When two people communicate, they each can be enriched - and unlike traditional resources, the more you share the more you have. - U.S. Vice President Al Gore
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 178, Part I, 13 September 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

TIKHOMIROV SAYS TROOP PULLOUT HALTED FROM CHECHNYA . . . The commander
of federal troops in Chechnya, Lt.-Gen. Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, announced
on 12 September he has halted the federal withdrawal from the republic
until all problems connected to the exchange of prisoners of war are
resolved, NTV reported. The Chechens are demanding the release of
prisoners held throughout Russia on various criminal charges, Russian
Public TV (ORT) reported. Russia claims that these individuals do not
fall under the framework of the POW exchange, and Tikhomirov said
Security Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed agrees. Tikhomirov accused
the Chechen separatists of taking counter-productive positions in the
negotiations and trying to take power in the republic. There are
currently 11,000 Russian soldiers in the republic. -- Robert Orttung

. . . LEBED DISAGREES, BUT THERE ARE CONFLICTING REPORTS ON PULLOUT.
Lebed, however, said that while it is necessary to work out a list of
POWs to be exchanged, Tikhomirov had been "a little hot-headed" in his
statements, NTV reported. He noted that both sides are working calmly to
resolve the outstanding issues. ITAR-TASS reported that the withdrawal
is continuing on schedule. Russian TV (RTR), however, said that it has
been halted, not by Tikhomirov, but by orders from Moscow. -- Robert
Orttung

YANDARBIEV CALLS FOR GOOD RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA. Acting Chechen
President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev said the main task is to find a mutually
acceptable formula for relations between Chechnya and Russia and that
the question of Chechnya's independence is no longer an issue, ITAR-TASS
reported on 12 September, citing an interview in the Egyptian weekly Al
Musavvar. He said that he is prepared to hold a referendum in Chechnya,
but that such a vote is not necessary to confirm Chechen independence.
Yandar-biev said reconstruction and compensation agreements should be
signed with Russia. Once all Russian troops leave the republic, he
added, it would be possible to sign a "treaty between two states" on the
presence of some federal military personnel in Chechnya on a temporary
basis. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin on 12 September re-emphasized
the need to preserve Russia's territorial integrity and Lebed told the
German journal Stern that he believes Chechnya will still be a part of
Russia 10 years from now. -- Robert Orttung

JUSTICE MINISTER INSISTS LEBED-MASKHADOV AGREEMENT HAS NO LEGAL FORCE.
Justice Minister Valentin Kovalev defended his 11 September statement
that the 31 agreement signed by Security Council Secretary Lebed and
Chechen Chief of Staff Aslan Maskhadov is only a "political declaration"
with no legal force, Russian media reported on 12 September. During an
appearance on Ekho Moskvy, Lebed described Kovalev as an "unwise"
minister. Kovalev countered that Lebed is unable to evaluate the legal
significance and consequences of the accords he signed. He added that
Russia's territorial integrity must be rigorously protected, ITAR-TASS
reported. -- Laura Belin

ZYUGANOV ON TRANSFER OF POWER, CHECHNYA. Communist Party leader Gennadii
Zyuganov called on President Yeltsin to issue a formal decree
transferring power to Chernomyrdin for the duration of his illness,
Russian media reported on 12 September. According to Duma deputy Nikolai
Ryzhkov, a Zyuganov ally, the Duma will soon discuss a formal transfer
of power to the prime minister, Kommersant-Daily reported on 13
September. Ryzhkov added, "I personally do not want [Chief of Staff
Anatolii] Chubais to govern the state, which he is essentially doing
today." Also on 12 September, Zyuganov and Chernomyrdin met to discuss a
range of topics and agreed that any solution to the Chechen conflict
must preserve Russia's territorial integrity, ITAR-TASS reported, citing
Chernomyrdin's press secretary. Zyuganov has unequivocally denounced the
Lebed-Maskhadov agreement; Chernomyrdin has said he "does not like"
certain aspects of the agreement but generally praised the halting of
bloodshed. -- Laura Belin

FOREIGN DOCTORS TO PLAY ROLE IN YELTSIN OPERATION. Foreign doctors,
including U.S. surgeon Michael DeBakey of Baylor Medical Center in
Houston, will participate in a series of meetings in late September to
decide when to operate on President Yeltsin, according to Sergei
Mironov, director of the presidential medical center, NTV reported on 12
September. The foreign experts may also be present at the operation, but
Russian doctors will do the actual work. Yeltsin is to make a public
announcement soon on whether he will hand over control of the country's
nuclear arsenal to Chernomyrdin during his hospitalization, ORT
reported, citing presidential press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembskii. --
Robert Orttung

LEBED CRITICIZES BUDGET. Security Council Secretary Lebed criticized the
1997 draft budget in a letter to President Yeltsin dated 29 August,
asserting that the government's proposed policy neglects the state's
economic security, Izvestiya reported on 13 September. Lebed, clearly
hoping that the council's role in economic issues will be strengthened,
called for more financing for the military, industrial, construction,
and agricultural sectors, as well as for science and culture. The
Security Council's Economic Security Department chief, Sergei Glazev,
played a role in formulating the letter. He has long been critical of
the government's economic policies. -- Ritsuko Sasaki and Robert Orttung

CHAMBER ON INFORMATION DISPUTES RULES IN PRAVDA'S FAVOR. The President's
Judicial Chamber on Information Disputes ruled that the publishers of
Pravda infringed on the rights of subscribers and the editorial staff
when they suspended the paper's publication in late July, ITAR-TASS
reported on 12 September. Pravda was shut down following a protracted
conflict between its editor, Aleksandr Ilin, and the paper's Greek
publishers, who soon began publishing Pravda-5, originally a weekly, as
a daily in place of Pravda (see OMRI Daily Digest, 25, 29, and 31 July
1996). The chamber said that the publishers usurped rights reserved
under Russian media law for a newspaper's founder, in this case Pravda's
editorial staff. In addition, the judges found that publishers misled
readers by using the Pravda logo at the top of Pravda-5. The chamber
asked the Procurator-General's Office to examine whether the publishers'
actions unlawfully interfered with the work of journalists. -- Laura
Belin

RAION LEADERS KEY TO GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS. Elections analyst
Aleksandr Sobyanin on 13 September argued that a gubernatorial
candidate's election would be guaranteed if supported by the raion
leaders, since they determine who will sit on the local electoral
commissions, NTV reported. The governors appointed by President Yeltsin
are strong enough to make sure that sympathetic people are in charge of
most of their oblast's raions, he asserted. In the case of Saratov,
Yeltsin appointed the victorious candidate, Dmitrii Ayatskov, to the
post of governor less then five months before the election and he
replaced 27 raion leaders in the run-up to the voting. Ayatskov,
however, told a seminar attended by top-level campaign organizers from
the presidential administration and campaign chiefs from 18 regions that
the key to his success was the resolution of social issues, Kommersant-
Daily reported on 13 September. -- Robert Orttung

CHEREPKOV COURT CASE CONTINUES. The case of Viktor Cherepkov, reinstated
as mayor of Vladivostok by the Khamovniki Raion Court in Moscow on 14
August, is continuing. Lawyers representing President Yeltsin, who
sacked Cherepkov in December 1994, contested the verdict in the Moscow
City Court--but not within the 10-day period allowed for such appeals.
The city court has now returned the case to the raion court for a ruling
on whether the appeal should still be considered, ITAR-TASS reported.
Cherepkov's lawyer said the Primorskii Krai administration, whose head
Governor Yevgenii Nazdratenko has long been a bitter opponent of
Cherepkov, was responsible for the appeal and that the aim was to delay
a final decision until 6 October, when new elections for the post of
Vladivostok mayor are scheduled, NTV reported. Cherepkov argues that
there is no need for the election as he was elected in 1993 for a five-
year term. -- Penny Morvant

MORE CRITICISM OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE'S PLANNED CHECHNYA HEARINGS.
Presidential spokesman Yastrzhembskii said the Kremlin viewed the
Council of Europe's planned hearings on Chechnya as "direct interference
in Russian internal affairs," ITAR-TASS reported on 12 September. He
added that the status of Chechnya should not be discussed at any
international forum. State Duma Speaker Gennadii Seleznev and Foreign
Affairs Committee Chairman Vladimir Lukin had already written the
council to protest its intention to invite Chechen Chief of Staff
Maskhadov to the hearings, and Lukin warned that Russia may not send a
delegation to the session. The Foreign Ministry on 12 September
expressed its full agreement with Lukin's statements on this matter. The
council also invited Security Council Secretary Lebed to the hearings,
scheduled for later this month, but he has not announced whether he will
attend. -- Laura Belin

DEBTS AROUSE DISCONTENT IN ARMY. Union representatives of military and
defense industry personnel in Moscow and Moscow Oblast resolved on 12
September to picket the Russian White House on 19 December to protest
the lack of funding for the Defense Ministry, ITAR-TASS reported. The
chairman of the federation of trade unions of servicemen and defense
workers said the Defense Ministry owes its personnel about 6.1 trillion
rubles ($1.1 billion) in pay and allowances, about 500 billion rubles
for child allowances, and 200 billion for victims of Chernobyl. The
ministry also owes about 25 trillion rubles for equipment and utilities.
According to a survey of military personnel carried out at the beginning
of September, a massive 97% of respondents were unhappy with the state's
treatment of the army, Krasnaya zvezda reported on 13 September. --
Penny Morvant

TATARSTAN'S LEADING AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURER SUSPENDS PRODUCTION.
Tatarstan's largest aircraft manufacturer, Gorbunov Company, has
suspended production, ORT reported on 11 September. The company
assembles Russia's newest passenger airplane TU-214, and the stoppage is
believed to be connected to Aeroflot's recent decision to buy 10 Boeing
737-400s (see OMRI Daily Digest, 12 September 1996). Aeroflot General
Director Yevgenii Shaposhnikov, however, said that TU-214 has problems
with engines. Such engines are installed on airbus IL 96-300s, and 31 of
them had to be replaced in 1995. Moreover, the new aircraft still has to
get an international certificate. Shaposhnikov added that if Aeroflot
tries to save the Russian aircraft manufacturing industry, "it will
perish." He suggested that the government should perform this task. --
Natalia Gurushina

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT ON FOREIGN POLICY AND KARABAKH. Levon Ter-Petrossyan
said that "normalizing" relations with Turkey was his main foreign
policy success over the last six years, ITAR-TASS reported on 13
September. He said ensuring that "Turkey remained neutral in the
Karabakh conflict" was a great achievement. Ter-Petrossyan said
relations with Russia have not been as good as they are now for 300
years but warned that "one careless step" may spoil them. He also
expressed satisfaction that Iran is now Armenia's main economic partner.
On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he was optimistic that an "interim
solution" that would "satisfy all three parties" can be found. -- Elin
Suleymanov

COUNCIL OF CIS BORDER FORCES MEETS IN TBILISI. The commanders of the CIS
border guard services gathered in Tbilisi to discuss several agreements
aimed at closer cooperation among their forces, including a declaration
of demarcation and external border protection principles, Russian and
Western agencies reported on 12 September. Azerbaijan, Georgia, and
Turkmenistan did not sign part of the package, including the
declaration, and Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan did not attend the
meeting at all, NTV reported on 12 September. Special attention was paid
to extending the 22 January 1993 CIS agreement "On measures to stabilize
the situation on the state border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan"
until 1997. Speaking after his meeting with Georgian President Eduard
Shevardnadze, Russian Federal Border Service Director Andrei Nikolaev
denied that Russian-Georgian relations had worsened and noted that
Russia pays for 60% of Georgia's external border patrols. -- Elin
Suleymanov

STRATEGIC MISSILE FORCE ALMOST OUT OF KAZAKSTAN. Russia and Kazakstan
signed an agreement in Almaty on 10 September on the withdrawal of the
Russian strategic missile force from Kazakstan, according to an Interfax
report monitored by the BBC. According to the commander in chief of
Russia's strategic missile forces, Gen. Igor Sergeyev, 16 missile
regiments have been disbanded, while 898 warhead charges, 98
intercontinental ballistic missiles, and more than 18,000 metric tons of
missile fuel components have been removed to Russia. -- Lowell Bezanis

OLD TECHNIQUES TO INJECT NEW IDEAS. A decree published in Pravda Vostoka
on 10 September and monitored by the BBC sheds light on President Islam
Karimov's efforts to supplant "old totalitarian, dictatorship ideology"
with "spiritual reform and enlightenment." The decree itself orders
regional administration heads to undergo spiritual ideology tests by the
end of the year. It also significantly strengthens the role of the
Manaviyat and Marifat (Spirituality and Enlightenment) public center.
The latter will work to achieve the basic aim of the country's
ideological policy of improving "national thinking and historical
freedom" and "awakening the spirit of independence." Along with its
subsidiary, the Golden Heritage (Oltin Meros) charity fund, the center
will work in conjunction with the Uzbek Culture Ministry, Uzbekturizm,
the Kamolot republican youth fund, and Uzbek Television and Radio to
"spread spirituality and enlightenment." -- Lowell Bezanis

[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 or visit the Transition
Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Transition/TransitionInfo.html


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 to ECON@OMRI.CZ or go to the
Economic Digest Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Econ/Info.html


OMRI RUSSIAN REGIONAL REPORT
The OMRI Russian Regional Report is a weekly publication initially
focusing on the local elections taking place throughout Russia during
the Fall of 1996. After the election season is over, the Russian
Regional Report will continue, turning to broader social, political and
economic issues of Russia's regions. To subscribe, please follow these
instructions:
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE REGIONS YourName
   Fill in your own name where shown
3) Send the message


RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE OMRI DAILY DIGEST
The full text of the OMRI Daily Digest is translated into Russian and
distributed the following day.
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@ISF.RU
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI YourName
   Fill in your own name where shown
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