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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 2, 2005

2 August 2005
Kazan Mayor Plans To Compete In Municipal Elections
Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhaqov said on 1 August that he plans to run in the elections to fill the newly formed municipal entity "The City of Kazan" that are slated for 16 October, Tatarinform and reported the same day. "Pretenders participating in the elections shouldn't think the Kazan mayor is going to resign," he said.

Peter The Great Monument Dispute Will Be Addressed
Mayor Iskhaqov said on 1 August that the contentious issue of a possible monument to Peter the Great in Kazan will be discussed during a visit to the Tatar capital of St. Petersburg Vice Governor Aleksandr Vakhmistrov on 4 August, reported on 1 August. Iskhaqov said the plan to erect the monument has prompted a number of disputes in the city. Peter's activities included moves to curb Islam in Russia, Iskhaqov said. On the other hand, he added, Peter did much to create an economically powerful Kazan Gubernia. Iskhaqov said the issue should be resolved by 5 August. The two-meter tall bust was delivered to Kazan to be installed on Petersburg Street after the statue's restoration by St. Petersburg as a gift to mark Kazan's millennial celebrations. The opening of Petersburg Street was slated for 5 August.

Kazan UFSB To Get New Building
Mayor Iskhaqov said on 1 August that a plot of land at the intersection of Lobachevskii and Zur Qizil streets has been earmarked for construction of a new building to house the Federal Security Service's Tatarstan Board (UFSB), whose offices burned down on 29 July, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 1 August. Iskhaqov said the FSB has allocated 3 million rubles ($104,600) for the project. Iskhaqov said construction of the new offices was developed and confirmed 20 years ago but no real effort had been expended to implement it. UFSB staff and property are currently being housed in buildings of the Tatar Interior Ministry and the Kazan Interior Board.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

New Republican Law Censors Adult TV Programming For Children
A new republican law that backers say protects the rights of children took effect on 1 August, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. Aside from legislating on social and medical care for children, the law also includes a ban on adult films and news reports "which may damage [children's] mental and moral health."

Blagoveschensk Case Reaches Court
Bashkortostan's Prosecutor-General's Office sent its case on the violent police raid in Blagoveschensk in December to the court on 1 August, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. Some 341 residents of the city, in the southeastern Bashkortostan, are said have been victims of police violence, while eight local police officers are facing charges of abuse.

U.S. Consul Seeks Information About Investment
Matthew Pearl, the acting U.S. consul in Yekaterinburg, arrived in Ufa on 1 August to meet with Bashkortostan's foreign economic affairs and trade minister, Boris Kolbin, and officials from his ministry as well as the Agriculture Ministry to discuss the possibilities for U.S. investment in the republic, Bashinform reported the same day.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi