The Media Mirror - today's Russian press review

The change of Government in Russia still occupies most of the space on the front pages. Speculations, observations and forecasts on upcoming political events are plentiful in the press.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that State Duma said “Yes, Sir”, virtually saluted the President and confirmed the appointment of the new Prime Minister. Strangely enough, the Members who spoke on the matter avoided mentioning Viktor Zubkov’s five-year term as the chief of financial monitoring. They spoke mostly of his achievements in Soviet times. Sergey Baburin said on behalf of independent MPs: “In You, Viktor Alekseevitch, we find the harmonious unity of the Soviet and post-Soviet experience.”

Surprisingly, writes the paper, the Communist MPs voted against Zubkov. They said he’s going to continue Fradkov’s economic policies of which they don’t approve.

Vremya Novostei also says at the meeting of the Valdai Club Vladimir Putin added Zubkov to the list of possible presidential candidates. However, writes the paper, he never said “I have five names in mind”, he said “The media were mentioning five names…”

The President also said the change of Government was a technical decision. It was taken to ensure the continuation of successful work, especially in social security and national projects. The paper says President Putin is convinced that: whatever the name of his successor, the new President will have to continue working in these directions.

IZVESTIA writes Viktor Zubkov harvested the biggest number of votes ever: 381. Mikhail Fradkov on his day got only 356. The paper says the huge Duma support happened after Zubkov hinted at the dismissal of Mikhail Zurabov. The Duma had been trying to remove Zurabov from the post of Minister for Public Health for a long time but to no avail.

At the Government House, writes the paper, the former Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov was waiting to take his successor by the hand and lead him on a tour of the premises.

MOSKOVSKIY KOMSOMOLETS has published a cartoon: an onlooker watches bones, presumably belonging to the members of the previous government, flying over the Kremlin walls. The paper says it seems that the President operates in total secrecy, hidden even from his closest aides. He is changing the system of checks and balances on the go, writes the paper, to manoeuvre into the position of a Russian Deng Xiao Ping. The paper asks: is Vladimir Putin planning to come back a year after the election?