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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 12, 2001

12 May 2001
Tatarstan, Bashkortostan Draw Together.
"Zvezda Povolzhya" on 11 May reported that Tatarstan "is going to work together with Bashkortostan in the fight for what is left of its independence." The weekly said that Deputy State Council Chairman Robert Minnullin has been sent to Ufa to organize a joint session of the parliaments of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan that will most likely take place on 30 August, the anniversary of Tatarstan s sovereignty declaration.

Tatarstan Scholar Denounces Moscow's Attack on Republics.
Historian and ethno-political researcher Damir Iskhakov, a historian and ethnic studies research, told "Zvezda Povolzhya" on 11 May that the report "On the threshold of Russia's new regionalization" by a Volga District administration discusses ways of abolishing national republics -- including by means of expanding other federal subjects including cities. He added that Tatarstan has not yet developed any strategy to oppose this. He criticized the authors of the report for their ignorance of "the ethnic factor" and their view that only the "Moscow bureaucracy" matters. At the same time, however, Iskhakov said that the formation of a larger Volga Ural area conforms on the whole to the interests of the Tatars. In other comments, he said that promoting a rapprochement between Tatarstan and Bashkortostan is not "very wise" because that won't protect "genuine sovereignty" of either. He also suggested that the recent pro-Putin youth demonstration in Moscow represents "the further movement of Russia in the direction of fascism."

Rabbi Says Tatarstan Authorities More Tolerant Than Other Regional Elites.
Tatarstan's Chief Rabbi Iskhak Gorelik said in an interview published in "Vostochny ekspress" on 11 May that the Tatarstan authorities have shown a good attitude toward all ethnic communities is "respectable" and much better than the attitudes in Moscow or elsewhere. He said that he regularly receives invitations alongside Russian Orthodox and Muslim clerics, something rabbis elsewhere cannot expect. The paper reported that only seven percent of Jews in Kazan said that they currently faced any manifestations of anti-Semitism.

TPC Urges Defense of Republic Sovereignty.
The Tatar Public Center on 11 May picketed the State Council in order to demand that the government include what it called "worthy candidates" who will defense the republic against pressure from Moscow.

...And Expresses Anger at Theft of Flag.
The Tatar Public Center in Chally announced a reward for information about the people who stole the flag from its building, Tatar-inform reported on 4 May. This is the fifth time unknown people have stolen the flag from TPC premises.

Another Tatarstan Board Subordinated to Moscow.
The Communications Ministry's board on state communications inspectors has been transformed into the Russian board on state communications and informatics inspectors in Tatarstan, RBC reported on 9 May.

Kazan Administration, Migrations Body To Cooperate.
The Kazan administration and the Russian Ministry on Federation Affairs, National and Migration Policy have agreed to cooperate in regulation of inter-confessional and inter-ethnic relations, promote refugees and migrants problems, and use of foreign workers, Tatar-inform reported on 4 May.

Chally Teens Know Little About World War II.
Many Chally teenagers believe that the Soviet Union fought the United States during World War II, that Chapayev, Potemkin and Stirlits were among the Russian heroes of that conflict, RFE/RL's correspondent in Chally reported on 9 May.

Ankara Names City for Tatar Poet.
Ankara Deputy Mayor Dzhengiz Odzhakchi and Tatarstan's plenipotentiary representative to Turkey Ramil Mavlyutov took part in the ceremony of naming a street in the Turkish capital after the Tatar poet Gabdulla Tuqai, Tatar-inform reported on 4 May. The local Tatar diaspora society "Kazan" is located in this street.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Bashinformsvyaz Director Communications Market In BR
Moscow's "Expert" magazine on 7 May called Salavat Gaysin, general director of Bashinformsvyaz, one of the most influential businessmen in Russia. The same day Gaysin told that TV broadcasting remains unprofitable in the republic. He called for preserving the per-minute charge system for telephone users.

China Ready to Invest in Bashkortostan.
China's Lyaonin province is ready to invest in many of the joint projects with Bashkortostan, wrote on 8 May.

Flooding Continues in Ufa Area.
The Idil, Ofe and Dim rivers are all above floodstage and thus some areas in the Ufa area are still underwater, Bashkir media reported on 8 May.

State Assembly Passes Environmental Measure.
The Legislative Chamber of Bashkir State Assembly has passed measures imposing stricter penalties against polluters, news agencies reported on 10 May.

Stalin Minimized Role of Bashkortostan Soldier.
Ufa newspapers reported in connection with the 9 May Victory Day that Stalin had ordered that a Georgian had planted the Victory Flag in Berlin on 30 April 1945 when in fact Sergeant Gazi Zagitov, an ethnic Tatar from Bashkortostan had done so.

By Iskender Nurmi

Dagestani Delegation Visits Chuvashia.
Dagestan's Deputy Prime Minister Azadi Ragitov visited Chuvash Republic on 8 May to study how the local government deals with social and economic problems, VolgaInform reported. He thanked the republic for its humanitarian aid.

Chuvash Parliament Seeks More Support for Veterans.
VolgaInform reported on 8 May that the Chuvashia State Council has called on the Duma to provide more support for veterans, invalids, and all those who work in "hot spots."

Chuvashia's Fedorov Meets Republic Mufti.
President Nikolai Fedorov on 8 May met with Chuvashia Muslim Religious Board chairman Albir khazrat Krganov to discuss the construction of a mosque in Cheboksary and a madrasah in the Komsomolsky district. Over the last decade, Fedorov has assisted in the construction of 35 mosques. The mufti said that the republic's Muslims want him to run for reelection. Meanwhile, "Simbirsky kuryer" reported on 8 May that a muftiate meeting in Moscow had named Krganov acting mufti in Ulyanovsk to help resolve the intraconfessional conflicts there.

HIV Infections Spread in Marii El, Ulyanovsk.
The number of HIV-infected residents in Marii El has risen by 25 percent in the past week alone and now totals 71, reported on 7 May. Meanwhile, Ulyanovsk anti-AIDS official Irina Alpatova said on 4 May that the number of people infected with HIV there has grown by 23 percent over the first quarter of 2001 and now has surpassed 3300.

Yoshkar-Ola Mayor Quits Communist Party.
Vladimir Tarkov on 3 May announced that he has resigned his membership in the KPRF, reported. He said that he maintains good ties with many party members but cannot remain in the party himself given its criticism of his approach to economic problems.

Merkushkin Calls for Culture Minister's Resignation.
Mordovia leader Nikolai Merkushkin on 8 May called on Culture Minister Yuri Yushkin to resign over the latter's failure to reconstruct Russian drama and musical theaters in the republic, reported.

Migration into Mordovia Increases.
The number of people moving into Mordovia has grown by 44 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period a year ago, reported on 7 May. Most are Russians, Tatars, and Mordvinians, and Ukrainians from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Dubravlag Gets Modern Medical Equipment.
The Mordovian camp for prisoners Dubravlag has been provided with a unique x-ray computer device that no other hospital in the republic has, reported on 6 May.

Saransk City Prosecutors Office to Be Disbanded. on 3 May reported that Mordovian officials plan to disband the Saransk city prosecutor's office. That office's staff already has been cut by half; the remaining employees will be transferred to the republic office.

Nizhny Alcohol Producers, Traders Unite.
All the Nizhny Novgorod oblast spirit plants, 16 liqueur and vodka plants and the largest alcohol retail sales companies agreed to set up a joint concern to combat moonshire and to coordinate prices, RBC reported on 8 May. Samara Oblast to Cooperate with ExImBank. Samara Governor Konstantin Titov and U.S. ExImBank head in Russia Paul Tummin on 3 May signed a memorandum on the cooperation in healthcare, roads construction, agriculture, and bank sector, "Samara segodnya" reported.

Udmurtia CEC Gets New Head.
The Central Electoral Commission has named Vladimir Ponomarev in place of resigned Dmitry Talantov as its chairman, reported on 5 May.

Ulyanovsk Authorities Raise Government Salaries.
The Ulyanovsk administration has raised the salaries of state budget employees, reported on 3 May. Those with the lowest salaries will see the largest percentage increases.

Headquarters of Unified MD to be in Yekaterinburg.
The headquarters of the unified Volga and Urals military district will be located in Yekaterinburg after 1 September, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 May.

By Gulnara Khasanova