|In the effort to give good and comforting answers to the young questioners whom we love, we very often arrive at good and comforting answers for ourselves. - Ruth Goode|
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 113 Part I, 15 June 1998
___________________________________________________________ RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 113 Part I, 15 June 1998 A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. This is Part I, a compilation of news concerning Russia, Transcaucasia and Central Asia. Part II covers Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web site: http://www.rferl.org/newsline xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Headlines, Part I * KOMI MINERS THREATEN TO RESUME RAIL BLOCKADE * CHECHNYA THREATENS TO HALT EXPORTS OF AZERBAIJANI OIL * GEORGIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR EMERGENCY CIS SUMMIT End Note: LINKING FREUD, TSAR NICHOLAS, NIETZSCHE, AND TROTSKY xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx RUSSIA KOMI MINERS THREATEN TO RESUME RAIL BLOCKADE... Sergei Nikitinskii, who leads a trade union for coal industry workers in Inta (Komi Republic), told ITAR-TASS that coal miners in Inta plan to resume a blockade of the Vorkuta Moscow railroad on 15 June. That line was the first railroad to be blocked last month by unpaid workers. The protests soon spread to Kemerovo and Rostov Oblasts, abating after government officials paid emergency visits to the regions affected by the blockades (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 and 27 May 1998). According to Nikitinskii, the miners gave the government until 15 June to help settle their wage arrears but have received back wages only for November and December 1997. LB ...AS NEMTSOV SAYS GOVERNMENT IS FULLY FUNDING COAL INDUSTRY. Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov on 15 June said the coal industry is receiving 100 percent of funds allocated to it under the 1998 budget, ITAR-TASS reported. In contrast, he noted, spending on soldiers, doctors, and teachers is falling short of budget targets. Earlier the same day, Nemtsov briefed President Boris Yeltsin on government policies toward the coal industry. On 11-12 June, hundreds of coal miners from Komi Republic and other regions picketed government headquarters in Moscow, carrying placards demanding Yeltsin's resignation and the payment of back wages. Citing the protesters' refusal to drop their political demands, Nemtsov and Economics Minister Yakov Urinson refused to meet with representatives of the protesters, Interfax reported. LB UPPER HOUSE DELAYS ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR COAL INDUSTRY. During the wave of railroad blockages last month, the government proposed cutting 1998 expenditures by 526 million rubles ($85 million) and spending the money saved on additional support for the coal industry. Although the State Duma approved that proposal less than a week after the government submitted the draft law to the parliament (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 May 1998), the Federation Council rejected the law on 10 June. The law now goes to a conciliatory commission. It could take weeks or months to reach a compromise text. LB INGUSH HOSTAGES RELEASED. Five ethnic Ingush who were abducted from a bus in the North Ossetian village of Zilgi on 8 June were liberated by Ingush and North Ossetian police four days later, Russian agencies reported. Earlier on 12 June, thousands of participants at a demonstration in the Ingush capital, Nazran, addressed an appeal to Russian President Boris Yeltsin to secure the hostages' release. At a meeting on 13 June, Ingush President Ruslan Aushev thanked his North Ossetian counterpart, Aleksandr Dzasokhov, for helping to free the hostages. The two presidents issued a joint statement calling on the populations of their respective republics not to give in to provocations by elements seeking to instigate a confrontation between the two ethnic groups. Six Ossetians whose abduction on 7 June provoked the kidnapping of the Ingush have still not been found (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 June 1998). LF RUSSIAN SERVICEMEN ABDUCTED IN DAGESTAN. A bus carrying Russian soldiers and some civilians was hijacked in Makhachkala on 11 June, Russian agencies reported. Dagestani Interior Ministry officials said that four women passengers and several servicemen were subsequently released at the border between Dagestan and Chechnya. Another 10 Russian servicemen and officers are still missing, but Chechen Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov told ITAR-TASS on 14 June that they are not being held captive in Chechnya. Also on 11 June, one person was injured when a bomb exploded in a Muslim cemetery in Makhchkala. LF CHECHNYA THREATENS TO HALT EXPORTS OF AZERBAIJANI OIL... Acting Prime Minister Shamil Basaev told Interfax on 14 June that he has written to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Kirienko, warning him that Chechnya will cut off oil exports via the Baku-Grozny-Tikhoretsk-Novorossiisk pipeline unless Russia implements by the end of this month agreements signed with the Chechen leadership. Basaev said that Russia has not yet paid anything toward the cost of maintaining and guarding the export pipeline. LF ...AND TO CRACK DOWN ON KIDNAPPERS. Basaev also warned that the Chechen leadership intends to employ harsher measures against kidnappers, including detaining their close relatives, until abductors release their hostages, Interfax reported. He also advocated creating "death squadron" forces to fight those criminal groups against which the existing law enforcement agencies are powerless. Those squads would have special powers delegated by the president and Supreme Shariah Court to carry out investigations and searches without obtaining a warrant. Speaking at a news conference in Grozny on 14 June, Basaev said that an Islamic peacekeeping force is currently being set up to deal with the "problems of Muslims." Basaev argued that such a force is needed because the UN and OSCE "have never defended the interests of Muslim peoples." LF BASHKIR PRESIDENT WINS ANOTHER TERM... Murtaza Rakhimov has won re-election with some 73 percent of the vote, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported on 14 June. Turnout was high, at nearly 70 percent. But Rakhimov's margin of victory was surprisingly low, given that he faced only token opposition on the ballot from the republic's forestry minister, Rif Kazakkulov, who gained 9.3 percent. Some 15 percent of voters cast ballots against all candidates, including nearly 35 percent of voters in Ufa, the republic's capital, ITAR- TASS reported. The conduct of the campaign drew sharp criticism from Rakhimov's political opponents and from some Russian media. Three would-be opponents were excluded from the ballot, and the local media provided one-sided support for the incumbent. In addition, the republican authorities shut down an independent radio station in late May and arrested its director, prompting protests involving several thousand residents of Ufa. LB ...AS OPPONENTS SEEK CANCELLATION OF ELECTION. In an interview with RFE/RL's Moscow bureau on 15 June, Duma deputy Vyacheslav Igrunov of the Yabloko faction said the Central Electoral Commission has ample reason to declare the presidential election in Bashkortostan invalid. During the final week of the campaign, the Russian Supreme Court instructed the republican electoral commission to register two candidates who were excluded from the ballot, including Duma deputy Aleksandr Arinin of the Our Home Is Russia faction. However, the republican commission defied the court ruling and an appeal from the Central Electoral Commission, refusing to add any more names to the ballot. Arinin and the other would-be candidate, Marat Mirgazyamov, have vowed to seek to have the election overturned. Despite Arinin's difficulties, former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, the leader of the Our Home Is Russia movement, endorsed Rakhimov's re-election bid during a visit to Bashkortostan on 10 June. LB KALMYKIAN PRESIDENT VOICES HIGHER POLITICAL AMBITIONS. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced in a 14 June interview with the TV-6 network that he plans to seek the Russian presidency in 2000, ITAR-TASS reported. At 36, Ilyumzhinov is one of the youngest regional leaders in the Russian Federation. According to official records, he is also the richest, having declared more than $1 million in 1996 income alone. Although Ilyumzhinov violated federal law by running unopposed for re-election as president of Kalmykia in 1995, the federal authorities did not seek to annul that election. Ilyumzhinov faces little political opposition in Kalmykia, and human rights defenders say his administration routinely tramples on citizens' rights and seeks to intimidate opponents. A former employee of Ilyumzhinov's administration is among the three suspects detained in connection with the recent murder of "Sovetskaya Kalmykia" editor Larisa Yudina (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 and 12 June 1998). LB YABLOKO PLANS ALTERNATIVE INVESTIGATION OF JOURNALIST'S MURDER. Duma deputy Sergei Ivanenko on 12 June announced that members of the Yabloko faction plan to form a commission to conduct a separate investigation into the murder of journalist Larisa Yudina, Interfax reported. Yudina headed the Yabloko branch in Kalmykia. Ivanenko said the alternative investigation will seek to put pressure on the government not to halt the probe into Yudina's murder if high-ranking officials are implicated. (Yeltsin on 15 June again pledged to personally supervise the efforts to find those who killed Yudina and said law enforcement agencies will investigate the case "at the highest level," ITAR-TASS reported.) Meanwhile, the Duma on 11 June approved a Yabloko-sponsored motion instructing the Audit Chamber to investigate the use of budget funds in Kalmykia from 1996 through 1998. Ivanenko argued that the audit will aid the investigation into Yudina's murder. LB LEBED AGAINST DECREE ON FOREIGN BORROWING BY REGIONS. Krasnoyarsk Krai Governor Aleksandr Lebed has criticized a recent presidential decree that sets limits on foreign borrowing by regional governments. He told Interfax on 13 June that the decree has made the Federation Council "tense," but he predicted that it will not be enforced. On 10 June, the same day Yeltsin signed the decree, Finance Minister Mikhail Zadornov addressed the Federation Council and sought to assuage the concerns of regional leaders. Zadornov said the decree will not prohibit regions from issuing Eurobonds but will set limits based on the capacities of regional budgets, ITAR-TASS reported. The decree stipulates that regions must be rated by at least two international credit rating agencies before issuing Eurobonds. In addition, no regional Eurobond may be worth more than 30 percent of that region's annual budget revenues. LB RUSSIA'S DEMOCRATIC CHOICE PLANS FOR DUMA ELECTIONS... Russia's Democratic Choice (DVR) leader Yegor Gaidar on 13 June called for creating a broad "center-right coalition" for the December 1999 parliamentary elections, Interfax reported. In a speech to a special party congress in Moscow, Gaidar admitted that the DVR has "a very low level of electoral support" and said it would be "unrealistic" for the party to claim a "dominant role" in a coalition. (In December 1995, the electoral bloc headed by the DVR gained less than four percent of the vote.) Instead, Gaidar called for aligning the DVR with "the most influential and the strongest non-communist and non-fascist organizations in the regions." In some areas, such as Saratov and Novgorod Oblasts, alliances with governors may be possible, Gaidar said. In other regions, the DVR may work with business groups in order to recruit strong candidates for Duma seats. LB ...AS GAIDAR REFRAINS FROM BACKING GOVERNMENT. Many Russian commentators and some political opponents of the government have compared Prime Minister Kirienko's cabinet to the government of 1992, when Gaidar was acting prime minister. However, Gaidar told delegates to the DVR congress that it is too early for the party to declare its support for the new cabinet, Russian news agencies reported on 13 June. He argued that "the government has announced a worthy [economic] program, but it still has to do a great deal of work to convince society, investors, and markets that it is able to implement this program." LB TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA GEORGIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR EMERGENCY CIS SUMMIT. Eduard Shevardnadze has written to CIS President Boris Yeltsin demanding that an emergency CIS summit be convened, an RFE/RL correspondent in Tbilisi reported on 15 June. Shevardnadze wants the summit to consider the repatriation of the Georgian fugitives to Abkhazia's Gali Raion. LF ABKHAZIA ACCUSES GEORGIA OF SHOOTING HOSTAGES. The Abkhaz Foreign Ministry has accused Georgian authorities of shooting three Abkhaz civilian hostages after last month's fighting in Gali Raion ended, ITAR-TASS reported. The12 June statement condemned the failure of international human rights organizations to protect Abkhazia's civilian population. The Georgian parliament's ad hoc commission on Abkhazia has sent a letter to the UN protesting the alleged "passivity" of the unarmed UN observers in western Georgia and calling on the UN, the OSCE and the international community to expedite the repatriation of Georgians forced to flee Abkhazia during the fighting. Addressing a council on foreign investment on 14 June, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said that if the Georgian fugitives are allowed to return to Abkhazia, the $5 million donated by the U.S. government will be spent on rebuilding Georgian homes destroyed in the fighting. LF KARABAKH PRESIDENT NAMES NEW PRIME MINISTER. Arkadii Ghukasian told a news conference in Stepanakert on 13 June that the leadership of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has decided to appoint Deputy Premier Zhirair Poghosian as prime minister, RFE/RL's Stepanakert correspondent reported. Ghukasian denied there are animosities within the Karabakh leadership, although he admitted that its members disagreed over social and economic policy. Five days earlier, Ghukasian had finally accepted the resignation of Premier Leonard Petrosian, whom the parliament had criticized for his failure to implement economic reform. Ghukasian said that Karabakh Defense Minister Samvel Babayan, one of Petrosian's harshest critics, declined the offered premiership, arguing that the enclave's army needs him more. A 56-year-old electro- mechanical engineer, Poghosian has been deputy prime minister since 1992, according to ITAR-TASS. LF FRANCE DENIES PLANS TO SHIP NUCLEAR WASTE TO ARMENIA. The French embassy in Yerevan issued a statement on 12 June denying claims by Armenian ecological activists that the French and Armenian governments have concluded a secret deal on storing French nuclear waste in Armenia, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. Three days earlier, the Union of Greens chairman Hakob Sanasarian said that the Armenian government has agreed to store the waste at a special facility under construction at the Medzamor nuclear power station in return for French assistance in reactivating the facility in 1995 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 June 1998). The statement said France is helping Armenia to build a storage facility at Medzamor "in strict compliance with the norms set by the International Atomic Energy Agency." LF UN CONDEMNS DETENTION OF OBSERVERS IN TAJIKISTAN. The UN observer mission in Tajikistan issued a statement on 13 June deploring an incident two days earlier in which two of its members were intercepted, beaten, and robbed, ITAR-TASS reported. The two observers and their interpreter were taken from their vehicle at gun point in a region controlled by opposition forces. They were roughed up and threatened with execution before finally being released. Opposition commanders denied any involvement in the attack, which they suggested may have been the work of criminals seeking to discredit the opposition. LF TAJIK OPPOSITION LEADER RESUBMITS MINISTERIAL NOMINEES. United Tajik Opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri has written to President Emomali Rakhmonov asking him to expedite the appointment of opposition representatives to the new coalition government, ITAR-TASS reported on 13 June. Nuri noted that under the 1997 peace agreement, the opposition is entitled to 30 percent of government posts. Six opposition representatives have already been named to the new cabinet, but a decision on another eight is still pending. Those nominees include Islamic Revival Party leader Mukhammed Sharif Khimmatzod as deputy premier and opposition forces commander Mirzo Ziyeev as defense minister. LF KYRGYZ PARLIAMENT DEBATES BARSKOON CYANIDE SPILL... The Kyrgyz parliament on 13 June voted to create an international commission to monitor the aftermath of the 20 May spill of 20 tons of sodium cyanide into the Barskoon river, which flows into Lake Issyk-Kul. The previous day, deputies rejected the testimony of cabinet ministers who claimed that the cleanup of contaminated soil and water at the site of the accident has been completed, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. The deputies demanded the resignation of Ecology Minister Kulubek Bokonbaev and President of the State Gold Company Dastan Sarygulov. They also voted to revise the agreement between the Kyrgyz government and Canada's CAMECO corporation, one of whose lorries was involved in the accident, and to request that the Canadian government pressure CAMECO to pay compensation, estimated at $1 million. Four people have died of cyanide poisoning and 790 are still hospitalized. LF ...WHILE PRESIDENT WARNS AGAINST "POLITICAL GAMES." President Askar Akaev, who visited the Barskoon region on 12 June, has warned against politicizing the disaster, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. Akaev's press secretary Kanybek Imanaliev issued a statement the next day accusing the parliament of playing "political games," which he warned could destabilize the domestic political situation and thus deter potential foreign investors. LF TWO DRUG DEALERS SENTENCED TO DEATH IN UZBEKISTAN. Two Kazakh citizens who smuggled 40 kilos of opium from Tajikistan to Uzbekistan have been sentenced to death by the Tashkent regional court, Supreme Court chairman Sabir Kadyrov told Interfax on 12 June. In a separate development, the Uzbek authorities have publicly burned 7.5 tons of confiscated narcotics with an estimated market value of $80 million. LF END NOTE LINKING FREUD, TSAR NICHOLAS, NIETZSCHE, AND TROTSKY by Charles Fenyvesi The turn of the century was the last era in which Europe was one--though not free. That period was followed by a dark age in which it was neither one nor free. As Europe is now becoming one as well as free, writers are rediscovering long-lost ties linking European centers of thought. One such writer is Aleksandr Etkind, a 42-year-old professor of humanities at the European University of St. Petersburg, founded two years ago. Etkind has been writing what the Russians call "cultural bestsellers" on intellectual connections between the Russian empire, on the one hand, and the Austrian and German empires, on the other. His focus is the period from the late19th century to the 1930s. Etkind argues that Sigmund Freud's invention of psychoanalysis created a busy trade of ideas between Vienna and St. Petersburg. And he suggests that the second most influential thinker was Friedrich Nietzsche, whose prophecy of the "superman" spurred a generation of Russian revolutionaries. Etkind spoke recently in Washington, a city fascinated with empires new and old, as well as with Freud, whose influence remains strong among psychiatrists on the East Coast of the U.S. The Austrian embassy provided Etkind with the forum. His audience was dominated by scholars of Russian culture and practitioners of psychoanalysis--two sizable communities that seldom get together otherwise. In his lecture, Etkind described what he called the morbid affinities between the Romanov and Habsburg empires. Both imperial families were troubled, neurotic, and dysfunctional. Both Nicholas and Franz Josef suffered from psychological problems and lived unhappy personal lives. In both empires, psychoanalysis brought to the surface archaic and demonic elements from the unconscious. Nevertheless, the governing elite in both repressed all thoughts of an imminent decline, ruling out the fall of the monarchy. In a letter to a friend, Freud mused about what he would do if asked to treat Nicholas, but Etkind has found no evidence that Nicholas ever considered making himself comfortable on Freud's couch. As far as is known, Freud did not muse about treating his own emperor, Franz Josef. Freud's inventions of the id and the unconscious fascinated Russian intellectuals and revolutionaries, including the early Bolsheviks, Etkind argued. Similarly, Nietzsche's call for the superman beyond good and evil prompted powerful echoes among the same people yearning for freedom from tsarist oppression. Etkind said that at one point, Commissar Leon Trotsky even supported the psychoanalytical movement with government funds. Combining the ideas of Freud and Nietzsche, Trotsky argued that the Soviet regime should apply psychoanalysis in "cleaning up the mess" in the unconscious of the emerging new Soviet superman. Thus purged, the Soviet superman would be better able to rebuild society. According to Etkind's analysis, Trotsky "shed rivers of blood in order to get rid of the power of human instincts." But, Etkind notes, Russia rejected Trotsky's proposed treatment, choosing Stalin, who encouraged "faith and the cult of his personality" and brought death to millions. The author is a member of RFE/RL's Communications Division. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc. 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