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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 26, 2001

26 February 2001
Kazan Aircraft To Join District Holding Company
Sergei Obozov, chief federal inspector in Nizhny Novgorod oblast, told on 23 February that the Volga District plans to set up a district-wide holding company for aircraft production and that Kazan Aircraft will be part of it.

CEC Head Warns Tatarstan Mufti
Head of the Central electoral commission Anatoly Fomin on 23 February told Tatarstan Mufti Gusman khazrat Iskhakov that representatives of the clergy have to observe electoral legislation, Tatar-inform reported. According to election law, religious organizations, associations and officials are banned from taking part in election campaigns.

Veterans Given Cars
President Mintimer Shaimiev on 23 February said that republic government will give 2200 Oka cars to war veterans and invalids by April, Tatar-inform reported.

POZIS, YelAZ-GM Boost Production
Radik Khasanov, general manager of the Yeshel Uzen Sergo plant POZIS, said that the company production had grown by 120 percent in 2000 and its profit totaled 177 million rubles ($6.2 million), AK&M reported on 23 February. He said that the company had restructured its debt, had increased its staff by 25 percent to 8,000 employees, and had doubled average salary to 1464 rubles ($51) a month. Meanwhile, YelAZ-GM managing director Aksel Shmidt said that the company's profit had increased by 47 percent to $1.3 million the last year and that sales of Opel Vectra and Chevrolet Blazer had risen by 30 percent, Tatar-inform reported on 23 February.

McDonalds Provides Equipment For Cardiology Clinic
McDonalds, which opened its first restaurant in the Tatarstan capital two years ago, gave the Kazan cardiology center a diagnostic device valued at $3,000, Tatar-inform reported on 22 February.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Gas Explosion Kills One
One person died and at least 23, including ten children, were hospitalized, as a result of gas explosions in Qarmasqaly, reported on 25 February. Most of those hospitalized remain in critical condition. Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov has visited the scene.

District Prosecutors Examine Bashkortostan Colleagues
The Volga District prosecutor's office on 23 February began an inspection of prosecutorial bodies in Bashkortostan, reported. District inspectors are reportedly responding to complaints of serious violations of law by some prosecutors and investigators. District inspector Yuri Fedulov was quoted as saying that "republic officials who do not properly protect the interests of citizens and who violate the law will be held responsible."

Rakhimov Promises Support For Writers
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 23 February said that the development of national literature is important and promised to provide state support for literary organizations and young writers, Bashinform reported.

Police Destroy Illegal Drugs
Interior officials in Oktyabrsky burned five million rubles worth of drugs, including eight kilograms of marijuana, 4.5 kilograms of opium, and 40 grams of heroin confiscated from dealers, Bashinform reported.

Defenders Day Marked
President Murtaza Rakhimov and Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov on 23 February laid wreaths at the monument to Soviet heroes from Bashkortostan. Officials noted that more than 30,000 Bashkortostan residents are now service, along with 5,000 contract soldiers from the republic. Since the beginning of the Chechen campaign, they said, 8500 people from Bashkortostan have served in the North Caucasus, and 235 of them have died.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova