To get rid of an enemy, one must love him. - Leo Tolstoy
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 174, Part II, 7 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 174, Part II, 7 September 1999

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 II, a compilation of news concerning Central,
Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. Part I covers Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia 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

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Headlines, Part II

* BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES CONTINUE TO OPPRESS OPPOSITION,
DESPITE TALKS

* RUSSIA'S AVDEEV WANTS UN TO REIN IN KFOR ACTIVITIES

* DODIK BARS POPLASEN FROM OFFICES

End Note: OLD ROGUES KEEP OLD PROBLEMS ALIVE
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN AUTHORITIES CONTINUE TO OPPRESS OPPOSITION,
DESPITE TALKS. Yury Khadyka, deputy chairman of the
opposition Belarusian Popular Front, said on 6 September that
despite the start of talks between the authorities and the
opposition (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September 1999), the
authorities continue to harass oppositionists. As proof, he
cited the two summons he recently received from a court and a
police station in connection with his alleged wrong-doings in
opposition marches on 21 and 27 July. According to the
Spring-96 human rights group, cited by Belapan, the
authorities' treatment of Khadyka is aimed at making it
difficult for oppositionists to prepare for talks with the
government. Khadyka heads an opposition expert group for
working out a schedule of the talks. JM

KUCHMA DETAILS HIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PROGRAM... Unveiling
his election platform on 6 September, President Leonid Kuchma
said that if he had not sought re-election, "I would not have
been able to respect myself," Interfax reported. The economic
part of that platform, which Kuchma said was developed by the
"cream of the production sector and academic circles,"
foresees GDP growth of 2 percent next year. Under his
leadership, Kuchma promised, Ukraine would continue economic
reforms to become a "socially oriented" state. He added that
the country's foreign policy would be based on integration
with the EU and at the same time close cooperation with the
CIS. He stressed, however, that Ukraine would not join CIS
supranational bodies. JM

...REMAINS UPBEAT ON FOREIGN DEBT... Kuchma also said he
expects creditors to forgive part of Ukraine's foreign debt,
which now exceeds $12 billion, AP reported. "It is in
everyone's interests that there should be a stable Ukraine in
the center of Europe and nothing like Yugoslavia," Interfax
quoted him as saying. He added that a Ukrainian delegation is
to leave soon for talks with the Paris Club. JM

...TOPS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION POPULARITY POLL. According to a
poll conducted by Socis-Gallup in late August among some
2,400 Ukrainians, Kuchma has 30.61 percent backing, Natalya
Vitrenko 23.03 percent, Petro Symonenko 19.88 percent, Yevhen
Marchuk 6.52 percent, Oleksandr Moroz 6.38 percent, Oleksandr
Tkachenko 2.78 percent, Hennadiy Udovenko 2.63 percent, Yuriy
Kostenko 1.20 percent, Vasyl Onopenko 0.45 percent, and
Volodymyr Oliynyk 0.23 percent, Interfax reported on 6
September. JM

LATVIANS EXPRESS DISTRUST TOWARD BANKS. BNS reported that a
survey carried out by the SKDS market research firm suggests
Latvians do not trust local banks. Of the respondents, 74.4
percent said they have no confidence in Latvia's banks, while
only 14.8 percent expressed confidence. The survey suggest
that the higher the individual's income, the greater his
trust in the banking sector. Nonetheless, only 28.2 percent
of those making more than 127 lats ($215) a month expressed
such trust. MH

REFERENDUM PETITION DRIVE BEGINS IN LATVIA. The campaign to
collect signatures for a referendum on amendments to the law
on pensions began on 6 September. The unpopular measure,
which would raise the retirement age and restrict pension
payments for working pensioners, was passed last month (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 6 August 1999). However, more than one-
third of the parliament's members signed a petition for a
two-month delay, allowing a petition drive for a plebiscite
on the issue. Ten percent of voters must sign the petition
within the next month for the vote to take place. Meanwhile,
BNS reported that President Vaira Vike-Freiberga voiced
reservations about the restriction of payments to working
pensioners, saying "I think that a person has the right to
the pension that he or she has earned." MH

IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS LITHUANIA. During a visit to
Lithuania on 5-6 September, David Andrews met with President
Valdas Adamkus, Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas, and
other officials. EU enlargement dominated the discussions, as
well as the two countries' desire to win a seat on the UN
Security Council. ELTA reported that Ireland will contest a
seat for the 2001-2002 session, while Lithuania will do so
for the 2004-2005 session. Andrews reaffirmed Ireland's
support for Lithuania to begin EU accession talks. MH

POLAND'S FORMER PREMIER ALLEGEDLY CHECKED FOR SECRET SERVICE
TIES. Democratic Left Alliance parliamentary deputy Janusz
Zemke has said the Lustration Court is checking his
parliamentary colleague Jozef Oleksy, who was prime minister
in 1995-1996, in connection with the latter's lustration
statement, Polish Radio reported on 6 September. According to
Zemke, Oleksy underwent training in military intelligence in
the army but mentioned this fact not in his lustration
statement proper but in an annex to it. This prompted the
lustration prosecutor to submit Oleksy's statement to court
scrutiny. Oleksy declined to tell Polish Radio whether he was
trained for military intelligence in Communist-era Poland.
The Lustration Court has not confirmed that it is examining
Oleksy's lustration statement. JM

POLISH MINING SECTOR REGISTERS BIGGER LOSSES THAN EXPECTED.
The coal mining sector lost 1.92 billion zlotys ($477
million) from January-July, some 500 million zlotys more than
planned for the entire year, PAP reported on 6 September. It
is expected that the sector's losses for 1999 as a whole will
total 3.3 billion zlotys. So far, the government has spent
some $440 million on compensation to miners who have been
laid off or are being retrained under a restructuring plan
introduced last year. JM

SLOVAK PREMIER RETURNS TO 'MOTHER PARTY'... Mikulas Dzurinda
told journalists on 6 September that he has rejoined the
Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), SITA and CTK reported.
He said his decision was influenced by prominent KDH members
who on 1 September had called for an end of the confrontation
between Dzurinda and KDH chairman Jan Carnogursky. Dzurinda,
who remains chairman of the five-party Slovak Democratic
Coalition (SDK) alliance, said it is "too early" to say
whether he will challenge Carnogursky for the post of KDH
chairman or whether the KDH statutes, which prevent SDK
officials from seeking leadership posts in the KDH, will be
changed. Dzurinda said he has never sought to transform the
SDK into a new political party and that he will strive for
the SDK and the KDH to "coexist." MS

...DRAWING MIXED RESPONSES. Carnogursky commented that
Dzurinda is "welcome back" and that the KDH will now witness
a "noble struggle" between two opinions on the movement's
future. He said he hopes the confrontation will be "fair,"
adding that Dzurinda's decision shows that "it is impossible
to liquidate the KDH." KDH deputy chairman Vladimir Palko
said that Dzurinda, together with Interior Minister Ladislav
Pittner and former Transportation Minister Gabriel Palacka
(who also announced their return to the KDH), had to make a
choice "between sacrificing their vision or their political
future and they decided to sacrifice the vision," SITA
reported. MS

SLOVAKIA REOPENS DUBCEK DEATH INVESTIGATION. The Interior
Ministry, responding to a request by the Social Democratic
Party (SDSS), announced on 6 September it is reopening the
investigation into the September 1992 death of former SDSS
chairman and architect of the "Prague Spring" Alexander
Dubcek, CTK and Reuters reported. Since the death, rumors
have persisted that political rivals or the KGB may have been
involved in provoking the car crash in which Dubcek died. His
driver, who was found guilty of "negligence" in the earlier
investigation, was also involved in the disappearance of
communist secret service files on Vladimir Meciar, who was
premier at the time of Dubcek's death. MS

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT IN SLOVAKIA. Arpad Goencz, on an official
visit to Slovakia, told his Slovak counterpart, Rudolf
Schuster, on 6 September that their two countries must take
advantage of the present "historical opportunity," when their
views "are identical," to boost cooperation. Alluding to the
Hungarian minority in Slovakia, Goencz said that "a satisfied
minority is the least dangerous minority." He also explained
why the law on minority representation in the Hungarian
parliament has not yet been passed, saying that the official
recognition of more than a dozen minorities might "disrupt
the balance of the Hungarian parliamentary system." Schuster
presented a plan aimed at "cooperation without borders,
because we do not want to have the Schengen border with
either Hungary, or Poland, and least of all with the Czech
Republic," SITA and CTK reported. MS

FORMER HUNGARIAN PREMIER LEFT OUT OF BORDER OPENING
ANNIVERSARY. Gyula Horn on 6 September complained that
neither himself nor others who played a significant role in
the opening of Hungary's border with Austria in 1989 are
among those invited to a ceremony commemorating the 10th
anniversary of that event. Horn, who was foreign minister at
the time, said "an apparent falsification of history is going
on." He added that the way members of the present government
"try to present themselves as the sole resistance fighters"
is both "low and primitive." Hungarian media report that
among those not invited to the commemorative 10 September
parliamentary session are Miklos Nemeth, who at the time was
prime minister, German former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and
German former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

RUSSIA'S AVDEEV WANTS UN TO REIN IN KFOR ACTIVITIES... After
meeting with Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic in
Belgrade on 6 September Jovanovic, Russian First Deputy
Foreign Minister Aleksandr Avdeev said that "under the slogan
of maintaining sovereignty and territorial integrity, some
Western countries are recommending solutions violating those
principles and UN Resolution 1244 and are practically leading
to [Kosova's] secession," Reuters reported, citing Tanjug.
Avdeev added that Russia will work with the UN Security
Council to try to make certain that KFOR abides by UN
guidelines, ITAR-TASS reported. Observers noted that Avdeev
was alluding to a recent decision by the UN Mission in Kosovo
(UNMIK) to declare the German mark Kosova's currency in place
of the Yugoslav dinar (see "RFE/RL Newsline, " 3 September
1999). PG/FS

...DEMANDS FULL ABOLITION OF UCK STRUCTURES. Avdeev told AP
on 6 September that "we understand the demilitarization [of
the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK)] in the full sense of the
word.... That is not only the confiscation of armaments, but
also the disbandment of UCK structures. Russia feels
negatively about all the variants providing for preservation
of the army as an organized structure." Avdeev was referring
to recent suggestions by NATO member states to transform the
UCK into a lightly armed civil defense structure (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 3 September 1999). FS

DRASKOVIC PRAISES RUSSIAN MEDIATION IN RAMBOUILLET. Serbian
Renewal Movement leader Vuk Draskovic told Avdeev in Belgrade
on 6 September that Yugoslavia made a mistake by not signing
the Rambouillet accord in late February. Draskovic said "our
trouble was that [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic
failed to demonstrate enough statesmanship during
negotiations [on Kosova] in France early this year and did
not heed the advice of the Russian representatives in the
[international] Contact Group." Observers note, however, that
Draskovic was Yugoslav deputy prime minister at the time of
the Rambouillet talks and rejected the deployment of NATO
troops. Instead, he had suggested the deployment of "a UN
force that will disarm the Albanian terrorists together with
our forces," BETA reported on 25 February. FS

RUSSIAN PEACEKEEPERS KILL THREE SERBS. Russian peacekeepers
shot dead three Serbian gunmen in a village near Gjilan on 6
September. The Serbs earlier fired at a passing car, killing
one ethnic Albanian and injuring two. When the Russian forces
arrived at the scene and tried to arrest the gunmen, the
Serbs shot at the peacekeepers, who returned the fire. NATO
Secretary-General Javier Solana said in Prishtina that "this
incident...proves that the Russian troops behave according to
the obligations that all KFOR troops have.... We have one
KFOR, not two KFORs," Reuters reported. Solana also met with
a delegation of ethnic Albanians from Rahovec who are
blocking roads to prevent Russian troops from entering their
town. A delegation member told an RFE/RL South Slavic Service
correspondent that Solana "has been very correct. He said
that the question of Rahovec cannot be solved against the
will of its citizens." FS

FISCHER CALLS ON THACI TO END REVENGE VIOLENCE. Speaking in
Berlin on 6 September, German Foreign Minister Joschka
Fischer urged the UCK's Hashim Thaci to end revenge killings
by ethnic Albanians against members of the Serbian and Roma
minorities. Referring to unspecified recent incidents, Thaci
replied: "We have distanced ourselves from the events of the
last days, and we condemn them.... There can be no acts of
revenge against Serbs or Roma.... Our goal is to have
democracy in Kosova...and we will complete the transformation
of the UCK" from a guerrilla to a peace-time organization,
Reuters reported. PM

IS SERBIA'S PRESIDENT UNDER HOUSE ARREST? London's "The
Guardian" reported from Belgrade on 7 September that Milan
Milutinovic has fallen out of favor with his Yugoslav
counterpart, Slobodan Milosevic. The newspaper quoted a
spokesman for the New Democracy party as saying that
Milutinovic is under house arrest and that "his life is
threatened." The spokesman called for an independent
commission to determine whether Milutinovic is able to carry
out his duties. For several weeks, opposition media have
suggested that Milutinovic was in hospital undergoing
treatment for high blood pressure or that he was in
confinement. Government spokesmen have dismissed the reports.
Milutinovic is among the five top Belgrade leaders whom the
Hague-based war crimes tribunal indicted in May. PM

SERBIAN ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTERS SENTENCED. A Leskovac
court sentenced five persons to eight months in prison on 6
September for damaging the home of Zivojin Stefanovic, who is
the local chair of Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia. The
incident took place earlier this summer (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 15 July 1999). PM

ALLIANCE FOR CHANGE SHUNS DRASKOVIC. Vladan Batic, who is the
spokesman for the Serbian opposition Alliance for Change,
said in Belgrade on 6 September that his group "will no
longer have anything to do with" Draskovic. Batic charged
that Draskovic seeks to fool voters into thinking that he is
part of the opposition when in fact he sides with the regime.
Turning to other topics, Batic said that the alliance will
hold a "convention" in Novi Sad on 17 September to present
its political platform to the public. Four days later, the
alliance will launch in Belgrade a series of new protests
aimed at creating "a critical mass large enough to bring the
whole of Serbia to its feet," Reuters reported. PM

DODIK BARS POPLASEN FROM OFFICES. The Republika Srpska's
moderate caretaker Prime Minister Milorad Dodik said in Banja
Luka on 7 September that he has barred Nikola Poplasen from
using the presidential offices, security guards, phones, and
cars. Dodik stressed that the international community's
Carlos Westendorp ousted Poplasen as president in March,
Reuters reported. Poplasen has refused to accept that
decision, which, Dodik argued, has led to instability in the
Republika Srpska. PM

REPUBLIKA SRPSKA OFFICERS TOLD NOT TO GO ABROAD. The Bosnian
Serb Defense Ministry issued an order on 6 September
forbidding its officers to travel outside the Republika
Srpska or Yugoslavia lest they be arrested for war crimes and
sent to The Hague (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report." 31 August
1999). PM

JOINT POLICE START PATROLS IN BRCKO. Joint police units
consisting of Serbs, Croats, and Muslims began patrols in
Brcko on 6 September. An RFE/RL correspondent reported from
that town that the appearance of the patrols is one of the
first tangible results of the international community's
decision to place Brcko under joint rule of the mainly Muslim
and Croatian federation and the Republika Srpska. In Tuzla,
the organization representing Muslims from Brcko accused
Ambassador Robert Farrand, who is the international
community's representative for Brcko, of failing to ensure
multi-ethnic management of enterprises in Brcko. PM

CROATIA TO APPEAL TO INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE. Justice
Minister Zvonimir Separovic said in Zagreb on 6 September
that his government will ask the Hague-based International
Court of Justice to rule whether the war crimes tribunal
located in that city has jurisdiction with regard to the two
1995 offensives in which the Croatian army defeated ethnic
Serb rebels. The war crimes court has threatened Croatia with
sanctions if it does not provide various documents regarding
the offensives and the subsequent flight of most of the local
Serbian population. The Croatian authorities maintain that
the tribunal has no authority to investigate the offensives,
which Zagreb considers an internal matter. PM

SLOVENIAN TRUCKERS, GOVERNMENT AGREE TO END BLOCKADE. Finance
Minister Mitja Gaspari and Janko Razgorsek, who is the
minister in charge of matters pertaining to small businesses,
said in Ljubljana on 6 September that striking truckers will
receive their overdue wages (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6
September 1999). The ministers also agreed not to issue any
new permits for truckers to transport goods abroad. The
truckers apparently dropped their demand for Razgorsek's
ouster. Police did not intervene against the strikers, who
blocked several of Slovenia's most important roads. PM

ALBANIA CRACKS DOWN ON GANGS. Public Order Ministry official
Fadil Canaj told dpa on 6 September that Albanian police have
broken up 12 organized criminal gangs within the last four
weeks, including the most notorious of them. Canaj said that
last week police arrested the famous Vlora gang leader
Myrteza Caushi--also known as "Zani"--and four of his
associates (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 July 1999).
Investigators have charged Zani and his gang with the murder
of at least 10 people, kidnappings, and several robberies. On
3 September in Durres, police also arrested gang leader Bujar
Buzani and two other members of his gang. Buzani is accused
of killing six policemen in June 1997 and has also been
charged with other killings as well as robberies and rapes.
Police have also arrested several gang members in the towns
of Berat, Fier, Elbasan, Burrel, and Tropoja who had eluded
the authorities since 1997. FS

ROMANIAN SHIP OWNERS BLOCK DANUBE. Romanian ship owners on 6
September launched a three-day blockade of the River Danube
near Calarasi to protest losses caused by Serbia's diverting
traffic on the river and the international community's
failure to respond, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported.
Following the destruction of bridges during NATO air strikes,
the Serbs diverted traffic to a bypass channel built last
century. Nearly 30 Romanian ships, however, remain unable to
leave the Novi Sad port. The Serbs say they will not rebuild
the bridges since they have not been affected by their
destruction. The ship owners also complain that the oil
embargo against Yugoslavia has caused them $50 million in
losses and that they have had to lay off some 3,400 out of
5,288 employees. Transportation Minister Traian Basescu said
the protest is justified, adding that NATO and the EU bear
the responsibility and that NATO has forgotten the promises
it made to Romania during the crisis. MS

GAGAUZ-YERI GOVERNOR LOSES RUN-OFF. Georgii Tabunschik,
governor of the Gagauz-Yeri Autonomous Republic, has lost the
5 September run-off, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported the
next day. Tabunschik's challenger, Moldovan Deputy Foreign
Minister Dumitru Croitoru, received 61 percent of the vote
(see also "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 August 1999). MS

BULGARIAN NATIONAL FLAG DESECRATED IN ETHNIC TURKISH REGION.
Several national flags were desecrated on 5 September, the
eve of Bulgaria's national holiday, in the town of Kurdzhali,
AP reported the next day, citing BTA. More than half of the
town's population belongs to the ethnic Turkish minority. On
6 September, Bulgaria marked the 114th anniversary of the end
of Turkish rule. MS

END NOTE

OLD ROGUES KEEP OLD PROBLEMS ALIVE

By Patrick Moore

	Milorad Dodik, who is the moderate caretaker prime
minister of the Republika Srpska, told "Glas Srpski" last
week that those responsible for the past decade's conflicts
must leave office if the Balkans are ever to become stable.
	Dodik argued that "Serbia and the Balkans can find peace
only if [Yugoslav President] Slobodan Milosevic, [his
Croatian counterpart] Franjo Tudjman, [Bosnian Muslim leader]
Alija Izetbegovic, and the Republika Srpska's wartime chiefs
leave the political scene.... Milosevic is the main failure
of the past 10 years. His policy of destabilization and
launching ethnic conflicts has caused significant tensions in
the Balkans and in southeastern Europe," Reuters reported.
	Observers both inside and outside the region have
repeatedly noted the problems posed by the continuation in
office of those responsible for the wars. In the case of
Serbia, Milosevic has remained in power long enough to lead
his country into no fewer than four wars. He has lost each
and every one of them, as a result of which hundreds of
thousands of Serbs have been forced to resettle.
	Should he manage to ride out the present political
crisis, just as he has survived the previous ones, he might
be tempted to engage in conflicts with Montenegro, the
Sandzak Muslims, or Vojvodina. And should he prove as
unsuccessful in those conflicts as he has in the last four,
he soon may find himself reduced to governing a territory not
much larger than the Ottoman Pashaluk of Belgrade.
	Something fundamental, moreover, has changed for
Milosevic. Until this May, he was courted by international
diplomats as the "one man who could make things happen" in
the region, the mover-and-shaker who alone could make any
peace agreement stick. Or so many thought.
	In late May, however, the Hague-based war crimes
tribunal put an end to all that. The court indicted Milosevic
and four of his top lieutenants for war crimes and thereby
made them politically unacceptable as international
negotiators, at least for countries where the rule of law
holds sway. This move may have frustrated or angered those
diplomats who would have preferred business-as-usual in
Belgrade. The court, however, placed Milosevic beyond the
pale of respectability once and for all.
	The indictment had repercussions within Serbia, too.
After Milosevic lost Kosova in June, the long-silent
opposition found its voice again. One of their key arguments
against him was that under the indictment, he was ineligible
to carry out his presidential duties because he could no
longer represent the country abroad. The indictment of
Milosevic and the other four men, moreover, further served to
drive home the message to the Serbian public that their
country had become isolated under Milosevic and had no future
in the international community as long as he stayed in
office.
	The shadow of The Hague hovers over Tudjman as well. In
July, a prosecutor at the tribunal suggested that Tudjman
bears responsibility for Croatia's anti-Muslim policies in
Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1993-1994 conflict. The
prosecutor made the remarks at the trial of a Croatian
indicted war criminal, who, the prosecutor suggested, was
simply Tudjman's "tool." In recent days, the Croatian press
has quoted court officials to the effect that the tribunal
has not indicted Tudjman. It remains to be seen whether the
president will venture to attend the opening session of the
UN General Assembly this fall or engage in other foreign
travel.
	Of late, the pressure from The Hague has been felt all
the more sharply in Zagreb because the court threatened to
bring international sanctions down on Croatia. The tribunal
wants that country to extradite Mladen "Tuta" Naletilic for
war crimes in Bosnia and to provide documents relating to the
flight of perhaps as many as 200,000 Serbs from Croatia in
1995. Official Zagreb--unlike Belgrade--has staked its future
on integration into Euro-Atlantic structures and cannot risk
major sanctions. But the wheels of justice sometimes turn
slowly in Croatia, and it is unclear if and when the
government will meet the tribunal's demands.
	Bosnia presents a somewhat different picture. Few non-
Serbs or non-Croats have seriously accused Izetbegovic
himself of war crimes. But he is widely regarded at home and
abroad as turning a blind eye toward corruption, particularly
when those involved are persons who distinguished themselves
in the 1992-1995 Muslim war effort.
	In fact, the close links between the political,
military, and criminal structures among the Serbs, Croats,
and Muslims are well known. Many observers from the region
and abroad have stressed repeatedly that the main reason that
precious little of the 1995 Dayton peace agreement has been
implemented is that the people responsible for the war
continue to hold power.
	These individuals have no reason to end a system in
which each local warlord reigns over his few square
kilometers of territory like a medieval potentate. How one
might break the power of these individual warlords and the
system they have built up is at least as daunting a question
as is how to oust Milosevic and the other big fish.

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