Unlike Chechnya’s new constitution, that of Tatarstan still uses the word “sovereignty” in referring to the republic. The last six months have seen a struggle between officials of the Tatarstan republic, including its judges, and the federal center, which is working to strike down that provision. The Tatars won the latest round when the republic’s supreme court upheld the controversial text. But the general prosecutor’s office of the federal government announced recently that it intends to appeal that decision to Russia’s Supreme Court. If that court decides against the “sovereignty” passage and other disputed parts of the Tatarstan constitution, the next step might be a federal order disbanding the Tatar legislature. That, at least, is a conclusion reached in the “Russian Regional Report,” which is published jointly by American University in Washington and the Center for Security Studies in Zurich. So far the confrontation has remained peaceful.
–RIGHTS OFFICIAL DISAPPEARS