We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us. - George Eliot

No. 187, Part I, 26 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 


Boris Yeltsin decided on 25 September to delay his heart operation by six 
to 10 weeks, and Yeltsin will rest until then in the hospital or the 
Barvikha sanatorium. He will also need about six to eight weeks to recover 
from the procedure, NTV reported. American doctors would perform the 
operation quickly to avoid the risk of a serious heart attack during the 
delay, The Washington Post argued. Yeltsin's doctors stressed that his 
kidneys, lungs, and liver were functioning normally, but that he was 
suffering from anemia. The continued uncertainty surrounding the president 
will undoubtedly encourage more infighting among his closest lieutenants. 
-- Robert Orttung

YANDARBIEV, KHARLAMOV WRAP UP TALKS. Russian Security Council Deputy 
Secretary Sergei Kharlamov on 25 September ended talks with the Chechen 
leadership on the agenda for acting President Zelimkhan Yandarbiev's 
upcoming meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Security 
Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed in Moscow, Russian Public TV (ORT) 
reported. In Moscow, Lebed chaired a closed meeting to discuss 
implementation of the agreements on demilitarization. Meanwhile, the 
withdrawal of Russian troops and Interior Ministry forces from Chechnya is 
proceeding according to schedule, although the situation there remains 
tense. The Russian military procuracy has instigated criminal proceedings 
against the former commander of the Russian interior ministry forces in 
Chechnya, Maj.-Gen. Partagen Andrievskii, for negligence during the 
defense of Grozny against a massed attack by Chechen forces in March. -- 
Liz Fuller

LEBED HOPES CHECHNYA WILL NOT SECEDE. Lebed, in an interview published in 
Izvestiya on 26 September, said that Chechens will likely vote to remain 
within the Russian Federation in the envisioned referendum five year from 
now, but that their decision depends on how well the Russian government 
meets its commitments to the republic. Lebed defended his advisor Sergei 
Glazev's attacks on the government's economic policies as "normal" and 
giving no cause for removing him. He sees the Security Council's job as 
determining the direction of defense, social, information, and economic 
security, while the government implements policy. Lebed said that he "did 
not rule out" supporting former Director of the Presidential Security 
Service Aleksandr Korzhakov if he ran for the Duma seat in Tula that Lebed 
had to resign when he joined Yeltsin's administration. He described the 
situation in Tula as "criminal" and suggested that Korzhakov might be able 
to improve it. -- Robert Orttung 

registered a new movement called the Popular-Patriotic Union, whose 
honorary chairman is former Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, Pravda-5 and 
Kommersant-Daily reported on 26 September. The movement is separate from 
Gennadii Zyuganov's Popular-Patriotic Union of Russia (NPSR), which was 
founded in August but has not yet been officially registered, although 
Rutskoi remains on the NPSR's executive committee. The papers said the new 
movement could strengthen Rutskoi's hand in the opposition camp. 
Kommersant-Daily also speculated that Rutskoi is taking revenge against 
Zyuganov's Communist Party for not doing more to help him register as a 
gubernatorial candidate in Kursk Oblast. Communists in the Kursk 
legislature, who have a majority, could have repealed the residency 
requirement under which the local electoral commission denied Rutskoi 
registration, the paper argued. Rutskoi has appealed to the Supreme Court, 
claiming the residency requirement is illegal. -- Laura Belin

FSB ARRESTS ALLEGED CIA AGENT. Federal Security Service (FSB) agents have 
arrested a Russian citizen on charges of spying for the U.S., an FSB 
official told ITAR-TASS on 25 September. The accused spy, identified only 
as Finkel, worked at a naval scientific research institute, and was 
recruited a year ago by the CIA, which wanted information on the latest 
generation of Russian nuclear submarines, according to the FSB source. The 
FSB official claimed that Finkel had been recruited by a CIA field officer 
named John Satter, whom he described as working under the cover of a 
consular position at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Finkel, who was arrested 
"some time ago," allegedly hoped to trade classified information for 
political asylum in the U.S. -- Scott Parrish 

Minister Col.-Gen. Igor Rodionov and other top Defense Ministry officials 
on 25 September to discuss the financial situation of the armed forces, 
ITAR-TASS reported. The meeting took place on the same day as Lebed 
harshly criticized the government for neglecting the financial needs of 
the military (see OMRI Daily Digest, 25 September 1996). The meeting 
suggests that Chernomyrdin may be assuming more responsibility for the 
military due to Yeltsin's illness. Meanwhile, Krasnaya Zvezda on 25 
September reported that 123 servicemen had committed suicide this year, 
which it attributed to the demeaning material conditions of military 
service. The same day, Izvestiya reported that pilots of an air defense 
unit in Kamchatka, unpaid since May, had gone on a hunger strike in 
protest. -- Scott Parrish

PAPERS TAKE HARD LINE ON NATO. On the eve of Rodionov's meeting with his 
NATO counterparts in Bergen, Norway, Izvestiya on 24 September lambasted 
U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry's recent proposal for a European 
"security ring" as "only a new verbal strategy" to cover NATO expansion. 
The next day, Nezavisimya gazeta panned another Perry proposal to give 
Russia a "special status" in its relationship with NATO, complaining that 
while Poland and Estonia would be admitted to NATO, Russia would be "shown 
the door." It attributed this "unfair treatment" to Western unwillingness 
to help defend Russia, and to fears that Moscow would not "march to the 
American tune" if admitted to the alliance. Izvestiya on 26 September said 
that Rodionov faced a "hard task" in Bergen, trying to persuade his 
Western colleagues to accept Russian views on the "depressing subject of 
NATO's eastward expansion." -- Scott Parrish 

Chairman Nikolai Ryabov has recommended that the Amur Oblast Commission 
defer announcing the final results of the 22 September gubernatorial 
elections in Amur until all complaints about procedural violations have 
been examined, Radio Rossii reported on 25 September. Complaints have 
reportedly been filed by residents of remote regions unable to vote 
because of bad weather. Preliminary unofficial results put Communist 
challenger Anatolii Belonogov, the chairman of the oblast legislature, 
less than 200 votes ahead of incumbent Yurii Lyashko, who was appointed by 
Yeltsin only three months ago. The Communists have done well in previous 
elections in Amur Oblast. Kommersant-Daily likened the delay in announcing 
the results to the situation in Tatarstan during the first round of the 
presidential election, when early reports gave Zyuganov more votes than 
Yeltsin but the final results reversed the situation. -- Penny Morvant

REFERENDUM IN VLADIVOSTOK? Viktor Cherepkov, the newly reinstated mayor of 
Vladivostok, told Russian Television (RTR) on 25 September that he doubted 
whether a referendum called by his opponents in the city administration 
would be fair. The first deputy head of the Vladivostok city 
administration said the same day that 30,988 signatures had been gathered 
in favor of a referendum on ending Cherepkov's term in office prematurely 
and that it would take place on 27 October. Signatures began to be 
collected in August after a Moscow court ruled that Cherepkov's dismissal 
was unlawful. Cherepkov's replacement, Konstantin Tolstoshein, refused to 
comment on Yeltsin's decree of 24 September reinstating Cherepkov until he 
had seen the original rather than a faxed copy, ORT reported on 25 
November. The decree was published in Rossiisaya gazeta on 26 September. 
-- Penny Morvant

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN CIS. The United Nations Conference on Trade and 
Development (UNCTAD) has issued a report on foreign direct investment in 
1995, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 September. Russia received a mere $2 
billion, compared to $3.5 billion for Hungary, and $2.5 billion each for 
Poland and the Czech Republic. Other CIS countries also fared poorly. 
Kazakstan received $284 million, Ukraine $200 million, Uzbekistan $115 
million, Azerbaijan $110 million, Moldova $32 million, Belarus $20 
million, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan $15 million each. The total flow of 
investment worldwide was $315 billion, of which $38 billion went to China. 
-- Peter Rutland

GLAZEV'S APPROACH TO ECONOMIC POLICY. In an interview with Trud on 25 
September, the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council in charge of 
economic affairs, Sergei Glazev, said the Russian economy has entered a 
stage of deep decline following a short period of stabilization in 1995. 
In July 1996 GDP fell by 9%, industrial output by 7%, agricultural 
production by 13%, and investment by 20% over the same period in 1995. He 
stressed that Russia is losing its status in the world and may become an 
economy of the colonial type. According to Glazev, the government's focus 
of attention should shift from monetary targets to the real sector. In 
order to overcome the industrial crisis, Glazev suggested introducing 
strict price and currency controls, export duties on raw materials, and 
tax exemptions for the part of companies' profits spent on the development 
of production. -- Natalia Gurushina 

WAGE ARREARS CONTINUE TO MOUNT. Minister of Labor and Social Development 
Gennadii Melikyan is concerned that wage arrears have reached a total of 
36.5 trillion rubles ($6.8 billion) and continue to increase by 5-6% a 
month, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 September. Wage arrears in budget 
organizations amount to 6.6 trillion rubles, of which 1 trillion is owed 
by the federal budget. The Federation of Independent Trade Unions intends 
to stage a national day of protest against wage arrears on 5 November, 
Ekho Moskvy reported on 25 September. -- Ritsuko Sasaki 

interdepartmental commission has been created and instructed to recommend 
by the end of the year a new policy for regulating energy and 
communications monopolies, Segodnya reported on 25 September. The report 
said that the government has agreed with the IMF to reduce state 
shareholding in the "natural monopolies" and remove their tax privileges 
-- which are seen as a major reason for the shortfall in budget revenues. 
The government also plans to turn Gazprom's extracting firms into 
judicially independent daughter companies, who will bid for access to gas 
pipelines. The newspaper also reported that a decree reintroducing export 
duties on oil and gas condensate will be issued shortly. -- Peter Rutland


the Central Electoral Commission on 25 September, four commission members 
issued a statement rejecting as inaccurate the preliminary presidential 
election returns released on 24 September by CEC Chairman Khachatour 
Bezirjian. The four claimed that opposition candidate and National 
Democratic Union Chairman Vazgen Manukyan polled 55% of the vote as 
opposed to 37% for incumbent Levon Ter-Petrossyan, Western agencies 
reported. Some 10,000 Manukyan supporters marched to the building housing 
the CEC and the Armenian parliament, which was cordoned off by special 
police. Some 45 minutes after Manukyan entered the building, Paruir 
Hairikyan, chairman of the radical Union for National Self-Determination 
and one of three presidential contenders who withdrew to support Manukyan, 
announced (mistakenly) that the latter had been arrested, whereupon 
demonstrators broke through the perimeter fence and forced their way into 
the building. Riot police used water cannon and fired over the heads of 
the demonstrators; parliament Chairman Babken Ararktsyan and his deputy 
were hospitalized after being beaten by demonstrators. According to Noyan 
Tapan, Western agencies, and The New York Times of 26 September, one 
person was killed in the clashes and up to 50 others, including former 
presidential candidate Lenser Agahalovyan, were injured -- Liz Fuller

MANUKYAN ARRESTED. Presidential spokesman Shahen Karamanukyan and Interior 
Minister Vano Siradeghyan denounced the attack on the parliament building 
as "an attempted fascist coup ordered by one of the leaders of the 
National Democratic Union," Reuters and AFP reported. ITAR-TASS quoted 
Siradeghyan as stating that three organizers of the protest had been 
arrested; Prosecutor General Artavazd Gevorkyan announced that the 
organizers would be charged with attempting to stage a coup d'etat and the 
attempted murder of the parliament speaker and his deputy, according to 
AFP. Speaking on state television on the morning of 26 September, 
President Ter-Petrossyan imposed a ban on all unsanctioned meetings and 
demonstrations. Early the same day, riot police surrounded the 
presidential palace, which is close to the parliament building, and tanks 
and armored personnel carriers cordoned off Yerevan's main square and the 
nearby headquarters of the NDU. On the morning of 26 September, the 
Armenian parliament voted by an overwhelming majority to lift Manukyan's 
immunity. He and several other opposition leaders were subsequently 
arrested, Western agencies reported. -- Liz Fuller 

Foreign Ministry on 25 September expressed concern at the recent joint 
Russian-Armenian military exercises, ITAR-TASS reported. A ministry 
statement charged that the maneuvers were aimed at enhancing the combat 
effectiveness of the "Armenian occupation forces" in Nagorno-Karabakh. The 
Azeris were particularly concerned that officials from Nagorno- Karabakh 
attended the exercises, as did the Armenian president and Russian Chief of 
Staff Col.-Gen. Mikhail Kolesnikov. -- Doug Clarke 

ELECTION OUTCOME IN ADZHARIA, GEORGIA. According to the Central Election 
Commission in Batumi, 93.8% of the electorate voted in the 22 September 
parliamentary elections in Adzharia, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 September. 
As widely predicted, the ruling coalition and election bloc composed of 
the All-Georgian Revival Union, led by parliamentary chairman Aslan 
Abashidze, and the ruling party in Georgia led by President Eduard 
Shevardnadze, the Union of Georgian Citizens, secured 83% of the vote. One 
seat each is known to have been secured by the Union of Georgian 
Traditionalists and the Tavisupleba [Freedom] bloc. The number of seats 
secured by the Adzharian regional branch of the United Communist Party of 
Georgia, which took over 5% of the vote, is still unclear. -- Lowell 

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Steve Kettle

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