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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 10, 2001

10 August 2001
Historians Present New Version Of Tatar History
Valerii Tishkov and Rafail Khakimov, the directors of the Russian Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology and of the Institute of History of Tatarstan's Academy of Sciences, held a presentation of the book "The Tatars" within the framework of a conference on "The Great Volga Way," Tatar-inform reported on 8 August. The book, composed by the institutes' scholars, reflects a new view of the history of Tatars and their role in the Russian history and is one of a series that also "The Russians," "The Ukrainians," and "The Belarusians." Tishkov said that "The Tatars" is the best of the series to date.

School Reconstruction Sparks Controversy
At a briefing in the Kazan school No. 12, city administration education department head Ildar Galiakhmetov reaffirmed the city administration's position that the school building needs major reconstruction after a fire and cannot be used for the immediate future, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 9 August. The school is the only one in the city which offers special classes on Jewish culture, and its staff and students have been trying to organize repairs in the building with the financial support of Jewish public organizations. They accused the city administration of seeking to drive them out and sell the building.

Galiakhmetov said that there are no plans either to break up Jewish classes or to stop the school's activity, pointing out that alternative accomodation has been made available for the period of reconstruction. He said that the city administration promotes the development of languages of all 12 ethnic minority groups registered in Kazan and added that Kazan authorities "have nothing at all against Jews."

Tatarstan's chief Rabbi Itskhak Gorelik told RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau on 9 August that "there are neither inter-ethnic nor inter-confessional contradictions in this conflict. Everybody knows Tatarstan, and the [inter-ethnic] aspect does not exist at all in this situation," he stressed.

New Helicopter Model Created In Kazan
A Kazan Helicopter Plant spokesman said that the company has finished assembly of the first Mi-38 helicopter that was designed together with the Moscow Helicopter Plant and the French-German-Canadian Eurocopter, AK&M reported on 9 August.

Tuben Kama Has Best Amenities In Russia
Judges of the Russian-wide competition initiated by Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov named Tuben Kama the town with the best amenities in the country, Tatar-inform reported on 9 August. President Mintimer Shaimiev conveyed congratulations to city Mayor Ilsur Metshin.

Tatar Children From Orenburg Spend Summer In Islamic Camp
More than 60 children from Orenburg Oblast have spent their vacation in the summer Islamic camp, Tatar-inform reported on 9 August. The Muslim community of the oblast together with students from the oblast higher educational institutions and the madrasah of the Tatar Kargala village organized the camp.

By Gulnara Khasanova

Bashkortostan's Economic Results Reported
Industrial production grew in Bashkortostan by 9 percent during the first half of the year, compared with the Russian average of 5.5 percent, Bashinform reported on 9 August. Chuvashia and Sverdlovsk Oblast lead the Volga and Ural Districts with 12.6 and 14.6 percent respectively. Bashkortostan had the second highest growth in investments in the Volga District after Tatarstan, while Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrugs are the Russian leaders. Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Komi, Sakha, and Krasnoyarsk Krai have the largest budget income per capita in Russia, while the Russian average totals 7,210 rubles ($248). Bashkortostan leads in the Volga and Ural Districts in the growth of the population's income with 23.2 percent. At the same time, the republic has the second biggest debt on wages in Russia of 960 million rubles ($33 million), after Tatarstan with 1 billion rubles in the Volga District and Tyumen Oblast with 1.4 billion rubles in the Ural District.

Anti-Semitic Leaflets Distributed In Ufa
RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 8 August that anti-Semitic leaflets have been distributed in Ufa shifting all the blame for the economic crisis in the country on to Jews. The law enforcement bodies have destroyed the leaflets. Ufa Jewish community head Professor Spivak and Chief Rabbi Dan Krichevsky appealed to the republican prosecutor to open a criminal case on the grounds that such leaflets rouse inter-ethnic and inter-confessional conflicts.

Bashkortostan Tatars Call On Tatarstan Leaders To Speed Up Latinization Of Tatar Language...
Representatives of Bashkortostan's Tatar public organizations called on the Tatarstan authorities to begin introducing Latin Tatar script in schools this year, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 8 August. They evaluated the postponement of this measure as capitulation to Moscow. The Tatar Public Center, Milli Mejlis, Miras, Azatliq Tatar Youth Union, Ufa Cultural Capital heads signed the appeal.

...And To Promote Their Interests
Bashkortostan's Tatar Milli Mejlis head Marat Ramazanov called on the presidents of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan to discuss at their forthcoming meeting the development of the Tatar language and culture in Bashkortostan, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reported on 8 August. Ramazanov said that the previous agreements between Ufa and Kazan have not been implemented as Tatarstan did not set up its representation in Bashkortostan, and that no measures on promotion of Tatar culture and language have been taken. On the contrary, he said, the policy of bashkirization is continuing.

By Gulnara Khasanova