Russian press review 28.11.06

Russian press devotes its pages to relations between the mass media and the authorities, forecast for the social and economic development of Russian society and the initiative to make the study of Orthodox Christianity obligatory at school.

“Novye Izvestia” newspaper talks about relations between the mass media and the authorities in Russia, which are anything but simple.

The article starts by focusing on a journalist from “Novaya Gazeta”, who was threatened in a text message sent to him.

The daily goes on to report on the alarming situation regarding “freedom of speech” and the “safety” of journalists across Russia.

Threats range from demotion to criminal prosecution. 

But analysts are sure that a free press will survive in Russia against the odds.

“Nezavisimaya Gazeta” daily gives a disappointing forecast for the social and economic development of Russian society.

The basis of such stability – it seems – is a strong middle class which makes up the majority of most populations, but In Russia fewer, than 1% of the population earns enough money to own an apartment, a car and raise at least one child!

The conclusion made by the paper is truly bleak and that’s that the size of the country's population will continue to fall until the government and businesses are ready to pay their employees enough so that they can bring up more children.

“Kommersant” business daily writes about the Public Chamber's initiative to stop making the study of Orthodox Christianity obligatory at school. Instead, a “wider” course on religious studies is recommended.

The paper says this measure will help avoid conflicts between the Ministry of Education and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Tensions between them rose after some schools made “The basics of the Orthodox Culture” an obligatory school subject this September. 

Religious leaders in Russia say they are against schools focusing on one particular faith.

Back to “Novye Izvestia” which reports that nearly half of all Russians don't care about their future.

Around 43% of them make no plans for their future, and 62% blame external circumstances for their dissatisfaction in life.

An interesting point made is those people earning lower incomes and in lower social positions care less about their future.

But it's not just social and financial status which affects the situation.

Most analysts agree that the main reason for this passive attitude towards life lies in the Russian mentality and a simple hope for God's grace.