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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 6, 2001

6 August 2001
Chechen President's Former Bodyguard Arrested In Tatarstan
Tatarstan's state security bodies have detained Marat Edilsultanov, 29, a former guard of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, in Tetesh district, "Vechernyaya Kazan" reported on 3 August. Edilsultanov arrived in Tatarstan as a refugee soon after the beginning of the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya. The security bodies said that he was well-known in Chechnya as General Staff Major Marat Gapurov but his real name is Viktor Inyutin, and that he is an ethnic Russian from Basinskoye village in Astrakhan Oblast. He has been charged with using counterfeit documents.

Crimean Tatars Protest Passing Historical Madrasah Buildings To Orthodox Church
Several hundred Crimean Tatars demonstrated in Bakhchisarai to protest the passing of the Zyndzhyrly madrasah historical complex to the Russian Orthodox Church, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 3 August. Represntatives of Crimea's Russian community held a counter-picket nearby. The newspaper reported that "only the presence of intensified militia detachments prevented a clash between Orthodox believers and Muslims." The Crimean cabinet then abolished its previous decision on passing the buildings to Christians. The daily commented that the Crimean peninsular is becoming a part of a "burning hot chain of clashes between civilizations" that extends from China's Xinjiang Autonomous District to the Caucasus and the Balkans.

Tatarstan Cities Lack Green Spaces
The Ecological Fund collected 238 million rubles during the first half of the year, 90 percent of that sum in fines paid by enterprises that pollute the environment. Deputy Environment and Natural Resources Minister Anatolii Shchepovskikh told the ministry's board that atmospheric conditions in Tatarstan have improved, but that green plantations in the republic's residential districts total less than 20 percent of the total surface area while in industrial centers at least 55 percent of territory must be covered by them. Kazan, he said, is especially threatened by "green hunger." He called on the government to adopt a resolution on the development of more parks and green spaces. And he said that waste processing is one of the republic's most urgent problems.

Tatarstan's Satellite TV Channel Tested
The state television and radio company "Tatarstan" on 3 August held a test of the republic new satellite television channel. The channel's broadcasts will be receivable on the territory between Germany and the Urals, including the north of Kazakhstan.

Shaimiev Calls For Thorough Harvesting
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 2 August sharply criticized heads of republican organizations and city administrations for their failure to provide transport for the harvest, Tatar-inform reported. Some 1 million tons of grain is reportedly lost annually in the republic because of bad weather and the lack of machines and fuel.

Budget Incomes Higher Than Envisaged
The Finance Ministry said on 3 August that republican bodies have collected 19.1 billion rubles ($658.6 million) in revenues during the first six months of the year, 5.2 billion more than the republic 2001 budget prescribed, Tatar-inform reported. Tatarstan's 20 leading companies provided 67 percent of total revenues.

Bribe-Taker Claims He Is Persecuted Because He Is Russian
The Chally prosecutor's office has accused deputy administration head Yevgenii Anikin of bribery, Efir-inform reported on 3 August. Anikin said that his arrest was "a political order as he is the only Russian deputy mayor in the city administration."

Ingushetia Issues Passports With Pages In National Language
Ingushetia's President Ruslan Aushev has distributed the first Russian passports with insert pages in the Ingush language and with the republic state emblem, "Vremya novostei" reported on 3 August. Ingushetia is the first among the republics of the North Caucasus and the third republic in Russia after Bashkortostan and Tatarstan to introduce such a document.

KamAZ To Exhibit New Bus In Moscow
KamAZ will present a new NefAZ bus and new models of trucks and small cars from the "Oka" series at the Moscow international automobile show this month, Tatar-inform reported on 3 August.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Rakhimov Says Bilateral Treaty Preserved Federation
President Murtaza Rakhimov told "Izvestiya" on 3 August that by signing a bilateral treaty between Moscow and Ufa, "we did not share power but promoted Russia's constitutional development as a federative state." He said that Bashkortostan's bilateral treaty was a political compromise and provided the republic not with additional privileges but with more responsibilities. But it also freed federal authorities from a lot of current problems, Rakhimov said. He added that the recent calls for a return to the "old unitary moods" are "very disturbing."

Government Discusses Economic Development
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov told a government meeting on 3 August that the republic's budget collected 23.8 billion rubles ($820.7 million) in revenues during the first six months of the year, or 33 percent more than a year ago, and spent 15.9 billion rubles, reported. He said that the republic transferred 48.7 percent of the income to the federal budget compared with 26 percent the previous year.

President Murtaza Rakhimov said that the economic results for the first half of the year show positive trends in most macro-economic indices. At the same time, he called for the use of economic methods rather than administrative ones in agriculture and said that though the government allocates a lot of money for agriculture, the situation in that sector "still remains complex."

Rakhimov Visits Sterletamaq District
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 3 August visited farms in the Sterletamaq district to check the course of harvesting and said that he is "satisfied with how the work is proceeding in the district," the presidential press service reported on 3 August.

Deputy Premier To Be Responsible For National Policy
Rakhimov has signed a decree on setting up a Culture and National Policy Ministry in the republic and appointed Deputy Prime Minister Khalyaf Ishmuratov to head the new body, the presidential press service reported on 3 August.

Rakhimov Promotes National Education
Rakhimov said in an interview published in "Trud" on 2 August that national schools and gymnasiums account for almost half of all secondary educational institutions in the republic and that they are attended by 99,000 students, or 63 percent of all non-Russian pupils. He said that Bashkortostan concluded agreements on the development of national education with 14 federation subjects and that the harmonization of national, common Russian and general human values must be reflected in federal documents promoting the development of education.

Rural Secondary Schools To Receive Funds For Computerization
Rakhimov told "Trud" on 2 August that 75.2 million rubles ($2.6 million) will be allotted over next five years by federal and republic budgets for information technology for rural schools under an agreement between the Russian Education Ministry and the government of Bashkortostan.

By Gulnara Khasanova