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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 6, 2003

6 June 2003
KamAZ Offers Reward For Missing Executive
Ildar Shamilov, head of the economic security department at the KamAZ automotive concern, on 5 June pledged a reward for information on the head of the KamAZ-Metallurgiya joint-stock company Viktor Faber, RFE/RL's Chally correspondent reported yesterday. The unspecified reward will reportedly depend on whether the information leads to finding Faber or not. Faber left Chally for a business trip to Kazan on 27 May along with KamAZ-Metallurgiya's chief economist Natalya Starodubtseva and both have been missing since then (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 4 June 2003). Chally police have reportedly investigated the possibility of kidnapping, having initiated a federation-wide search.

Celebrations Of Traditional Tatar Holiday In Limbo
This year's celebrations for the traditional Tatar holiday in Kazan set for 21 June are currently in limbo, the "Vechernyaya Kazan" daily reported on 6 June. A presidential decree setting the Sabantuy date for 21 June overlooked the fact that the day, despite being a Saturday, is a work day in order to compensate for an extra day's holiday allocated for 13 June -- the day after Russia's independence day holiday. According to the paper, the Russian government's resolution on Russia Day celebrations and exchanging the holidays was adopted on 30 October 2002 and Tatarstan's government officially endorsed it on 12 December 2002. The paper wrote that because of that the presidential staff had had time to figure out the details of the holidays.

Nationalist Party Banned In Tatarstan
The 21 May ruling of the Tatar Supreme Court banning the activities of the ultra-nationalist Russian National Unity party in Tatarstan took force on 5 June, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported today. The court upheld the claim of the Russian Justice Ministry's board in Tatarstan, which sought to dissolve the regional party.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov Changes His Stance On Baikonur Case
"Argumenti i Fakti" on 4 June quoted unofficial sources in the Russian Tax Ministry as saying that during the last meeting of Russian Tax Minister Gennadii Bukaev and President Murtaza Rakhimov, the latter had agreed with the ministry's demands to pay back some 10 billion rubles ($327 million) in taxes allegedly concealed by the Bashkir oil-processing industries (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 3 February, 13, 20 March, 26 May 2003, "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Weekly Review," 7 March 2003). Previously Rakhimov's government strongly denied the tax evasion had taken place. The paper explained his change of attitude by the preparations for the December 2003 elections for the Russian State Duma and the Bashkir presidency. "Feeling that by fighting over the taxes he was giving a too convenient weapon to his opponents, Murtaza Rakhimov made an about-face," the paper wrote. "Now the question is how to find the 10 billion [rubles], missing from the state budget."

Compensation Fund Being Set Up For Midair Crash Victims' Families
An official representative of the German Transport Ministry announced on 5 June that Germany and Switzerland are currently discussing the creation of a special fund, which will facilitate the payment of compensation to the relatives of Russian citizens killed in the 1 July 2002 midair crash of Bashkir Airlines Tu-154 and a DHL cargo jet, ITAR-TASS reported the same day (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 2 July 2002, 23, 24 April 2003). According to German media reports, the insurers of the Swiss Skyguide air traffic control company, which controlled the flights of both aircraft before the crash, plan to give a total of 43 million euros ($50 million). The lawyers representing the victims' families had initially asked for a sum of 100 million euros. All 69 passengers aboard the Bashkir Airlines flight, most of them children of high-ranking officials from Bashkortostan, were killed. The two pilots from the DHL jet were also killed.

Interior Ministry Official Says Compromising Material Against Him Was Forged
Bashkir Deputy Interior Minister Nikolai Patrikeev said on 5 June that the compromising material against him published on a number of websites was an attack by opponents of the Bashkir president, "who want to turn the republic upside down and have decided to begin with the Interior Ministry," Rosbalt reported the same day. Patrikeev insisted that the audio transcript of his telephone conversation with the underworld boss Erast Fomichev was fake and "did not and never could have taken place" (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 29 May 2003). During the conversation, published at, the participants, using explicit language, talked about cavorting with prostitutes.

More Millionaires Surface In Bashkortostan
The number of officially registered millionaires in Bashkortostan tripled in 2002 compared to previous years, Rosbalt reported on 5 June citing the republican board of the Russian Tax Ministry. Ninety-one individuals reported annual incomes of 1 million-10 million rubles ($32,600-$326,000) and nine more people reported incomes of more than 10 million rubles. In 2001, only one Bashkir citizen reported an annual income that exceeded 10 million rubles.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi