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RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report -- 8 August 2005

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  • Uli Schamiloglu
    This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) http://www.rferl.org Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty 2005 RFE/RL, Inc.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 8 10:42 AM
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      This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/Radio
      Liberty (RFE/RL)
      http://www.rferl.org

      Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

      2005 RFE/RL, Inc.
      All Rights Reserved

      RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report
      8 August 2005
      DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN
      Federal Finance Ministry Says Moscow Winding Up Investment Program In
      Tatarstan
      Russian Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin said after an inspection of Kazan's
      public transport, industrial infrastructure, concert and sports venues, the
      environment, and housing on 6 August that problems targeted by federal and
      republican investment ahead of the millennial celebrations in Tatarstan's
      capital have been resolved. The investments came within the republic's
      2001-06 socioeconomic-development and millennial-celebration plans. After
      the celebrations, Kudrin said, Kazan and Tatarstan will share the cost of
      finishing projects to build social facilities. The federal government will
      also transfer 6.5 billion rubles ($224 million) to complete the federal
      program for Tatarstan's development. In the future, Tatarstan will
      reportedly be allowed to seek further federal investment through a special
      government investment fund, on equal terms with other regions in the
      Russian Federation.

      Kazan, St. Petersburg Discuss Monumental Mixup; Resolution Later Emerges
      Visiting St. Petersburg's deputy governor, Aleksandr Vakhmistrov, told
      reporters on 4 August that Kazan's authorities will make their own decision
      over whether to decorate the newly opened St. Petersburg Street with a
      monument to Peter the Great, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the next day.
      Prior to that statement, Kazan Mayor Kamil Iskhakov publicly shared his
      concern over local residents' responses -- some of whom view Peter as a
      symbol of oppression suffered by Muslims in Russia, he noted, while others
      view him as an organizer of the first admiralty in Kazan, which helped to
      usher in economic prosperity from trade routes. Vakhmistrov said his
      administration "will not interfere" in the monument affair, he vowed. Two
      days later, on 6 August, Kazan Deputy Mayor Elfie Tutaeva told a news
      conference that St. Petersburg Street will house a monument to St.
      Petersburg native Lev Gumilev, a renowned researcher of Turkic history.

      Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

      DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN
      Rakhimov Meets With Federal Officials
      During his visit to Moscow on 1-2 August, Bashkir President Murtaza
      Rakhimov discussed socioeconomic development and republican politics with
      Russian presidential administration head Dmitrii Medvedev during a visit to
      Moscow on 1-2 August, RosBalt reported on 4 August, citing the Bashkir
      presidential press service. The officials exchanged opinions regarding
      candidacies for the posts of chairman of the Bashkir Arbitration Court and
      the Russian Justice Ministry's republican board. A source within the
      Bashkir presidential administration reportedly told the news agency that
      "Medvedev was interested in how opponents of the current regional
      authorities behave and what might be expected from them." Rakhimov also met
      with Russian presidential aide Viktor Ivanov and Russian Finance Minister
      Aleksei Kudrin to discuss preparations for celebrations commemorating the
      450th anniversary of Bashkortostan's incorporation into Russia.

      Nine Sentenced Over Participation In Radical Islamic Group...
      Bashkortostan's Supreme Court has convicted nine people of membership of
      the banned Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Interfax-Povolzhe reported on 3
      August. Eight received prison sentences of between 3 1/2 years and 8 1/2
      years. The other defendant was given a 4 1/2-year suspended sentence. All
      of the defendants had acknowledged their membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir but
      denied they were guilty of any crimes, including the establishment of a
      criminal group for the purpose of committing serious crimes, involvement in
      or promotion of terrorist crimes, or the illegal purchase and possession of
      arms or explosive substances.

      ...As Rights Activists Report More Fabricated Cases Against Muslims
      The chairwoman of the Civic Support Committee, Svetlana Gannushkina,
      alleged on 2 August that criminal cases against Islamic extremists have
      been fabricated to allow the appearance that such extremism is on the rise
      in Russia, islam.ru reported on 4 August. NGO Memorial representative
      Vitalii Ponomarev said at the same forum that human rights activists are
      following 23 cases in 20 federal regions involving 80 defendants. Ponomarev
      added that there is a threat that the number of such cases will increase,
      citing a recent statement by the head of the Federal Security Service's
      (FSB) antiterrorism board, who said extremist religious activities have
      been uncovered in 50 entities of the Russian Federation. Human rights
      activists have claimed that Muslims are often accused of "possessing banned
      literature," while they said that not a single book has been banned in
      Russia and no expertise of seized literature has been sought. Conference
      participants also claimed that special services often try to provoke
      Muslims or fabricate weapons or narcotics offenses.

      80 Percent Of Population Is 'Low Income'
      A survey by the Center for Social and Political Studies at Bashkortostan's
      Academy of Sciences suggests that the average salary among Bashkortostan
      residents was 5,495 rubles ($193) in 2004, "Moskovskii komsomolets v Ufe"
      reported on 5 August. More than 3 percent of salaries are at or below the
      minimum wage of 720 rubles, while the salaries of government officials were
      22 times those of nongovernment workers. Some 2 percent of the republic's
      population is high-income, 18 percent is middle-income, and 80 percent is
      low-income, according to the study. Bashkortostan's residents spent a
      combined 76 percent of their income on food and 19 percent on services.

      Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova


      Uli Schamiloglu
      Professor of Turkic & Central Eurasian Studies
      Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia
      1254 Van Hise, 1220 Linden Drive
      Madison, WI 53706 USA
      tel. 1-608-262-7141 (office), 1-608-262-3012 (department), 1-608-265-3538 (fax)
      Email: uschamil@...
      LCA website: <http://lca.wisc.edu/>lca.wisc.edu
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