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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 22, 2001

22 June 2001
Kazan Granted UN, UNESCO Honorary Signs
Munir Bushenaki, the UNESCO deputy general director, on 21 June installed a memorial plaque in the Kazan Kremlin indicating that Kazan is a member of the world heritage cities organization, reported. Bushenaki also presented President Mintimer Shaimiev with a medal for his contribution to the enrichment of world cultural heritage.

Putin Said Planning to Play Speakers Against Governors
�Kommersant� reported on 20 June that the executive heads of regions led by Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev have developed proposals to increase the powers of the regions even more than in Yeltsin's time. But the paper suggested that Putin plans to use his powers to use the regional legislative heads against the governors.

Tatarstan Deputy to Observe Albanian Elections
Duma deputy Fandas Safiullin on 21 June left for Tirana to observe 24 June elections in Albania, reported.

Imam Says He's Not a Wahhabi
Idris Galyautdin, the imam of the Chally Tauba mosque, on 21 June denied reports that he spreads Wahhabi ideas and asserting that he follows the Khanafi rite, reported. He was trained in Saudi Arabia, the site said.

Clinic Has No Money for Food
Vakhit Samatov, the head of the Kazan clinic, told Tatar-inform on 21 June that his facility has not been given any funds for feeding patients over the last 11 weeks.

Sabantui In New York, Quebec
The U.S. Tatar Association for the first time has held national holiday Sabantui at the New York�s Eisenhower park, Tatar-inform reported on 21 June. Meanwhile, Canadian Tatars plan to hold in Montreal the seventh Sabantui celebration.

Tatarstan Suffered Twice as Many Casualties in World War II than Reported
A group that is seeking to collect information about World War II casualties said that its data show that the republic suffered twice as many casualties as reported hitherto. It said that half of the 700,000 Tatarstan residents who had fought in the war had died and that 5,000 Tatarstan residents had died in Nazi captivity.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

European Charter on Minority Languages Discussed in Ufa
President Murtaza Rakhimov on 21 June welcomed 300 participants to an international seminar on the European charter of regional and minority languages noting that 14 languages are taught in Bashkortostan schools and that the number of students studying their native languages has grown by 120 percent over the past decade. Deputy Federation Affairs, Nationalities and Migration Issues Minister Aleksei Tomtosov said that all non-Russian peoples must be considered national minorities, but he noted that Russia is their native land so that they are part of the state. He said that giving some of national languages in Russia a status of state languages was aimed at the increasing of their importance and providing of equal conditions with the Russian language. Academy of Sciences President Robert Nigmatulin called on republic peoples to study the republic titular language arguing that its disappearance will be a loss for all world civilization.

Harmonization Continues
The parliament on 21 June has passed a law on gambling and amended the Electoral Code and laws on territorial public self-governance, on libraries, on defense from emergency situations, on cattle-breeding, on education, and on employment. Deputies sent to the Duma their proposals for changes in the federal law on invalids.

Kremlin Reportedly Prefers Tadjutdin to Gainutdin
"Kommersant� reported on 19 June that Mufti Ravil Gainutdin, the head of the Russia�s European part Muslim Religious Board, will be soon removed from the presidential council on cooperation with religious organizations. That will leave Talgat Tadjutdin, the chairman of the Russian Central Muslim Religious Board, the only representative of Islam in the body. Gainutdin and Tadjutdin are at odds about an Islamic hierarchy: the former believes all muftis are equal; the latter, that the hierarchy that exists is consistent with Islam.

CPSU Documents to Be Declassified
The government has issued regulations on the declassification of the former CPSU Bashkir Oblast Committee, the government's press service reported on 21 June.

Young People Unhappy About Many Things
Bashinform reported on 21 June that 57 percent of young people consider price rises to be the most important problem they face, while 49 percent named wage arrears, 42 percent unemployment, 38 percent payments for education, and 31 percent the degradation of the population.

Bashkortostan Chechen Leader Visits Chechnya
Lomali Israilev, the head of the Chechen Public Center in Bashkortostan, visited Chechnya and Ingushetia to meet Chechen refugees and Bashkortostan interior employees serving there, RFE/RL�s Ufa correspondent reported on 21 June. Israilev said residents of the camp in Ingushetia�s Karbolakh told him that they are now being forced out because the Russian authorities refuse them food and medicines. The refugees told him that they want Moscow to begin talks with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, but they said that they won't return to Chechnya until the war is over because at present, Russian forces "seize Chechen children."

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova