The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

Wednesday’s Russian newspapers are anticipating the formation of the new government. Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov has put together a preliminary list of candidates, which President Vladimir Putin has now to review.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov hasn’t announced any names, except one: Mr Zubkov said that his son-in-law Anatoly Serdyukov decided to resign from his post at the Defence Ministry. 

Vremya Novostei says it is likely that the current First Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev, Sergey Ivanov, and Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Naryshkin, are going to stay on the Cabinet list.  

Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes the Constitutional seven-day period reserved for the forming of a new Cabinet runs out on Friday. The paper says Viktor Zubkov is sure he can make the deadline.  

Izvestia quotes Zubkov as saying of his son-in-law: “I had a talk with the Minister of Defence and we both decided it would be appropriate for him to resign.” 

“The Cabinet Reload” – that’s the headline of a column by Vyacheslav Nikonov, President of the Politika Foundation, again in Izvestia.

The writer says the President “reloaded” the Cabinet because he needs to leave behind a group of like-minded executives loyal to his policies.

In that sense, Viktor Zubkov can be viewed as a possible successor. The author writes: “Zubkov is quite ”electable“. He is an effective and honest executive. His bid for the presidency, if it happens, is going to be well received by the public. He is sure to continue Putin’s policies. He is keen on the fight against corruption and he has proven himself in his previous incarnation as the head of ”financial intelligence“. He is likely to put emphasis on the development of the rural areas, and his past exploits in agricultural development are well known.”

Still, all that doesn’t make Zubkov the chosen successor. Vladimir Putin, writes the author, is unpredictable on purpose. It helps him maintain his role as the demiurge of Russian politics. The public is not against it at all, continues the writer. Judging by the opinion polls and real life, Putin is by far the best leader Russia has had for a good chunk of its history.

Vremya Novostei quotes a recent opinion poll. Russian citizens think that an ideal President has to be “the father of the nation”. The paper says, the poll results show: the public wants the tradition of strong individual power to continue.