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DUMA DEPUTY SAYS KYIV MUST ACCEPT RUSSIA'S PROPERTY CLAIMS BEFORE OBTAINING DEBT RELIEF. Sergei Shishkarev, the deputy chairman of the Duma International Relations Committee, told ITAR-TASS on 11 March that Ukraine can only secure the restructuring of its debts to the Paris Club after recognizing Russia's right to all Soviet property abroad. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia assumed all former Soviet debts in return for acknowledgement by nonRussian republics of Russia's ownership of Soviet property abroad, but despite that accord, Shishkarev said, Ukraine has continued to make claims on some of that property. PG
...CONFIDENT GUUAM WILL SURVIVE. Georgian Foreign Ministry spokesman Napetvaridze told journalists in Tbilisi on 9 March that the GUUAM alignment will survive even if one of its five members (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) should quit the grouping, Interfax reported. He said Georgian officials prefer to refrain at present from predicting whether Moldova, following the Communist victory in the 25 February Moldovan parliamentary elections, might leave GUUAM. He said other countries have expressed an interest in joining that alignment but declined to name them. LF
'UKRAINE WITHOUT KUCHMA' DEMONSTRATORS CLASH WITH POLICE. According to international media, from 5,000 to 10,000 people demonstrated against President Leonid Kuchma at the presidential administration building in Kyiv on 9 March, staging the largest anti-presidential rally in the "Ukraine Without Kuchma" series. An official police report said 4,000 people participated in the rally. The protest escalated into serious violence, with people hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers. Police accused the radical nationalist Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self-Defense of provoking clashes, while the organization said the clashes were caused by the authorities, who allegedly planted provocateurs with Molotov cocktails into the crowd. Police detained 217 participants in the rally. JM
KUCHMA COMPARES ANTI-PRESIDENTIAL OPPONENTS TO 'BROWN PLAGUE.' Kuchma on 10 March said tolerating the activities of radical nationalists within the ranks of his opponents is similar to the 1938 Munich agreement accepting Hitler's expansionist policies before the outbreak of World War II, Reuters reported. "Let people see with their own eyes the signs of just such a brown plague that could just develop in Ukraine given a situation of this sort. We should be careful, as things start from small beginnings," he noted. And in last week's interview with the German magazine "Focus," the Ukrainian president said people take to the streets in Ukraine for money. "Just look at this circus with the demonstrations. People have been paid to take part. For many students it's a real business," AP quoted him as saying in the interview. JM
NEW ANTI-KUCHMA COMMITTEE EMERGES IN UKRAINE. An AllUkrainian Public Resistance Committee "For the Truth!" was founded in Kyiv on 9 March. Interfax reported that the initiators of the committee included leaders of the student hunger strikes on Kyiv's Independence Square in 1990. "[Our main goal] is not simply to replace one president with another, but to fully reconstruct the entire system of political, economic, and social relations in Ukraine," the agency quoted Volodymyr Chemerys from the committee's leadership as saying. Chemerys was hospitalized on 11 March with a diagnosis of a brain concussion suffered in the 9 March clashes at the presidential administration building. JM
POLISH BISHOP SAYS PUBLICITY AROUND JEWISH POGROM IS 'PROVOCATION.' During a holy mass celebrated on 11 March in Jedwabne, Bishop Stanislaw Stefanek acknowledged that "our brothers of Jewish nationality" were burnt alive in Jedwabne in 1941 (see "RFE/RL Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine Report," 6 March 2001), Polish Radio reported. He added, however, that today no one would dare to accuse all the inhabitants of Berlin or Moscow of the evils perpetrated by the communist and fascist systems. According to Stefanek, "the biased publicity surrounding the Jewish pogrom at Jedwabne is a well-prepared provocation." He added: "Jedwabne is at the center of a tornado, which according to its organizers' intentions, is to whip up a new spiral of hatred." JM
Gleb Olegovich Pavlovskii celebrated his 50th birthday last week -- smack in the middle of a political controversy, a not uncommon situation for him over the past decade. Born in Odessa in 1951, he spent his childhood and adolescence in Ukraine. In 1973, he completed his history studies at the university there, where he was a dissident who distributed "samizdat." After university, he taught history to schoolchildren for three years, and then worked for six years as a carpenter, according to "Kto est kto" of September 1997. He then spent three years in internal exile in the republic of Komi. However, it might not be completely accurate to consider Pavlovskii one of the last human rights martyrs of the late Soviet period. Human rights activist Yelena Bonner reportedly once said of Pavlovskii: "I knew Pavlovskii for what he was back in 1980 or 1981 when he gave evidence against Sergei Adamovich Kovalev's son to the KGB," "Moskovskii komsomolets" reported on 2 March,
With the advent of "perestroika," Pavlovskii was able to reinvent himself, becoming in 1987 deputy chief editor of the journal "Vek XX i mir" and from December 1993 he was its chief editor. He also was a co-founder of the journal "Sreda" and served as chairman of the board of directors of the Postfactum agency. Pavlovskii first entered national politics as a Yeltsin supporter, organizing one of the first demonstrations in support of Yeltsin in May 1989. However, during Yeltsin's battle with the parliament in 1993, Pavlovskii appeared to turn against Yeltsin and actively criticized the government's actions against free speech such as the closing of the newspaper "Rossiiskaya gazeta" and pulling off the air of Aleksandr Lyubimov's television program.
Pavlovskii apparently later changed his mind about Yeltsin, becoming a campaign advisor for him in 1996. Pavlovskii also later changed his mind about press freedom, writing on his website, strana.ru, last fall, that press freedom has become a tool for the degradation and destruction of society and that recent moves against MediaMOST head Vladimir Gusinskii and Boris Berezovskii have limited the danger that these oligarchs represent, but has not precluded the possible "takeover of their holdings" by foreigners with their own political agendas (see "RFE/RL Security Watch," 2 October 2000).
With the 1999 Duma campaign and subsequent presidential campaign, Pavlovskii gained an even higher profile than he had as the alleged architect of Yeltsin's 1996 victory. Pavlovskii has widely been credited for being behind the creation of the Unity party; some sources even claim Yeltsin's "early retirement" was Pavlovskii's idea. Since Putin was elected president, Pavlovskii has had an increasingly higher profile, holding frequent interviews with mass media on a variety of issues, and frequently presenting what he claims is the Kremlin point of view.
Pavlovskii's favorite methods include "provocations," starting with the one that gained him notoriety in 1994 when he was revealed to be the author of "Theory No. 1" in "Obshchaya gazeta." That article professed to be a transcript of a conversation between Oleg Soskovets, Viktor Chernomyrdin, and Yurii Luzhkov planning the overthrow of the government. Criminal proceedings on suspicion of fomenting a destabilization of a society were launched against Pavlovskii, but were later dropped. More recently, he is suspected of being behind the website www.lujkov.ru, on which compromising material about Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov was placed during the lead-up to the 1999 Duma elections. Certainly, Pavlovskii made no secret of his distaste for Luzhkov, telling "Sobesednik" in July of 1999 that Luzhkov would make a "weak and cruel" president. "Moskovskii komsomolets," which is close to Luzhkov, has been a continuing source of negative articles and information about Pavlovskii.
Last November, Pavlovskii charged that a new political attack on President Putin had been launched. Leading the attack, according to Pavlovskii, were three governors with the assistance of NTV, Media-MOST organs, and other news organizations, such as "Moskovskii komsomolets." Their aim was reportedly to provoke a government crisis, the revision of the constitution, and a purge of the presidential administration. Now, as it appears that Russia may truly be on the verge of a government crisis, fingers may start to point back at Pavlovskii. JAC