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Ethnic Minority In Russia Gets Demands After Protest

9 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- An ethnic minority in a southern Russian province won its key demands today after the Kremlin stepped in to defuse tensions in the wake of a three-day protest last month

The regional parliament of the mainly Muslim Karachaevo-Cherkessia province voted to repeal a recently passed local law that the Abazin minority say deprived them of traditional lands.

Parliament speaker Sergei SmorodinIt said parliament also passed a measure setting up a single district for the Abazin population as well as for another ethnic minority, the Nogai Tatars, by the start of next year.

There are fewer than 30,000 Abazins, all of them in Karachaevo-Cherkessia.

The Abazins had pressed for their 13 villages to be united in a single district with its own financing.

They had also protested a regional parliament decision to transfer land from their villages to the city of Ust-Dzhegut, inhabited mostly by members of the region's dominant ethnic group, the Karachai.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of the North Caucasus, see "News And Features On The North Caucasus"