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Tatar-Bashkir Report: April 27, 1999

27 April 1999
Tatar Politicians Comment On Vsya Rossiya
Several leading Tatar politicians spoke about the electoral bloc Vsya Rossiya, created last week on the initiative of Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev. Ivan Grachev, Russian State Duma deputy from Tatarstan and the leader of the "Development of Entrepreneurship" movement, told Tatar-inform that a complete unification of Vsya Rossiya with Otechestvo by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov "is not very probable," but coordinated actions between the two during electoral campaigns are possible. Grachev, one of the organizers of Vsya Rossiya, said participation of the bloc in elections would lead to the election of an "efficient, reasonable Duma." According to the first secretary of the Communist Party of Tatarstan, Vladimir Mashkov, the goal of Vsya Rossiya is to consolidate the efforts of proponents of market reforms in order to put "administrative pressure upon the course of elections and the electorate." He said he believes that an association of Vsya Rossiya with Otechestvo and also cooperation with Golos Rossii -- headed by Samara Governor Konstantin Titov -- is possible. The secretary of the Republican Committee of the Communist Party of Tatarstan, Robert Sadykov, said that Vsya Rossiya could squeeze out the candidates of some leftist parties, especially if it aligns with Otechestvo and Golos Rossii.

The leader of Tatarstan's State Council faction Idel-Yort (Volga Is Our Home), Fandas Safiullin, said the main task of both Vsya Rossiya and Otechestvo is to not allow the Communists to come to power. Safiullin said if this goal is realized the Communists will be in disarray. Luzhkov is known to crave power and he calls for the dissolution of national (ethnic-based) republics and for a unitary Russia. Shaimiev, one the other hand, is a federalist who supports national republics, and preserving the sovereignty they have acquired. The leader of the political organization Omet-Nadezhda (Hope), Muslim leader Gabdulla Galiulla, said that the Vsya Rossiya bloc would pursue the goal of concentrating political and financial power "in the same hands." He is not surprised by the cooperation between Vsya Rossiya and Otechestvo because he sees their goals as very similar.

Chally Mayor To Reduce Staff
Rashid Khamadeyev, the mayor of Tatarstan's second city of Chally, said the staff of Chally's administration will be reduced from 400 to 240 people. The recently-appointed Khamadeyev held a press conference on 26 April in which he discussed plans to repay overdue pensions and wages. He said wage arrears to state employees will be repaid within three months, and that two months old debts to pensioners will be settled in May. The mayor also learned from the republican government that it will defer payment on a 230 million ruble credit by the city. Khamadeyev said this will allow Chally to save 7.5 million rubles a month previously allocated credit payments. He added that the KamAZ truck concern has paid 1 million rubles in taxes, making it the first to make a cash contribution into the city budget.

Crimean Tatars To Hold Protests
Crimean Tatars will stage rallies from 6-18 May to mark the 55th anniversary of their deportation from the Crimea, Tatar-inform reported. The Crimean Majlis decided that demonstrators would march from several Crimean cities to Simferopol.

The main goal of the action is to the attract attention of the authorities and the public to the dismal conditions that many Crimean Tatars face. Ukrainian and Crimean authorities will reportedly take measures to reduce the extent of the rallies. The chairman of the Crimean parliament, L. Grach, accused the Tatars' Majlis of "nationalist radicalism" and deemed it illegal.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova