Moscow: reports, but 'no comment' on Warsaw violence
Moscow's initial coverage of the May 3 street violence in Warsaw is being seen by most diplomats as a sign of continued Kremlin confidence in Polish martial-law leader Wojciech Jaruzelski.
The diplomats caution against drawing definitive conclusions from the three-paragraph item carried May 4 by the Soviet news agency Tass. They note the dispatch was a direct pickup from the official Polish news agency, unembellished by explicit Soviet comment.
Much in the Soviets' attitude is likely to depend on whether there are more antiregime protests in Poland in the coming days and weeks.
Still, the very fact that the Soviets have shied away from editorial intervention in their first report on the unrest is being read as an indicator that Moscow does not want to signal undue alarm.
''My initial reading is that the Soviets are conveying the impression they are still behind Jaruzelski and have confidence in his leadership,'' a diplomat said on having seen the brief Tass item.
The Soviet news media had ignored a peaceful May 1 demonstration of opposition to Polish martial law, a demonstration in which the Warsaw authorities did not intervene.
Some diplomats suspect the initial Tass mention of the violent May 3 clashes may reflect Soviet willingness to go along with measured moves by the Warsaw leadership to reach some political accommodation with supporters of the suspended Solidarity union.
Various senior Soviet officials have suggested as much in private, although they argue there can be no return to the kind of muscularly politicized union that existed before martial law.