Media Mirror, 02.05.07

There is no ten day long vacation this May as used to be the case before in Russia, but long-established habits die hard, that’s why not too many newspapers are out today.

Kommersant has an article headlined: “The Grave of a Known soldier”. The relocation of the Monument to the Soviet soldier, the liberator of Estonia from fascism, to the military cemetery a few blocks away from its original position continues to be in the focus of the Russian media. On a photograph a group of members of the State Duma of Russia explore the seams and saw marks caused during the move.

The same newspaper covers the funeral of Mstislav Rostropovich. The body of the great musician was laid out in state in one of the biggest Moscow concert halls, and it was with music that his closest friends and family members chose to bid him farewell: recordings of Rostropovich’s own works as well as a live performance by the famous Svetlanov Symphony orchestra. On Sunday Rostropovich was buried at the Novodevichie Cemetary.

Another page of Kommersant. What were the main topics of discussion in the 25 million-user strong Russian Internet in the end of April? The article titled “The Mourning Protest March” says that the Internet statistics show the death of former President Boris Yeltsin was number one, the death of Mstislav Rostropovich number two, and the unrest in Tallin came third.

Here is a quote from one of the messages regarding the death of Boris Yeltsin:

“Thank you, Boris Nikolayevich, for our good life today, freedom of speech and open borders, for the good cars we drive.And thank you again, old man, for the fact that even those scumbags who curse you, are free.”

Vedomosti publishes today an analytical piece by Mikhail Margelov, Chairman of the Committee for International Affairs of the Federation Council of Russia. The author gives a detailed analysis of the current situation in the Balkans, the main issue of the day being the independence of Kosovo. Margelov says that some experts and politicians are trying to give the issue an air of uniqueness of a kind, and warns that this idea is misleading, as Kosovo’s independence will definitely become a precedent for other “unrecognised nations”. In conclusion the senator writes:

“If Kosovo is severed from Serbia in disaccord with the international order, then neither morals, nor law will prevent Russia from recognising the independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia or the Transdniestr region.”