WANTING OUT, WANTING IN… A
town in northwest Russia has forwarded to President Yeltsin a petition seeking authority to hold a referendum on annexing itself to Estonia, to which it had belonged between the wars. The town’s population is now entirely Russian, but given conditions in Russia, Estonia has its attractions. Maybe (as the old joke goes) they want no more of those Russian winters. Kaliningrad, the long-ago Koenigsberg on the Baltic Sea, is a Russian exclave, with Lithuania intervening between it and the Russian Federation. Vladimir Shumeiko, a former chairman of Russia’s Federation Council and now a candidate for governor of Kaliningrad, wants to elevate the region (oblast) to a “Russian Baltic Republic,” to “buttress Russia’s western border” and prevent “hotheads” in Lithuania from entertaining ideas of expanding their influence. Tax breaks would also help, he says…. In Kyiv, Ukraine, the “Ukrainian Union for Revival of the USSR” (UURUSSR?) held its founding congress on July 18. Delegations from 18 Ukrainian regions attended and called for “restoration of a Ukrainian soviet socialist state … which would join with other Soviet republics in a renewed USSR.” Although a Ukrainian Communist led the meeting, it was not clear whether Ukraine’s powerful Communist Party formally backs this idea.