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Tatar-Bashkir Report: June 26, 2001

26 June 2001
Tatar Scholar Says New Duma Elections Likely to Be Held Soon
Tatarstan Academician Damir Iskhakov told on 25 June that new elections for the Duma could take place sooner than planned because of difficulties with the government and the new law on parties. He said that latter law may mean that voters in the regions will vote against all parties.

Lenient Sentence for Militant from Tatarstan
Daghestan's Supreme Court issued its verdict regarding the assault on Perm Special Militia Force [OMON] by Chechen militants in Jani-Vedeno area in March 2000, Russian RBC agency [] reported on 25 June. One member of the group, Eduard Valiakhmentov, who had been a resident of Tatarstan, was sentenced to 30 months in prison but then amnestied.

Federalism Said Possible Only If Human Rights Defended
Speaking to a conference in Kazan in 29 June, Swiss scholars said that federalism will be possible in Russia only "if the state protects common human values based on human rights." Tatarstan presidential advisor Rafael Khakimov said that Russia is now making the transition from a unitary state to a federal one and that the republics must play a key role in this process.

Tatarstan to Launch Its Own TV by 30 August
A Ministry of Communications official told Tatarinform agency on 25 June that by the time of the celebration of Republic Day on 30 August, most TV viewers in Tatarstan will be able to watch Tatarstan State TV and the New Century TV on separate channels from Russian RTR TV.

Second Malaria Case in Tatarstan
The second case of malaria in the republic in 2001 has been registered, RIA-Novosti reported on 25 June. The government has sprayed swamp areas to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

New Chief for Federation Body in Tatarstan
Yuri Moskov, has been named chief of the office of the Russian ministry for federation affairs, nationality and migration policy in Tatarstan.

Kalmyk President Comes to Kazan for Soccer Match
Kalmykia President Kirsan Ilumzhinov visited Kazan on 25 June to watch the soccer game between Uralan team from Elista and Rubin team of Kazan. His hometown team won.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Rakhimov Asked to Run Again
Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov visited Neftekamsk on 60th anniversary of German invasion to Soviet Union on 22 June, Bashinform reported. According to the agency, during Rakhimov�s meeting with World War II veterans one of them, 78-year-old Ekaterina Frolova, said that veterans were grateful to him for social security and asked him to run again. She promised to campaign for him in 2003.

Bashkortostan to Adjust to New Political System in Russia
Bashkortostan State Secretary Faukat Kidrasov told on 25 June that the new federal law on political parties would �form a new political system,� characterized by stronger positions for Moscow politicians because regional parties would not take part in Duma elections. He said that Bashkortostan�s government would expect the local branches of nation-wide to defend the interests of the republic.

Tatars in Bashkortostan Unhappy with European Charter Conference�
Tatar organizations in Bashkortostan were not allowed to address the participants of the international conference on European Chart on regional and ethnic minorities� languages on 21-23 June in Ufa, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported. They were also prevented from distributing leaflets intended to draw the attention of conference participants to the problems of Tatars in Bashkortostan.

�But Support the Switch to Latin Tatar Script
Bashkir Pedagogical University Philology Professor Sufian Safuanov supported the efforts of Tatarstan�s government to switch to Latin script in his interview with RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent on 25 June. He said, �at one point, the Latin Tatar alphabet was easy to use and Moscow even supported it."

Bashkortostan Delegation Visits Chuvash Republic
A delegation led by State Assembly chairman Konstantin Tolkachev visited Chuvash Republic on 22-24 June, Bashkortostan State Radio reported. During the celebrations of 450th anniversary of Chuvashia�s inclusion in the Russian State, Tolkachev met the Chuvash president Nikolay Fedorov and Russian PM Mikhail Kasyanov.

Prisons Produce Goods
Prison officials in Bashkortostan said that the 21,000 inmates there had produced more than 100 million worth of goods in 2000.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi