The Media Mirror - 20.06.07

Russian press writes about the situation in “The Other Russia” opposition group, touches upon the prospects of the Heads of Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches meeting and discusses the future of space exploration.

“The Other Russia”, the opposition group responsible for the “Dissenters' marches” in Russian cities, is preparing for its 2nd congress in an atmosphere of total disarray, writes Nikolai Zhukov in Moskovski Komsomolets daily.

The writer says the Dissenters' marches failed to achieve any results and an attempt at joint actions by liberal democrats and National-Bolshevik street fighters has, so far, proved disastrous.

Liberals have fled the movement. Maria Gaidar, the daughter of the liberal reformist ex-Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, is saying that for her it is no longer possible to march alongside the shaven-headed thugs who shout: “Our motto, our flag – Stalin, Beria, GULAG!”

The writer predicts that at the congress the leaders of “The Other Russia”, Eduard Limonov and Garry Kasparov, may end up speaking to a whole bunch of empty chairs or to an audience of National-Bolsheviks. No one will have the nerve to call that meeting democratic, in that case.

Vremya Novostei newspaper writes that at a Moscow Conference on Christianity, Culture and Moral Values two representatives, one from the Vatican and the other from the Russian Orthodox Church, have issued totally contradicting statements about a future personal meeting between the Heads of the two Churches, which the two sides have been negotiating for the past ten years.

Cardinal Paul Poupar of Vatican said that “it won't be long before such a meeting takes place.” To this Metropolitan (Archbishop) Kirill, chief of the Orthodox Church's Foreign Relations Department answered that “the meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch is not on the agenda today.”

The main obstacle in the relations of the two Churches is the missionary work of the Roman Catholic Church in Russia, which allegedly results in the conversion to the Catholic faith of locals with “Orthodox roots”, writes the paper.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has an article by Dr Yuri Karash, an American-educated Russian expert in the politics of space research, who says that when the technological lifespan of the International Space Station runs out, the U.S. is not going to enter into any more space co-operation with Russia. There is just no political necessity for another “handshake in space,” he writes. It might mean that the Russian and U.S. Lunar and Mars programs will be run separately, so we may see more of that good old competition.

Trud daily presents Greta the Rothweiler, a canine Major in the Rostov regional customs department. The dog started off as a lieutenant nine years ago but when after busting 30 kilograms of heroin her handler, Viktor Belyaev, decided to commission her as an officer and even received permission from the department chief.

Now Belyaev is the head of the canine division and Greta, with hundreds of kilograms of recovered narcotics and 32 arrests behind her collar, let's say, proudly holds the rank of Major.