While Moscow officials are asking for foreign food aid, 20,000 containers and 300 railway wagons stand unloaded at the city's freight yards, the Pravda Communist newspaper reported.

The daily newspaper said Sunday the wagons even contain some meat sent from abroad and that the precious cargo has been sitting at the Oktyabrskaya rail sidings since Nov. 25 while store shelves remain empty.On Saturday, Moscow's deputy mayor, Sergei Stankevich, said that foreign economic help will be needed "at least until spring," especially for Leningrad, Moscow and other of Russia's big industrial cities.

But Pravda, whose Communists used to run the capital before elections this year forced them out, said that the required foodstuffs were right under Stankevich's nose if he only knew how to get them unpacked and delivered.

"Twenty thousand containers and 300 railway wagons with consumer goods and industrial equipment stand unloaded at Moscow's freight railway stations," Pravda said.

"Goods weighing a total of 23,500 tons were buried at warehouses for a long time," it said. "Cargo-moving agencies escape any criticism. They haul away only a fifth of all cargoes. There is a shortage of trucks and drivers."