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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 9, 2001

9 August 2001
KamAZ Begins Truck Assembly In Poland
KamAZ has increased its exports abroad to 16 percent of total sales this year, the best result in its history, "Vremya i dengi" reported on 8 August. The company began preparations for assembling its trucks in Poland under a recently signed agreement with Euromet. It is the company's third foreign project over the past two years. The KamAZ assembly line in Ethiopia has produced 330 trucks during the 15 months it has been functioning. The company also delivered 100 assembly sets to Kazakhstan where joint production was launched in April. The KamAZ trade-finance company said that similar projects are now being negotiated with China, Vietnam, Cuba, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan.

'New Century' TV Channel To Begin Broadcasting On Tatarstan Sovereignty Day
Ilshat Aminov, the head of Tatarstan's independent television channel "New Century" that is currently being created, told on 8 August that the channel aims to promote cultural and cognitive programs in the languages spoken by the peoples of Tatarstan peoples and the prevention of violence. He said that the GTRK "Tatarstan" TV company, which is a branch of the Russian VGTRK, allots only 2.5 hours a day for programs in Tatar, which "is not nearly enough for such a large people as the Tatars." He said that the republic's budget has spent 163 million rubles ($45.6 million) so far and that as much again will be needed to finance the channel. He said that the channel will begin test transmissions on 30 August.

Scholar Says Russia Fears Tatars May Join Turkic Common Cultural Space
History Professor Damir Iskhakov told RFE/RL's Kazan bureau on 5 August that Tatarstan should ignore the protests of Tatars outside the republic against latinization of the Tatar language as it was Moscow authorities that initiated those protests. Iskhakov said that if the Turkic peoples agree to use a common alphabet and Tatars join them, then a new common cultural space will appear that will strongly counteract the imperialistic policy of the Russian authorities. By adopting the Latin script, Tatars will leave the Russian political space, and Russia is very afraid of this, he stressed.

Residents To Pay 30 Percent More For International Telephone Calls
International telephone communications tariffs will rise by 30 percent for both private individuals and businesses as of 15 August, Tatar-inform reported on 7 August. Tariffs for budget organizations have been already raised by 30 percent as of 1 July.

Alabuga Presented In Internet
Alabuga has opened its Internet-site, reported on 7 August. The site currently contains information about the history of the city, and in the future will provide information about its infrastructure, natural beauty, and art gallery.

Bid To Revive Komsomol In Chally
RFE/RL's Chally correspondent reported on 8 August that leaflets calling on young people to join the Komsomol (communist youth union) have recently been distributed in the city streets and in local media. Aleksandr Yakuba, the Chally Komsomol organization first secretary, said that his party aims to deter young people from engaging in drug addiction, alcoholism, gangsterism, and prostitution. He said after Vladimir Putin came to power, more suitable conditions have appeared for the activity of Komsomol. However, the organization still has only 30 members.

People's Front Elects Leader
Tatar national organizations and movements at a 8 August meeting discussed the activity of the newly formed People's Front and elected Farid Khabibullin, the former head of the Tatar Youth Theater, to lead the organization, Tatarstan Radio reported.

Prosecutors To Investigate Cholera Outbreak
Republic sanitary officials said on 8 August that 53 residents are curently diagnosed as suffering from cholera and 15 are infected, among them two cases in the republic's Biektau and Elki Districts. No new cholera cases have been registered since 3 August. Viktor Morozov, the Tatarstan chief sanitary doctor, said that materials concerning the cholera outbreak have been sent to the republican prosecutor.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Interior Ministry Employees Avoid Service In Chechnya
An interior ministry contingent left for Chechnya's Urus-Martan Raion on 7 August for three months' service there, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported the next day. They will replace another unit from Bashkortostan that lost two of its members during its service. The correspondent cited an unofficial source as saying that very few interior employees seek to serve in Chechnya and that those who refuse to do so are threatened with dismissal. According to the source, many employees retire in order to avoid service in Chechnya. And at present, interior ministry personnel do not receive much money for their service in Chechnya, unlike at the beginning of the current war.

Exports Growth Reported...
Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov said on 8 August that exports from the republic increased by a factor of six during the first half of the year compared to the same period last year, Bashinform reported. But he said that only a few companies work successfully in this direction, while the production of some 80 percent of the republic's companies, according to the republic's Center for Metrology and Standardization, does not meet quality requirements.

...While Agricultural Production Falls
Baidavletov also told the cabinet meeting that the government has allocated 1.5 billion rubles this year for agriculture, but that the livestock-raising branch has reduced production by 4.4 percent during the first six months of the year, Bashinform reported.

More Periodicals Profitable
Deputy Information and Press Minister Venera Khakimova told the ministry's board on 8 August that newspapers and magazines provided half of their expenses during the six months of the year and that the number of those editions that made a profit increased, Bashinform reported.

Apartments In Ufa Most Expensive In Volga District
Marat Davletshin, the general manager of the Bashkortostan presidential Housing Construction Fund, said on 8 August that his organization attracted 1 billion rubles of investments for mortgage housing construction over past three years and a half, including 450 million rubles this year, Bashinform reported. Some 2,000 apartments were built during the first half of the year in Ufa. But Bashkortostan's capital was reported to have the third highest price for apartments in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg.

By Gulnara Khasanova