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 Issue No. 175. - May 25, 2000.
    Contents :
       By Stefan Petrov
2. Bosnia and Hercegovina: COUNTRY WITH SEVEREL ARMIES
       By Radenko Udovicic
       By Peter Mikes
5. Special addition : NEW AT TOL       

    By Stefan Petrov
    There are moments in history as much dramatic as long the
tensions was kept rising underground. This spring it looks that
the time for truth at last has come for the corruption in
Bulgaria. The corruption debate which boiled for the last 3 years
form a rumors to no-confidence motion in the Parliament in fact
paralised the Government and the ruling party - Union of
Democratic Forces. And even more than this - Bulgaria is entering
a deep and potentially permanent crisis of its political class.
Forget about the reforms, we a talking not about the state but
rather about model and ethics crisis.
    It all started as something usual in politics - former
minister started to speak openly (but still without clear facts)
about corruption in Government, "friend circles" of the Prime
Minister, anti-Mafia investigations that ended in the hands of the
suspects, not in the court... And it's more painful and scandalous
because this head-storm was unleashed by the former Minister of
Interior - a young police general with access to a huge amount of
classified information, with strong experience in dealing (and
manipulating) with media, a man, removed last December from the
Government without clear explanation why and at the highest
possible rate of approval in society (about 56%).
    In mid-April in a long series of interviews in every possible
media Gen. Bogomil Bonev accused the Prime Minister Ivan Kostov
that the last ordered him not to mess with the economy and to look
for his job in keeping the public order. "How can I keep the order
and fight corruption and economic crimes without investigating
privatisation deals, financial transactions and dubious quick well
being of the high officials?" Bonev asked. He was smart enough not
to mention names, but to leave to the public to fill the blank
spaces with the names of former Deputy Prime Ministers, chiefs of
the privatisation agencies, directors of big state-owned companies
that went in their hands for a few dollars... Second attack
followed in mid-May when gen. Ciryl Radev was dismissed as a head
of the National service for fighting organised crime. He was quick
to give interviews with new accusations, eventually backed by good
amount of folders in his closet.
    This conflict went for weeks and it's more awful that it's
based only on suggestions - people suspect that Bonev knows, but
to what extend? He ruled Ministry of interior with authoritarian
strong hand and channeled whole available information to his desk.
Even worst for the UDF he was no party member and without any
obligation to stay silent in the name of party interest. "I didn't
sign any "omerta", Bonev said.
    At the same time he has a notorious reputation of professional
cop and political mercenary. "That's why Bonev is not in the team
- because he is easy to shift from one camp to another", responds
Kostov, speaking about "dirty campaign with a "dark business" -
maybe Russian Mafia? - background. It's time to stop cops from
taking political decisions, analysts reacted. And noted that still
there is no law for Bulgarian secret services defining who
collects what and reports to whom under who's supervision...
    But it was too late - this "Titanic" was already heading full
steam to its iceberg.
    UDF and its government disastrously lost in only 36 months the
two pillars of its rule - confidence (" we will never give you
up") and honesty ("we are working for people, not for party
interest"). When UDF took the power in 1997 its "contract" with
society was to reform Bulgaria and to do it openly and honorably.
The public support at that time was so high and just introduced
currency board was a guarantee for financial stability that it
looked that the Government has only to do its job properly. Three
years later people live as much poor, the tension is in the air
and they seemed to be ready to take to the streets again.
    Kostov's aproval this May is 26% while three years ago it was
51%, the recent BBSS Gallup poll showed. The same numbres for
other leading politicians: President Petar Stoyanov - 57% (85%),
Sofia mayor Stefan Sofiansky - 48% (78%) , Parliament majority
leader Ekaterina Michailova 19% (n/a), leader of the main
opposition party BSP Georgy Parvanov 19% (20%). The "Bonev
scandal" not only ruined politicians rates. It destroyed a number
of myths about the UDF and Ivan Kostov that until now kept his
opponents at a distance, "Capital" weekly wrote:
    - "Administration is not corrupt!" - no, most of Bulgarians
believe it is, because they are facing it every day. If the
formally independent court system is not reacting it's partly
because it's waiting in vain for a political signal to storm.
Kostov himself was schizophrenic in reaction - from "there is no
corruption" to "Of course there is - it's normal for this region".
    - "Kostov controls his party!" - no, after loss on local
elections last autumn, Government reshuffle and party congress he
lost control over at least one third, including Sofia party branch
with over 25% of UDF members. At this spring congress Kostov
looked more like Michail Gorbachov in Perestroyka years - bold and
(almost) open words and appeal for change at the microphone and a
cold silence reception among the delegates. Now UDF is in state of
brutal internal fighting and lobbying.
    - "There is "omerta" in the Government!" - no, and Bonev is
perfect example. Kostov missed a chance in December when during
the Government reshuffling he didn't offered even one motive for
dismissing 10 of 16 ministers. Now his silence than is coming back
as a boomerang.
    - "Kostov is clean as a saint!" - no, we've heard the same for
former communist dictator Todor Zhivkov too. Prime minister has a
huge amount of information on his desk and now in the media there
is an avalanche of accusations for dubious links between his
family and a close circle of businessmen which are prospering
using his name and -maybe - his blessing.
    - "After first storm everything will come down!" - no, it
won't. Kostov's weak side is that he prefers to deal with the
symptoms not with real reasons and while he spent time to analyse
the enemy, the character of the attack and it's aims  his internal
enemies control UDF entries against  young and bright newcomers
and collected their private armies for decisive final battle.
    - "Everyone bears his responsibility!" - no, his opponents in
the party are throwing him to the lions and he is to blame himself
because Kostov created an image as "lonely rider". He didn't gave
a chance even to the newcomers to legitimate themselves and this
way to provide him with a crisis "buffer". He is becoming more and
more lonely and in short term every his act is a loosing game -
the front attack against internal opponents will split the party,
if he tries to deal "give me and I will give you too" UDF will
certainly lose next general elections. His last shelter is the UDF
Parliament group and last week deputies gave him full support
during no-confidence motion. But there is a tension here too and
the impression is that group's mood is "watching and waiting
silence" rather than "We are behind you". Eventually this reflects
the opponents tactics to force Kostov to play his cards first
before the final "death and life" battle.
    Battle for what? Well, at the end it's a battle for the hearts
and minds of the public, because Kostov's opponents (their
popularuty is about 3-9%) know very well that UDF is the only
party machine that can win elections in Bulgaria. They want the
ship without her captain.
    But be aware - the similarity with the events of 1997 is only
casual. Than there was a pure form of state crisis because the
ruling former communists created a parallel "shadow" economy, an
invisible "Mafia style" net of distributing state resources for
personal wealth, a clear dismemberment of state institutions and
economy integrity of the state. Now we have rather different
situation - the state is kept intact and big because this is the
perfect corruption environment, this is the place where the
exchange "power for money" is going on. Out of state structure
corruption is disappearing, because there is nothing to be
    That's why this is not a crisis, because every crisis has its
dynamics and end. Kostov may end not in crisis - at it looks for
now - but in permanent lack of  public confidence. At the same
time it looks that there is no alternative to UDF rule. This is
what corruption needs - long-term reproduction of a
"no-alternative" mode where people a starting to live with it.
It's very dangerous trend - ordinary people are not against
corruption but against its enormous dimension. "I' giving money
because I can't get through another way, I'm taking bribes because
I can't live with 100 DM salary". But these people see Government
advisors or state prosecutors with 600 DM salaries parking
personal BMW or Jeep infront their fashionable homes and can't
accept it as normal.
    And this is the biggest threat - corruption is becoming the
mainstream business of political class and the state power is the
only field where one can reach prosperity. Selling and buying of
power is going on on a small level in state institutions. But the
big deals are made in party headquarters with local and foreign
anonymous "contribution" money. This was called by a famous
analyst "a tapeworm with party brain and state suckers".
    Here we are talking about irresponsible administration,
product of the 10 years long system of proportional party-list not
personal based elections. In reality the power in Parliament and
Government is party not people-blessed. The real civic control
over Parliament and administration is coming from the party
headquarters, not from the electorate. You don't have a real tool
to force your representative from the Parliament, the party
decides his fate. This creates an "greenhouse environment" where
parties and media are financed in dubious and maybe criminal way.
The only directly elect official in the country - and this way
directly responsible to the public - is the President. But - no
surprise - his role is ceremonial.

Bosnia and Hercegovina : COUNTRY WITH SEVEREL ARMIES
    By Radenko Udovicic
    On 12th of May the USA suspended all means of help for
Croatian army formations in the joint Federation Army. Reason for
it, as was explained, is that Croatian authorities refuse to
accept decisions that are necessary for full integration into
Federation Army, and were proscribed by the Dayton Accord and
Federal Defence Law. There was also said that, were Croatian side
to continue obstruction of integration, the US would apply
additional sanctions. Sources near American embassy in Sarajevo
say that additional sanctions mean various political pressure
against Croatian military and political component in Bosnia and
Hercegovina, even removal from office of the current Federation
defence minister Miroslav Prce, a Croat.
    This news again put military issues, that have been latent
problem of post-war Bosnia and Hercegovina, into spotlight. Dayton
Bosnia and Hercegovina is a unique state form, composed of two
entities tied in a confederation, but with no possibility of
eventual secession without the consent of all three constitutional
B-H nations. The fact that there are two armies in a country
greatly diminished its statehood. However, such situation is the
result of a bloody war and impossibility of creating a joint army
from recently fighting armies. But there are also urgent
military-political problems within Federation B-H itself. Present
Army of the Federation B-H has been founded by joining mostly
Bosniak Army B-H with Croatian Defence Council (HVO), which is
exclusively a Bosnian Croat army. The process of integrating these
two components started just after the war, but has been
significantly burdened by the one and a half - year long war
between Bosniaks and Croats.
    Scepticism bred by war has been huge, and also political
government of those two nations didn't show any wish to compromise
and act together. However, mostly thanks to pressure from the
international community, with time joint Federation Army was
created, but only on high level. At the time of meeting in Dayton,
when peaceful agreement for Bosnia and Hercegovina was being
created, it was established for the Federation Army to be joint
only on the level of general staff, that is joint command. Two
years ago Bosniak general Rasim Delic was elected commander of the
Federation Army while position of defence minister was given to a
Croat - Miroslav Prce. However, while position of defence minister
was given to a Croat - Miroslav Prce. However, besides ethnically
mixed high command, lower military ranks remained ethnic-based, so
that there is still HVO in parts with Croatian majority, and where
Bosniaks form a majority is B-H Army. The problem between Croatian
component of the Federation Army and USA began when Americans
asked for this army to integrate also on the lower level. Miroslav
Prce and also all other important Croatian military and civil
leaders declined it. Yet, in the meantime, due to pressure from
the international community, the Law on Defence of B-H Federation
was passed. It provided for unique army on all levels, but its
provisions are general and susceptible to different readings. Prce
has already stated that additional integration is legally
possible, but only to an extent that is needed and in the way on
which two sides reach an agreement. Minister of defence also
stressed that he, despite possible forced resignation, will never
agree to a full integration of the Federation Army. Explaining his
rejection, Prce said that concept of two armies in one country is
not possible, especially since NATO conditioned entrance of Bosnia
and Herzegovina into "Partnership for Peace" program with creating
a joint army in the country. "It is useless to create one army in
the Federation, and leave the other alone in the Serb Republic"
- said Prce. He added that what everybody should either centre
upon creating unique army for the whole Bosnia and Hercegovina so
that it can enter NATO or convince NATO to accept the fact that it
should treat three different armies in Bosnia and Hercegovina on
an equal footing. So, Prce has a double standpoint - either one or
three armies. On the other hand, military representatives of the
Serbian Republic have many times insisted upon full independence
of the Army of the Serb Republic, without any ingerentions from the
federal side. Even deputy defence minister of the Serb Republic
Slobodan Jelicic, who has recently visited NATO headquarters in
Brussels, asked for independent admittance of the Serb Republic
Army into "Partnership for Peace". That was rejected, but Serbian
refusal to any joint army came into light. Bosniak side has, it
seems, the attitude that is most compatible with the international
community. Its representatives are in favour of creating unique
Federation Army on all levels and certain amount of integration
with the RS Army afterwards. Such co-operative attitude from the
Bosniak side is interpreted by Croats as Bosniak wish to dominate
the army, since there are twice as many Bosniaks as Croats in the
Federation. Both armies in B-H (or, better put, all three of them)
are facing big financing difficulties. Especially difficult is the
situation in Federation B-H where, until recently, each of the two
components of the Federation Arm had separate financing. There was
not enough budget so that HVO also got 160 million DEM from
Republic of Croatia. However, with the change of government in
Croatia, came redefining of the foreign policy of the country. As
a result, Croatia has cut down its financing for HVO for as much
as 60 per cent. Following the recent agreement between defence
ministries of Federation B-H and Croatia, it was agreed that
Croatia would help Croatian component of the Federation Army with
75 million DEM a year, but in a transparent way so that it is
clear who sent the money and how it was spent in B-H. Also B-H
Army had non-transparent financing which was coming from certain
Islamic countries and so-called black funds within Bosnia and
Herzegovina itself. Current defence budget of the F ederation is
900 million DEM. According to Prce, in order for Federation Army
to be normally financed, it needs as much as billion DEM every
year. For all of these reasons, there is an ongoing process of
cutting down in size of armies in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Already
last year both armies were cut down for 15 per cent each. Once
Bosniak side conditioned this cut with similar moves of FR
Yugoslavia and Croatia, but difficult economic situation and delay
of military wages of several months have persuaded Bosniak leaders
to accept it. These days starts another cut in army and military
potentials for additional 15 per cent. International community
strongly supports this cutbacks since it considers that
demilitarisation of the Balkans is its long-term interest.
However, in order to prevent social disruptions caused by cutting
armies by 30 per cent, at sponsors' conference of the Stability
Pact for South-Eastern Europe in Brussels a sum of 26 million
Euros was approved. The money will serve for readjustment and
employment of those disbanded from the army. Money can be spent
strictly on that purpose and will be given to projects the a im of
which is to start various ventures, private firms and re-education
of former military men. B-H authorities think this money should
also be spent in buying new apartments for soldiers, since many of
them can be thrown out of their apartments due to return of
refugees. The issue of finding new accommodations for discharged
soldiers is especially important in Federation, where army is
professional. On the other hand, the army in the Serb Republic
is made out of recruits, so that only their number will be cut
down. Special characteristics of the military development in the
Federation is American program of military aid called "Equip and
Train". It was established just after the war since Americans
wanted to improve technical level of Federation Army in peace and
thus equalise it with more formidable Army of the Serb
Republic, which had powerful armament mostly received from
Yugoslavia, together with experienced officers from the former
Yugoslav national army. A billion and 300 million dollars were
allocated for program of training and equipping.
    During last year 320 million dollars were spent, but it was
mostly inadequate, says minister Prce. Here are two characteristic
minister's observations on why the program succeeded only to a
certain extent. As he claims, the Federation Army got tanks from
four various countries. They are quality machines, but they mean
four different types of maintenance, so four different types of
maintenance experts need to be educated. Also, during the program
Army got American howitzers, but with insufficient number of
grenades, so that the federal army would use all of its ammo in a
day or two in case of war. If we add the fact that some Islamic
countries what also participated in the program sent weapons that
were not in working conditions, we may reach a conclusion that the
program didn't finally succeed. On the other hand, "Train and
Equip" program had very negative political consequences on
inter-ethnic relations in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Serbs have
constantly protested against arming and training only one army. It
used this fact to point at American bias in the Bosnian crisis and
often rejected any kind of military co-operation on the grounds of
it. At this moment, there are 50,000 soldiers in military forces
in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Out of that number, 20 thousand is in
the Serb Republic and 30 thousand in the Federation. According to
Miroslav Prce, Bosnia and Herzegovina should objectively have no
more than 25,000 soldiers, like, for example, much more developed
Slovenia. "I think time of war between Croatia, Bosnia and
Hercegovina and Yugoslavia is over and that we must strive towards
demilitarisation" - said Prce recently in a TV show. Although such
statement could sound bold at the time when status of Kosovo, or
Montenegro, is still not worked out, minister's line of thought
could be reasonable. Bosnia and Herzegovina became a member of the
Stability Pact in which all countries in the region accepted to
co-operate and make economic and cultural ties. There is NATO as
umbrella over the Pact, and it has already shown its will to react
against those who reject the principles of co-operation. Still,
the biggest Slav Balkans' country - Yugoslavia - is not member of
the Pact. But most analysts think that soon its regime will be
changed and that present Yugoslav opposition will fit into Western
line of thought. But, even if it weren't so, there is no direct
danger from Yugoslavia, that is Serbia, to Bosnia and Hercegovina.
First, there are 20,000 NATO troops stationed in Bosnia, and
second regime in Belgrade, interested in its own problems, loses
any aspirations towards B-H. It is maybe too early to say about
big demilitarisation in the Balkans, but international influence
which can be deeply felt here can give some ground for that idea,
which seemed impossible two or three years ago.
    By Peter Mikes
    Slovak goverment has once more problems in foreign policy,
once regarded as the  most succesfull field of its work. A week
ago, the Financial Times quoted that the USA had sent a letter to
the members of Organisation for Economical Cooperation and
Development (OECD) to reconsider the application of Slovakia to
became member of OECD in June 2000. Officially, in that letter USA
authorities argued, that membership in OECD may cause Slovakia
more  problems than advantagees- like it was the case with Czech
    Unofficially, behind the scenes is known, that the USA are
scared by the slowing progress of Slovak economical transformation
which is only one of the signs, that in Slovakia strenghtens
position of leftist parties, especially the Party of
Democratical left (SDL) The head of SDL Jozef Migas, who is also
the head of Slovak parliament voted once month ago in favor of
resignation of Mikulas Dzurinda, Slovak prime minister. The
proposal, which came from oppositional Movement for Democratic
Slovakia {HZDS} of Vladimir Meciar failed, but Migas' s voting
only began the pressure of SDL on Dzurinda' s goverment. The head
of SDL required a reconstruction of the goverment and said thta
his party will not  be a part of the Dzurinda' s goverment if the
reconstruction isn't be deep  enough.  How much is deep enough
Migas didn't say, but political analysts think that deep enough
would be for Migas only in case, that he would change Mikulas
Dzurinda in the position of prime minister. The political
discussion about changes in Slovak goverment between SDL and
Dzurinda are in progress and should end at the end of May.  The
possible wish of Migas to became prime minister could be a
beginning of larger cooperation with HZDS also on govermental
basis- Migas never openly rejected such possibility.
    Interesting are the activities of Migas also against the
members of his own  party.  As a member of the leftist wing of the
party he has tried many times tried to rip out from the
govermental positions also the mebers of SDL, among them also the
Ministry of Financies, Brigita Schmognerova . She is one of the
mebers of  right wing in SDL. Ironically, the activities of USA to
oppose the mebership of Slovakia in OECD could help HZDS, which is
very friendly supportive to Migas' s antigovermental activities..
Prime minister took upon himself to get Slovakia into OECD.
Dzurinda argued, that Slovakia could not became a  member as Czech
Republic, Poland or Hungary already are,. because of the person of
prime minister Meciar. If Slovakia would not became a member now,
Meciar and HZDS can say Dzurinda lied and show to the public, that
Dzurinda' s goverment has no credit not only in foreign policy.
 How serious the whole issue is can be documented on the fact,
that the day after  he article in Financial Times appeared, deputy
prime minister Ivan Miklos flied to Washington and tried to
persuate the USA-authorities to change  their oppinion. After he
returned to Slovakia on Friday a week ago, Mikols said to the
presss that his trip was succesfull, "but everything remains open
and Slovakia  has to begin an diplomatic offensive to get the
memebership in June 2000". The  diplomatic offensive began on
Tuesday this week  not very succesfull- the  slovak president
Rudolf Schuster had to once more again sign the letters to the
heads of 29 presidents of OECD member countries. The first version
of  asking for support for Slovakia, which Schuster received from
the Ministry of Foreign affairs contained gramatical mistakes...

    Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe - IDEE, Washington
(sponsor of NIJ weekly service ) attach an appeal from Civic
Initiatives and the European Movement for Serbia to condemn the
recent adoption of a so-called anti-terrorism bill in Serbia. This
type of law is familiar to everyone as a vehicle for cracking down
on democratic movements. Already, the Milosevic regime has stepped
up its use of violence and repression against independent media
and civic and political activists. IDEE asks you to send:
    1) A Message of Support to NGOs and the broad civic community
in Serbia which is fighting for democratic values. On June 9-11,
Civic Initiatives will be organizing a 2nd nationwide meeting of
NGOs, where up to 150 organizations will take part. Before then,
NGOs will be taking a leading role in opposing repression. Your
messages of support will demonstrate to the civic community that
they are not alone. Please send messages to:

    Miljenko Dereta, Director, Civic Initiatives
    Jelica Minic, General Secretary, European Movement of Serbia
    c/o Civic Iniatives
    Fax: (381-11) 323-1525 or 334-3294
    Email: civin@EUnet.yu and emins@EUnet.yu
    Emails are welcome but faxes of formal letters on an
organization's stationary is also requested so that they may be
reprinted for all participants in the national meeting.

    2) A Message of Protest demanding immediate repeal of the
so-called anti-terrorist law and a cessation of the regime's
terror tactics against the civic and political opposition in
Serbia to the following individuals:

      Slobodan Milosevic
      President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
      Belgrade, Yugoslavia
      Fax: (381-11) 222-1170
      Tel: (381-11) 222-4240

      Milan Milutinovic
      President of Serbia
      Belgrade, Yugoslavia
      Fax: (381-11) 657-379
      Tel: (381-11) 683-166

      Vlajko Stojilkovic
      Minister of the Interior
      Tel.: (381-11) 685-157
      Fax: (381-11) 683-041

      We also ask - as possible - to encourage members of
parliament and relevant members of the government to express
directly their strong opposition to Serbia's new repressive
measures to the leaders of the regime listed above. Please send
all copies of letters to Civic Initiatives at the fax numbers or
email address above, as well as by email or fax to IDEE (Fax:
202-466-7140 and Email:
      Thank you for your participation in this campaign. Our
friends in Serbia need your support.


      The Serbian regime has recently introduced the word
toerrorism to qualify the activities of the opposition, NGOs, and
especially the student movement Otpor (Resistance). A new law
against terrorism has been adopted. It will give more authority to
the police in "settling accounts" with all parts of the
opposition. We wish to stress that all activities of opposition
parties, NGOs, and Otpor have been non-violent, demanding only
that free and fair elections be held. Giving support to the
Belgrade regime's "fight against terrorism" would mean giving
support to Slobodan Milosevic to increase repression against
pro-democratic forces in Serbia. We call upon all those concerned
with the struggle for democracy to condemn the new anti-terrorism
law in Serbia.


  Miljenko Dereta                     Jelica Minic

  Executive Director                  General Secretary
  Civic Initiatives                   European Movement of Serbia

Special addition : NEW AT TOL
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Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. If you aren't already a
member, fill out our registration form at to receive your free
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still available at
FEATURE: How Much Does A Life Cost?
    by Russell Working
    Mongolia, the first and last Soviet satellite, has recently
embarked on a journey to tally the human toll of communism and pay
millions in reparations to families who suffered under the
previous regime. At the helm of the project are the country's
democratic forces; in opposition is the renamed Communist Party,
which refuses to apologize for its crimes, claiming that party
members were the real victims and the Russians to blame.
 FEATURE: Putin's Riddle
    by Roy Medvedev
    He's not so sinister, really. Whether he's driving a tractor
with farmers, nose-diving in a military jet, or delving into the
depths in a submarine, Vladimir Putin is a decisive, rational, and
hands-on president, and you won't find him passed out on the
conference table. What's more, as renowned historian Roy Medvedev
explains, he always follows through on his promises. An excerpt
from Medvedev's latest book "Putin's Riddle" explores the man
behind the Kremlin walls. Accompanying this article is a sidebar
by Robert J. Brym and Larissa Kosova dissecting the recent results
of polls that show what Russians think of Putin and why
MEDIA: Making Waves
    by Valentinas Mite
    To Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, a small
independent radio station broadcasting from Lithuania is
inflammatory propaganda aimed at destabilizing his country. To the
founders of Radio Baltic Waves, the station has much less sinister
goals -- to offer Belarusian citizens a taste of independent news
and reach the Belarusian minority within Lithuania. The station
has been a thorny issue for a Lithuanian government caught between
supporting the Belarusian democratic opposition and maintaining
good relations with its neighbor. To accompany this article Alex
Kudrycki discusses the balancing act of maintaining good
Belarusian-Lithuanian relations

    ITOW: With Youth on Their Side
    Serbia has reached the boiling point as Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic stepped up his campaign of repression against
independent media. Major protests -- some brutally suppressed by
police -- have taken place throughout the country, most notably
with some 30,000 people gathering in Belgrade on 17 May. At the
center of the protests is Otpor! (Resistance), a student movement
formed in October 1998, committed to non-violence and political
independence. Excerpted here is a speech made by an Otpor!
activist at a 15 May opposition rally.
    The following article is one of TOL's Annual Surveys for 1999:
exclusive overviews of individual countries in the region written
for TOL by top local and Western analysts and edited by regional
specialist Professor Peter Rutland of Wesleyan University. These
valuable resources follow the fine tradition established by the
OMRI/East-West Institute Annual Surveys. Both sets of reports, old
and new, can be found in our expanded Country Files
<> along with links and maps for the
27 countries in the post-communist world.
Slovenia 1999: Soccer as the Road to the West
    by Ali Zerdin
    It wasn't scandals, failed reforms, and political unrest that
marked Slovenia in 1999 -- it was soccer as the country qualified
for the European championships in 2000. And once the ball started
rolling, the country's international image grabbed on to the
momentum. U.S. President Bill Clinton and the Pope heralded
Slovenia as a stable part of Europe and a good example for others.
    compiled by our correspondents throughout the region
    Belgrade's last independent broadcast media closed down ...
Bulgaria cuts down conscription for students ... Homeless dogs
take a bite out of Skopje citizens ... Butt out! Belarus warns
Clinton ... Prominent Polish writer dies at 72 ... Dances with
bulls in Estonia ... Putin militarizes Russia with National Guard
... Kasyanov voted in as Russia's new prime minister ... Thousands
protest Media-MOST raid by Russian security forces ... Amnesty for
120,000 inmates in Russia's overcrowded, disease-ridden prisons
... Demarcation line monitored between Azerbaijan and
Nagorno-Karabakh ... Tajik official gunned down.