ABC Evening News for Sunday, Mar 17, 1991
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(Studio: Carole Simpson) Map shown of republics participating and not participating in the vote. Report introduced.
(Moscow: Jim Laurie) Referendum in USSR in which voters were asked whether power should be with the Kremlin or the individual republics featured; scenes shown of balloting across the nation. Russian federation president Boris Yeltsin noted forcing second question on ballot asking if people wanted a popular vote for the president. [YELTSIN - (thru translator) calls for a democratic system.] [President Mikhail GORBACHEV - says it would a tragedy to promote breakup of the union.] Gorbachev said facing problem of rebellious republic regardless of the referendum's outcome.
(Studio: Carole Simpson) Report introduced.
(Moscow: Rick Inderfurth) Baltic states' drive for independence despite Gorbachev's opposition examined; scenes shown of first recruits being sworn into the Lithuanian national army. [Arbotov Institution Moscow Andrei KORTUNOV - says secession of any republic would trigger a chain reaction.] [Estonian minister Endel LIPPAA - comments on constitution's secession laws.] [Member of Estonian parliament Mikk TITMAA - talks about independence issue.] Options open to Gorbachev outlined. [Soviet journalist Alexander MERKUSHEV - talks about Gorbachev's legacy.]
(Studio: Carole Simpson) Expert's analysis of Gorbachev and the vote given. [Columbia University professor Robert LEGVOLD - says 300 years of Russian history is coming to a head today; comments on the current stalemate around the national question.]
(Studio: Carole Simpson) Secretary of State James Baker reported stating he was unable to make any headway on a START treaty during his visit to USSR .