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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 26, 2000

26 April 2000
Ethnic Groups Of Volga And Urals To Cooperate
A conference involving the representatives of about 10 Turkic and Finno-Ugric regions of the Volga river valley and the Urals was held on 24 April in Yoshkar-Ola, Mari El Republic. Discussions reportedly concerned the issues of ethnic education and preserving the culture of ethnic groups from those areas. The group agreed to hold a Congress of Teachers in the Volga and Urals regions in August and a Congress of Journalists in October. An Idel-Ural fund will be established to sponsor TV programs and a common newspaper covering the life of the regions joining the conference.

According to a public statement from Rais Kashapov, the chairman of the Chally branch of the moderate nationalist Tatar Public Center, "participants in the conference were concerned about the rising pressure of the FSB and KGB [Federal Security Service and Committee for State Security] on ethnic organizations since Vladimir Putin has come to power." Kashapov said he presented a draft charter of the Volga and Ural peoples' Confederation to the conference and "received unanimous support."

UNESCO To Stage Kazan Anniversary
An office of the World Culture Institute was opened in Alabuga, Tatarstan on 23 April. The coordinator of UNESCO's "Culture of Peace" program, David Adams, attended the opening ceremony. Adams stated that he "hoped for the future cooperation [between] UNESCO and Tatarstan." UNESCO will reportedly organize the upcoming celebrations of the 1,000th anniversary of Kazan and the 200th anniversary of Kazan State University.

Medics From Tatarstan Cited For Performance In Chechnya
A conference on emergency medical services in CIS countries was held in Moscow on 25 April. The activities of Tatarstan's operation center in the North Caucasus were praised during the conference. Medical officials from the center have twice visited Chechnya and were called "the most effective brigade operating in the region." Many of Tatarstan's emergency doctors will reportedly receive awards from the Russian government for their work.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi