RFE/RL Russian Federation Report: excerpts


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Subject: RFE/RL Russian Federation Report: excerpts

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RFE/RL Russian Federation Report: excerpts


RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
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RFE/RL Russian Federation Report
Vol. 2, No. 24, 28 June 2000
 
A Survey of Developments in the Regions Outside Moscow
Prepared by the Staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
 
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PAN-REGIONAL ISSUES

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ALLEGED KREMLIN-BACKED JEWISH GROUP MAKING INROADS IN REGIONS. Tankred
Golenpolskii, a member of the Russian Jewish Congress, told Keston
News Service on 22 June that the new agreement between the Hasidic
Federation of Jewish Communities and the federal Culture Ministry
could give the Hasidic federation increased access to historic
synagogues in places such as Siberia, which never had a strong Hasidic
presence before 1917 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 19 June 2000). The
Federation, which is headed by a Lubavitch rabbi, Berl Lazar, has been
accused of receiving support of the presidential administration to the
detriment of Russia's chief rabbi, Adolf Shaevich, and more mainstream
Jewish groups in Russia. Federation head Berl Lazar responded that
while his supporters and Shaevich's will now compete for control of
Jewish congregations and synagogues in the regions, secular
authorities rarely play a role in deciding the fate of old synagogues.
A supporter of Shaevich's told Keston that Lazar-supported factions
have already expelled Shaevich-supported factions from local
synagogues in Rostov-na-Donu, Smolensk, and Kostroma. The source, a
reform rabbi, predicted that governors and mayors will choose sides in
these disputes according to "who has the most money." JAC
 
NEW LAW ON COSSACKS CONTEMPLATED. Unity leader Boris Gryzhlov and
Volga Cossack Ataman Boris Gusev agreed on 22 June to work together to
draft a law on Cossacks for the State Duma's fall session, "Izvestiya"
reported on 24 June. (The State Duma had earlier debated such a draft
that was subsequently torpedoed by the Federation Council. President
Putin had called in March for the drafting of a new law on the
Cossacks.) The new law would provide a legislative basis for the
revival and development the Cossack community in Russia. According to
the newspaper, Unity's meeting with the Cossack leader was not
accidental and is part of the party's effort to create a solid
regional base of support to offset the loss of regional leaders'
support following President Putin's plans reforming the federation.
Meanwhile, the Cossacks are looking for new support among the
government since the resignation of Samara Governor Konstantin Titov,
under whose patronage many Cossacks' commercial activities have
operated. Titov is running in the gubernatorial elections in that
oblast scheduled for 2 July. JAC
 

BASHKORTOSTAN
 
PROSECUTOR PROTESTS LOCAL LAWS. Bashkortostan's prosecutor registered
his protest on 27 June against a series of provisions in that
republic's constitution that he says violate federal laws, Interfax
reported. On the same day, the agency reported that a commission,
which will include federal as well as local representatives, will be
created in the near future to reconcile local laws with federal laws.
The head of Bashkortostan's parliament, Konstantin Tolkachev, said
that officials are not talking about bringing Bashkortostan's laws
into line with federal norms but about the coordination between the
[different] pieces of legislation. "Today is not the Soviet period,
and the federal organization [of Russia] has its own peculiarities,
which are necessary to take into account," he continued. He emphasized
that it is necessary to understand the mentality of Bashkirs, who "do
not want to give up gains achieved since the time of Ivan the
Terrible." However, he said it would not be correct to accuse
Bashkortostan of "separatism" since "no one wants to leave Russia or
is planning to." JAC
 
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***********************************************
Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
 
"RFE/RL Russian Federation Report" is prepared by Julie A. Corwin
(JAC) on the basis of a variety of sources, including reporting by
"RFE/RL Newsline" and RFE/RL's broadcast services. Regular
contributors are Jan Cleave (JC), Liz Fuller (LF), and Paul Goble
(PG). It is distributed every Wednesday.
 
Direct comments to Julie A. Corwin at corwinj@rferl.org. For
information on subscriptions or reprints, contact Paul Goble in
Washington at (202) 4576947 or at goblep@rferl.org. Back issues are
online at http://www.rferl.org/russianreport/
 
Technical queries should be emailed to
<listmanager@list.rferl.org>
 
For information on subscriptions or reprints, contact Paul Goble in
Washington at (202) 457-6947 or at goblep@rferl.org. Back issues are
online at http://www.rferl.org/russianreport/
 
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_______________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

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