The commander of Soviet forces in Germany warned Saturday of increasing attacks on his 380,000 soldiers in eastern Germany and said it was only their self-control that has avoided reprisals against civilians.
Army Gen. Boris Snetkov, at a news conference in Berlin, also denied recent reports in the German press that his forces stationed in eastern Germany were selling weapons on the black market.Snetkov said there has been a sharp increase in the number of attacks on the Soviet army posts that have remained in the former East Germany despite its reunification last month with West Germany.
Without discussing specific attacks, Snetkov said it was only the self-control of the Soviet soldiers that has prevented any Germans from being injured in such incidents, he said.
Snetkov described as "lies" recent media reports that Soviet soldiers have been selling weapons on the black market to earn hard currency.
He said he knew of only about 20 cases in which Germans had offered to buy weapons from soldiers.
Snetkov also denied reports that thousands of Soviet conscripts stationed in Germany were killed each year. He said such figures reported by the media were inflated at least 10 times.
Snetkov said deaths in the Soviet army occurred through carelessness and accidents during training - and not through any brutal treatment of recruits, as reported in the media.
He said the timetable for withdrawing all Soviet forces from Germany by 1994 was being fine-tuned but declined to comment on recent reports that the Soviet withdrawal might be speeded up.