The Media Mirror – A review of the weekend's Russian press

Putin’s succession and speculation over what Russia will look like in 2008 filled the Russian weekly press this week.

MOSKOVSKI KOMSOMOLETS weekly writes that dozens of Vladimir Putin fan clubs exist all over the world, most of them in the U.S., Canada and Ireland. The paper quotes the founder of the Putin Mania club, Alexander Gray: “I saw a show on TV. It was about the dangers of Putin’s personality cult. But for me the show worked in the opposite way – I founded this club. Now there are 54 of us.” The paper says that on one web resource, Facebook, the list of Putin fan clubs is just short of 300.

OGONIOK weekly has an interview with Andrei Kolesnikov, the author of KOMMERSANT daily’s most detailed Kremlin reports, generously spiced with humor and a touch of sarcasm. He says: “Two years ago I had my first chance to ask about the successor. Putin replied that it would be a young, well-educated, effective and honest man, before adding ”don’t worry, you'll like him." I think, says Kolesnikov, the President chose Medvedev long before that conversation.

An IZVESTIA artist thinks we should change our national symbols. He suggests a two-headed bear could replace the two-headed eagle.

In MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI columnist Alexey Zudin says not a tandem but a triangle may come to power in Russia in 2008. He writes that Vladimir Putin may give the post of Prime Minister to Sergei Ivanov instead, and find some other post for himself. A triangle has better balance than a tandem, Zudin claims.

Meanwhile, the 56-pager jam-packed with information and the analytical work of brilliant minds has proved to be financially unfeasible says owner Arkadii Gaidamak in his address. He thanks Vitaly Tretyakov, the Editor-in-Chief and all staff members. He promises to re-launch the weekly in a new format.