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Tatar Congress Vows To Hold Own Global Census

Participants at a conference of Tatar associations in Russia in July 2009.
KAZAN -- The World Tatar Congress has resolved to hold a worldwide census for Tatars, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

The initiative comes on the heels of a federal announcement to postpone a nationwide census originally scheduled for 2010-2013.

"The census will be organized not only in Russia, but all over the world," World Tatar Congress leader Rinat Zakirov said during a recent session of Tatarstan parliament.

The Russian Statistics Committee said the census planned for 2010 was postponed because of the economic crisis.

During the last census in Russia in 2002, Tatar organizations alleged that the number of Tatars within Russia was underreported, as local and federal authorities tried to subdivide them into various ethnic groups.

There are said to be some 5.5 million Tatars living in Russia and an estimated 1.25 million in Uzbekistan.