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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 22, 2001

22 August 2001
Court's Ruling Fails To Clarify Fate Of Jewish School
The Vakhitovsky district Court of Kazan has partially upheld the claim of parents of students at the Jewish cultural school who protested Kazan mayor Kamil Iskhakov's ruling that it is impossible to reconstruct the school building after the recent fire, RFE/RL's Kazan Bureau reported on 21 August. The court chaired by judge Galina Andreyanova annulled article 1.2 of the mayor's resolution, which said that Jewish classes should be moved to the building of school #80.

Before the court hearing, school director Naila Gubaydullina told the reporters that the school building will be fully repaired by the beginning of new school year on 1 September thanks to the assistance of the local Jewish community, the Israeli Embassy in Moscow, the Israeli Ministry of Education, and other Jewish organizations.

Judge Andreyanova told mass media on 21 August that the court's ruling was motivated by the fact that school #80 does not have enough space for its own students. She added that in her opinion, the parents of the Jewish school pupils cannot afford comprehensive reconstruction works in their school building but can only repair the decorative parts of the building. She suggested that Jewish classes should be moved to other schools in Kazan.

Tatar Historian Says Russia's Instability Could Lead To Another Coup
Commenting on the possibilities of a repeat of the 1991 August coup in Russia, Tatar historian Damir Iskhakov told reporters on 21 August that another coup is possible because modern Russia is very unstable and dependent on world oil prices. He stated that if oil prices fall drastically, thus cutting the revenues of Russian budget, there could be dramatic changes in the Russian government, caused by the search for the "guilty ones."

Tatarstan Faces Deficit Of School Teachers
Tatarstan's deputy minister of education, Ilsur Khadiullin, told a press conference on 21 August that about 3,000 new teachers will begin working in Tatarstan's schools this school year. Nevertheless 2,000 vacancies for teachers remain unfilled, and as a result, 340 schools reportedly have no teachers of foreign languages or sports.

SPS Fails To Attract Kazan Residents' Attention To A Historic Date
Only some 30 members of local Union of Rightist Forces (SPS) branch showed up on Freedom Square in Kazan on 21 August for a demonstration devoted to the tenth anniversary of the failed coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Tatneft Hopes To Extract Oil For Sudan reported on 21 August that Tatarstan's Tatneft Company is one of the companies resuming talks with Sudan's President Omar Bashir on signing a contract for oil extraction in South Sudan. According to the "Guardian," Sudan's government troops are currently using ground-to-ground missiles bought from one of the CIS states to fight the rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army in the oil-rich south of the country.

Tatarstan A Leader In Detection Of Drug Trafficking
The acting chief of the Nizhnii Novgorod drugs enforcement militia department, Aleksandr Kiselev, told on 21 August that Tatarstan, Bashkortostan and Nizhnii Novgorod Oblast lead the Volga federal district statistics with the most cases of drugs trafficking detected.

AIDS Threatens The Teenage Populations Of TR
Tatarstan's medics revealed a growing number of children infected with sexually transmitted deceases, Efir TV reported on 21 August. According to official statistics, the average age of persons testing HIV-positive is now about 12-13. The use of unsterile syringes among drug addicts is reportedly no longer the major cause of AIDS infections. So far 643 teenagers with this fatal virus have been registered in TR.

Harvesting Season Reaches Its Peak
Over 60% of Tatarstan's crops have been harvested by 22 August. Aznakay, Alexeevsky, Archa, Bua, Nurlat and Chistay regions are expected to be the first to finish harvesting, while Yutazi and Mendeleevsk regions showed the lowest figures.

Iskender Nurmi

Agriculture Still A Burden On Bashkortostan's Economy
Bashkortostan's government has summed up the results of the republic's economic development during the first half of 2001, Bashinform reported. The government stated that there were positive trends in growing tax revenues and the general fall in unemployment, but the situation in agriculture was assessed as "unstable." In comparison with the previous year, farm production fell by 2%.

Russian Company To Study The Potential Of Bashkorotstan's Military Equipment Plants
Representatives of Russia's Rosoboronexport company are due to visit Bashkortostan on 23-24 August to assess the export potential of former defense industry plants in the republic.

Harvest Figures Assessed As Unsufficient
According to "Respublika Bashkortostan" on 22 August, the republican government has criticized collective farms for managing to gather only 43% of the planned amount of grain so far.

Government Resumes Strict Control Over The Economic Development
The Bashkir Cabinet of Ministers has issued a decree on implementing a program of structural reform of the economy in the second half of 2001. The program includes instructions to both state bodies and the republic's industries to increase the profitability of production by reducing the costs.

Republic Maintains Subsidies For Socially Unprotected Population
Bashkortostan's state budget allotted over 34 million rubles [$1.2 million] for compensating socially insecure families for the cost of housing services. Some 354,000 people will thus benefit from lower heat, water, gas and electricity fees.

Iskender Nurmi