The Media Mirror – Russian press review

Tuesday's Russian newspapers focus mainly on the changes in the government line-up. They look at who's in and who's out, comparing actual appointments with the frenzy of speculation before the reshuffle.

VREMYA NOVOSTEY in a front page article titled “A soft landing” writes, the President has finally satisfied the desire of the public to meet the new Cabinet. The changes in the Cabinet are fewer than expected. Three ministers left the government. Two of the three replacements are women. There is one husband-and-wife team – Tatiana Golikova became the Minister for Public Health and Social Security. Her husband Viktor Khristenko remained at the helm of the Ministry of Industries and Energy. By the rumour circulated in the past weeks each of these two Ministries were supposed to be split in half to separate Health from Social Security and Industries from Energy. The paper says, that has not happened so far.

IZVESTIYA confirms this information and concentrates on the fact that the President most probably decided against accepting the resignation of the Defence Minister, Anatoly Serdyukov. The Minister filed the request when his father-in-law Viktor Zubkov became Prime Minister.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA says that at his meeting with the new Government President Putin went straight to work. The paper says the President wants the government to work hard and fast and be as reliable as a Swiss watch.

KOMMERSANT’s Kremlin correspondent Andrey Kolesnikov describes the atmosphere at Government House before the President’s meeting with the ministers. Kolesnikov says nobody knew what was going to happen. Thirty minutes before the meeting there was only one card on the big conference table.  That read: Viktor Zubkov, Prime Minister.  Neither former nor new ministers were in sight. Some journalists speculated that the President was going to appear at Government House soon, resign from office and transfer all his powers to Viktor Zubkov. Then the ministers and the President arrived and the meeting commenced in a cool businesslike manner.

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS shares its joy with the readers on the occasion of two young women having become ministers. The article says, the feminine touch may be exactly what is needed today, first of all – in Healthcare and Social Security.