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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 21, 2004

21 June 2004
Milli Mejlis Resumes Work For Promoting Tatar Rights
The newly elected chairman of non-governmental Tatar National Congress (Milli Mejlis) Gabdulla Galiullin, who is alsol serving as the imam of Nurulla mosque in Kazan, said in a 18 June public statement that the next Congress session is to consider the situation of Tatars living outside their republic, �the crucial state of Tatar ethnic language, culture and education and the general descent of the Tatar people�s life level,� RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported the same day. The renewed list of the Milli Mejlis� goals reportedly includes revival of the Tatarstan�s sovereignty, achieving sovereignty rights for the Tatar people within the entire Russian Federation, promotion of Tatar as a state language of Tatarstan Republic, developing a Tatar education system within Russia�s regions with ethnic Tatar population, defending the people�s ethnic and welfare rights, elaborating an ethnic tax system, creating a single information field of the ethnic Tatar media in Russia.

Commission Discusses Preparations For The 200th Anniversary Of KGU
Russian Minister of education and science Andrei Fursenko joined the meeting of the state Committee preparing the celebrations of the 200 the anniversary since the establishment of the Kazan State University (KGU), attended by president Mintimer Shaimiev, RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported today.

Fursenko, who chairs the Committee said that despite the formal ratings, KGU always has been among the leaders in the field of education and represented the basis of the Russia�s further scientific development, which was impossible without professional experts. He also cited KGU as �an example of successful cooperation of science, business and civil society.� The entire program for renovating the research and teaching facilities of the Kazan State University from 2001 till 2004 reportedly stipulates some 2 billion rubles ($69 million) expenses of the federal budget, part of which will be used for holding the anniversary festivities this fall. However, only some 525 million rubles ($18 million) were used so far, while the remaining share was reduced by Moscow. Tatneft oil company joined the preparation works by sponsoring the $6 million project for repairing the KGU�s geological faculty building, while Kazan Orgsintez chemical plant spent more than $4 million for renovating the chemical faculty building. Nevertheless, according to KGU rector Myakzyum Salakhov, the University�s research equipment maintains its 80 percent wearout rate.

Kazan Chosen To Host The Eurasian Center Of World Heritage Cities Organization
The UNESCO�s conference of world heritage cities in Eurasia adopted a declaration on 17 June urging the regional and local authorities of Eurasian countries to develop their policies aimed at preserving the material and non-material world heritage �for ensuring stable future and realizing the necessity of handing them the future generations,� RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported today. The conference involving mayors of 80 cities from 50 countries of the world, politicians, researchers and the ambassadors of Eurasian countries in Russia was held within the framework of Kazan millennium anniversary celebrations to be held in 2005. The conference also resolved on establishing the Eurasian branch of World Heritage Cities Organization in Kazan.

Hermitage To Open A Representation In Kazan
In late August 2004 the world-famous Hermitage museum of Saint-Petersburg will open its Kazan center with an exhibition entitled �History and culture of the Golden Horde,� RFE/RL�s Kazan bureau reported today. The first Hermitage center in Russia will reportedly be opened in the Kazan Kremlin, while the museum�s other representations are reportedly maintained in Amsterdam and London.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Salavat Yulaev Anniversary Celebrated In Bashkortostan
The 250th anniversary of the birth of Bashkir national hero Salavat Yulaev was widely celebrated in the republic on 18 June, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. In his speech at the official celebrations ceremony, Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov said that being a true patriot, Yulaev "could only dream" of such future for his republic, noting that in the first five months of 2004 Bashkortostan saw 3.7 percent industrial growth as compared to late 2003. He added that Bashkortostan is among the top 10 Russian regions in gross regional product, and has the second-largest agricultural production nationwide.

On 19 June, special festivities were held in Yulaev's home region of Salavat involving artistic performances and recreations of the historical battles in which he fought.

The list of VIP guests at the celebrations included former Bashkir Communist Party Committee Secretary and Soviet Council of Ministers Deputy Chairman Ziya Nuriev, Tatar Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov, and Kurgan Oblast Duma Chairman Valerii Ponomarev.

Yulaev, the head of a detachment of Bashkir rebels during the peasant war of 1773-75 led by Yemelyan Pugachev, was caught by tsarist authorities in November 1774 and exiled to then-Rogervik, now Paldiski, where he died in 1800 after 25 years of penal servitude.

Rakhimov Named Honorary Baltic Navy Sailor
President Rakhimov was named an honorary crew member of the Russian Baltic Sea Fleet vessel "Bashkortostan," for his contribution to maintaining the combat abilities of the submarine hunter and the entire Baltic Fleet, Bashinform reported on 20 June. In response, Rakhimov pledged further material assistance to the fleet with donations of diesel fuel, motor oil, and other goods to the boat and its crew.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi