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RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 86, 06 May 1991



BALTIC STATES



LARGE RALLY IN VILNIUS. About 200,000 people from Lithuania gathered
in Vingis Park on May 4 for a rally called by Sajudis, broadcast
live over Radio Independent Lithuania. Sajudis chairman Juozas
Tumelis opened the rally noting that "a new, improved occupation
is creeping across Lithuania." Other speakers at the three and
a half hour rally included Chairman of the Lithuanian Supreme
Soviet Vytautas Landsbergis, his deputies Ceslovas Stankevicius
and Kazimieras Motieka, Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, National
Defense Department Director-General Audrius Butkevicius, and
former political prisoner Monsignor Alfonsas Svarinskas. (Saulius
Girnius)

RALLY APPEAL. The rally adopted an appeal read by Tumelis. It
called on leaders of the world's nations, parliaments, political
parties, and movements to realize that the question of Lithuanian
independence is not an internal matter of the USSR and that silence
can only encourage the Soviet occupiers towards new actions of
repression. Lithuania's political and civic determination for
independence is unshakeable. The affairs of Lithuania should
be deliberated at the United Nations and Lithuania should be
returned to membership in the UN and all international organization,
the appeal stated. (Saulius Girnius)

LITHUANIAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS. On May 4 and 5, in Vilnius,
the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party held its second congress
after its reestablishment in 1989, the RFE Lithuanian Service
reported on May 6. The congress amended its program and discussed
at length its relations with the Lithuanian Democratic Labor
Party (the former independent Lithuanian Communist Party). It
elected a 34-member council with Lithuanian Supreme Council deputy
Aloyzas Sakalas as its chairman. (Saulius Girnius)

GORBUNOVS ON LATVIA'S STRIDES TOWARD INDEPENDENCE. The Latvian
Supreme Council met in plenary session on May 4 to mark the first
anniversary of its declaration that Latvia was starting the process
of restoring an independent and democratic state, reported Radio
Riga that day. Addressing the deputies, Council Chairman Anatolijs
Gorbunovs said that time had shown that their decision in 1990
had been correct. Gorbunovs assessed the present situation in
Latvia soberly, pointing out that "the legal status of the independence
of the state has not changed." Despite numerous difficulties,
he said, "our joy in the rebirth of the nation overrides everything."
(Dzintra Bungs)

ATTACK ON FORMER OMON CHIEF IN RIGA. According to TASS and Baltfax
dispatches of May 4, Cheslav Mlynnik was shot at his apartment
in Riga that day. The wounds were not life-threatening. Mlynnik
was head of the OMON unit, a special MVD force, in Riga in January
when his men killed four civilians and two policemen, and wounded
several others. It is not clear when or by whom Mlynnik was replaced
as head of the "Black Berets," as the OMON are known in Latvia.
Initial reports by investigators do not reveal whether the shooting
was politically motivated, though it occurred on the first anniversary
of Latvia's independence declaration. (Dzintra Bungs)

CULPRITS BEHIND EXPLOSIONS IN LATVIA STILL NOT FOUND. Rita Aksenoka
told Lauku Avize of April 12 that two rewards--1,000 rubles and
an automobile--were still to be presented to the person providing
information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals
responsible for the spate of explosions that hit Latvia in 1990
and January 1991. Aksenoka, who heads the Prosecution's investigation
team, said that the 22 "unsolved" blasts fall in 3 categories:
4 were aimed at monuments to Latvian soldiers who fought against
Soviet forces in World War II; at least 2 may have been directed
at a noisy cafe in Riga; and the rest, including a blast near
the Latvian CP headquarters, appear to have, like the first group,
political motives. (Dzintra Bungs)



USSR - ALL-UNION TOPICS



DETAILS OF KOMMERSANT REPORT ON SECOND DOCUMENT SIGNED BY TEN.
The weekly Kommersant has stated that a confidential memorandum
was also signed by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and the
leaders of the nine republics at the dacha in Novoe Ogarevo (see
Daily Report, April 30). According to Radio Rossii on May 3,
Kommersant said that the memorandum contains a whole range of
specific undertakings by Gorbachev to the republican representatives.
Gorbachev acknowledged the status of sovereign states for the
union republics and guaranteed no interference in their internal
affairs. It was also agreed that the new Union treaty would be
signed in July, rather than May or June, that is after the election
of the RSFSR president. (Ann Sheehy)

SHEVARDNADZE GIVES GORBACHEV 3 OR 4 MONTHS. Former foreign minister
Eduard Shevardnadze spoke of the dire situation in the Soviet
Union in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag (May 5). Asked
"how much time does Gorbachev have?", Shevardnadze answered,
"Only three or four more months." (Suzanne Crow)

SHEVARDNADZE ON GERMANY AND THE UN. In his May 5 Bild am Sonntag
interview, Shevardnadze said that German unification (and the
reaction to it within the Soviet Union) "played a very basic
role in my resignation." He said, "I don't think so," when asked
if he would take another position in the USSR government. On
the possibility of taking over the position of UN Secretary General,
Shevardnadze said, "I have a very high opinion of...de Cuellar.
He should...carry on in the post. But if he gives it up and someone
suggests me [for the job], then I would investigate this." (Suzanne
Crow)

NO MORE ARMS TO ANGOLA. The USSR wants all sides to halt arms
shipments to Angola even before a proposed cease-fire takes effect.
A USSR Foreign Ministry declaration made on May 4 said that "we
are close enough so that common sense can finally triumph in
Angola," TASS reported May 4. (Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV WARNS US ON TIES. In a meeting with international publishing
and broadcasting entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch on May 5, Gorbachev
expressed fears that the United States may be readjusting its
stance toward the Soviet Union. Gorbachev said if the improvements
made in US-Soviet relations under Presidents Reagan and Bush
were lost, the world could be plunged into "the abyss of the
cold war or a semi-cold war." Gorbachev noted his disturbance
at signs that the United States is readjusting its attitude toward
the USSR. He said that relations are at a crucial moment and
should be treated with care, TASS and AP reported May 5 and 6.
(NCA/Suzanne Crow)

BRIEF MITTERRAND-GORBACHEV MEETING TODAY. French President Francois
Mitterrand flys to Moscow today [May 6] for "a short working
visit" with Gorbachev. TASS reported May 5 that their talks would
center on European security matters and on the situation in the
Middle East. TASS hinted that Franco-Soviet relations might be
less than smooth, noting that "first-hand information in Moscow
should help Mitterrand introduce corrections in French foreign
policy, which in recent months has undergone a noticeable evolution."
(Sallie Wise)

VIETNAMESE PREMIER IN MOSCOW. Marking the first visit by a senior
Vietnamese official to the USSR in two years, Vietnamese Prime
Minister Do Muoi arrived in Moscow on May 5, TASS reported May
3. (Suzanne Crow)

GORBACHEV MEETS COMMISSION ON ARMY DEATHS. On May 5 Gorbachev
discussed the results of work completed by a commission investigating
the causes of "death and traumatism" suffered by servicemen in
peacetime, TASS reported. Gorbachev recommended a speed-up in
the drafting of legislation aimed at legally insuring the social
security of servicemen and of laws on military reform, and it
was also decided to create an oversight body to insure the proper
observance of soldiers' rights. TASS provided no other details
on the meeting, but the issue has long been a contentious one,
with various mothers' groups claiming that the Defense Ministry
has hindered the investigation. (NCA/Stephen Foye)

DAY OF THE PRESS OBSERVED. Interviewed by Vremya May 5 in connection
with the Day of the Press, head of the State Press Committee
Mikhail Nenashev said he would ask Gorbachev and the new cabinet
of ministers to review problems of the Soviet press. These include
a sharp price rise for paper and the doubling of prices for deliveries
of periodicals; the resulting increase in prices for periodicals
meant that the Soviet press lost 33% of its subscribers this
year. Vremya stressed, however, that the number of new periodicals
still increases. This year alone 500 new papers and journals
have been created. For its part, Radio Rossii marked the Day
of the Press by broadcasting several comments on how the central
Soviet leadership made it difficult for the RSFSR to create its
own media network. (Vera Tolz)

TWO NEW AIRLINES. Izvestia of May 1 reported progress towards
the establishment of "Air Rossiya," a joint venture between the
USSR Ministry of Civil Aviation, the RSFSR Ministry of Transport,
and British Airways. It is hoped to have the first passengers
flying by January 1994. Pravda of May 3 carried an article entitled
"Soviet Boeings, Why Not?" that described plans for another airline,
equipped with Boeing 747s and 767s. One of the new airline's
founders was quoted as saying that it could be set up "without
calling on state funds." Aeroflot's captive clientele will be
relieved. (Keith Bush)

LATEST AIDS COUNT. The chairman of the Soviet Association of
the Battle Against AIDS told Radio Moscow May 3 that there are
623 reported cases in the USSR of Soviet citizens carrying the
AIDS virus. There are also 586 reported cases of foreigners in
the USSR who are carriers. (NCA/Keith Bush)

USSR - IN THE REPUBLICS



TER-PETROSSYAN, MUTALIBOV MEET WITH GORBACHEV. Armenian SupSov
chairman Levon Ter-Petrossyan and Azerbaijani President and CP
first secretary Ayaz Mutalibov met separately with Gorbachev
in Moscow May 3 to discuss the situation in Azerbaijan. Ter-Petrossyan
told reporters the next day that the meeting had raised hopes
of a peaceful settlement. He said that USSR KGB chairman Kryuchkov
had assured him that the population of the two Armenian villages
attacked last week would not be forcibly deported, and that helicopter
flights to the villages would be restored, TASS reported May
4. No details of Mutalibov's meeting with Gorbachev are available.
(Liz Fuller)

RSFSR DELEGATION TO ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN. Ter-Petrossyan also
spoke by telephone with RSFSR SupSov chairman Boris Yeltsin,
who promised to "follow carefully the course of events" in Azerbaijan
and dispatched a group of RSFSR People's Deputies to Armenia
and Azerbaijan to investigate the circumstances of last week's
violence, TASS reported May 5. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA MOURNS VICTIMS OF LAST WEEK'S VIOLENCE. Up to 200,000
Armenians gathered in Erevan May 4 to mourn the victims of last
week's fighting in Azerbaijan; funeral services were subsequently
held for five of the dead (The New York Times, The Boston Globe,
May 5). (Liz Fuller)

PARATROOPERS TO EREVAN. Several hundred Soviet paratroopers were
airlifted to Armenia by helicopter May 4 to protect military
personnel and installations (RIA, May 4; TASS, May 5). AP quoted
Colonel-General Yuri Shatalin, commander of the USSR MVD sources
in the area, as telling Izvestia that his troops were guarding
the Medzamor nuclear power station near Erevan against a possible
attack by Armenian nationalists. (Liz Fuller)

ARMENIA BLAMED FOR CURRENT TENSION. A joint statement issued
May 4 by the USSR MVD and Ministry of Defense claimed that the
situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and in Nagorno-Karabakh
had deteriorated sharply. It condemned "terrorist acts by Armenian
nationalists on military personnel" and laid the blame for the
current crisis squarely on Armenia. Izvestia quotes USSR MVD
officials as describing the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict as
"civil war". (Liz Fuller)

YELTSIN GRANTS INDEPENDENCE TO RSFSR INDUSTRY. On May 3, Yeltsin
issued a directive changing the economic operating conditions
of the RSFSR's coal and "other basic" industries, TASS reported
that day. Enterprises in these branches transferred to republican
jurisdiction "at the decision of their labor collectives" will
be granted "full economic independence," including the right
to determine what forms of ownership and management to adopt.
The RSFSR Council of Ministers will create an independent interbranch
structure charged with ensuring the creation of maximally advantageous
conditions for the functioning of these enterprises and the creation
of a network of smaller enterprises. This body will also see
to it that relations between local government agencies and the
enterprises are conducted solely on the basis of financial and
tax laws adopted by the RSFSR Supreme Soviet. (Dawn Mann)

OTHER RSFSR INDUSTRIES TO COME UNDER REPUBLICAN CONTROL. According
to RSFSR First Deputy Prime Minister Yurii Skokov, the USSR government
has signed an agreement that would place coal mines in Vorkuta
and the Kuzbass (see below), as well as metallurgical enterprises
in Cherepovets and Lipetsk and the Uralmash machine-building
enterprise, under republican jurisdiction. Skokov, who was in
Kemerovo on May 3, told TASS that the process of transfer was
already underway and credited the miners strike with having given
a push to the process. (Dawn Mann)

SETTLEMENT OF MINERS' STRIKE IN DOUBT. Donetsk coal miners are
now back at work, but some 50 mines in the Kuzbass and 11 of
the 13 pits in Vorkuta are still idle, TASS and Reuters reported
May 5. Miners are waiting for USSR officials to sign an agreement
that would place the mines under RSFSR jurisdiction; according
to Reuters, the central government is not happy with the plan
and may not sign it. Should the central authorities not sign
the plan, or amend it in ways the miners will not accept, widespread
strikes are likely to resume. (Dawn Mann)

YELTSIN SAYS MINERS' STRIKES STOPPED CONSERVATIVES. In his televised
interview broadcast May 4, Yeltsin said that "the broad scale
and organization of the strike across the country was one of
the main reasons the offensive of the reactionary forces was
cut off." The "workers' movement" acted as a "counterweight and
in many ways determined the situation," he continued. (Dawn Mann)


THIRD CONGRESS OF RUSSIAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATS. The third congress
of the RSFSR Social Democratic Party ended May 3 in Moscow with
delegates nominating Boris Yeltsin as the party's candidate for
the RSFSR presidential elections. Radio Rossii reported May 4
that the congress nominated USSR people's deputy and Yeltsin's
adviser Galina Starovoitova as republican vice president. (Vera
Tolz)

NEW CANDIDATES FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN RSFSR. Two new candidates
have been proposed for the upcoming presidential elections in
the RSFSR. Radio Moscow-1 reported May 4 the nomination of Aleksei
Sergeev, a leader of the hard-line United Front of Workers of
Russia. Listing the elections' candidates, Sovetskaya Rossiya
(May 1) mentioned among others the head of the Conservative Party
of Russia, former political prisoner, Lev Ubozhko. (The newspaper
mistakenly called Ubozhko "Leonid.") (Vera Tolz)

CENTRAL LEADERSHIP SUPPORTS RYZHKOV. Meanwhile, the central Soviet
leadership apparently supports Nikolai Ryzhkov for election as
RSFSR President. Radio Moscow-1 and TASS reported May 4 that
many "working collectives" in the republic would vote for Ryzhkov.
TASS also said that "an initiative group" was set up in the republic
to agitate for the former prime minister. On May 5, Ryzhkov was
interviewed by Izvestia. He said he was going to stand against
Yeltsin in the elections. He also emphasized that he "is convinced
his health has been completely restored" after a heart attack
last December. (Vera Tolz)

RSFSR KGB CREATED. Agreement on creation of the RSFSR KGB was
reached during a meeting May 5 between Yeltsin and USSR KGB Chairman
Vladimir Kryuchkov, TASS reported that day. The Presidium of
the RSFSR Supreme Soviet appointed Major General Victor Ivanenko
as acting chief of the Russian KGB. Until recently, Ivanenko
was Deputy Chief of the USSR KGB Inspectorate. The initial staff
of the RSFSR KGB will be 350 to 400 officers, said Chairman of
the RSFSR Supreme Soviet Committee on Security Sergei Stepashin.
The complete delineation of duties between the USSR KGB and RSFSR
KGB will be defined after the Union treaty is signed, he added.
The main functions of the RSFSR KGB will be "comprehensive control
over the situation in the republic, prevention of anti-constitutional
activity, and the fight against organized crime", he said.( Victor
Yasmann)

YELTSIN IN USSR DEFENSE COUNCIL? Creation of the RSFSR KGB and
the parliamentary bodies dealing with defense and security logically
raises the question of including Yeltsin in the USSR Defense
Council, said Stepashin to Radio Moscow World Service on May
4. Such a preliminary understanding already has been reached,
he added. Stepashin said that RSFSR policy in defense and security
matters will based on the fact that most of the USSR's defense
industry, military, and security personnel are located in the
Russian Federation. (Victor Yasmann)

FIREARMS FOUND AT RUKH-AFFILIATED ORGANIZATION. Quoting the Ukrainian
Center for Alternative Information, a news agency that functions
within Ukrinform, Radio Kiev reported May 3 that three grenades,
a detonator and live ammunition were found at the headquarters
of a Rukh-affiliated organization in the western Ukrainian town
of Brody (Lvov region). It is unclear whether the organization,
which calls itself "RUKH Guard" (VARTA RUKHU), is officially
recognized by the RUKH (National Movement for Rebirth of Ukraine).
The news agency quoted by Radio Kiev also reported that the local
town Soviet provided accommodations for the organization's headquarters.
(Valentyn Moroz)

INFORMALS IN ALMA-ATA MAY 1 PARADE. A Kazakh journalist has informed
RFE/RL that representatives of informal groups participating
in the May 1 parade in Alma-Ata displayed nationalistic slogans,
including "Awaken, Kazakh!", and portraits of historical figures,
such as Chinggis Khan, who were formerly condemned in Soviet
historiography. Some of the participants carried green banners
with star and crescent, and flashed victory signs at the reviewing
stand. Kazakh president Nazarbaev did not attend. Last year,
informal groups participated in the Alma-Ata May 1 celebrations
for the first time. (Hasan Oraltay/Bess Brown)

FATAL LANDSLIDE IN UZBEKISTAN. TASS reported on May 5 that a
landslide in the village of Chigiristan, near Uzbekistan's coal-mining
center at Angren, killed more than 50 people on Saturday. May
6 has been declared a day of mourning in the republic. The Angren
area has long been threatened by landslips--in 1981, a series
of articles in Nedelya warned that the village of Teshiktash
and the Angren power plant were in danger of being wiped out.
Two years later, a retaining wall was completed to protect Teshiktash.
(Bess Brown)

MOLDAVIA CHASTISED FOR DISOBEYING GORBACHEV. In a resolution
published in Izvestia April 30, the USSR Soviet of Nationalities
accused Moldavia of noncompliance with the main points of Gorbachev's
December 22 decree on "normalizing the situation in Moldavia,"
namely: to rescind the condemnation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop
pact, adhere to the Union treaty, and repeal (unspecified) laws
"infringing on the rights of Russian-speakers." Noting that "the
Dniester and Gagauz regions" demand compliance with these points
"as the main conditions for national accord in Moldavia," and
linking the accord to the preservation of Moldavia's territorial
integrity, the resolution called on "the republic's leadership
and the opposition forces to immediately open talks for working
out compromise solutions." (Vladimir Socor)

COMMISSIONS ESTABLISHED. The same resolution empanelled a permanent
group of deputies to the Soviet of Nationalities "to assume mediating,
peace-making functions" with regard to Moldavia, and instructed
the USSR Cabinet of Ministers to form and send to Moldavia a
working group of representatives of USSR law-enforcement and
economic agencies to examine complaints against the republican
government. The resolution appears designed to establish a formal
mechanism enabling the center to arbitrate the political conflict
in Moldavia and to apply pressure on Kishinev through non-native
population groups in advance of a crucial session of the Moldavian
parliament due to open May 14. (Vladimir Socor)

[as of 1300 CET]

Compiled by Patrick Moore and Sallie Wise


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