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Newsline - June 15, 1998




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




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 ImanAliyev 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




BELARUSIAN RADIO BEGINS BROADCASTING TO EUROPEAN RUSSIA

Belarusian Radio on 15 June began regular broadcasts to a "large part" of Russia's European territory, ITAR-TASS reported. The radio station will broadcast to the area for a total of six hours a day initially and plans transmissions of up to 16 hours a day in the future. The programs will focus on "disseminating information about life in the Republic [of Belarus] and...safeguarding integration processes between the two fraternal countries," ITAR-TASS reported. JM

GERMANY AGAIN PROTESTS AMBASSADORS' EVICTION IN MINSK

The German Foreign Ministry on 12 June summoned the Belarusian ambassador to Germany to repeat Germany's protest against the Belarusian authorities' order to evict Western ambassadors from their residencies at Drazdy, dpa reported. A German Foreign Ministry spokesman in Bonn said that if Belarus carries out its eviction order, this step will have "grave consequences" for diplomatic relations. The ministry confirmed that the EU member states are discussing joint action, including the possibility of recalling their ambassadors from Minsk. JM

MOROZ CALLS FOR LEFTIST TAKEOVER IN UKRAINE

Addressing a congress of the Socialist Party in Kyiv on 13 June, party head and former parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz called on left-wing forces to shoulder responsibility for the situation in the country, Ukrainian Television reported. "The left-wing forces should take power irrespective of whether their representative will be elected head of the Supreme Council," he said. "We should not be afraid of the Bulgarian scenario, with which we are being threatened," Moroz added. Official media have warned that a socialist/communist comeback may lead to economic collapse, as was the case in Bulgaria. JM

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT APPEALS FOR END TO MINERS STRIKE

Speaking on national television on 12 June, Deputy Prime Minister Anatoliy Holubchenko appealed to miners at some 30 mines to end their strike over unpaid wages, Ukrainian Television reported. He pledged that the government will pay wages to all miners beginning this month. He added that the government will not pay the wages of those miners who remain on strike. The next day, Holubchenko said the government will not make any more financial concessions to the miners until the parliament passes necessary amendments to the budget. JM

PROBE ORDERED INTO PRINTING OF NEO-NAZI PAPERS IN ESTONIA

President Lennart Meri has ordered Interior Minister Olari Taalan to launch an investigation into the printing in Estonia of neo-Nazi newspapers, ETA reported on 14 June. According to a Swedish television report the previous day, Printall has repeatedly printed various neo- Nazi publications ordered from Sweden. The printing house, which is 100 percent privatized, has acknowledged that some issues of two extremist newspapers were published in early 1997, but it pointed out that since none of its staff speaks Swedish, the company was unaware of the newspapers' contents. Meri has requested that the investigators identify who in Sweden financed the printing of the newspapers. JC

PRIMAKOV IN VILNIUS

Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov was in the Lithuanian capital on 13 June for talks with President Valdas Adamkus, Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius, and Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas, BNS and ITAR-TASS reported. At a press conference with Saudargas after their meeting, Primakov said that there are no problems in Russian-Lithuanian relations that could "complicate multifaceted ties in the economic, political, and other spheres." He commented that Russia supports Vilnius's aspirations to join the EU, adding that as a result of its "civilized, good, and balanced measures...with regard to ethnic minorities and the Russian community, Lithuania meets all EU accession requirements." He struck a different note, however, with regard to Lithuania's goal of joining NATO. "The Baltic countries' accession to NATO is unacceptable to us because it creates certain threats and inconveniences for Russia," Primakov commented. JC

POLISH PRESIDENT TOURS PROVINCES SLATED FOR ABOLITION

Aleksander Kwasniewski on 14 June began a tour of those provinces slated to be abolished in Poland's administrative reform, "Gazeta Wyborcza" reported. The parliament recently passed a bill providing for 12 provinces but now wants the upper house to increase the number of provinces to 15. It is believed that Kwasniewski will veto the bill if it provides for fewer than 17 provinces. "The option with 17 provinces is most dear to me because it has the greatest social support," he told a 10,000-strong crowd in Kielce. Observers see the continuing row over administrative reform as offering the leftist Kwasniewski an opportunity to consolidate his position in the face of the Solidarity-led coalition's attempts to curb his powers. JM

POLLS SHOW NEW CZECH PARLIAMENT LIKELY TO BE HUNG

The opposition Czech Social Democrats' (CSSD) lead over former Premier Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party (ODS) has narrowed, just one week before the elections, Reuters reported on 12 June, citing the last opinion polls allowed to be made public before the 19-20 June elections. That vote seems likely to produce a hung parliament. According to a STEM institute poll, support for the CSSD is now at 23.2 percent, just 2.5 points ahead of the ODS. A survey conducted by Sofres-Factum shows the CSSD with 26.7 percent backing and the ODS with 19.5 percent support. In other news, the CSSD has presented a "blue book" harshly criticizing the Klaus and Josef Tosovsky government, which, the party says, pursued a policy of "incoherent economic and social policy" that led to "the slowest economic growth in Central Europe," CTK reported. MS

HAVEL SAYS HE WILL RESIGN IF SERIOUSLY ILL

In an interview with BBC television on 12 June, President Vaclav Havel said he will resign if doctors conclude that he suffers from a "serious illness" preventing him from fulfilling his presidential duties. But he added that he has been assured that this is not the case at present. The next day, in an interview with Czech state television, Havel repeated his intention to leave the presidency "if my struggle against death continues." He also said the Czech Republic is "at a crossroads" and that the elections will decide whether the country will be "a civilized European democracy...or turn into a banana republic." The latter may happen if "the Czech tradition of mutual accusations and intrigues" prevails over "constructive politics," he said. MS

ETHNIC HUNGARIANS BOYCOTT SCHOOL IN SLOVAKIA

Thousands of ethnic Hungarian school children boycotted classes in southern Slovakia on 12 June to protest a proposed amendment to the education law that would restrict the use of their mother tongue in the classroom, Reuters reported. The amendment would reduce the number of subjects that can be taught in the Hungarian language and increase the prerogatives of the state over schools catering for ethnic minorities. MS

HUNGARY'S SMALLHOLDERS TO HAVE FOUR MINISTRIES

The Independent Smallholders' Party (FKGP) has accepted the Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian Civic Party's (FIDESZ-MPP) offer of four ministries in the new coalition government, Hungarian media reported on 12 June . FIDESZ-MPP deputy chairman Janos Ader said the FKGP will receive the agriculture portfolio, which will also deal with development in the provinces and accordingly will be renamed the Ministry of Agriculture and Provincial Development. It will also have the Defense Ministry and the Ministry Environmental Protection. Further talks are needed to decide on the fourth portfolio, Ader said. In other news, a bomb exploded during the early hours of 15 June on the balcony of FIDESZ-MPP's downtown Budapest headquarters. There was some damage to the building but no injuries. MSZ

SMALLHOLDERS PROMISE STRONGER SUPPORT FOR HUNGARIANS IN ROMANIA

Jozsef Torgyan, chairman of the FKGP, told visiting Reformed Bishop Laszlo Tokes, honorary chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, that the FKGP will set up a special committee to identify areas where relations with Hungarians living in Transylvania need to be improved, Hungarian media reported on 15 June. Torgyan said his party and FIDESZ have identical views on ethnic Hungarians abroad. The new government will step up "support for Hungarians in Transylvania and for their rightful struggle to reopen the Hungarian university in Cluj," Torgyan added. MSZ




NATO JETS CARRY 'LAST WARNING' TO MILOSEVIC...

Some 84 aircraft from 13 NATO member states conducted an exercise called "Determined Falcon" over Albania and Macedonia on 15 June. NATO defense ministers agreed in Brussels on 12 June to stage the maneuvers as a "final warning" to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to stop the violence in Kosova and negotiate a settlement with Kosovar leaders. On 14 June, the Yugoslav Air Force put on an extensive display of skills in front of a crowd of more than 100,000 people at the annual Belgrade Air Show. PM

...AS DOES COOK

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said in Cardiff on 15 June that the exercise is a message to Milosevic that NATO is keeping "all options open," including air strikes against Serbia and the deployment of ground troops to Kosova, Reuters reported. Cook added that he hopes Milosevic "will use his meeting [in Moscow later the same day] with [Russian] President [Boris] Yeltsin to confirm that he has accepted the demands of the international community, including Russia, that he stop the violence, that he let the refugees go, that he let international monitors in so that [the refugees] can go home without fear." PM

ALBANIA, MACEDONIA PLEDGE SUPPORT TO NATO

Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano said in a statement on 13 June that Tirana's international airport and all military airports are at NATO's disposal. He added that Albania will provide additional, unspecified logistical support for the Atlantic alliance. Nano stressed that he hopes a combination of diplomatic and military actions on the part of the international community will lead to "a final solution of the conflict" and "halt the murdering hand of the Stalinist and militarist regime of Milosevic." Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, who was in Tirana for a two-day visit, also pledged support for the NATO exercises. The two leaders signed an accord on economic, transport, and trade cooperation and agreed to expand cooperation in the sphere of security and border protection, with the aim of stop arms trafficking. FS

WESTERN LEADERS SLAM SERBIAN POLICIES

Foreign Secretary Cook said in London on 14 June that Serbia is "carrying out ethnic cleansing" in Kosova and that Milosevic's policies in the province have strengthened the position of the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK). In Paris, President Jacques Chirac said the previous day that Serbia's behavior in Kosova is "unacceptable" and warned that the West may use force there. Chirac added that Serbia's policies are responsible for a new wave of refugees in the Balkans. On 12 June in London, foreign ministers of the international Contact Group countries agreed to reimpose an earlier ban on new foreign investments in Serbia and to ban flights of Serbia's JAT airlines to and from Western countries. Russia did not agree to these measures. PM

COHEN SAYS NATO CAN ACT IN KOSOVA WITHOUT UN MANDATE

In Warsaw, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana said on 14 June that the alliance will seek a mandate from the UN before it launches any intervention in Kosova, but he did not rule out that NATO would act without such a mandate, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported. In Copenhagen on 13 June, U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen stressed that NATO would not need a UN mandate to act in Kosova. The previous day, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright expressed similar views at the Contact Group meeting in London. The U.S. standpoint is based on the view that the former Yugoslavia falls within NATO's traditional area of activity and that the alliance does not require UN approval to carry out its policies there. PM

UCK CLAIMS CONTROL OVER ONE THIRD OF KOSOVA

The Kosova Liberation Army issued a declaration on 13 June saying it has control over 30 percent of Kosova's territory. It said it now controls the main road from Prishtina to Peja, whereas in previous weeks it held only smaller roads in the countryside. The same day, the Prishtina daily "Bujku" estimated that the UCK holds more than 40 percent of the province's territory and has currently 30,000 armed troops, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. The daily added that the UCK could increase that number to some 300,000 if it wanted to do so. FS

RAPE AS POLICY IN KOSOVA?

Several Kosovar women refugees told Western journalists in northeastern Albania that armed Serbs raped them before they could escape across the border. The BBC said on 13 June that, if true, those stories suggest that Serbian forces may again be using rape as a deliberate instrument of policy, as they did in Bosnia. The Serbian paramilitary police include many veterans of the Croatian and Bosnian wars. Western news agencies reported in recent days that Serbian forces have mined areas along the border between Kosova and Albania to discourage refugees from trying to return to their homes. PM

MORE REFUGEES ARRIVE IN ALBANIA

Latest estimates put the total number of Kosovar refugees in Albania at almost 14,000 and in Montenegro at 8,000, Reuters reported from Molle e Kuce on the Yugoslav-Albanian border on 14 June. About one-third of the refugees in Montenegro are ethnic Serbs. Refugees from Popoc and Ponoshec told foreign journalists in Tropoja on 14 June that Serbian forces have completely destroyed both villages with air missiles and heavy artillery. They added that thousands of other refugees are hiding in the mountains in Kosova and that others died on their way to Albania. On 13 June, the Albanian government began to convert former military barracks in the Tropoja area into refugee accommodations and set up a tent camp nearby for 1,200 people. Most refugees are currently living in overcrowded family homes. FS

FOOD AID DELIVERY DELAYED AFTER ROBBERY

A Norwegian Hercules C-130 military aircraft made four flights on 13-14 June to transport aid from Sarajevo to Tirana. Officials of the UN High Commission for Refugees, however, postponed delivering the aid to northern Albania after two masked gunmen hijacked the vehicle of a French aid organization in Bajram Curri on 13 June. A UNHCR spokeswoman said that the delivery is "a bit of logistical nightmare" owing to security problems and the lack of infrastructure. After the robbery, special police forces from Tirana set up checkpoints along the roads in the north. Meanwhile, a ship arrived at Durres from the Croatian port of Ploce on 14 June carrying enough wheat flour, vegetable oil, and beans to support 10,000 refugees for three month. FS

ANTI-WAR PROTESTS IN SERBIA

More than 100 parents of Yugoslav army conscripts from Kragujevac who have been sent to Kosova have issued a statement pledging to go to that province "to save our children," "Nasa Borba" reported on 15 June. Some 400 Serbian policemen have refused duty in Kosova this year. In recent days, Serbian police in several cities arrested an unspecified number of people who had distributed leaflets in support of the organization Anti-War Campaign, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported on 12 June. PM

SFOR ARRESTS WAR CRIMES SUSPECT

A spokesman for NATO peacekeepers said on 15 June in Sarajevo that French and German SFOR troops arrested Milorad Krnojelac in Foca, which is in the French command area in the southeast. SFOR sent him immediately to The Hague. He was the commander of the Foca prison between April 1992 and August 1993 and has been indicted by the Hague-based war crimes tribunal for "permitting prolonged torture and beatings, countless killings, and forced labor practices," the spokesman added. Krnojelac is among an unknown number of people whom the court has indicted but whose indictments it has kept secret. PM

ROMANIAN MINERS' LEADER RECEIVES LIGHT SENTENCE

Miron Cozma, the leader of miners whose rampage in Bucharest in September 1991 caused the downfall of Petre Roman's government, has been sentenced by a Bucharest court to 18 months in prison. The judges changed the charge from undermining state authority, which carries a sentence of between 5 and 15 years, to the less serious offense of illegal possession of arms. Cozma has been in custody since January 1997, which means he will be released in 25 days, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported on 12 June. Both Cozma's lawyers and the Prosecutor-General's Office said they are appealing the sentence. MS

ROMANIAN DEPUTY ADMITS TO HAVING BEEN SECURITATE INFORMER

Adrian Vilau, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies commission on supervising the activity of the Foreign Information Service, has admitted to having been an informer of the communist secret police. The admission was made on 14 June, after a journalist submitted evidence to Vilau's Democratic Party, which subsequently decided to withdraw its backing of Vilau as commission chairman. In other news, the Democrats on 14 June said the main purpose of their recent meeting with the opposition Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) was to coordinate policies in the parliament on restructuring, saying that the meeting was "overly publicized" by the PDSR. The Democrats said collaboration with the PDSR in local or general elections is not "on the agenda". Two days earlier, PDSR chairman Ion Iliescu had said that the two parties have a common past and a common Social Democratic orientation. MS

MOLDOVAN COALITION CRISIS RESOLVED

Premier Ion Ciubuc and the leaders of the Democratic Convention of Moldova (CDM) and the Party of Democratic Forces (PFD) have reached an agreement over the distribution of the posts of deputy minister and director-general of ministries. Both sides said the agreement was a "compromise." CDM co-chairman Mircea Snegur told journalists that the CDM and the PFD agreed to renounce the "exact implementation" of the coalition agreement. Ciubuc, for his part, pointed out that in the current cabinet, 57 percent of the ministers, deputy ministers, and directors-general are new, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported on 12 June. MS




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.


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