell Bezanis

UZBEKISTAN STRIKES DEALS WITH U.S. COMPANIES. Uzbek President Islam
Karimov on 24 June attended a ceremony hosted by the Overseas Private
Investment Corporation (OPIC) and witnessed the signing of a protocol
which will give his country $400 million, ITAR-TASS reported. The state-
owned oil and gas company Uzbekneftegas signed agreements with Texaco to
manufacture and sell lubricants in Central Asia, and also established a
joint venture with the American Enron company to develop natural gas
deposits. -- Bruce Pannier

CRANS-MONTANA CONFERENCE FRUITFUL FOR KAZAKHSTAN, KYRGYZSTAN. The
presidents of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Askar
Akayev, attended the international conference at Crans-Montana,
Switzerland, and received the 1996 prize of the Crans-Montana
foundation, RFE/RL reported on 24 June. The conference is an opportunity
to court investment from companies around the world and the Central
Asian presidents, along with their advisors, received positive signs
from companies mainly dealing in oil and mineral wealth. Private
meetings were held with potential investors from Singapore, Japan, and
Iran as well as Europe. -- Bruce Pannier

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Victor Gomez

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