Soviets Decree Emergency in Restive Area
The Soviet Union declared a state of emergency and a curfew today in the restive Abkhazi region of the southern republic of Georgia and evacuated thousands of tourists from the area’s Black Sea resort of Sukhumi.
Clashes erupted Saturday over minority Abkhazi resistance to the opening of a branch of a Georgian university in Sukhumi, leaving 16 people dead and 127 injured. The unrest disrupted traffic and cut off the airport.
Under the state of emergency, the Communist Party and local government remain in control but Soviet Interior Ministry troops enforcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew may detain people and confiscate weapons, the report said.
Tass said 3,000 special troops have been airlifted into Abkhazia, and Soviet newspapers portrayed a situation out of control in which soldiers had been attacked. The report said four militiamen and as many Interior Ministry troops were injured while trying to stop clashes.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for striking miners in western Siberia said today that the workers will not end their crippling weeklong strike despite a pledge by Politburo member Nikolai N. Slyunkov to increase food and consumer supplies.
The work stoppage in the Kuznetsk Basin in western Siberia has spread to the nation’s largest coal mining region, the Donetsk Coal Basin in the Ukraine.
Slyunkov flew to the Kuznetsk Basin and met with the strikers Monday night and today in an effort to resolve the walkout by more than 112,000 miners there.
Slyunkov addressed 30,000 people at midday in the main square of Prokopievsk, 2,100 miles east of Moscow.
Valery Legachev, a spokesman for the regional strike committee in Siberia, said Slyunkov promised to increase food and consumer supplies. But Legachev said miners there are continuing their walkout because Slyunkov was not specific.
The miners are also demanding greater economic autonomy from the Moscow-based Coal Mining Ministry.
In Moscow, the Supreme Soviet speeded up work on legislation on resolving labor conflicts.