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Tatar-Bashkir Report: March 3, 2005

3 March 2005
Kazan-Made aircraft Takes An Emergency Landing In Khabarovsk
Following an emergency landing in Khabarovsk on 1 March by a Dalavia Airlines Tu-214 jet carrying Konstantin Myasnikov, Russia's presidential envoy to the Far East federal district, the management of the Kazan Aircraft Plant (KAPO imeni Gorbunova) gathered for a special meeting to discuss the possible reasons for the crash, the Volga-Urals edition of "Kommersant" wrote on 3 March. Despite the refusal of KAPO to comment on the issue, the daily referred to unnamed specialists within the company as saying that the airliner had a problem with an altitude device. After discovering the malfunction the pilot decided to return to the airport of origin and the plane's 130 passengers, including Myasnikov and the general director of Dalavia Airlines, Pavel Sevastyanov, were flown to Moscow on another Tu-214. Khabarovsk Governor Viktor Ishaev told reporters on 2 March that Khabarovsk Dalavia Airlines will purchase three more Tu-214s from the Kazan Aircraft Plant in addition to the two it already has.

Government Official Urges Farmers Not To Sell Land
Tatar Deputy Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Yakushkin used a 2 March press conference to tell owners of land that used to belong to collective farms not to sell their property, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. He referred to reports that some commercial ventures, including the Krasnii Vostok agricultural company, offered former collective farmers $300-$500 for 3 to 4 hectare plots of land. Yakushkin warned the farmers that the current situation is just the beginning of a trend that will add value to their land.

Police To 'Cleanse' The Streets Of Kazan For Millennium Celebrations
The daily "Argumenti i fakti" wrote on 2 March that in a recent statement, Tatar Deputy Interior Minister Refeil Nogumanov told reporters that before the Kazan millennium anniversary celebrations in August, police will have evicted "dubious individuals" such as prostitutes, panhandlers, and homeless people from the inner part of the Tatar capital.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Allegations Of Disclosing State Secret Removed From Scholar
The Federal Security Service's (FSB) Bashkir branch has accused academician Oskar Qaibyshev of illegal distribution of dual-purpose technologies, misappropriation and embezzlement, abuse of power, and fraud while dropping an accusation of disclosing state secrets, Interfax and "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 2 and 3 March, respectively. Qaibyshev, the director of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Problems of Metals Superplasticity, was initially suspected of disclosing state secret by selling spherical bulbs made of titanium alloy to the South Korean ASA company.

According to the contract, the bulbs were intended to be used for production of automobile tires while the FSB suspected they would be used in South Korea's space program. Qaibyshev has rejected the charges.

Court Annuls Charges Against Blagoveshchensk Residents...
Bashkortostan's Supreme Court annulled on 1 March the administrative charges by Blagoveshchensk police in December in the wake of the controversial raid there (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 21 January 2005), the Nizhnii Novgorod Telegraph Agency reported on 2 March, citing the Prosecutor-General's Office Volga Federal District press service. Of a total of 235 charges against Blagoveshchensk residents, the court declared 171 illegal.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Sergei Gerasimov held a meeting in Ufa with the Bashkir prosecutors and investigators dealing with the criminal case on violations during the Blagoveshchensk operation, NTA-Privolzhe reported on 2 March. Gerasimov increased the number of investigators from seven to 15. The office's press release said that 123 people have been recognized victims.

...As Special-Troop Commander Found
The commander of the Bashkir Interior Ministry special troops detachment that conducted the December raid in Blagoveshchensk, Oleg Sokolov, who has been wanted by law enforcement agencies for two weeks, turned himself in to the prosecutor's office on 1 March, Nizhnii Novgorod Telegraph Agency reported on 2 March. Sokolov has been accused of exceeding his authority in the Blagoveshchensk operation. Ufa's Kirov Raion court refused an investigator's request to arrest Sokolov, referring to his service record.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova