A good eater must be a good man; for a good eater must have a good digestion, and a good digestion depends upon a good conscience. - Benjamin Disraeli
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 179, Part I, 14 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 179, Part I, 14 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 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

* FEDERAL, CITY OFFICIALS BLAME ISLAMIC INSURGENTS FOR MOSCOW
BLASTS

* CHECHNYA DIGS IN AHEAD OF ANTICIPATED RUSSIAN ATTACK

* TAJIK OPPOSITION LEADER PROTESTS RESTRICTIONS ON OPPOSITION
PARTIES
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

RUSSIA

FEDERAL, CITY OFFICIALS BLAME ISLAMIC INSURGENTS FOR MOSCOW
BLASTS... Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov told reporters on 13
September that two people suspected of involvement in the
explosion on Kashirskoe Road have been detained, while First
Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Aksenenko announced that "a
ring of suspects" are in custody. Interior Minister Vladimir
Rushailo noted the same day that a man is being sought who
rented premises in both buildings using the documents of a
man who died in January. He added that his ministry is "all
but certain that one and the same team of terrorists" is
behind the explosions on Kashirskoe and Guryanov streets. "We
have no doubt that events in Dagestan and the explosions in
Buinaksk and Moscow are links in the same chain," he added.
Mayor Luzhkov told reporters that "we are naming the source
of this terrorism Chechen bandits." JAC

...AS OTHERS POINT FINGERS IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. The
Russian government newspaper "Rossiiskaya gazeta" argued on
14 September that among those groups who stand to gain from
the "ostentatious explosions" are Chechen extremists who
"want to create a great state in the Caucasus," international
terrorists who see the Caucasus "as a bridgehead for large-
scale actions," world oil barons "who want to redraw the map
of a rich region in their favor," and "those people who want
Russia to be immersed in local conflicts and retire from the
world stage." The same day, "Moskovskii komsomolets," a
newspaper close to Luzhkov, accused the mayor's arch foe,
media magnate Boris Berezovskii, of arranging the invasion of
Dagestan. The previous day, the newspaper accused Russia's
secret services of arranging the recent explosions.
Meanwhile, State Duma deputy and Communist faction member
Viktor Ilyukhin accused the Kremlin of plotting the bombings
to discredit Moscow Mayor Luzhkov. JAC

DEATH TOLL CONTINUES TO SOAR IN LATEST MOSCOW BOMBING... The
tally of those who died in the explosion on 13 September on
Moscow's Kashirskoe Road had climbed to 116 as of the late
morning (local time) the next day, according to the federal
Emergencies Ministry. Eleven of the dead were children, while
nine people have been hospitalized. The blast on Guryanov
street on 9 September killed more than 90 people. The
Kashirskoe blast was caused by a bomb equal to 440 pounds of
TNT planted in a storage area of the apartment building,
according to Interfax. JAC

...AS ANOTHER EXPLOSION THWARTED. The next day, Interior
Minister Rushailo said that another blast was prevented when
police officials cleared explosives from a building on
Borisovskie Prudi street in the southern part of the city,
Interfax reported. In addition, Rushailo claimed that reports
from a number of people led to the discovery of several
caches of ammunition, from one of which 3,800 kilograms of
explosives were seized. JAC

SECURITY TIGHTENED IN MOSCOW... The head of Moscow's police
department, Nikolai Kulikov, told Russian Public Television
on 13 September that additional Interior Ministry troops are
being assigned to the capital and that the city's police will
guard practically every Moscow residence and thoroughly
inspect all ground floors and cellars. According to
"Segodnya" the next day, all Moscow policemen have been
assigned 12-hour shifts without the possibility of days off.
Moscow Mayor Luzhkov the same day announced that all
temporary residents of the city will have to re-register
within three days. JAC

...AND IN REGIONS. Local police in Rostov-na-Donu have
undertaken measures to improve security in the city, such as
searching empty houses and apartments and organizing tenants
and public associations to patrol territories adjacent to
apartment blocks, ITAR-TASS reported on 13 September.
Meanwhile, administration officials in Nizhnii Novgorod met
with local law enforcement officials and owners of large
residential properties to discuss ways to prevent terrorist
acts. Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service
officials have already started checks of offices, attics, and
basements, according to the agency. Similar searches were
conducted in Kemerovo Oblast, while all trains arriving from
the North Caucasus are being thoroughly searched. JAC

CAUCASIANS FEAR DISCRIMINATION, BACKLASH. Following Moscow
Mayor Luzhkov's statements that the recent explosions were
the work of Chechen gangsters taking revenge for the defeat
of Islamic extremists in Dagestan and that "special attention
will be paid to visitors from the [Chechen] republic and
cargo arriving from there," human rights group officials in
Russia expressed fear that the civil rights of persons of
Caucasian origin may be violated, "The Moscow Times" reported
on 14 September. In addition, according to the daily, Russian
Muslim leaders say that Russia's central media and
politicians are enflaming public opinion against Muslims by
equating all Muslims with extremists and bandits. "Izvestiya"
reported the same day, without reference to sources, that
Russia's intelligence services have various measures at their
disposal, such as threatened tax audits, to pressure members
of the Chechen diaspora who "support the criminals" behind
the explosions. JAC

CHECHNYA DIGS IN AHEAD OF ANTICIPATED RUSSIAN ATTACK.
Speaking on Chechen Television on 13 September, President
Aslan Maskhadov again warned that there is real danger that
Russia will launch another attack on Chechnya in retaliation
for the Moscow apartment house bombings. Maskhadov, who on 11
September extended the state of emergency he had imposed in
mid-August, called on the population to take up arms in
readiness to repulse a new attack. "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on
14 September quoted Maskhadov as saying that more than 300
people have been killed in Russian air raids on Chechnya that
began in late August and continued on 9-10 September and 13
September. Chechen officials have begun constructing a series
of defensive barricades and trenches along Chechnya's border
with Kursk Raion of neighboring Stavropol Krai, according to
ITAR-TASS on 13 September. LF

LULL IN DAGHESTAN FIGHTING? A spokesman for the self-styled
Islamic Government of Daghestan confirmed on 13 September
that all Chechen militants have retreated to Chechnya from
Novolaksk Raion, Caucasus Press reported. According to
Russian Television the same day, however, fighting is
continuing for control of five villages in Novolaksk. Some
reports claim that the Wahhabi residents of the villages of
Chabanmakhi and Karamakhi have taken refuge in Chechnya,
whereas others say they have abandoned the villages for the
surrounding mountains. According to "Nezavisimaya gazeta" on
14 September, the federal forces' failure to prevent the
Chechen retreat has reinforced the Daghestani authorities'
discontent with Moscow's handling of the situation in their
republic. Also on 13 September, Daghestan's Interior Minister
Adilgirey Magomedtagirov met with Chechen Deputy Interior
Minister Khamzat Khatsiev at the border between Chechnya and
Daghestan to discuss an exchange of bodies of Chechen
militants killed in the fighting for citizens of Daghestan
held hostage in Chechnya. LF

COHEN SAYS AGREEMENT ON ABM POSSIBLE... Following talks with
Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev in Moscow on 13
September, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen told Ekho
Moskvy that he believes that the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
Treaty can be modified in such a way as to take into account
both Russian and U.S. concerns. While Sergeev was reported to
be more reticent on the prospects for amending the treaty,
the Russian minister said Moscow wants to improve military
relations with the U.S.--even though Russia's assessment of
the NATO operation in Kosova "has not changed." The same day,
the two leaders signed an agreement on stationing military
officers from both countries at the Y2K Center for Strategic
Stability in Colorado during the year 2000 transition (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 13 September 1999). JC

...VOWS TO COOPERATE IN FIGHTING TERRORISM. Condemning the 13
September explosion in Moscow's Kashirskoe Road as a
"cowardly and callous act of terrorism," Cohen told his
Russian counterpart that the U.S. is prepared to work with
Russia to combat terrorism. He told journalists later that
specific measures had not been discussed. Chairman of the
State Duma Committee for Defense Roman Popkovich, meanwhile,
made a specific proposal during his meeting with Cohen at the
U.S. ambassador's residence in Moscow. Popkovich suggested
that a joint anti-terrorist center be set up to promote the
exchange of information, sharing of equipment, and "material-
technical assistance" in the fight against terrorism. JC

PARTY LIST DRAWN UP BY LDPR... Delegates to the Liberal
Democratic Party's (LDPR) congress in Moscow on 11 September
chose candidates for its federal party list. LDPR leader
Vladimir Zhirinovskii will head the group, followed by
Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant head Anatolii Bykov and State Duma
deputy Mikhail Musatov, "The Moscow Times" reported on 14
September. Bykov, for whom a warrant has been issued on
charges of money-laundering, is a foe of Krasnoyarsk Krai
Governor Aleksandr Lebed (see "RFE/RL Russian Federation
Report," 1 September 1999). Former head of the Moscow
National Bank Ashot Yegiazaryan will hold the number 12 slot,
"Segodnya" reported the previous day. Yegiazaryan's brother
owned the apartment where the infamous video was filmed of
former Prosecutor-General Yurii Skuratov cavorting with two
female prostitutes. According to Zhirinovskii, the party's
candidate for the Moscow mayoral race might be Duma
Geopolitics Committee Chairman Aleksei Mitrofanov. JAC

...AND SPIRITUAL HERITAGE. The Spiritual Heritage bloc
announced on 13 September the names of its three top
candidates to head its party list, ITAR-TASS reported.
Leading the list are Spiritual Heritage leader Aleksei
Podberezkin, writer Petr Proskurin, and State Duma deputy
Valerii Vorotnikov. According to Podberezkin, the bloc will
finalize its list of candidates and submit it to the Central
Election Board by 15 September. JAC

KREMLIN OFFICIAL SENDS OFF MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. The
same letter as, or one strikingly similar to, that from
presidential chief of staff Aleksandr Voloshin to Italian
daily "Corriere della Sera" on 12 September has been sent to
a number of U.S. publications warning them that the Kremlin
is ready to "use the entire force of international law" to
bring an end to the anti-Russian campaign of slander using "a
certain invented financial scandal," ITAR-TASS reported on 14
September. According to the agency, unidentified sources at
the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. reported that the
letter was sent to "The New York Times," "The Wall Street
Journal," "USA Today," and "Newsweek." JAC

RAISA GORBACHEV TOO WEAK FOR BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT. Vladimir
Polyakov, a consultant for the Gorbachev Foundation, told
Interfax on 13 September that Raisa Gorbachev is too weak for
doctors to set a date for her planned bone marrow transplant.
The wife of the former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, is
running a temperature and is an a weakened state following
chemotherapy, Polyakov said. Raisa Gorbachev has been
receiving treatment at a hospital in Muenster, Germany, since
late July. JC

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

ARMENIA LIKELY TO BECOME FULL MEMBER OF COUNCIL OF EUROPE IN
2000. Lord Russell Johnston, who is president of the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, told
journalists in Yerevan on 13 September that he will be "very
surprised" if Armenia is not accepted into full membership of
the council next year, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported. He
noted "a great change" over the past two years in
implementation of legal reform and in the conduct of
elections. He added that lack of progress in resolving the
Karabakh conflict is unlikely to have a negative impact on
Armenia's chances of acceptance, as Armenia and Azerbaijan
"are not Siamese twins." The three South Caucasus states were
granted special guest status in the Council of Europe in
1996. Georgia was accepted as a full member earlier this year
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 April 1999). LF

ARMENIAN NEWSPAPER EDITOR APPEALS JAIL SENTENCE. Nikol
Pashinian, editor of "Oragir" and its successor, "Haykakan
zhamanak," has asked the Review Court to annul the one-year
prison sentence for slander that a Yerevan court handed down
to him two weeks earlier (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 and 2
September 1999), RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau reported on 13
September. Pashinian said if the Review Court fails to
overturn that sentence, which he considers illegal, he will
appeal to the Court of Appeals. LF

AZERBAIJAN'S PRESIDENT TALKS TOUGH. Meeting with visiting
U.S. State Department official William Taylor in Baku on 13
September, Heidar Aliev said he sees no point in attending
the summit of presidents of South Caucasus states in Tbilisi
on 10-11 October, Turan reported. Aliev argued that no
cooperation is possible between Azerbaijan and Armenia until
a political solution is found to what he termed the "military
conflict" between the two countries. The Tbilisi summit,
initiated by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, is
to focus on regional cooperation in the energy, ecology, and
transportation spheres. LF

GEORGIAN MINISTER OF STATE REPORTS ON BUDGET. Addressing the
parliament on 10 September, Minister of State Vazha
Lortkipanidze said Georgia's current budget deficit amounts
to 356 million lari ($180 million), Caucasus Press reported.
As a result, Lortkipanidze said, the government still owes a
total of 42.8 million lari in wage and pension arrears for
1999. He noted there are problems with funding the army,
police, and border guards. And he called for changes in
Georgia's investment policy to attract investment in larger
enterprises. LF

KAZAKH OFFICIALS NOT ALLOWED ACCESS TO DETAINED EX-PREMIER.
Kazakhstan's Prosecutor-General Yurii Khitrin has not been
permitted to visit former Prime Minister Akezhan Kazhegeldin,
who was hospitalized in Moscow after being detained by
Russian police on his arrival from London on 10 September,
RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported. But in a telephone
conversation, Khitrin urged Kazhegeldin to return
"voluntarily" to Kazakhstan. The Russian authorities also
rejected a request by Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Russia Tair
Mansurov to order Kazhegeldin's extradition to Kazakhstan so
that he face charges of tax evasion and illegally possession
property abroad. Those authorities said the evidence offered
does not adequately substantiate those charges. In Almaty,
several members of Kazhegeldin's People's Republican Party of
Kazakhstan have launched a hunger strike after being arrested
and fined on 11 September for staging a demonstration to
protest Kazhegeldin's detention. LF

EBRD CONCERNED OVER KAZAKHSTAN'S TAX POLICY. At a meeting in
Almaty on 13 September with President Nursultan Nazarbaev, a
senior European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
official urged that Kazakhstan ensure the "transparency and
objectivity" of tax collection, Interfax reported. The
delegation also questioned whether investors are treated
equally and expressed concern over frequent changes in
legislation and tax standards. LF

KYRGYZ MEDIATOR HEADS FOR MEETING WITH MILITANTS. Security
Ministry senior official Talant Razzakov told RFE/RL's
Bishkek bureau on 13 September that human rights activist
Tursunbek Akunov traveled to Batken the previous day to meet
with the leader of a band of several hundred ethnic Uzbeks
who are holding hostages in southern Kyrgyzstan. Razzakov
said Akunov has orders from the Kyrgyz leadership not to hand
over a message from the Kyrgyz government on negotiations on
the hostages' release before he has met the hostages in
person. Interfax on 13 September cited an unnamed Kyrgyz army
source as saying the army command headquarters in southern
Kyrgyzstan fears that more guerrillas may try to cross the
border from Tajikistan into Kyrgyzstan. LF

TAJIK OPPOSITION LEADER PROTESTS RESTRICTIONS ON OPPOSITION
PARTIES. United Tajik Opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri has
written to President Imomali Rakhmonov and to the UN and the
OSCE expressing concern at what he terms the persecution of
some opposition parties, Asia Plus-Blitz reported on 14
September. Nuri cites the refusal of the Supreme Court to
register the National Movement of Tajikistan, the court
proceedings on banning the activities of the Agrarian Party,
and the invalidation of the registration of the Adolat va
Tarakiyot Party. He demands that in order to facilitate the
peace and democratization process in the country, equal
conditions be created for all political parties to
participate in the upcoming elections. LF

TAJIK GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO PERSUADE REFUGEES TO RETURN. The
Tajik government has issued a decree allocating financial
compensation to displaced persons and hundreds of thousands
of refugees who fled the country during the 1992-1997 civil
war, Asia Plus-Blitz reported on 13 September. Under the
decree, families whose homes were destroyed will receive
credits of 300,000 Tajik rubles ($200) toward the cost of
building new housing and buying household goods and cattle.
There are 14,000 Tajik refugees in Kyrgyzstan alone, of whom
74 percent have applied for Kyrgyz citizenship. LF

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word subscribe as the subject of the message.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message.

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
hermanoval@rferl.org
________________________________________________
CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES ON THE WEB
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest
are online at: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/
_________________________________________________
LISTEN TO NEWS FOR 25 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour LIVE
Broadcast Studio. http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html
_________________________________________________
REPRINT POLICY
To receive reprint permission, please contact Paul Goble via
email at GobleP@rferl.org or fax at 202-457-6992
_________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE STAFF
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Editor-in-Chief, CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Team Leader, MooreP@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Julie A. Corwin, CorwinJ@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Fabian Schmidt, SchmidtF@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org

FREE-LANCE AND OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTORS
* Asta Banionis, Pete Baumgartner, Victor Gomez, Dan Ionescu,
Zsolt-Istvan Mato, Jolyon Naegele, Matyas Szabo, Anthony
Wesolowsky, Marins J. Zvaners

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630
_________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

[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