President Boris N. Yeltsin Saturday extended a state of emergency and curfew in this city for another week, despite nearly daily assurances from authorities that civil conditions remain calm.
Yeltsin also strengthened his hold on local and municipal administrations around Russia by ordering local soviets, or councils, to disband.Many of the soviets, Communist-era bodies whose members stood to lose influence, status and perquisites under Yeltsin's reforms, had proved to be centers of support for the Russian Parliament during its standoff with Yeltsin. Under Yeltsin's decree, the powers of the soviets are to be handed over to local heads of administration, who are appointed by the president.
The standoff, sparked by Yeltsin's Sept. 21 dissolution of parliament, erupted in right-wing attacks on the streets of Moscow. Military troops arrived to quell the violence, and the state of emergency was imposed Oct. 3.
Since then, evidence has emerged of brutality and corruption on the part of officers charged with enforcing the curfew and other emergency measures.
"I apologize for the actions of some of the militia staff who may have exceeded their authority," Col. General Alexander N. Kul-i-kov, the commander of emergency forces in Moscow, said Saturday, acknowledging "some clumsiness" in enforcement of the measures. Each case would be fully investigated, he said.
Among those most vulnerable to mistreatment are attendants in Moscow's thousands of sidewalk kiosks. The cast-iron kiosks, which sell drinks, cigarettes and junk food, adorn almost every Moscow street and generally stay open all night. Some attendants say their owners have ordered them to keep them running around the clock despite the curfew.
In one case, an attendant, who asked to remain anonymous, reported that four officers of OMON, the special militia helping to enforce the curfew, approached his kiosk in the south of the city two nights ago and invited him to step into the open air. The officer accused him of violating the curfew, then robbed him of about $50, the attendant said.
"These guys come from the provinces and now they have official permission to indulge their most cherished dream: to beat the mug of a Muscovite and get away with it," the attendant complained. "So we have to tolerate it until the curfew is lifted."
The emergency provisions were originally set to expire Sunday night. Kulikov said they would continue until Oct. 18, although the curfew would be shortened by one hour, beginning at midnight rather than 11 p.m. It will continue until 5 a.m., as before.
Under the state of emergency, mass rallies and demonstrations were banned.