Media Mirror 10.05.07

Russian newspapers on Thursday gave prominence to the social security package of Russian WWII veterans and Victory Day celebration in Tallinn. They also touch upon space programme for long-haul manned flights and new national leaders.

VEDOMOSTY, a business daily, breaks its habit of putting only business news on the front page by publishing an editorial dedicated to Russia’s one million living WWII veterans and their social security package. The paper says that Victory Day is not just one of the public holidays observed in Russia, it is the main public holiday, a temporal Easter which unites everybody in spite of different religious beliefs and politics.

However, continues the paper, even with their state pension being three times higher than average,  Russian veterans still have to make ends meet with 9,000 rubles or approximately $US 300 per month while their U.S. comrades-in-arms receive on average $US 3,500 dollars monthly and their former enemies in Germany get $US 2,500.

Veterans and senior citizens in general were the first to suffer the consequences of the transition from Socialism to Capitalism in the 1990s. The newspaper suggests that it is high time for the Government to improve their situation. The state budget, says the paper, can definitely afford it.

KOMMERSANT reports about the Victory Day celebration in Tallinn. The article describes ‘The Day of Silence’ meaning May 8, when members of the Estonian Government silently took flowers to the new location of the Soviet Soldier memorial and to the memorial of the Wehrmacht soldiers as well.

May 9 was ‘the day of Flowers and Songs’. The layer of red carnations at the feet of the Bronze Soldier was 30 cm thick. At Tonismagi Square people sang war-time songs in Russian met with the restrained applause of the police.

TRUD analyses the backgrounds of the three new national leaders – one just elected, Nicolas Sarkozy, and two more in waiting: Hillary Clinton who has a good chance of becoming the next U.S. President and Gordon Brown who may become the next British PM. The paper supposes that Moscow will have to learn to live with the fact that Sarkozy, Clinton and Brown are all true patriots of their respective nations who hold national interest, including that of the national business community, above all.

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS, a local Moscow paper with a national readership, has a piece on the ‘Space Mode of Conduct’ that is being developed by the Space programme for long-haul manned flights, like the one to Mars.

A female correspondent asked the authors of the document about pregnancies on board. The response was Victorian: a woman can only go if she is properly married to a member of the crew. There is no room for jealousy and duels on a space ship, said one of the officials. Giving birth in space may become the greatest experiment ever conducted, but the moral side of it needs more work.