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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 21, 2001

21 August 2001
Shaimiev Admits Power Sharing Treaty Could Be Abolished
"Vremya novostei" on 20 August quoted President Mintimer Shaimiev on 20 August as saying that "it is hard to build a federal state, but it is necessary to do it on the basis which exists today." Shaimiev reportedly approved the construction of a power vertical, but added that some of President Vladimir Putin's methods "sometimes contradict democratic norms."

Shaimiev said that Tatarstan's government will not be able to complete the process of amending the republic's Constitution to bring it into conformity with federal laws by September 2001 as desired by Moscow. He added that although he used to say that the power-sharing treaty between Kazan and Moscow was "eternal," "it could be annulled, given that [those] powers are fully divided by laws" in different fields. Until now, Shaimiev spoke of the treaty as the only thing linking the Tatarstan Republic with Russia.

Federal Minister Inspects Tatarstan
President Shaimiev met Russian Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations Gennadii Kirillov on 20 August in Kazan, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported. Kirillov said the purpose of his visit is to inspect the organization of local emergency bodies and the state of their equipment. He said that this inspection is "important because Tatarstan has many industrial enterprises that are of strategic importance in times of both both war and peace."

Tatarstan's Traffic Police To Control Gudermes-Mozdok Road...
Officers of Tatarstan's traffic police have left Kazan for service in Gudermes, Chechnya on 20 August, news agencies reported. They are to ensure safety on the so-called "Caucasus Highway" connecting Gudermes and Mozdok. Before their departure, the servicemen took a short course in the traditions of the Chechen people.

...As Other Tatar Police Branches Prove Effective There
Interior Ministry servicemen from Tatarstan Republic operating in Gudermes, Chechnya have arrested militant Mehidi Timerbulatov, who organized a terrorist act which killed three militia officers and wounded 30 civilians in June 2001, reported on 20 August. Within the last several months of service in Gudermes Tatar militiamen confiscated a large quantity of automatic guns and explosives, and succeeded in solving16 crimes and detaining a terrorist who planned to blow up the Rostov-Baku highway.

Kazan Not Ready For Winter, Official Says
Kazan Housing Inspection Chief Hamit Gazeev told city Mayor Kamil Iskhakov on 20 August that as a result of the delay in paying the salaries of heating system workers, only 15% of houses in Tatarstan's capital are prepared for winter.

Federal Inspector Visits Chally
Chief federal inspector to Tatarstan Republic Marsel Galimardanov has visited Chally to meet the directors of the KamAZ truck concern and Paper Factory there, Tatnews reported on 20 August. During his trip he also presented the new identification documents signed by President Vladimir Putin to judges in the republic's Kama area. Galimardanov met the city administration officials to agree on opening a local representation of the office of the presidential envoy to Volga federal district in order to deal with complaints from Chally residents.

Duma Deputy From TR To Compensate Moral Damage to Moscow Mayor
A Moscow city court on 20 August ruled that businessman Sergei Shashurin, who represents Tatarstan in the Russian State Duma, must pay Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov 5,000 rubles [$171] in compensation for slandering him during a TV broadcast.

In late 1999 Shashurin told ORT journalist Sergei Dorenko that Luzhkov was involved in the theft of 5,000 KamAZ trucks from the factory in Chally. Luzhkov's lawyers reportedly stated after the hearing that the immunity he enjoys as a State Duma deputy "saved Shashurin from a more severe verdict."

Tatarstan To Produce 5 Million Tons Of Grain
President Mintimer Shaimiev told reporters on 20 August that Tatarstan's farmers expect to collect over 5 million tons of grain by this fall. He said that amount would make Tatarstan the fourth most dynamic agricultural producer among Russia's regions.

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Young Bashkir Nationalists Undergo Military Training
One of the most radical Bashkir youth organizations, Ittifak, organized a special camp in the Baymak region of the BR for training military skills and improving the physical condition of its members, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent reported on 20 August. Ittifak leader Airat Yulmukhammetov told RFE/RL that the Bozkurt military-patriotic camp aims to prepare young men for service in the Russian Army, because many of the recruits sent to Chechnya reveal that they are not ready for hard living conditions.

According to previous RFE/RL reports from the region, Ittifak members held a number of protests against the Russian military presence in Chechnya and in support of Chechen independence.

Unemployment Falls To About 1% In Salavat
The unemployment rate fell to 1.31% in Salavat, Bashkortostan, by early August, 2001 AROMI reported on 21 August. Local employment exchange statistics show that currently there is only one applicant per job, while in 2000 there were three people applying for each vacant position.

Ufa Mayor Speaks For Renaming The Streets
Ufa Mayor Rauf Nugumanov urged a meeting of city officials on 20 August to speed up the process of replacing the old street name signs with new ones in the Bashkir and Russian languages. He emphasized that some 15% of the streets must be renamed because the present names are impossible to translate into Bashkir.

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