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Tatar-Bashkir Report: February 9, 2000

9 February 2000
Zyuganov Says Elections In Tatarstan Were Fraudulent
After being officially registered as a presidential candidate on 8 February, Russian Communist party leader Gennadii Zyuganov mentioned in an interview with Russian television stations that "a significant amount of votes were stolen" from his party in Tatarstan during the last elections for the Russian State Duma, calling them a "total fraud." The same day, Russian Central Election Committee Chairman Aleksandr Veshnyakov did not confirm Zyuganov's statement, but admitted that the voting procedures in Tatarstan "were not perfect." Tatarstan's Republican Election Committee deputy chairwoman, Lyubov Guseva, refuted Zyuganov's statement, calling it "unsubstantiated" on 8 February and saying that Communist Party representatives were a part of all local election commissions in the republic and thus able to monitor the voting process.

Tatarstan-New Century Sets Terms For Supporting Putin
A meeting of the Tatarstan-New Century (TNC) movement led by State Council Chairman Farit Mukhametshin on 8 February agreed that the movement would support Vladimir Putin as a presidential candidate if he agreed to several of the movements policies. Those required issues include solving the conflict in Chechnya through negotiations, preserving the terms of the power-sharing treaty between Moscow and Kazan, and to preserve the status of the Republic of Tatarstan within the Russian Federation.

More Soldiers From Tatarstan Killed In Chechnya
One recruit and three professional soldiers from the Etne and Zey regions of Tatarstan were killed in combat actions in Chechnya, Tatarinform agency reported on 9 February. This reportedly ups the death toll of soldiers from Tatarstan killed in Chechnya to 25. According to a statement from the republic's military commissioner's office from 24 January, over 500 recruits and 101 professional soldiers from Tatarstan are serving in the rebellious republic.

Tatar Official Says Moscow Didn't Order Chechen Office Closed
On 8 February, the director of the Presidential Foreign Affairs Department, Timur Akulov, disagreed with a statement by the former Chechen representative in Kazan, Umar Ayupov, which stated that his office had been closed on order of Moscow. Ayupov made his statement in an interview with Tatarstan's state TV on 6 February. Akulov said that if there was such an order from the federal government, his department would refer to it. "But," he said, "the Chechen representation in Kazan was opened according to the bilateral agreement between (the Kazan and Grozny) governments." Akulov stated that Ayupov has already begun collecting documents for establishing a new office with a new status of trade representation, "but there is a problem with defining whom it would represent" in the current complicated circumstances.

Injured Russian Soldiers Arrive From Chechnya
Some 150 Russian soldiers injured in Chechnya were brought to the Kazan airport late on 8 February. Before being placed in hospitals they will be kept in the mobile hospital of Tatarstan's Ministry of Emergencies at the airport.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi