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Tatar-Bashkir Report: January 26, 2001

26 January 2001
Court Fines Editor of Seized Newspaper
A Kazan court on 24 January ordered the destruction of the seized issue of "Kazanskoye Vremya" and fining its editor 500 rubles for violating the republic's administrative code. In its 25 January issue the newspaper argued that the seizure of its edition had been illegal. Meanwhile another opposition weekly "Zvezda Povolzhya" accused "Kazanskoye Vremya" of working for former Chally Mayor and current federal deputy agriculture minister Rafgat Altinbayev who is expected to run for TR president. Chief of federal Tax Police board in Kazan Sergey Mashin, however, told Tatarstan TV on 21 January that "Kazanskoye Vremya owes 500 thousand rubles in taxes and this problem must be solved."

Presidential Candidate Denies Moscow Told Him to Run
In his interview with Tatarinform agency on 25 January, Russian State Duma deputy Sergey Shashurin denied reports that Moscow has directed him to run for Tatarstan president. Indeed, he said, he would vote for the incumbent because Mintimir Shaimiev "had come out in my support when I was in prison" after the October 1993 parliamentary revolt against Boris Yeltsin.

Regional Heads Charged
The administration heads in TR's Minzele and Elke regions have been charged with embezzlement by the parliamentary control Committee on 25 January. They allegedly used state funds to pay for expensive cars and apartments rather than for fertilizer storage facilities. At the same time, the control commission criticized the registration chamber for not fulfilling its duties.

Tatarstan Police to Resume Work in Chechnya
Deputy Interior Minister Aleksandr Vayda said on 25 January that about 10% of his ministry�s servicemen -- all volunteers -- would be sent to Chechnya in 2001. In his words, only the volunteer officers will be sent for service in Gudermes. Those serving in Chechnya will receive doubled salaries and promotions.

Two Madrasahs Closed In Chally
A Chally city court on 25 January ordered the closing of the Yoldiz Moslem religious school, Russian NTV reported. That institution had gained notoriety because one of its former students has been accused of involvement in terrorist acts in Moscow. That school was closed in 2000, but a school for girls, Nur, began operating on its premises. Because Nur has failed to get a license, it now has been closed as well.

By Iskender Nurmi

Commission Discusses Implementing Languages Act
The terminological commission on 25 January discussed implementation of the State Languages Act, Bashkortostan media reported. Officials said that a great deal of progress had been made toward developing new dictionaries for both Bashkir and Russian, but they acknowledged that implementing the Bashkir requirement in official work remained "very hard." They sharply criticized "destroying the norms of Bashkir grammar by using loanwords from Arabic and other languages." And they adopted Bashkir translations of the most commonly used Russian judicial terms.

Program For Disabled People Adopted
The Cabinet of Ministers adopted a 30 million ruble ($1.1 million) program for helping invalids and other disabled people over the next five years, local media reported.

Fires Claim 308 Lives in 2000
Bashkortostan's fire fighting service chief Rasul Makhmutov said on 25 January that 4833 fires had been recorded across the republic in 2000, which killed 308 people and wounded 261.

By Iskender Nurmi