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Tatar-Bashkir Report: May 29, 2003

29 May 2003
Security Council Acknowledges Need For Better State-Property Management
Tatarstan's Security Council gathered for a special session to discuss state-property management and land reform on 28 May, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. Valerii Vasiliev, the minister of land and property relations, told the council that the correct use and management of state-owned land will define the republic's economic situation and the lives of about 1 million of its rural residents. He emphasized that the distribution of agricultural land is complicated by the fact that there are no landowners, only those who have the right to use the land. In addition, there is no clear difference between state and collective ownership of land. In response to Vasiliev's report, State Council chairman Farid Mukhametshin said that the July session of the Tatar Parliament would discuss the package of draft documents on state-property management, privatization, and land reform. According to Vasiliev, some 10 percent of Russia's state-owned industries are located in Tatarstan and many of them will undergo privatization.

Tatar Oil Said To Last For Next 34 Years
Reis Khisamov, the chief geology expert at the Tatneft oil company, told reporters on 28 May that, since 1943, 2.9 billion tons of oil have been extracted in Tatarstan, representing 80 percent of the republic's estimated oil reserves, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. Khisamov said that some 838 million tons of oil reportedly remain underground, which at an annual extraction rate of around 28 million tons a year, means the oil will last for the next 34 years. Tatneft annually produces 24.6 million tons of oil, while small independent oil companies extract 4.1 million tons. By 2007 the small companies' share is expected to rise to 6.5 million tons, while Tatneft's output is expected to remain at the current level.

Teenage Crime Rate Down
Vasilii Sokolov, deputy head of the public security department of the Tatar Interior Ministry, told a governmental meeting on 28 May that 1,071 teenage crimes were registered in the republic so far this year, which is 31 percent lower than the same period of 2002. The Interior Ministry said that out of 462 children living in socially challenging conditions, 10 percent of them face daily threats to their lives. Fifty percent of the children living in socially challenged conditions reportedly have committed crimes or other acts of antisocial behavior.

Supreme Court Rules That Accused In Chally Attack Case Are Guilty
Tatarstan's Supreme Court on 28 May rejected the appeal of those convicted for the assault on the Tatar Public Center's office in Chally, which took place on 29 May 2002, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. Five young people from Minzele, Tatarstan, were found guilty of the attack by the Chally city court in late 2002.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Families Of Midair Crash Victims Appeal To Russia, German, and Swiss Leaders
Families of the Bashkir children killed by the 1 July 2002 midair collision of the Bashkir Airlines Tu-154 and DHL cargo jets over Germany have issued open letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and Swiss President Pascal Couchepin stating that nine months after the tragedy they still feel like their pain is being ignored and no one is going to take the responsibility for what has happened. The families also said that they still have not received any apologies from the officials responsible, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 28 May. The families of the crash victims have asked Putin to personally intervene in the investigation of the catastrophe. Meanwhile, Yorg Scheneberg, chairman of the German commission on air crash investigations, told "Komsomolskaya Pravda" in an interview published on 28 May that the final report on the possible reasons for the collision will be finished by late September 2003.

Compromising Material On Bashkir Authorities Appears On Web
The "Versiya" weekly reported on 26 May that a number of Internet sites with compromising material on members of the Bashkir government had appeared on the web. For example, has recently published telephone transcripts that allegedly feature Bashkir Interior Ministry officials cavorting with prostitutes.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi