23 June 2000
DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTANMass Media Forum On Problems And Russia's Future
On 22 June, participants in the Russian National Mass Media Forum in Kazan laid wreaths on the Kazan monument to victims of World War II, commemorating the date of the German invasion in 1941. Later that day, reporters and media chiefs from all Russian regions joined a conference on the historical and cultural interaction of the Turkic and Slavic peoples. The president of Tatarstan's Academy of Sciences, professor Mansur Khasanov; Tatarstan's parliamentary speaker, Farit Mukhametshin; the adviser to Tatarstan's president and director of Tatarstan's history institute, Rafael Khakimov; the Russian geopolitical expert, Aleksandr Dugin; writer and Kyrgyz ambassador to the Benelux countries, Chingiz Aytmatov; and the poet and Kazakh ambassador to Italy, Olzhas Suleymenov, shared their views on the idea of the Eurasian unity of Slavic and Turkic peoples. They agreed that a stable and prospering "common house" could not be constructed in Eurasia without the concerted activities of both peoples.
Dugin again promoted the idea of making Kazan a third Russian capital after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, because, he said Kazan represents an intersection of oriental and western cultures. On the same day, an "All of Russia" forum included a conference on problems with modern journalism in the federation. In his opening speech, the general-secretary of the Russian Federation's Journalists Union, Igor Yakovenko, stated that "in the last several years over 200 reporters have been killed in the countries of the former USSR, with more than 100 being killed in Russia. There is an undeclared war being waged against journalists. It's necessary to protect the reporters from officials, even [from] State Duma deputies 'money bags,' and regional governors." Yakovenko referred to a statement by the deputy speaker of the State Duma, pro-Kremlin Unity party member Lyubov Slizska, who urged a prohibition on reporters conducting their own investigations. Yakovenko added that "every Russian region has its own attitude towards the freedom of speech. [This] dangerous fractionalization trend in Russian society [wasn't caused by] the community of reporters."
Putin To Visit Kazan
The administration of Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, announced on 22 June that Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to visit Kazan on 23 June. Putin is expected to join a meeting of the Russian Ministry of Emergencies that same day that will be devoted to the consequences of the severe rainstorms that plagued the republic on 19-20 June. On 24 June, Putin and his family will reportedly join the celebrations of the traditional Tatar holiday of Sabantuy, which marks the end of the sowing season.
U.S. Company To Assist Tatarstan In Hard Oil Extraction
Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, met representatives of the ABB Lummus Global Company on 22 June. Prime Minister Rustam Minnikhanov and the president of Lumus Global, Stiven Solomon, signed a memorandum of cooperation, which will allow Tatarstan to use the experience of Lummus Global in the extraction of hard bituminous oil and small oil deposits. According to Shaimiev, "Tatarstan possesses billions of tons of hard bituminous oil."
Anti-Drug Efforts Intensified In Kazan
The republican board against drug trafficking in Tatarstan announced on 22 June that the number of drug addicts in Kazan has increased by 1.5 times compared to the previous year. According to the board, about 40 percent of all students in Kazan have tried drugs at least once. At the top of the list of higher educational institutions in Kazan where drug use is rampant is Kazan State University (KSU) and the Kazan Construction Academy (KCA). Special anti-drug security services will be formed at KSU and KCA to prevent the further spread of drug use.
By Iskender Nurmi