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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 16, 2000

16 June 2000
Tatar President On Arrest Of Gusinsky
Mintimer Shaimiev told reporters on 15 June that the arrest of Media-Most holding chief Vladimir Gusinsky conferred a dubious distinction upon Russian President Vladimir Putin. Shaimiev said he hopes the action is not the beginning of an attack against Russia's free press. He added that society has changed to such a degree that people will never allow their freedoms--including freedom of the press--to be taken away from them. Shaimiev said the arrest is a feeler that will check the condition of society. Shaimiev said it is important that both the right and left are united in their disapproval of Gusinky's arrest. Shaimiev added that if the arrest took place with the consent of top government officials then it has been done extremely poorly: "it would be hard to invent something worse," the more so that it took place during one of the first official trips abroad for Putin. Shaimiev said that at the suggestion of Gusinsky, a synagogue is being restored in Kazan and that Gusinsky seemingly shows a great interest in the project.

Shaimiev: Economic Situation In Tatarstan Improving
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, told a republican meeting devoted to the economy on 15 June that the republic's production has increased by 9 percent in the past five months compared to the same period last year. Shaimiev reported that the trade turnover rose by 12 percent, real income increased by 26 percent, and the average salary grew in April by 34 percent. The introduction of a new system of indices to evaluate standards of living and the economic situation in the cities and districts of Tatarstan was discussed at the meeting. Shaimiev said that the government is directing all efforts towards raising standards of living and improving the social net for the citizens of the republic. Shaimiev stressed the necessity of increasing wages, saying that without it further development of the republic will be impossible.

Businessman To Be Compensated For False Imprisonment
A court in Kazan's Vakhitov district has ruled that Sergei Shashurin, a State Duma deputy representing Tatarstan, should be compensated for the "moral harm" incurred by a groundless arrest and imprisonment, Tatar Television reported on 15 June. Shashurin, who is a well-known businessman, spent one year and 9 months--from 1993-1995--behind bars after being accused of the misappropriation of state property and of being behind an attempt on the presiding judge's life. He was freed in June 1995 after a court ruled he had served a full term. Shashurin was exonerated of the crimes in March of this year. Afterwards, he filed a lawsuit seeking 3 million rubles for his false arrest and imprisonment. The court's decision calls for the Russian Finance Ministry to pay Shashurin 20,000 rubles.

By Gulnara Khasanova