CHANGES IN EASTERN EUROPE CREATE UPHEAVAL IN SOVIET FRONT GROUPS (W/ATTACHMENTS

Created: 3/7/1990

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1. Moscow's international front organizations, already beset by an array of financial and political problems, are now feeling the effects of last fall's dramatic changes in Eastern Europe. This paper discusses those effects and how Moscow is adjusting its international front groups to deal with these changes. I

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Changes in Eastern Europe Create Upheaval in Soviet Front Groups

Summary

Already beset by an array of financial and political problems, Moscow's front organizations are now feeling the effects of last fall's dramatic changes in Eastern Europe. Some of the new East European governments have taken' action against the Kremlin's fronts by disbanding their national front affiliates, withdrawing personnel, and cutting off financing and other support- Several of the fronts have also been discredited by the forced resignations of key East European front officials. The financial cuts are affecting the fronts unevenly, with those like the World Federation of Trade Unions and the Christian Peace Conference most dependent on East European support hit the hardest. With six of Moscow's ten major front organizations currently headquartered in Eastern Europe, however the situation likely will get worse. These developments will give Moscow added incentive to take stock of its traditional front apparatus and also reevaluate its three-year effort to introduce,reforms aimed at attracting mainstream Western groups.

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Affiliates Jump Ship

rapid political changes in Eastern Europe have disaffected the national affiliates that traditionally formed the backbone of the Soviet international front network.1 Several East European affiliates have already withdrawn from the world remier front and the orgarrizatton ^mtscTrvesfor tho entire Soviet front apparatus. The Czechoslovak Peace Committee dissolved last November, the East German Peace Council disbanded in January, and the Hungarian Peace Council suspended its nvembershlp in late February, according to press reports. enerally reliable source reports, moreover, that Poland intends to withdraw from the WPC, although Warsaw may reconsider if the front reforms itself by becoming more democratic and non-ideological. Other fronts, such as the World Federation of Trade Unionsill probably lose affiliate numbers as new independent trade unions arc formed in Eastern Europe.

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Czechoslovak trade union is already suriering aexecxionsto press reports, the Bulgarian trade unionstheir membership in

Leadership and Personnel Problems

Along with the dissolution or withdrawal of its affiliates, several of the fronts are also experiencing the discreditation and resignation of key East European-front officials and the withdrawal of staff members. FTU Bureau member and head of its East German trade Union affiliate, for example, was removed from his job after being arrested incharged with the illegal use of trade union funds. DuaanjuXfcoJ Secretary General of the International Organization Journalistsesigned in February fioiv^political reasons, according to pressUJiAi^QlriqtfQXhf president of the Christian Peace Conferenceas beeft discredited in Hungary because of his membership in the Hungarian Communist Party and links to the former Budapest government. In addition, reliable sources report that the Hungarian Peace Council withdrew its WPC secretary fromservediaison officer to the UN and other internationalthat Poland and East Germany were unable to fund the office and living expenses of their secretaries at the WPC headquarters in Helsinki.

1Seeomplete breakdown of Moscow's major international front organizations.

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Appendix 1

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Major International Front Org aniz ati on s

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Peace Council (WPC)

EvangoloB UoVha^o& (Greece)

ExecuuVa Sooretory: Ray Stewart (Naif Zealand)

Honorary ChcVrrtan: Romoeh Chondro (Indlo)

Federation of Trade Unions {WFTU)

Sondor Gosper (Hungary)

Kosignsd9

General Secretory: Ibr ohm Zakoria (Sudan)

Peace Conference (CPC)

O. Koroly Toth

(Hur>gory)

General Socretcry: Lubcmlr Hire(ovsky (Czochoelovakla)

Organization of Journalists (IOJ)

Gonoral: Quean Ulcak (CaecrrtiBiovaiaa) Resigned0

President:

Koarie Nordenstreng (Rntand)

Union of Stodante (IUS)

Joaef Skolo (CzecnosfovaUo)

Soerctory Ccne-cl: Gtorgio*CypniB)

1 (corrtlnued)

Major International Front Organizations

Headquarters

federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY)

ud op est

Wolid Motri (Lebanon)9

Socrotory General: Gyosgy Szobo (Hungary)

International Democratic rodwotton (WDF)

Berfln

Freda Brown (Australia)

General Secretory: Vacant

Association of Democratic(WK.)

Joe Nordmann franco)

General Secretary: Amor Bantoumi (Algerto)

Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW)

Jeon-Uorio Logoy franca)

SecretoryStanley Davison (Unfted Kingdom)

People's

Solidarity

Organization (AAPSO)

Uourod GhaloO (Egypt)

Secretory General: Nurl Ahd-al-Razzac,

Husayn (Iraq)

Financial

Facing economic problems of their own, the governments in Eastern Europe have begun to curtail their customary contributions to Soviet front organizations, f-

Financial cuts are affecting the frontsn their degree of reliance on East European support. [

Wore Problems Ahead

In our view, Moscow's front network will faco additional

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Moscow Faces Some Key Decisions

Moscow, in our view, is well positioned to weather the current upheaval. These developments will give Moscow added incentive to take stock of its traditional front apparatus and also reevaluate its three-year effort to introduce reforms aimed at attracting mainstream Western groups. Consequently, we expect the Kremlin will respond to the growing loss of support in Eastern Europe by relocating the more viable fronts, replacing others with newly established organizations, and completely closing down the least effective ones.2 Soviet organizations have already taken over many of the functions of the international fronts. For example:

o The dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and theof Gorbachev's policies in the West haveSoviet front affiliates to have direct access to This has greatly reduced Moscow's neednon-Communist groups to act as middlemenand influencing Westernraisonthe Kremlin's front gree Lenin. Sovietchairman Genriy^or^Qyik claims that the SPCits contacT^witlv!undred fold

o Moscow can now also relyew breed of frontones it influences but does not directly control and whose membership Itjfolcallv consists of professionals from East and West.

Soviets have tried to set up othergroups for lawyers and teachers like(

Despite theibscow exercises considerable influence over these new organizations. The idea for the creation of IALANA stemmed from an initiative of the International Association of

2 Seeiscussion of how several of the key fronts are facing change.

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Democratic Lawyers, Moscow's international front for Ihlll targeting the legal community.

o Moscow also has at its disposal several "fronts ofmaller offshoots of the old mainline organizations that are not widely known as Soviet-controlled fronts, to fill any gaps as it revamps its front apparatus. These groups traditionally have operatedow overhead, effectively getting the Soviet message out to the West while channelling money to sympathetic politica^sroups. or example, Moscow has usedntj-Trade..J* labor group^stablished"by'WFTU, to'provide training and funding to unions.

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Appendix 2 Fronts Meet to Restructure

After more than three years struggling with reform, the WPC in Februaryew leadership andajor restructuring, according to press reports. Greek peaceanacloa^^cha^as was elected WPC president succeeding Jjcjiesho"wTTI serve as Honorary chairman responsibleTaisdn with the United Nations and internationalorganizations.

Machairas--who will have little dl the power, prestige, ana perquisites enjoyed by chandra--willne year terra, essentially acting as Chairman of the newlymember executive ccflnittee^'Administration of the WPC will fall to New Zealander Rayjstowart( who.waa elected Executive Secretary. The WPC, whiertfTtarr'apparently decided to move its headquarters from Helsinki to Athens, announced that it was planning to set up five regionalAfrica, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific.

The Soviets have planned for WFTU and the World Democratic Youth Federation (WFDY) to hold meetings later this year to consider their future direction and structure. h World Congress of Trade Unions is scheduled for Moscowovember and it is shaping up toively session focusing on organizational and leadership changes intended to enhance the front's performance. The Soviets are reportedly divided over what to do with WFTU in the era of "newith one faction of the Soviet central labor organization urging that the front be dismantled and another faction calling for substantial reform. Despite these problems, the Soviets still intend the meeting toajor event with more0 delegates, including representatives from Western trade unions.

WFDY's General Assembly is planned for November or December in Budapest, and Moscow hopes to use the Assembly to revitalize WFDY--which according to an untested source ispiritual and financial crlsis--byider range of political views, encouraging broader participation, and shunning anti-imperialistic rhetoric. Moscow's restructuring efforts will probably meet strong resistanceumber of Third World delegations. Cuban and Indian representatives, for example, have argued that the emerging Soviet philosophy no longer accurately reflects the international youth movement and should not dictate WFDY's agenda. |

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