THE Yugoslav Army unleashed an artillery attack on the eastern Croatian town of Osijek yesterday as the 13th cease-fire of the Yugoslav conflict crumbled, Zagreb radio reported.Osijek is 20 miles northeast of Vukovar, which fell to the Serbian-led federal Army this week after a three-month siege. Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak visited Osijek on Tuesday and promised it would not suffer the same fate as Vukovar. "Serbia has the power to attack Osijek but not to conquer it," he said. The renewed offensive against Osijek followed heavy fighting in coastal areas of Croatia Tuesday. The Yugoslav Tanjug news agency reported that federal forces in the port city of Zadar inflicted heavy losses on the Croatian National Guard which attacked them. Croatian military leaders said Vukovar was only the start of a major army offensive to grab all the land it could for the rival republic of Serbia before United Nations peacekeeeping forces arrived. The death toll in Vukovar is not known. But thousands of people have been killed in fighting since Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia in June, against the wishes of many of its ethnic Serb minority as well as Serbia. Following the loss of Vukovar and a string of other military defeats, Croatia has ordered Stipe Mesic, the Croatian head of the paralyzed collective Yugoslav presidency, to quit.
Yeltsin on the road Russian President Boris Yeltsin is expected to visit Germany today on a mission to seek urgent economic help. Mr. Yeltsin will seek food and financial aid to ease the pain of reform and avert what he fears may be a winter of rebellion in Russia. But he knows he must overcome deepening skepticism in business circles over the future of the region as the union crumbles. Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Kolokolov predicted that Yeltsin, whom the West was slow to accept as a major political figure, would dispel Western reservations about his stature. The Russian president will be welcomed by a full guard of honor when he arrives in Bonn - an important diplomatic acknowledgement that he now heads a state rather than merely a constituent republic alongside 11 others.
Soviets to expel Honecker The justice minister of the Soviet republic of Russia said Monday his government is determined to expel former East German communist leader Erich Honecker, despite strong objections by Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Asked when the expulsion would take place, Nikolai Fjodorov said, "If nothing gets in the way, it will be a question of days or weeks." His German counterpart, Klaus Kinkel, thanked Mr. Fjodorov for "the clarification" of the status of Mr. Honecker, who is wanted in Germany on charges of murder for allegedly giving the shoot-to-kill order that resulted in the deaths of about 200 people who tried to flee East Germany. Honecker, a hard-line Stalinist who ruled East Germany for 18 years, was forced to resign on Nov. 18, 1989.