The Media Mirror – a review of today's Russian newspapers

Ukraine’s parliamentary election has received wide coverage and analysis in Monday's Russian papers. At the same time, preparations for Russia's own parliamentary elections in December have not been neglected.

The daily ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA writes that the Ukrainian Central Electoral Commission expressed its satisfaction with voter turnout. The paper publishes reports from different regions of Ukraine showing that the election was peaceful and slow. For weeks before the Election Day, most of the competing political parties were warning against electoral fraud by their opponents. The paper says after the election there may come an avalanche of accusations.

The paper’s analyst says only three to five per cent of the votes are at stake this time. A coalition is inevitable. The daily adds it may be sad, but the people of Ukraine will hardly see any new faces in politics in the next five years.

A report in KOMMERSANT business daily says: media photographers dominated the polling stations where the leaders voted. A cameraman shouted at two elderly ladies when they blocked President Yushchenko from his lens. To his credit, the President himself did his best to avoid causing inconvenience to the senior citizens. At another station a photographer said “Hey, miss, would you clear out? You’re ruining my shot!” – to the wife of Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich. The journalist failed to recognise the lady.

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS daily quotes Yulia Timoshenko as saying she will be ready to hand out ministerial jobs on Monday. But there will not be an absolute victory for anybody says the paper. This election can hardly change anything in Ukrainian politics.

In Russia, the electoral campaign is gaining momentum. The IZVESTIA newspaper writes that the parliamentary opposition “Yabloko” party has registered Vladimir Putin as its Duma candidate.  Oddly enough, in the picture he doesn’t have his usual look. The bearded man is running for a parliament seat in the Stavropol region. A near total match, if you don’t look at the face, says the paper – born in October, educated in Law.

The newspaper is also congratulating its eldest employee. The chief cartoonist of IZVESTIA, Boris Efimov is 107 years old.   This week he celebrates this 85 years since his first cartoon was published in the paper. It depicts a giant British general controlling the Bosporus Strait by putting one of his feet on each of the two banks. Efimov has faithfully worked for IZVESTIA all his life.