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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 3, 2001

3 August 2001
Chally National Organizations To Mark Anniversary Of Sovereignty Declaration
Tatar Public Center deputy chairman Damir Sheikhreziev told RFE/RL's Kazan bureau on 1 August that the national movements in Chally are concerned about Russia's attempts to eliminate Tatarstan's sovereignty. He criticized Tatarstan's leaders for their reluctance to openly address the republic's population and clarify their position. "We must preserve our achievements and not take a step back under pressure from Moscow," he stressed.

Sheikhreziev called on national organizations to unite, and said that leaders of Chally branches of national organizations plan to hold a meeting on 30 August to mark the anniversary of Tatarstan's Declaration of Sovereignty.

He said that all republican leaders should be able to speak the Tatar language and all republican legal acts must be presented in both state languages.

200 More WWII Victims From Tatarstan Known
On an expedition to the Neva Patch memorial in Leningrad Oblast, a group of researchers from Tatarstan's Book of Remembrance found Nazi leaflets in Russian and Tatar and the remains of 44 Red Army servicemen, Tatarstan Television reported on 1 August. However, the new local administration prohibited their reburial on the territory of the memorial.

The deputy editor of the Tatarstan Book of Remembrance, Valerii Cherepanov, said that the authorities explained their refusal by the fact that the father of President Vladimir Putin had been injured in the Neva Patch so the place has been designated a memorial zone. But at the same time, the administration permitted representatives of Germany to construct a Catholic church there, saying that German soldiers were also buried there. Cherepanov quoted Leningrad Oblast veterans as commenting that they had defended the Neva Patch for two years during the World War II, but the oblast administration surrendered it without a battle. As a result of the expedition, 200 more names of republic residents who died while defending Leningrad Oblast were added to the republic's Book of Remembrance.

Telephone Tariffs Up
The Communications Ministry has announced that telephone tariffs will be raised by some 30 percent as of 15 August, Tatar-inform reported on 2 August. Users of private telephones will pay a monthly subscription of 39-65 rubles and 8 kopecks for every minute of conversation, while for offices, these sums will total 84-252 rubles and 10 kopecks respectively. Meanwhile, the agency noted citizens' complaints that after the introduction of per-minute charge, the quality of communications did not improve.

More Cholera Cases Reported
Forty seven cases of cholera had been registered in Kazan by the morning of 2 August, 26 of them children. The city authorities closed six food markets for sanitary procedures.

Businessmen Seek To Unite
The Head of the Department for the Support of Businesses, Nuri Mustafayev, took part in a Volga District conference on "Business and Authority: Cooperation Strategy in the XXI Century" in Nizhnii Novgorod, Tatar-inform reported on 2 August. Mustafayev said in his report at the conference that the public movement uniting businessmen is currently inefficient because its participants are dispersed. The conference participants called for holding a Russia-wide businessmen's forum in order to set up a Union of Associations of Russian Businessmen.

Textbooks In Latin Script Printed
Tatarstan Radio reported on 1 August that the Education Ministry is printing reading, mathematics, science, and Tatar language textbooks for the first classes of secondary schools in Latin script, and that the cabinet has allotted the necessary funding to satisfy schools' demands.

Higher Institution Lecturer Accused Of Bribery
The Chally court began hearing a case against a lecturer at the Kama Polytechnic Institute who is accused of receiving 2,000 rubles in bribes from students, Tatarstan Radio reported on 1 August. Students say he sold them completed tests giving the correct answers for 100 rubles each. The defendant was one of three lecturers accused of bribery as a result of a broad action earlier this year by the department on fighting economic crimes of the Chally Interior Board together with the Kama Polytechnic Institute students' trade union. The initiators of the campaign consider it a great success that at least one case reached court.

By Gulnara Khasanova

No Celebrations On Power-Sharing Treaty Anniversary
No official measures will be held in Bashkortostan this year to mark 3 August, the anniversary of the signing the power-sharing between Moscow and Ufa, unlike a year ago when the event was broadly celebrated, reported on 2 August. The agency cited a presidential press service official as commenting that "this is not, after all, the storming of the Bastille."

Ufa Not Give Up Its Positions To EES
Constitutional Court chairman Ildus Adihamov on 1 August again confirmed the republic's position in the ongoing conflict between Bashkirenergo and Unified Energy Systems (EES), Bashinform reported. He said that the clash of interests was initiated outside Bashkortostan and that the republic's government, which owns a controlling interest in Bashkirenergo, cannot agree to pay the full sum required by EES as then it would have to increase energy tariffs for the population. Meanwhile, EES employees' salaries are ten times higher than those of Bashkirenergo staff, he said. Adihamov added that there are no political reasons behind the conflict but a struggle for economic interests and for influence in Bashkortostan.

Minister Calls For Speeding Up Reforms In Municipal Sector
Pavel Kachkaev, the head of the Housing-Municipal Services Ministry, criticized city and district administrations heads for the slow pace of reforms in the sector, Bashinform reported on 1 August. He stressed that city and district administrations deliberately preserve monopolies in municipal services. He noted that currently 10 percent of water and 12.5 percent of electricity supplies are being lost. And he added that preparation by the housing sector for the autumn and winter is "unsatisfactory."

Oil Extraction Down, Processing Up
Oil and gas extraction fell during the first half of the year by 3.8 and 2.5 percent to 5 million tons and 187.5 million cubic meters respectively compared with the same period last year, Bashinform reported on 2 August. But oil processing increased by 14.3 percent to 14.3 million tons. And production of black oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline rose by 10-30 percent.

Official Linguistic Body Set Up To Translate Signs Into Bashkir
An official Bashkir linguistic center has been set up to provide qualified translation of signs from or into the Bashkir, Russian, Tatar, and English languages. The measure will enable institutions to avoid placing signs in Bashkir that is so bad it "shocks" readers, the agency noted.

By Gulnara Khasanova