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Tatar-Bashkir Report: December 21, 2000

21 December 2000
Shaimiev in Moscow
Tatarstan President Mintimer Shaimiev took part in the 20 December Federation Council meeting, his press service reported. He also met with representatives of two Japanese corporations, Kanematsu and Matsubishi, at which the two sides reached agreement that the Japanese would resume their loan agreement with KamAZ. He also participated in a session of his State Council working group on power-sharing between the federal center and the regions.

Magistrate Judges Begin Work in Tatarstan
The first of 126 magistrate judges elected by Tatarstan's State council begins work on 21 December in Kazan's Novo-Savin district. These judges will deal withcivil c ases such as divorce as well as crimes for which the sentence is under two years in prison. This institution was created to lighten the load on the republic's regular courts, but there is still a problem with too few judges across Tatarstan.

Pyramid Scheme Victims to Get Compensation
Tatarstan has received a seventh monetary transfer from the federal government on 20 December as particial compensation for those who were deceived by Russian financial pyramid schemes in the early 1990s. Some 124,000 rubles ($4400) will be distributed among the mostly elderly people who lost their entire lifetime savings. Another transfer of more than three million rubles is scheduled for January 2001.

By Iskender Nurmi

Ecological Catastrophe Prevented In Bashkortostan
The FSB office in Bashkortostan has exposes illegal radioactive waste disposal by the Radon company near Ufa, Bashinform reported on 20 December. Over the past several years, the company illegally delivered radioactive materials to the republic and buried them without proper permission. The authorities have launched a criminal case against the firm.

Bashkortostan Women's Union Declared The Best In Russia
The RussianWomen's Union on 15-16 December declared its Bashkortostan's branch the best in the country, Bashinform reported on 19 December. The federal organization said that Bashkortostan�s President Murtaza Rakhimov and the republican government had played key roles in defending women and the rights of large families.

Scientists Say Ethnicity Doesn�t Contradict Civic Identity
The Ufa Ethnology Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences has released a statement arguing that policy in Russia�s multiethnic regions like Bashkortostan should be developed on the basis of combination of civic and ethnic models, Bashinform reported on 20 December. Such an approach must recognize, the center's scholars said, that there is no fundamental contradiciton between ethnic and civic identities.

Peoples Assembly Discusses Interethnic Relations
The Bashkortostan People's Assembly convened a conference on �National development and interethnic cooperation of Bashkortostan�s peoples� in Ufa on 21 December, Bashinform reported. The meeting is discussing the history of the formation of the republic's multiethnic population as well as national and public movements of the republic, language, education, and culture.

Sibai Gets New Mayor
Bashkortostan Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov introduced Rail Sarbayev as the new head of the Sibair urban administration on 20 December, Bashinform reported. Sarbayev, who previously served as Zianchurinsk district administration head, replaces Rim Gabidullin at the post. In November, Gabidullin had been criticized by the prime minister for failing to do anything about large wages arrears in the town. But Sibai residents staged demonstrations and collected 10,000 signatures on a petition in his support.

By Gulnara Khasanova