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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 21, 2005

21 July 2005
Head Of Russian Orthodox Church Brings Relic Back To Kazan
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Aleksii II arrived in Kazan on 20 July to return the 18th-century copy of the Holy Kazan Mother of God icon, which recently was returned to Russia by the Vatican, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day.

According to Aleksii II, the Orthodox relic, after being stolen in Kazan, had been in the United States, Portugal, and Italy before being given to him by the late Pope John Paul II.

Weekly Discovers Various Understandings Of Battle Of Kulikovo
Commenting on the celebrations of the 625th anniversary of Russia's victory in the Battle of Kulikovo, "Russkii politicheskii zhurnal" wrote on 20 July that many Russian historians link that battle to the birth of the modern Russian nation. The weekly also admitted that the anniversary was "somehow modestly celebrated by our leaders," noting that Tsar Aleksandr II abstained from anniversary festivities, while in 2000 a group of Tatar researchers and public figures asked President Vladimir Putin to cancel the tradition as putting Russian and Tatar peoples in opposition to each other.

Patriarch Aleksii was also cited by the weekly as saying that the Russian Orthodox Church regarded Kulikovo as an event that united separate feudal states into a single one, rather than a struggle between Russians and Tatars (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 July 2005").

KamAZ Put On List For Privatization
In 2006, Russia's Ministry of Trade and Economic Development included the KamAZ automotive firm on the list of state-owned enterprises to be privatized that year, RIA-Novosti reported on 20 July. Currently, the federal government owns a 34.01 percent stake in Russia's biggest truck producer, located in Chally, Tatarstan.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Ufa Residents Complain Low Incomes
Some 81.7 percent of Ufa residents interviewed by the Simax public-opinion research center do not have any surplus income, being able to cover only their everyday needs, Regnum reported on 20 July. A thousand respondents were polled by Simax and 42.2 percent of them said there were not satisfied with the jobs they had. The average monthly salary among those polled was reported at some $150.

Ufa Administration Pledges Crackdown On Vietnamese Markets
Due to the numerous complaints on the quality of cheap goods sold at so-called Vietnamese markets in Ufa, the capital's administration decided to relocate such markets outside the city center, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 20 July. However, in many cases the occupied premises had contracts with Vietnamese traders for periods of up to 10 years, significantly undermining the city's plans.

FSB Arrests Man Attempting To Sell Explosives
The Bashkortostan branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained a resident of the republic's Khaibulla region attempting to sell 2 kilograms of explosives equivalent to TNT and nine sets of explosives, the FSB's press service announced on 20 July. According to the investigators, the seized materials could be used for "terrorist purposes."

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi