Page 1

The Kazan Herald

No. 4 (22)

April 13, 2012

Tatarstan’s first and only English newspaper

Photograph courtesy of Tatarstan State Council Press Service.

Tatarstan State Council Debates Dalny, Human Rights

Republic ombudsman on human rights Saria Saburskaya, center, reading her report to the Tatarstan State Council.

by Rustem Yunusov 10 April—The death of Sergei Nazarov after being sodomized and beaten by officers of Dalny’s police station became the focus of the 27th session of the State Council of the Republic of Ta‑ tarstan on 29 March. During the session, the State Council listened to a report from republic ombudsman on human rights Saria Saburskaya. Saburskaya reported that the Commissioner for Human rights had received 2,000 complaints from Tatarstan in 2011, a 48 per cent increase since the previous year. The majority of these com‑ plaints were about housing and communal services (23 per cent) and complaints over judicial de‑ cisions or conduct of police offi‑ cers (16 per cent). Ten per cent of the complaints were over so‑ cial problems. Tatarstan businesses are still not providing working conditions

that are adequately safe, Sabur‑ skaya reported. A total of 107 workers died on the job in con‑ struction and manufacturing last year, in addition to 230 severe accidents and a growth in inci‑ dents of workplace‑contracted diseases and medical condi‑ tions. Saburskaya devoted consid‑ erable attention to police brutality, arguing that law enforcement agencies have been too dismis‑ sive of complaints against officers. “The latency of this type of crime is very high,” Saburskaya declared. “The heads of police stations are not interested in the detection of and control of this problem.” The ombudsman received 24 complaints about police brutality and illegal investigations in 2011. Only one of these complaints re‑ sulted in the opening of a criminal case. Continued on page 2

Safarov Resigns in Wake of Dalny Scandal by Robert May 5 April—Tatarstan Minister of Interior Asgat Safarov submitted his letter of resignation today, less than a month after Kazan citizen Sergei Nazarov was allegedly beaten and sodomized to death with a champagne bottle by offi‑ cers from Dalny police station. Nazarov’s death in Kazan City Hospital No. 18 due to injuries inflicted by Kazan police officers sparked indignant outcry that resonated across Russia. Pro‑ testers in Kazan gathered out‑ side the ministry’s main building

Kira Maslova/KH.

Mothers Claim City Land Allocation Site Radioactive

Most of the participants in the protest were mothers with children and strollers.

by Kira Maslova 22 March—Mother with stroll‑ ers and children in tow came out to ploshchad Svobody on Thurs‑ day, 15 March, to protest the lo‑ cation of land allocated to Kazan’s multi‑child families. Picketing “in defense of the rights and freedom of large fam‑ ilies,” the group is upset that the land allocation lies far from the center of Kazan, in Vysokogorsky district. More importantly, how‑ ever, the group is up in arms over Continued on page 2

with champagne bottles and de‑ manding an audience with Sa‑ farov. Safarov publicly apologized and stated that he himelf was “ready to face any punishment,” but the situation for the minster continued to deteriorate, as nu‑ merous other allegations of po‑ lice brutality continued to surface, drawing attention from interna‑ tional news outlets such as The New York Times. Safarov indicated today that he had come to this decision a while back, but explained that he

opted against resigning in the im‑ mediate aftermath of Nazarov’s death, a move that “would have been cowardly and disloyal to the force, effectively saying I’m leav‑ ing, sort this out yourselves.” Nine officers at Dalny police station were fired following Naz‑ arov’s death, five of which were arrested on criminal charges, and the entire station’s staff was put on official review. Sweeping re‑ forms of police procedure, includ‑ ing one that rewards meeting and surpassing existing arrest statis‑ tics, have also been promised.

In this Issue... Business · Page 3 Rockwool Opens Factory in Alabuga SEZ Chihuahua Farmers Rep Sees Tatarstan As Export Destination IAL Group Opens Regional Office In Tatarstan Sports · Page 4 Traktor Disposes of Ak Bars Rubin Gets Needed Win Against Anji Valdez Goal Enough To Draw With Dynamo Tourism · Page 5 Apanaevskaya Mosque At Tsiferblat, Time Really Is Money Opinion · Pages 6‑7 Glimmers of Hope in the Kazan Police Scandal PPPs Capitalize on Kazan’s Entrepreneurial Spark Bolgar’s New Guardian The Sun Still Rises on an Ancient Tatar Holiday City Guide · Page 8


April 13, 2012 No. 4 (22)

The Kazan Herald

Tatarstan State Council Debates Dalny, Human Rights (Continued from page 1)

In light of the issues raised by Sa‑ burskaya, the State Council issued an official address — entitled “On in‑ creasing the accountability of state and municipal officials, state and lo‑ cal government officials, and repre‑ sentatives of federal territorial bodies of executive power in the Republic of Tatarstan to perform their duties in observance of the constitutional rights and freedoms of man and citizen.” (link) — but only after having their say on the report and current debate. At one point during Saburskaya’s report, Republic advisor and former President Mintimer Shaimiev inter‑ rupted the ombudsman to inquire about her relationship with Tatarstan human rights organizations that receive fund‑ ing from foreign countries. As Shaimi‑ ev asked this question, Tatarstan Min‑

ister of Interior Asgat Safarov sat be‑ hind him, carefully listening. The om‑ budsman was startled by this question, replying that they have contacts with all human rights organizations before changing the subject. Deputy Rafil Nugumanov object‑ ed to Saburskaya’s report, declaring that someone had ordered a smear campaign targeting the Tatarstan po‑ lice. “Of course, this is a terrible crime!” he said. “But why is it taking so long to discuss it at the federal level? Such crimes happen in other cities, and I can assure you they also happened during the Soviet Union. Why, therefore, is it receiving so much coverage in the media?” Deputy Ilshat Aminov expressed a similar view. “I grew up on the streets of Kazan and remember very well that ‘the boys’ knew the map of the city of Kazan by heart — one gang is here,

another one is there,” he said. “I per‑ sonally have been stopped twice on the street and threatened to be made into a ‘piggy bank’ … In short, appar‑ ently some people have forgotten, that such incidents have always been around,” he continued. “But today, the onslaught of media stories has grown into information terrorism. This has already become a threat to na‑ tional security.” State Council Chairman Farid Mukhametshin summed up the pro‑ ceedings as follows: “Statements made by deputies were sharp,” he said. “No matter what arguments were made, the fact remains that what happened in Dalny police station does not make us look good.” Based on this sober fact, Mukhametshin de‑ clared that the council should do all in its power to ensure such a tragedy does not repeat itself.

Mothers Claim City Land Allocation Site Radioactive the fact that the proposed area for land allocation lies not far from Ra‑ don, a radioactive waste storage fa‑ cility. On 3 March, the City of Kazan organized a tour of the proposed site — which was announced on 16 February — to allay fears that the area was radioactive. Members of eligible families were joined by the Mayor’s of fice, employees of Rospotrebnazdor (a federal con‑ sumer protection service), engineers from Radon, and radiologists. Dur‑ ing the visit, radiation levels at the proposed allocation site were mea‑ sured at 5‑6 microroentgens per hour. Radiation levels were also mea‑ sured near Radon (10‑13 micro‑ roentgen per hour) and near Kazan’s city hall (7‑8 microroentgen per hour). According to Russian author‑ ities, levels of up to 30 microroent‑ gens are considered safe. Despite these measurement, and the fact that the Radon facility lies near water wells that supply Kazan, some are still not convinced that the area is safe for inhabitation. “If you do not hear us in Kazan, then the next town we’ll speak out at will be Mos‑

cow,” promised one woman at the protest. On Monday, 19 March, the May‑ or’s office Press Service told The Ka‑ zan Herald by telephone that the mat‑ ter had been referred to President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, to see if he could come up with a differ‑ ent site for the land allocations. Any other site, however, would be even further from Kazan. Public outcry over the site in Vysokogorsky district has compli‑ cated the City of Kazan’s efforts to provide for the city’s multi‑child fam‑ ilies. Under Russian law, every family with three is entitled to six acres of land provided by the state. If a family has more than three children, the en‑ titlement can be as large as 20 acres. The land is supposed to be provided in the area where the family lives, but the City of Kazan had 3,343 families that the could not find land for. On 16 February, Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin signed an agreement with Kazan billionaire Aleksei Semin, under which ASG, Semin’s company awarded the City of Kazan 300 hect‑ ares of land in Vysokogorsky district. In exchange for the land, ASG was contracted to carry out the rehabili‑

tation and reconstruction of 17 his‑ torical landmarks in Kazan. The 300 hectares of land has been valued at about 300 million rubles. “This deal is very beneficial for the city,” one official was quoted as say‑ ing when it was made. Kira Maslova/KH.

(Continued from page 1)

Editor‑in‑Chief Rustem Yunusov Deputy Editor Wyatt Ford Art Director Sergei Saakyan Opinion Editor Maxim Edwards Columnists Joseluis Gomez‑Rodriguez, Alexander Tedeschi Contributors Nadezhda Podoprigora, Leyla Yakupova Alina Khalimova, Olga Lyubina Olga Potapova, Tatiana Sizikova Simone Peek, Katriina Myllymaki Edward Crabtree, Artur Kulikov Photographer Kira Maslova, Dilyara Mukminova Illustrator Ines Cerro Advertising Director Ekaterina Nuzhdova


The Kazan Herald We are ready for partnership — Special editions by events; — Interviews; — Sponsorship of categories; — Advertisement; and more… Tel.: +7‑987‑407‑73‑86 e‑mail: Connect with us online at Distribution

A young protester, sporting a placard with a baby sucking on a radioactive‑labeled pacifier.

Татарча беләсезме? Personal Qualities

Alexander Tedeschi

Editorial Staff

Сиңа ___ кешеләр ошыймы?

Singá __ keshelér oshíymy?

Do you like ___ people?

Рɵстәм бик юмарт кеше

Rustem bik yumart keshe

Rustem is a generous person















Intelligent, smart










Kazan Hotels and Hostels Amaks Safar Hotel, Art Hotel, Bon‑Ami, Courtyard Marriott Kazan, Grand Hotel Kazan,Hayall Hotel, Hotel Giuseppe, Hotel Ibis, I&I, IT‑park Hotel, Korston, Mirage Hotel, Park Inn Hotel, Riviera, Shalyapin Palace, Hotel Tatarstan, Zebra Hostel Kazan Restaurants Belfast Pub, Coffee Bean, DTK, English Pub, I Bar, IQ Bar, Irish Pub Dublin, Millenium Restaurant, Tsiferblat Kazan Education Establishments ESL, Lobachevsky Akademichesky Litsei, Lyceum No. 2, Premium English, Speaking Planet Kazan Flights Ak Bars Aero flight BG‑575 Kazan‑Munich Premier Hotel

Naberezhniye Chelny

Nizhnekamsk House of Foreign Specialists Kama Hotel Alabuga Alabuga City Hotel, SEZ Alabuga Interested in having Tatarstan’s first and only English newspaper distributed in your establishment? Let us know by writing ( or calling (+7 960 037 9424).

The Kazan Herald


April 13, 2012 No. 4 (22)

Rockwool Opens Factory in Alabuga SEZ also present. So was President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhaov. On the federal level, General Director of Russia’s Special Economic Zones Oleg Kostin and Russian Minister of Economic Develop‑ ment Elvira Nabiullina were pres‑ ent. Even Danish Minister of Trade and Investment Pia Olsen Dyhr herself turned out for the symbol‑ ic key turning that marked the of‑ ficial beginning of production. “This is a very large, world-class, project,” remarked Minnikhanov during the ceremony. “It is a huge impetus to changing the opinion of Western investors: they will see that Russia has created necessary con‑ ditions for investment, that the Rus‑ sian market is high-capacity.” Min‑ nikhanov also expressed his hopes that other Danish companies would consider Tatarstan as an investment destination, promising to do all he could to make the process easy and convenient. Minnikhanov’s words are not empty promises, according to

Rockwool CEO Eelco Van Heel, who explained during the ceremo‑ ny that he had met personally with the Tatarstan President five times prior to the opening of the factory. “I have never in my life met any administration anywhere in the world who is so business-oriented and professional towards its inves‑ tors,” Van Heel declared. Danish Minister of Trade and Investment Olsen Dyhr was sim‑ ilarly upbeat, pointing out that

trade from Denmark to Russia in‑ creased by 25 per cent in 2011. “I’m very proud to be present here today,” she said. “It’s an exciting and magic day today,” said Van Heel at one point. “You are visiting the biggest stone wool factory in the world, spring is in the air, summer is close, so this is the perfect day to celebrate with us.” Reporting contributed by Kira Maslova.

Kira Maslova/KH.

by Wyatt FORD Danish insulation manufacture Rockwool opened a new factory in Alabuga Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in style on 5 April, with an official ceremony attended by company officials and local, re‑ gional, federal, and even foreign government officials. The ceremony marked the opening of Rockwool’s fourth fac‑ tory in Russia, a $150 million in‑ vestment that has created more than 250 jobs in the region, ac‑ cording to a press release that declared the day a “Big Celebra‑ tion in Alabuga SEZ.” The depth and caliber of the list of attendees speaks to the im‑ portance of the day’s festivities. Head of Yelabuga Municipal Re‑ gion Gennady Yemelyanov was in attendance, as was General Di‑ rector of Alabuga SEZ Timur Sha‑ givaleev. Chairman of the Alabuga SEZ Board of Directors and Ta‑ tarstan First Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Igor Nosov was

Rockwool CEO Eelco Van Heel, Russian Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina, Danish Minister of Trade and Investment Pia Olsen Dyhr, and President of Tatarstan Rustem Minnikhanov.

Classified Ads ACCOUNTING Accounting services. Marina. +79510690415. EDUCATION Study English, Chinese, or Spanish with native speakers, in Kazan and online: vipteach‑ IT SUPPORT Websites for your business. 20,000 rubles. You won’t find a better offer. +7 917 234 3444. PETS Grooming, hairstyling for dogs and cats., +7 927 436 4027. RENTALS Short‑term apartment rent‑ als. 259 54 76. To place a classified adver‑ tisement or inquire about rates, please contact: Ekaterina Nuzhdova Advertising Director +7 987 407 7386

by Wyatt Ford 5 April—Mexican business‑ man and representative of Chi‑ huahua State Farmers Collective Jose Ramon Vega Flores began a 10‑day visit to Kazan yesterday, meeting with Tatarstan Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Rashat Fattakhov to discuss trade opportunities between Mexico and the republic. Jose Ramon Vega Flores, joined in the meeting by DVertexS Director Joseluis Gomez‑Rodri‑ guez and Kazan Federal Univer‑ sity graduate student Hector Ale‑ jandro Kabrera Fuentes, is visiting Tatarstan to establish contacts here, both with government offi‑ cials and possible business part‑ ners in various industries, includ‑

ing commerce, agriculture, tour‑ ism, and education. During the meeting in the min‑ istry, which was attended by both government officials and repre‑ sentatives of Tatarstan restaurants and hotels, Flores gave a detailed presentation of the range of food products that Chihuahua has to offer to Tatarstan, which, accord‑ ing to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, had 15 restaurants cur‑ rently serving Mexican food. After the morning meeting, the Mexican delegation invited those present to join them for a special lunch at the bar Cuba Li‑ bre, where a generous offering of food and drink from Chihuahua were served. Flores explained each dish in detail, and even made

a gesture at cross‑cultural under‑ standing, serving vodka that he had flavored with Mexican cit‑ rus. “It’s the first step,” said Flores to The Kazan Herald after the meal, noting that his visit has been coordinated through Mexican graduate student Fuentes. Among the meetings that Flores has planned is one to explore the pos‑ sibility of importing coffee and one to promote Cancun as a tour‑ ist destination for citizens of Ta‑ tarstan. The volume of trade between Mexico and Tatarstan in 2011 was $7.6 million, $1.8 million of which was import to Tatarstan, accord‑ ing to Ministry of Industry and Trade figures.

Photograph courtesy of Tatarstan Ministry of Industry and Trade Press Service.

Chihuahua Farmers Rep Sees Tatarstan As Export Destination

From left to right: Kazan Federal University graduate student Hector Alejandro Kabrera Fuentes, Mexican businessman and representative of Chihuahua State Farmers Collective Jose Ramon Vega Flores, and Tatarstan Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Rashat Fattakhov.

by Wyatt Ford 11 April—Intermark Auto Leas‑ ing (IAL) Group, a Moscow‑based car leasing and fleet management company, has opened a regional office in Kazan to service Tatarstan and the Volga region. The Kazan office is small for now, with three permanent staff, but IAL Group CEO Chris Laven‑ der hopes to add more personnel over t h e n e x t s i x t o e i g h t months. IAL Group has already won a tender to provide a number of cars for the City of Kazan, an achievement that “confirmed our beliefs that there is business to be had in the region,” Lavender explained to The Kazan Herald. “We would like to remain here and continue to write business. The Volga region also holds a lot of promise for us, and places like neighboring Ufa will certainly be targeted in due course.” IAL Group’s regional expan‑ sion plan is being managed by Chris Gilbert, former Russia Di‑ rector of the Russian British

Chamber of Commerce, who was appointed IAL Group’s Regional Director in January 2012. As the IAL Group website puts it, Gilbert’s “in‑depth market knowledge and extensive network of contacts in business and government circles will be key to the success of IAL Group’s regional development strategy.” This strategy is focused mainly on North West Russia — the region surrounding St. Pe‑ tersburg, where Gilbert is sta‑ tioned — but also includes Ta‑ tarstan, the Urals and Krasnodar Krai, explained an announcement in RBCC’s quarterly bulletin. “We’re delighted to have Chris on board at this key point in the Group’s development,” com‑ mented Lavender of Gilbert’s ap‑ pointment as Regional Director in the RBCC bulletin. IAL Group’s representative in Tatarstan is Jonathan Fianu, co‑founder of PPP Local, a Rus‑ so‑British consultancy firm oper‑ ating in Tatarstan. Lavender’s fi‑ nal decision to include Tatarstan among the regions in their expan‑

sion plan came following his par‑ ticipation in a business tour of Tatarstan in November 2011 that was organized by PPP Local. “The trip was a real eye open‑ er and confirmed a lot of what I already heard about the region: the regional government is indeed very open and the business cli‑ mate is very positive,” Lavender explained. Moving forward, IAL Group will continue to target private and public clients. “We will apply for various tenders as they come up and we aim to forge links with key organizations in the region,” Fia‑ nu explained. So far, Fianu and Lavender are pleased with the reception they have gotten in the republic. In particular, Lavender singled out the Tatarstan Investment De‑ velopment Agency (TIDA), an or‑ ganization that IAL Group first met during the PPP Local tour, as a valuable partner in the region. “We are now continuing to work with TIDA to communicate with companies in the region,” Laven‑

Kira Maslova/KH.

IAL Group Opens Regional Office In Tatarstan

IAL Group CEO Chris Lavender.

der explained. “So far the re‑ sponse has been positive, but there is a lot of work ahead.” As IAL Group’s representative in Tatarstan, Fianu agreed that he has his work cut out for him. “This is not a quick process,” he ex‑ plained. “But the most important lesson is that IAL is here, in Ta‑ tarstan. Those who ignore the re‑ gions do so at their peril. Things are progressing here at an aston‑ ishing rate.”


April 13, 2012 No. 4 (22)

The Kazan Herald

Traktor Disposes of Ak Bars be the same as the others. The absence of goals was not pleas‑ ant for Kazan fans, who de‑ manded an equalizer from their beloved team, who was unable to deliver, leaving Ak Bars with one period between them and elimination. Kazan fans were already ner‑ vous when the third period start‑ ed, and Danis Zaripov, in the twinkling of an eye, defused the tension by scoring an amazing

Photograph courtesy of Rubin Kazan Press Service.

their Is and cross their Ts and did so, winning 4‑1. Тhe only goal in the first pe‑ riod came from Traktor forward Konstantin Panov after an absurd mistake by the Kazan goalkeep‑ er. This goal was the first goal in the series to come during the first period of play, and it came at a moment when it hurt Ak Bars more than ever. The second period con‑ firmed that the match wouldn’t

Rubin’s Nelson Valdez, pictured above, scored the equalizer, winning Rubin a draw and keeping them within reach of second place in the league standings.

goal in the first minute. Unfor‑ tunately, things started to go wrong for Tatarstan fans. The nightmare began with a well‑ex‑ ecuted goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov, giving Traktor a 2‑1 lead. After this goal, the Ta‑ tarstan side failed to regroup, letting in two more goals, much to the chagrin of their fans. The definitive 4‑1 lead made for a sad scene as the final minutes winded down, with Ak Bars’ fe‑

male fans crying in despair as their male counterparts held their heads in disbelief. To be fair, Traktor deserves credit for a well played series that they deserved to win, playing each game as if it was the last. The team from Chelyabinsk has showed the world that it is pos‑ sible to compete with the likes of Ak Bars, proving their merit as a strong side with serious ambitions entering the semifinals.

Rubin Gets Needed Win Against Anji by Rustem Yunusov RUBIN KAZAN 1 ANZHI 0 Tsentralny Stadion, KAZAN, 1 April — FC Rubin Kazan gained its first victory in the Russian Pre‑ mier League in 2012, putting away Anji, a team from Makhachkala, Daegestan. Rubin dominated play from the first minutes of the match, controlling the ball and creating

several dangerous moments in front of Anji’s goal. Still, the Ta‑ tarstan side could not score, in part thanks to expert work by An‑ ji’s goalkeeper. Rubin couch Kurban Berdyev must have said the right thing in the locker room during halftime, as the Kazan side came out clear‑ ly determined to win. Just minutes into the second half, Kazan’s Oba‑ femi Martins headed a cross from

the left flank past the keeper. After this goal, Anji started playing with more energy, but still was unable to create dangerous moments. Anji kept relentlessly attacking with no luck until the final whistle. The win earned Rubin 3 points, leapfrogging them ahead of Anji in the league standings to sixth place with 61 points and putting them within striking range of sec‑ ond place CSKA (65 points).

Kira Maslova/KH.

by Artur Kulikov AK BARS 1 TRAKTOR 4 27 March—It was clear going into Saturday’s match that Ak Bars, down 3 to 2 in the best of seven series, would need steely nerves in order to prolong the se‑ ries and give their fans hope for a win. However, Traktor — who needed only one more victory to move on to the seminfinals — came to the match ready to dot

Valdez Goal Enough To Draw With Dynamo RUBIN KAZAN 1 DYNAMO MOSCOW 1 Tsentralny Stadion, KAZAN, 7 April —Rubin Kazan played to a 1‑1 draw against Dynamo Moscow on this nippy Satur‑ day. The Kazan side went down quickly, after Dynamo’s Zvezdan Misimovich scored just 10 min‑ utes into the match, but Nelson

Valdez evened things out 12 min‑ utes into the second half. The result is slightly disappoint‑ ing for Rubin, as a win would have catapulted them into third place in the league. The Tatarstan side went into the match with 61 points in sixth place, just one point behind Dynamo (62) and Spartak (62), two points be‑ hind Lokomotiv (63), and four points behind second‑placed CSKA (65).

Moments before Obafemi Martins, standing just behind Anji’s Zhirnov, scored the match’s only goal.

Tatarstan Needs You! To better understand and serve the needs of foreign visitors to Kazan, the Tatarstan Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism has commissioned us to carry out market research.

Please complete our tourism survey, which can be found: • Online, at‑survey • At the reception of all Hotels in Kazan We look forward to reading your feedback!

The Kazan Herald

The Kazan Herald


April 13, 2012 No. 4 (22)

Simone Peek/KH.

Upon entering the mosque, you will find yourself in a modest hallway where the on‑duty personnel kindly show you where to put your shoes and belongings before entering the mosque.

Simone Peek/KH.

self in a pleasantly informal stockroom filled to the brim with all sorts of Islamic merchandise. Locals are shuffling around look‑ ing for a good sale. Whether it be a headscarf, key chains, or a 2004 lunar calender, you are sure to find a souvenir here that will make delight your friends back home. The mosque welcomes visi‑ tors every day from sunset until sundown, when the last prayer takes place. Visitors are welcome at all times, but the organization prefers that you call ahead when visiting with large groups. How to Get There Apanaevskaya Mosque. 27 ulitsa Kayuma Nasyri. +7 (843) 293 4292. By foot the mosque is only 15 minutes from ploshchad Tukaya (Tukaya Square). Nonetheless, for the tired and infirm, public transport also offers many op‑ tions. You can take bus 71 at ploshchad Tukaya two stops and get off at Teatr imeni Kamala stop. Cross ulitsa Tatarstan walk past the Mardzhani Mosque (also white and green), after a few minutes you will find the mosque on your left.

Simone Peek/KH.

Islam. From 2004 until 2011, sweeping restorations have taken place at a fine tune of 52 million rubles from the republic and fed‑ eral budget. In particular, the in‑ side has been so thoroughly ren‑ ovated that it is hard to spot any element of the original mosque. The oratory of the (now once again) two‑storeyed mosque cov‑ ers the entire second floor. On the first floor there is a classroom, a meeting room and an Islamic bookshop. Upon entering the mosque, you will find yourself in a modest hallway where the on‑duty per‑ sonnel kindly show you where to put your shoes and belongs be‑ fore entering the mosque. Happy to receive guests and proud of the crispy, fresh renovations, Shamil Ekrem Uli showed us around whilst reciting the build‑ ing’s history. After complimenting your guide on the excellent condition and appearance of the mosque, be sure to visit the building’s bookshop. The entrance is on the other side of the mosque, so you will need to exit and re‑enter the mosque to get there. And once inside, you will find your‑

Locals posing in the bookshop.

Coming off of a seven‑year‑long renovation, the freshly‑painted mosque can now be viewed in all its splendor.

On average, 40 to 60 people pray in the mosque during each service.

Simone Peek/KH.

Apanaevskaya Mosque.

by Simone PEEK For anyone with even a slight interest in the culture of Tatarstan, a visit to Kazan is not complete without a visit to an Islamic house of prayer. There are many mosques to choose from, but whatever itin‑ erary you make, be sure that Ap‑ anaevskaya Mosque is on it. Ap‑ anayevskaya Mosque is beauti‑ fully located close to the lakeside of Nizhny Kaban in the Tatar quar‑ ter of the city. Named after the Apanaev family, the so‑called second mosque of the Tatarstan capital was founded in 1768, just after Catherine the Great eased restrictions on Muslims building their own houses of prayer. (Mard‑ zhani Mosque, the first mosque to be built after Catherine’s deci‑ sion, can be found just down the street.) In 1930, the mosque was closed by Soviet authorities, and a kindergarten was installed in the building. During this time, the minaret was destroyed and a third floor was built on the originally two‑storey building. After the fall of the Soviet Union, however, Ap‑ anaevskaya Mosque was given back to Islam, with the building served as a library and school of

Simone Peek/KH.

Simone Peek/KH.

Apanaevskaya Mosque

Apanaevskaya Mosque’s exterior is a tasteful mix of Moscow baroque with Tatar elements.

by Simone PEEK This spring, the only question that matters in Kazan is: “Have you been there yet?” It’s the buzz of the town. Following in the foot‑ steps of Moscow and St. Peters‑ burg, Kazan now has a one of a kind coffee and tea bar, Tsiferblat (“Clockface” in English). Co‑owner Kseniya would not call it a bar, however. “This is not a bar, it’s a free space,” she said determinedly. Kseniya herself greeted us with a warm smile and “Is this your first time here?” as we shyly stumbled in, after having wandered about the muddy park‑ ing lot that one must trudge through to get to the door that leads to a staircase that takes you up to Tsifer‑ blat, a spacious wooden loft. Glancing quickly around at the naturally‑illuminated room and bright, colored cushiony couches, we immediately felt at home. The concept of Tsiferblat is simple: time is money, and every‑

thing else is free. When you ar‑ rive, you tell your name to the host, who writes it on a large chalkboard and then hands you one of the many old‑fashioned clocks kept in an antique wooden closet. A visit to Tsiferblat costs two rubles a minute for the first 30 minutes. After the first half hour, each minute costs only one ruble. Coffee and tea are avail‑ able free of charge, as are the sweets and cookies in the kitch‑ en area. Food and drink is only the be‑ ginning, though. Tsiferblat offers a wide variety of activities that dif‑ fer from week to week: check the blackboard for the week’s sched‑ ule. For example, there is a salsa night and film screenings. Tsifer‑ blat is a spontaneous place, open to any suggestions for program‑ ming. The loft is also stocked with numerous board games, and even permits you to bring your own food and beverage, making it the

perfect haven for a mellow after‑ noon in downtown Kazan (alcohol and cigarettes are prohibited). Tsiferblat opened on 26 Feb‑ ruary and is already superbly decorated, but they have many plans for the future. Kseniya ex‑ plained that the interior is meant to evoke the inside of a ship, and the theme of travel is indeed no‑ ticeable in the oil lamps, ham‑ mocks, and goldfish. This motif will be taken even further, after a platform in the ridge of the main area is built to host even more guests. Reading only gets you so far, though — the only way to truly un‑ derstand Tsiferblat’s unique charm is to visit it yourself. Go check it out, so that you can confidently respond “Yes!” when asked: “Have you been there yet?” How To Get There Tsiferblat. 14 ul. Universitets‑ kaya +7 843 253 5219. clockfac‑ Free Wifi. Owned by Kseni‑

Simone Peek/KH.

At Tsiferblat, Time Really Is Money

Tsiferblat. Have you been there yet?

ya Vasis, Artem Kramin, and Ivan Meetin. Located on the top floor of an office building on ulitsa Univer‑ sitetskaya, between ulitsa Bau‑ mana and Kazan Federal Univer‑ sity. The entrance is unmarked through an alley, so be sure to take these directions with you: Walking up ulitsa Universitetska‑ ya from ulitsa Baumana, make a

right just before Gorozhanin Café and walk around the back of the building into its parking lot. Enter the door next to a sign reading “ofisny tsentr” (office center). If there is a security guard on duty, mumble “Tsiferblat,” and he will open the door to the staircase. If not, proceed yourself, walking up the staircase to the top floor of the building.

April 13, 2012 No. 4 (22)


The Kazan Herald

Glimmers of Hope in the Kazan Police Scandal by Mark Galeotti New revelations about crimes and abuses committed at Kazan’s Dalny police precinct seem to emerge on a daily basis, following Sergei Nazarov’s death as the result of apparent torture there earlier this month. As I write this, the Investigations Committee has just announced that two more officers from that precinct have been arrested and placed in pre‑trial detention on charges that they tortured another man to get him to confess to a crime he never committed. Added to the four arrested for Nazarov’s treatment, one more under house arrest who has already pleaded to forgery and abuse of his position and four others dismissed for actively or passively conniv‑ ing at the abuse and that station’s ranks are looking rather thinner. Or rather, they would have, had it not also been decided that the whole local force was being bro‑ ken up and re‑evaluated. Sadly, the Russian police is still all too prone to abuses, from the petty corruption of the traffic cop demanding bribes on the street corner to high‑level corruption and even killings. In January, for example, alleged robber Nikita Leontiyev died in police cus‑ tody in St Petersburg after being beaten, while news is breaking of a young Dagestani accused of Islamist extremism being tortured by police in Moscow’s Khimki suburb. However grisly, though, the events in Kazan do actually offer a few glimmers of hope in what otherwise might seem a pret‑ ty bleak situation. First of all, Nazarov’s death was no cov‑ ered up. Not too long ago, that certainly would not have been a given and his

death — like Leontiyev’s, and like oth‑ ers’ — would have been quietly filed as an accident or a heart attack. It is better that such crimes never happen in the first place, of course, but if they do, it is essential that they come to light. Transparency begets transparency. Now the Investigations Com‑ mittee is reporting that at least 28 people have come forward to report mistreatment at the hands of the local police, and the Agora human rights association says that at least six claim to have been intimidated or tortured at the Dalny station itself. The second grounds for optimism is in the public outcry and the official response to it. Unsanctioned protests have been tolerated, Tatarstan’s Interior Minister As‑ gat Safarov has publicly apologized and declared himself “ready to face any pun‑ ishment,” and critical media reports ac‑ cepted rather than being met with the usu‑ al knee‑jerk rejection. It may simply reflect local factors or the close proximity of the presidential elections, during which the governing powers sought to seem respon‑ sive and responsible, but both the Tatarstan government and the central Interior Min‑ istry have demonstrated unexpected open‑ ness to criticism. Finally, it is worth looking at the out‑ comes. It remains to be seen quite how the trials and disciplinary hearings of the ac‑ cused officers turns out, but already we have seen not just individual officers charged or dismissed but also the decision to disband the whole team, bringing in a new chief from outside and new officers, while reviewing all 81 officers who worked at Dalny. After all, such a pattern of abuse tends not to emerge

in isolation; even Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev admitted that “everything that happens in any group takes place be‑ cause of general connivance.” It is not just about dismissals and in‑ vestigations, though, it is about propor‑ tionate ones. Dalny police chief Sergei Yefremov was sacked, for example, but Safarov — who acted quickly to deal with the case — was merely reprimanded. Al‑ though it is tempting to want to see the most elevated heads as possible roll (wit‑ ness the dismissal of St Petersburg police chief Sukhodolsky after the Leontiyev case, although this had more to do with ministry politics than anything else), experience elsewhere suggests this is a bad move. It’s right to hold people responsible for their mistakes, but if senior figures come to believe that they have everything to lose and nothing to gain from openness, then that is a recipe for more cover ups. The introduction of the new Law on Po‑ lice in 2011, the much‑derided rebranding of the militsiya as politsiya, were never go‑ ing to lead to an instant change in police culture. This will be a slow, generational process, as the police shed their culture of impunity and society learns how to trust and control them. This will not mean gloss‑ ing over the failings and abuses of the po‑ lice, but identifying them, bringing those to blame to book and learning the lessons for the future. In this context, the Dalny case already seems to be making a difference. Safarov and the central MVD dealt with it with un‑ precedented speed and, it appears, thor‑ oughness. It is also being addressed as more

than just the failings of individuals or even a single precinct — which has tended to be the case in the past — but as something also rooted in the system. Russian Deputy Inte‑ rior Minister Sergei Gerasimov has promised a review of the police’s evaluation process, one that essentially rewards arrest and con‑ fession metrics and thus encourages officers to adopt heavy‑handed tactics of detaining “the usual suspects” and coercing confes‑ sions from them. Furthermore, video cam‑ eras are being installed in police stations in Tatarstan, especially interrogation suites; this may end up becoming a pilot study for an all‑Russian initiative. None of this, of course, in any way de‑ tracts from the horror of Nazarov’s case. I have met many honest, hard‑working and well‑intentioned Russian police who just want to do their job and do it well. How‑ ever, the police as a whole is still an insti‑ tution mired in a culture of violence, cor‑ ruption, unprofessionalism and impunity. Events in Kazan, though, do suggest that this may be beginning — just beginning — to change. If it does, it will precisely be because of the coming together of cops who want to live up to their job, media will‑ ing to highlight their failings (and their suc‑ cesses) and a public prepared to mobilize and demand change from their govern‑ ment. That would at least be a fitting me‑ morial to Nazarov, and Leontiyev, and all the other victims of police brutality. The author is professor of global af‑ fairs at New York University’s SCPS Cen‑ ter for Global Affairs and an expert in Rus‑ sian crime and policing. He blogs at in‑

PPPs Capitalize on Kazan’s Entrepreneurial Spark by James Weber Kazan’s IT Park provides evidence that Tatarstan’s economic engine can continue to be revved by the use of Public Private Partnerships, with numerous marketable business models being developed cur‑ rently through multiple PPP mechanisms, among them the IT Park Business Incuba‑ tor. Those interested in return on invest‑ ment should know that, while government funding provides an important and fruitful catalyst that is at times necessary (espe‑ cially when large scale investment is re‑ quired), it is in fact the entrepreneurial na‑ ture of Tatarstan’s population that makes Kazan and the surrounding region a mec‑ ca for new business growth. The entrepre‑ neurial nature of Kazan’s residents — vis‑ ible in the numerous new and creative ca‑ fés, hospitality businesses, and private international partnerships here in the city — provides the fuel for Kazan’s growth en‑ gine. Further focus should be paid on nur‑ turing and rewarding not only growth, but also this creativity and enterprise ingenu‑ ity, to ensure a sustainable advantage in to the future. This support ought to come through structures that improve ease of doing business, along with more facilita‑ tion of general entrepreneurship through the enhancement of the business friendly environment. Fortunately, Kazan has the fertile soil of an entrepreneurial culture to make such policy worthwhile. IT Park and Business Incubator’s in‑ ventive atmosphere, spurred by its con‑ temporarily bright‑orange walls, towering glass panels, and a massive, modern atri‑ um, seems to insight creativity at first glance. Move past this exterior (and past the security forces guarding the high‑tech secrets of tomorrow), and a bustling epi‑ center of technology entrepreneurship appears. A few floors above ground level, 20 or so small startup ventures occupy a

sprawling open office space. Each venture holds a desk area where about 10 employ‑ ees work openly in a fresh, creative envi‑ ronment. Workers here can meet people working on other projects and share ideas. They share best practices and modern trends. Emerging from this creative soup are some new, exciting ideas for the glob‑ al tech market, and for Kazan’s develop‑ ment as an entrepreneurial hub for Rus‑ sian IT commerce. One such website business, SportFort (, takes the fun of playing team sports off of the field and into the home or office. SportFort allows members of ama‑ teur sports teams to create their team ros‑ ter, generate individual statistics and play‑ er profiles, and organize match schedules online. It’s a mix of fun and practical use that would appear to have large market po‑ tential: imagine combining Facebook with a Fantasy Football league and you have the idea. Certainly this product would fare well in the American market, where amateur sports teams or group competitions, from football to frisbee to golf clubs, are popular with people of all ages. Soccer moms, teens seeking scholarship notice from Universi‑ ties, corporate softball leagues, and coun‑ try clubs should all take notice. Another business,, also impresses as the first music application platform to allow uploading of one’s pri‑ vate music collection to nearly any music storing device. Imagine a cloud‑computing product which allows you to access your favorite tunes via your tablet, phone, or desktop effortlessly, only requiring an in‑ ternet connection. For those preparing for a long trip where Wi‑Fi will be unavailable, the program also caches songs for listen‑ ing to later on. “This is Cloud technology,” founder Vlad Vernigora stated. “Our pro‑ gram supports many platforms, including Android, which sets us apart from the com‑

petition.” 10tracks currently has 7000 us‑ ers on its live Beta version, and will be ac‑ cessible to the general consumer begin‑ ning in summer of 2012. The startup RealSpeaker (realspeaker. net) truly shines as a user‑friendly and mar‑ ketable product set for international sale (and, incidentally, was my favorite startup of the day). The RealSpeaker system takes what we have come to know as “voice rec‑ ognition” (when a computer system can understand and transcribe human spoken language) to a whole new level of ease and competency. Using the idea of lip reading (the sort that hearing‑impaired persons use to actually “read” the movement of people’s lips for clues on what is being said), and a built in camera to record lip movement, Re‑ alSpeaker improves traditional voice rec‑ ognition accuracy by up to five times. The system, developed by the remarkably young prodigy Victor Osetrov, can be mounted in almost any applicable environment, from cars to offices, with the installation of a very small camera eye. Osetrov stated that the product is currently seeking patent protec‑ tion in the U.S. and Europe. Kazan IT Park, in addition to the Albuga SEZ and the recent Kazan Invest forum hosted by the Tatarstan Investment Devel‑ opment Agency, show that governmental assistance in business development is aid‑ ing the continued growth of the Tatarstan economy. This is, and will continue to be, a progressive step forward. However, cred‑ it is also due to Kazan’s citizens, with their entrepreneurial spirit and creative drive, whom are making this success possible by meeting the government funding half way. In the development context, millions of dollars might be poured in to one region or another, with one region succeeding and another region harvesting limited or poor positive returns. Why? The answer is most often the level of creativity and en‑

trepreneurial drive inherent in the culture. It is clear that Kazan’s business culture provides a vibrant base for growth. This is no more evident than in the small, artistic, and creative businesses that have been started — and are seeing success — in Kazan. There is one‑year‑old I&I Hostel, with its bright, bespoke pop‑art interior paintings and management team of young, forward thinking Creatives. Then there is Tsiferblat, a new (and apparently rather se‑ cretive) café where time and creative am‑ biance are valued over tangible goods. And of course, there is Flatstack (, a Kazan IT company currently hatching out some of the world’s catchiest websites and platforms — and being run by a small army of creative geniuses, I might add. All of these businesses are shining examples of Kazan’s creative hardwiring. These groups spur fu‑ ture innovation by having the guts and brains to strike out alone, create something new, and succeed. This sort of behavior should be championed and incentivized. Moving forward, it is small businesses such as these where the next Steve Jobs might find his creativity and ambition, thus recreating fu‑ ture growth. Private Public Partnerships are doing well in Kazan to help the magic of this city’s creative entrepreneurial sparks ignite in‑ vestment funding to produce world‑class companies. Given Kazan’s competitive advantage as a place where young, cre‑ ative entrepreneurs exist, additional sup‑ port for the business community at large is forecasted to have explosive positive ef‑ fects. Kazan’s soil is rich with creative un‑ dercurrents. If this soil is permitted to sprout, a forest will grow and flourish. The author, who holds an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, is an eco‑ nomic growth specialist focusing on en‑ trepreneurship and regional growth. He is based in Port au Prince, Haiti.

The Kazan Herald by Maxim Edwards The planned restoration of the archae‑ ological site Bolgar, site of the former cap‑ ital of the Volga Bulgarian civilization, is ambitious to say the least. A new mosque, a purpose‑designed harbor for tour boats from Kazan, and a new visitor centre are all planned to grace a site of more than a little political significance. The pet project of former President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev, the renovation of Bolgar is sched‑ uled to coincide with the anniversary Vol‑ ga Bulgarians’ adoption of Islam in the tenth century. Renovation of any important historical site is inevitably going to influ‑ ence what views visitors take home with them, and therefore a politically charged site such as Bolgar (for many years serv‑ ing as the site of a mini‑Hajj for Muslims in the Soviet Union unable to reach Mecca) is bound to be scrutinized at every turn. As plans became clear, therefore, for the construction of that most popular of Tatar national symbols, the Ak Bars (snow leopard), many Tatars, reeling from indig‑ nation at quite the level of artistic license inflicted on the poor creature, have mobi‑ lized and reached for their keyboards. The twelve meter high statue of what could — in fairly elastic terms, at least — be de‑ scribed as a leopard was designed by Buryat artist Dashi Namdakov, and is be‑ ing constructed in Italy before being flown out to Tatarstan. Namdakov’s exhibition in the Kazan Kremlin, “The Universe of the Nomad,” was visited and enjoyed by both Shaimiev and President of Tatarstan Rus‑ tam Minnikhanov in July 2011, following which the Tatar government opened its wallet to the tune of a very tidy sum. Few in Kazan, however, seem content to dance along. Somebody very cruel could describe the statue, now fast becoming a reality in an Italian workshop, as something from a Tolkien nightmare. Yet opposition to Nam‑ dakov’s statue, to be called “The Guard‑


April 13, 2012 No. 4 (22)


Bolgar’s New Guardian ian,” is not entirely based on aesthetics. The outrage is partly factual, particularly Gulnaz Badretdinova’s curt and to the point examination of Namdakov’s preliminary drawings of the statue, which appear to have misunderstood what a leopard is with imaginative flair. Much of the ire is due to the fact that the statue — visible from a fair distance — will be within spitting distance of Bolgar’s archaeological ruins — chiefly a recently restored Bolgar minaret — which have a strong connection to Tatarstan’s Islamic identity. Many Muslims, as illus‑ trated in Rimma Bikmuhammetova’s article urging Shaimiev not to “desecrate” Bolgar, appear to genuinely feel that the verb is an apt one — spitting on Islamic heritage. To dig even deeper (as if there isn’t enough of that, both literally and metaphorically in Bolgar today) the statue is believed by some to have pagan significance. Shaimiev’s admiration of Namdakov’s works could be connected to the artist’s exploring the theme of his own Buryat her‑ itage and culture in many of his modern sculptures. Affirmations of Tatar political continuity such as the statue will bring are surely a sign that modern day Tatarstan shares some of its legitimacy as a state formation with the historical Volga Bolgars. Yet the public letter written to Minnikhanov on the issue reads in most respects as one of religious concern, one of principle. “It is not a question of whether the monument stands 500 or 1000 meters from the site” it declares, presenting the case that the statue is inherently problematic because it fails to “adequately represent the ‘spiri‑ tual heritage from our Bolgar ancestors’.” Bolgar will also host the world’s largest printed Koran, currently in Kul Sharif

Mosque, and in this vein the letter, with an impressive collection of 824 signatories not just from outside Tatarstan but also from Latvia, Turkey, Australia, and the US, adds its concern as to how Tatarstan will be viewed by other Muslim regions and countries. Writing in eTatar, Ilshat Saetov showed his appreciation in no uncertain terms, calling the monument a “flying bat with the hooves of Satan,” pointing out that it re‑ minded him more of a gargoyle on a Goth‑ ic Cathedral than an appropriate monu‑ ment for a Muslim site of pilgrimage. There are certainly few voices in support of the monument, and consensus even among those few who have taken a more neutral approach to Namdakov’s statue have grudgingly admitted that it is certainly not too easy on the eye. Rimzil Valeev, writing in Tatar Time, made the very apt observa‑ tion that Kazan’s mythical Zilant is hardly an aesthetic image either, yet as an inte‑ gral part of Kazan history it is simply ac‑ cepted as such. “In some eastern nations,” he observed, “coffee shops with alcohol are no more than two hundred paces away from the Mosque,” before adding that even if the statue has a pagan element, that had nonetheless been an element of Bolgar identity for many years which it would be wrong to censor. It is a shrewd observation. After all, an Orthodox Church also stands in Bolgar, overshadowed by a minaret (this is, after all, Tatarstan). Whilst much of the opposi‑ tion to “The Guardian” is on the grounds of its being a pagan monument, it would be interesting to see how strong this op‑ position would be were a more traditional and less grating style of statue of the Ak

Bars were installed in its place. The reli‑ gious case against the monument may in some cases be a more effective way of simply opposing it on grounds of taste. For better or for worse, there is in all likelihood very little which can be done against the monument. The die, and the monument itself, have already been cast. The statue will most likely be unveiled, and over the years internalized. The question now on this author’s mind is to what extent Nam‑ dakov’s monument, (as the largest of the Ak Bars in the Republic by far) will redefine how people view Tatarstan’s enduring na‑ tional symbol. “Idel‑Ural” is a column about the Volga region and its melting pot of peoples.

A drawing of ‘The Guardian’ posted by Nail Abiy Barsili on Facebook, translated and republished here with the author’s permission.

The Sun Still Rises on an Ancient Tatar Holiday by Yusha Kozakiewicz As the sun comes up on an ancient holiday, we are reminded of the feats and most sacred beliefs of the ancestors of the nation. With it, distant memories of a gold‑ en age, lost to the mists of time, tales of powerful spirits, and traditions which came so close to being utterly forgotten are again full of life. When asked about the national holidays of the Tatars, one almost always recalls Sabantuy, the feast of the plow as some have called it, and an important event for every village, town, and city dotting the map of Tatarstan today. Yet there remains another important day of celebration which links Tatars both to cultural neighbors and their ancient forefathers alike.

A holiday marks an important event in the cultural calendar of any nation, a time when the people turn to their primordial, innermost feelings of who they are and ex‑ plore their own national consciousness, and in some cases, it can also provide the chance for a fresh start. Though today we most of‑ ten associate the New Year with the 1st of January, this honored day in the third week of March allows for a remembrance of where we come from; a chance for the Tatar na‑ tion to reconnect with its past, with the leg‑ acy of its ancestors, and to experience the centuries‑old tradition which is Nauruz. The Encyclopedia Iranica defines Nau‑ ruz, or Nowruz, as “new day,” the holiest and most joyful day of the Zoroastrian year, when the sun gains strength and wields its power over the cold grip of winter. Al‑ though the ancient Iranians were monotheists, they felt the presence of a cognitive spirit throughout the world, and the celebration of Spring for them meant the annual victory of the sun over darkness. For the an‑ cestors of Tatars too, them‑ selves partly descended from the Indo‑Iranian tribes which inhabited the steppes of Central Asia and East‑ ernmost Europe, Nauruz held immensely important spiritual value. Not only was it a celebration of the vic‑ tory of light over dark, but it also symbolized the prom‑ ise of a new, glorious vic‑

tory to come. Just as the spring is the most beautiful of seasons, so was the promise of the Creator to his creation something to expect and prepare for with great hap‑ piness. As is the case for many of modern man’s religious traditions, the ancestors of the Tatar people viewed the earthly world as dualistic, at the center of which was the struggle between good and evil, light and dark. On Nauruz, they celebrated the vic‑ tory of the Alp, Nardugan, a powerful per‑ sonified natural spirit whose duty it was, under the authority of the supreme Tangra, to usher light into the world and provide the people with abundant crops. Some‑ times traditionally represented as a rook, or with a tamga resembling the rook’s foot, the local population knew that the time to celebrate Nauruz was near when they first witnessed the nesting of this common bird in early March. They left their towns and cities and headed for the countryside to give offerings to Tangra and make prepa‑ rations for the customary feast. As barley was the favorite dish of this beloved Alp, so did the people annually commemorate his victory with a porridge known as karga botkasy, made in a large cauldron (in Tatar, kazan) from barley and the meat of a sacrificial animal. A barley drink similar to kvass was also likely en‑ joyed. After the community finished their holiday feast, the children would climb the trees and replicate the cawing of the rooks, then it was customary to sing the ritual Nauruz baete, which bore their hopes for the coming year. Nowadays, the Nauruz tradition is less religious than it is a means of connect‑

ing to part of a proud cultural heritage, whose roots stretch well into ancient times. In elementary schools across the republic, it is usually celebrated with a play depicting the personified victory of the Spring season over Winter. Children still play their part, roving from house to house wishing residents “Suban karga!” After these festivities, one can also wit‑ ness a pageant which tells the story of the Alp Nardugan’s sons, Sak and Sok. Under the same name, the city of Kazan also marks the end of the theater season with the annual Nauruz International The‑ ater Festival and in Samara, another tra‑ ditional Tatar cultural center, celebrations usually take the form of folk dancing and often pop concerts. Here in America, the victory of Alp Nar‑ dugan was commemorated on the 20th of March with a blend of old Tatar and Iranian customs. In the days leading up to Nauruz, the home was given a complete spring cleaning, and eggs were painted in the same bright hues one would expect to see coating the wooden houses of any Tatar village. The botka was prepared the morn‑ ing of Nauruz, and later on, the table, lit by candles, was adorned with hyacinths and tulips. Thus we enjoyed our porridge much the way our forefathers did centuries ago. Even today, in all corners of the world, Nau‑ ruz remains an essential date on our cal‑ endar, an ancient voice calling us to re‑ member and celebrate the Tatar nation’s rich cultural heritage. It appears to us as it did to our ancestors, as bright as the shining dawn, reminding us that tomorrow is a brand new day, full of eternal possi‑ bilities.

April 13, 2012 No. 4 (22)

EXHIBITS HERMITAGE‑KAZAN MUSEUM Spanish Art from the Collection of the State Hermitage. More than 200 exhibits from St. Peterburg’s Hermitage, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and weapons by Spanish masters from the 16th to early 20th century. Included are works by Velazquez, Murillo, Cano and Goya. Until 27 May, open daily except Mon‑ days, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hermitage‑Kazan Museum, Kazan Kremlin. MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC CULTURE Kazan: Islamic Motifs. Work by students and teachers of Kazan Nikolai Feshin Art Institute. Opens 10 April. MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY The Poetry of Nature. Photographs from the collection of A.Y. Vishin, featuring works by Tatarstan’s promising future generation of photographers. Until 12 May. Museum of Natural History, Kazan Kremlin. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF TATARSTAN The Beauty of My Hometown. Exhibi‑ tion of art on the theme of Kazan’s archi‑ tectural and historic wealth, with particular focus on the Old Tatar Quarter. Featuring works by Nail Galimov and Roman Zalyat‑ dinov on the occasion of President Min‑ nikhanov’s declaration of 2012 as the Year of Historical and Cultural Heritage. Until 30 April. REPUBLIC OF TATARSTAN NATIONAL GALLERY Baki Urmanche. Works of this former national artist of Soviet Tatarstan, special‑ ly collected for the 115th anniversary of his birthday and showcasing the artists range, from calligraphy to panting and graphic art. Until 22 April. ulitsa Sheykmana, Ka‑ zan Kremlin. KUL SHARIF MOSQUE A Creative Quest. Exhibition of superb modern Islamic calligraphy, in particular that of Rishat Salyakhutdinov. Includes overview of his work decorating mosques across Siberia, Tatarstan, and Kazakhstan. Free entry, open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., until 30 April. Shamil Gallery, Kul Sharif Mosque, Kazan Kremlin. OPERA 20 April The Pearl Fishers. George Bizet. Musa Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre. 6 p.m. 22 April La Traviata. Giuseppe Verdi. Musa Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre. 6 p.m. 25‑26 April Eugene Onegin. Petr Tchaikovsky. Musa Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre. 6 p.m. 28 April Tosca. Giacomo Puccini. Musa Jalil Op‑ era and Ballet Theatre. 6 p.m.

Cit y Guide 13–30 april

SAT, 14 April Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades). Theatrical fantasia. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. SUN, 15 April Tayna doma Vernye (Vernier House se‑ cret). Drama in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. The Child. Ilgiz Zainiev’s musical comedy in two parts on the adventures of an or‑ phan. Kamal Theatre. 12 p.m. TUES, 17 April Semeyny portret s postoronnim (Fam‑ ily portrait with a stranger). Comedy in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. WED, 18 April Let’s Talk About Love. Ilgiz Ziniev’s ro‑ mantic comedy about two very different families and a relationship across the di‑ vides of class. Kamal Theatre. 7 p.m. Sinyor iz obschestva (Senior of the so‑ ciety). Comedy in 2 acts. Kachalov The‑ atre. 6 p.m. THUR, 19 April Kvadratura kruga. Comedy in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. FRI, 20 April Visit Damy (Visit of the Lady). Drama in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m SUN, 22 April Dyadyushkin son (Uncle’s dream). Dra‑ ma in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. TUES, 24 April Skripach na Kryshe (Fiddle on the Roof). Musical in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. Gergeri’s Son‑in‑Law. Tufan Minullin’s musical comedy in two parts — an old vil‑ lager’s search for the ideal son‑in‑law. Ka‑ mal Theatre. 7 p.m. WED, 25 April Baba Chanel. Comedy in 2 acts. Kacha‑ lov Theatre. 6 p.m. THUR, 26 April Amerikanskaya schlyukha (American whore). Comedy in 2 acts. Kachalov The‑ atre. 6 p.m. FRI, 27 April Rokoviye Yayca (The Fatal Eggs). Musi‑ cal in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. SAT, 28 April Pil v Glaza (La Poudre Aux Yeux). Vaude‑ ville by French playwright Eugène Labiche. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. SUN, 29 April Glumov. Drama in 2 acts. Kachalov The‑ atre. 6 p.m. NIGHTLIFE FRI, 13 April Vopli Vidoplyasova. The Ukranian rock band will celebrate 25 years of perfor‑ mance! Eastern‑European rock Critic Ar‑ tem Troisky has called the band “unsur‑

BALLET 13 April Giselle. Musa Jalil Opera and Ballet The‑ atre. 6 p.m.

passed.” Zheltaya Kofta. 8 p.m. Ruden Jazz Trio. Pianist Andrew Ruden‑ ko leads the world‑class ensemble. Pan‑ orama restaurant. 8 p.m. Coffee Shop, a young Kazan‑based band, performing a live set. Caravel restaurant. 8 p.m. Diskach ’00. Retro disco tracks, bring‑ ing to mind your first kiss and first taste of success at the beginning of the 21st cen‑ tury. Including DJ Ozz, DJ Sander Lite, Ro‑ man Rodin, go‑go, and strip dancing. T.E.A.T.R.O. Tickets cost 200‑300 rub. 9 p.m. Gagarin: The Beginning. A space‑themed night with lots of surprises in store. Pre‑ Party. 10 p.m. Mysterious Friday the Thirteenth. Ev‑ erything that happens will be horrifying, and unforgettable (Denis Almighty photo‑ graphing), with spinning by DJ Lilu. Kapi‑ tal. Tickets cost 100‑200 rub. 10 p.m. Surprise Me. A night of magic, but not the rabbit and hat kind. Tricks that will blow your mind. Matini Club. 11 p.m. New Spring. Explosive hits, go‑go danc‑ ing, delicious cocktails. Luxor Night Club. 11 p.m. SAT, 14 April Crazy Weekend at Coyote Ugly. Min‑ imal clothing, maximum emotion. Coyote Ugly. Free entrance until 11 p.m., after‑ ward 250 rub. for men, 100 rub. for wom‑ en. Cleaning Up! T.E.A.T.R.O. Tickets 200‑300 rub. 9 p.m. Yahel Live in Kazan. Israeli megastar of world trance music and a favorite of Kazan clubbers is in town to promote his new al‑ bum, “Silver Line.” Opening sets by DJ Art and DJ Maloff. Ermitazh Club. Breath of Spring. Cinema Café. 11 p.m. SUN, 15 April Nervy (Nerves). Lead singer Jack Milkovsky conquered the hearts of Russia with “Sta‑ tion Flob.” Zheltaya Kofta. 6 p.m. THURS, 19 April Russian Beauty Finals. The competi‑ tion ends tonight, at Ermitazh Club. 11 p.m. FRI, 20 April 2х2. Two DJs is better than one. Cinema Cafe. 8 p.m. Dash Berlin. The Dutch DJ and produc‑ er who literally blew up dance floors ever since “The New Daylight.” Ermitazh Club. 11 p.m. New Spring. Explosive hits, go‑go danc‑ ing, delicious cocktails. Luxor Night Club. 11 p.m. Fashion TV Night. Fashion show of John Galliano and Just Cavalli lingerie collec‑ tions, to beats by DJ Gold Sky and MC Register today to stay connected with Kazan’s expat community.

THEATRE TUE, 10 April Vishnevy Sad (The Cherry Orchard). Dra‑ ma in 2 acts. Kachalov Theatre. 6 p.m. THURS, 12 April The Young Heart. Romantic comedy by Fatikhi Burnash. Kamal Theatre. 7 p.m. FRI, 13 APRIL The Summer Season. Comedy in two parts by Salavat Yuzeev. Kamal Theatre. 7 p.m.

April 13, 2012

The Kazan Herald Stuff. State 51. Free entrance, FC/DC. 11 p.m. SAT, 21 April Magavena Jazz. Let the Kazan‑based ensemble brew up a romantic atmosphere with legendary jazz and pop hits. Panora‑ ma restaurant. Yury Usachev. Ex‑member of “Guests From the Future.” Cinema Cafe. 10 p.m. WED, 25 April DJ Mannan DJ. Resident of AAC Pyra‑ mid Clubs performing the best hits and remixes of the 80s and 90s. Caravel res‑ taurant. THURS, 26 April Masha i Medvedi (Masha and the Bears). The legendary group brings charisma, nostalgia, and drive to their performances. Panorama restaurant. 8 p.m. Delphine. The artist’s new album, “Crea‑ ture,” was released earlier this year and does not stick to one aesthetic, constant‑ ly pushing the envelope. Ermitazh club. 11 p.m. FRI, 27 April Soso Pavliashvili. Long‑awaited solo concert by the conqueror of female hearts. Maximilian’s Brauerei. 8 p.m. SAT, 28 April Vera Brezhneva. Russian sex symbol live in Kazan for the first time, with a concert and party. Ermitazh club. Tickets 780 to 20,000 rub. 9 p.m. Cinemania. Come join a bar full of cin‑ emaphiles. Cinema Cafe. 11 p.m. New Spring. Explosive hits, go‑go danc‑ ing, delicious cocktails. Luxor Night Club. 11 p.m. VENUES 4 komnaty. 17 ulitsa Astronomicheskaya. +7 (843) 260 5704. 51st State. 1 ulitsa Khrushchevsky val 1. +7 (843) 292‑4546. Bolshoi Kontsertny Zal. 38 ploshchad Svobody. +7 (843) 292 1717. Caravel. 1b Prospect Amirkhan (Riviera), 1st Floor. 8 p.m. +7 (843) 226‑9096. Cinema Cafe. 1b prospekt Amirkhana. +7 (843) 526 5656. Coyote Ugly. 13 ulitsa Baumana. +7 (843) 292‑4508. Ermitazh. 1 prospekt Amirkhana. +7 (843) 526 5626. Galiaskar Kamal Theatre. 1 ulitsa Ta‑ tarstan. Box Office: +7 (843) 293 0374. Kachalov Theatre. 48 ulitsa Baumana. Box Office: +7 (843) 292 3483, 292 5481. Kapital. 13 ulitsa Pravobulachnaya. Luxor Night Club. 29a ulitsa Pushkina. +7 (843) 297 3161. Martini. 85a ulitsa Dekabristov. +7 (843) 296 2627. Maximilian’s Brauerei. 6 ulitsa Sparta‑ kovskaya. +7 (843) 526 5526. Musa Jalil Opera and Ballet Theatre. 2 ploshchad Svobody. Box Office: +7 (843) 231 5710. kazan‑ Panorama restaurant. 1b prospekt Amirkhana (Riviera). +7 (987) 225‑2575. Piramida. 3 ulitsa Moskovskaya. +7 (843) 570 0700. PreParty. 42 ulitsa Pushkina. +7 (843) 264‑4218. Rai. 26 ulitsa Parizhskoi. raiclub‑ T.E.A.T.R.O. 9a ulitsa Chistopolskaya.+7 (843) 517 6555. Zheltaya Kofta. 24a ulitsa Mayakovskay 6 p.m. .+7 (843) 249‑15‑62.

No. 4 (22)

The Kazan Herald Published in Branch of JSC “TATMEDIA” “PPC “Idel‑Press”. Order 6420

Published in Idel‑Press printing‑office. Signed for publication 12.04.2012 Given for press by schedule 18.00, in fact 18.00 Address of press‑office: City of Kazan, Dekabristov street, 2 Telephone/fax: 292‑01‑63, 543‑44‑20, 543‑44‑45 e‑mail:

To place an advertisement, call +7‑987‑407‑73‑86.

The publication is distributed free of charge.

Edition: 999 copies. The editorial board is not responsible for the accuracy of the information published in advertisements. The editorial board does not give background information. All products and services subject to certification and licensing are certified and licensed. Advertisements are published on the rights of advertising.

The Kazan Herald  

Tatarstan's first and only English newspaper

The Kazan Herald  

Tatarstan's first and only English newspaper