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Tatar-Bashkir Report: November 8, 2000

8 November 2000
Revolution Day Celebrated By Communists In Tatarstan
About 1500 members of Tatarstan's branch of the Russian Communist Party, the republic's Bolshevik Party and a local anarchist party gathered for a meeting at the Gorky Park entrance in Kazan on 7 November. In his opening speech, the leader of the Tatar branch of the Russian Communist Party, Aleksandr Saliy, stated that was banking on the example in Kursk Oblast, where the Communist candidate won the governor's seat in recent elections. Saliy said that Communist Party will nominate a candidate in the presidential elections in Tatarstan to be held in March 2001. He also accused the present government in Tatarstan of "robbing the people." The chief ideologist in Saliy's party, Robert Sadikov, said in his speech that the decision by Tatarstan's State Council on revising its September resolution and moving the date of presidential elections back to the original date in March was "a sign of growing Communist influence." He also noted that "Communists would cooperate with federal and ethnic democratic parties within the opposition roundtable against the dictatorship of Tatarstan's executive bodies." During the meeting, Bolshevik Party members distributed leaflets accusing Saliy -- who represents Tatarstan in the Russian Duma -- of being in the pocket of Russian Communist leader Gennadii Zyuganov. The head of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Mashkov, blamed the Russian Communist Party and its leaders of being corrupted. Mashkov's party was formed about four years ago by Communists who demanded the creation of an independent Tatarstan Socialist Republic.

After the meeting, the Communists marched to Liberty Square and layed flowers at a monument to Vladimir Lenin. Demonstrators held pictures of Lenin, Josef Stalin, and placards urging the dissolution of Tatarstan's State Council and the revival of the USSR.

By Iskender Nurmi