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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 27, 2001

27 April 2001
Federal Inspector Criticizes Embezzlement
Marsel Galimardanov, the chief federal inspector in Tatarstan, said on 26 April "corruption and embezzlement ought to be abolished in Tatarstan." He said he was displeased by the handling of federal funds and by the absence of accountability.

KamAZ To Get Tax Relief...
The Duma has endorsed an amendment to the federal bond operations tax law on second reading, setting the stage for major tax cuts to the country's automobile producers, including Tatarstan's KamAZ, reported on 26 April.

...As Chevrolet Blazers Production Frozen in Alabuga
General Motors vice president David Herman said on 26 April that GM "has suspended its joint project of Chevrolet Blazers production with YelAZ automotive works in Alabuga at least until the end of 2001." He said that the joint venture continues to face serious problems in marketing the expensive SUVs in Russia.

Growing Teenage Violence Sparks Concern
The governmental commission on teenage affairs announced on 26 April that young people are committing ever more crimes and were responsible for 10 percent of all crimes in Tatarstan during 2000.

Parliament, Diaspora Discuss Education Issues
State Council deputies and representatives of Tatar public organizations from across Russia discussed the problems of providing Tatar schools with Tatar-language books on 26 April, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported.

Unity Youth Branch Revives Soviet-era Subbotniks
The youth branch of the pro-Kremlin Unity Party in Tatarstan announced on 26 April that it will sponsor a Saturday voluntary workday or subbotnik.

Mordovia Muslims Look to Kazan
Mordovia's Muslim religious board chairman Nail khazret Fakhretdin met with officials at Tatarstan's Muslim board on 26 April, Tatnews reported. Fakhretdin is hoping to learn from Kazan's experience as his board was established only in December 2000.

Kazan Won't Join Federal District Communications Holding
Tatarstan and Bashkortostan telephone networks will not join the communications holding of the Volga federal district, officials announced on 26 April.

Crowd Gathers for Poetry Event in Kazan
Some 3,000 people assembled in Kazan's Irek Square to mark the 115th anniversary of Tatar poet Gabdulla Tukay on 26 April.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Bashkir Congress Concerned With Native Language Teaching...
More than 150 delegates from Bashkortostan's regions gathered for a Congress in Kusin region on 26 April to discuss ways to revive their native language in local schools, an RFE/RL correspondent reported.

...While Education Official Positive on Ethnic Rights
Education Minister Galia Mukhamedyanova told a Moscow education conference on 26 April that Bashkortostan currently has schools using Bashkir, Russian, Tatar, Chuvash, Mari and Udmurt.

Bashkortostan Legislators Resume Ties with Tatarstan
Bashkir State Assembly chairman Konstantin Tolkachev led a delegation of legislators to meet with their opposite numbers in Kazan.

Floods Reach Bashkir Capital
The Agidel river waters have flooded 249 houses in Ufa suburbs, news agencies reported on 27 April. Some 800 residents are being evacuated.

Zemfira Named Top Rock Star in Russia
Russia's annual music industry awards Record-2001 named Zemfira, an alternative rock performer from Bashkortostan, the best performer of the year on 26 April on the basis of country-wide record sales.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi