The Media Mirror, 30.06.07. What's in today's Russian newspapers?

This weekend the Russian press analyses the current conflict between rival Palestinian parties Hamas and Fatah and, also, publishes an interview with Russia’s Communist Party leader.

Itogi magazine has an article by TV anchor and former TV news correspondent in the Middle East Vladislav Flyarkovsky, who says that the current armed struggle between Hamas and Fatah cannot be called a civil war because, “a civil war is usually a conflict between two sides who had been peacefully co-existing on the same territory for centuries but finally split over the question, which path to choose for the future.”

“In this case the conflict is over killing or not killing a neighbour,” he writes.

In plain words, fighting or not fighting a war with Israel.

The topic is continued in Profile magazine.  Professor Grigory Kosach says the conflict may bury the very idea of an independent Palestinian state. He gives an extensive background review showing that the struggle between Hamas and Fatah has been going on for decades and has now reached deadlock. 

Israel, the third party, is thus receiving a gift – total freedom of action in regard to the as yet-unborn Palestinian state, writes the author.

Moskovskie Novosti has an interview with Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist party Chairman, who may run for President for the third time next year. In the previous elections he gained 30 million votes and he hopes for more this time. Zyuganov dismisses his main opponents, the “United Russia”, as a clan centered on President Putin rather than a political party:

“A party is built around an idea. There are only three ideologies in the world: the Socialist, the Liberal and the Conservative. Our ”ruling party“ is not a party but a political salad.”

It might seem that the Communists are as strong as ever and full of hope for the upcoming elections. But at the last plenary meeting of the Central Committee, the chairman of the Control and Audit Commission distributed a letter accusing Anatoly Baranov, the editor of the party's web site, of nothing less than hatching a Trotskyite plot that would lead to the “complete occupation of Russia by NATO forces”. This fact became immediately and widely known, losing the party a lot of points.

Baranov reacted with a swift response: “I thought I was a member of a party when in fact I was a member of a nut house.”

Starting an election year is, for a politician, like falling in love: he is usually the last to notice how much of his common sense has abandoned him.