The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

Today, Russian newspapers focus on the consequences of the Russian Prsident’s statement to head the election list of the United Russia party.

Komsomolskaya Pravda writes that: Vladimir Putin has defined the political future of Russia for years to come. The never-ending discussions by Russian and foreign analysts have fizzled out. The suspence is gone from the December parliamentary election.

Political scientists are losing their jobs, says the paper. But the population is happy to know for sure that there will be no sharp bends and policy changes in Russia after 2008.

Vremya Novostei says many Russia-watchers are now feeling that the State Duma election campaign is over. A survey conducted a few days ago showed 55% of Russians would vote for a party led by Putin. Now there is such a party – United Russia.

Sergey Mironov, leader of the Fair Russia party, said: the President’s decision effectively opens an era of two-party politics in Russia. The paper writes, that Mironov means by this his own “Fair Russa” for the second party. But experts disagree: “Fair Russia” is a lost number. The party styling itself as social democratic, has not had enough time to make itself known as one. On the left wing, it cannot compete with the Communists. Some say Mironov should distribute his campaign funds among the needy, and close the shop.

In the same newspaper political scientist Valery Khomiakov says: the President has turned United Russia into an ideology-based political party. There are only two more: the Communists and the Union of the Right-wing forces. Most probably in the end we’ll have a system of three parties in the parliament. Like Germany: a social-democrat party, a right-wing conservative party, and a liberal party.

The Communists say, there will be just them and United Russia. Ivan Melnikov, the deputy chairman, says: Putin will always protect his policies. And we will always protect those who were impoverished by these policies.

Zhirinovski’s Liberal Democrats: a two-party system doesn’t agree with Russian traditional values. Remember the fairy tales? There are always three roads to chose from, not two. It will be United Russia, the Communists and us.

Meanwhile, Komsomolskaya Pravda writes that in spite of the election campaign, the President gives favors without any publicity. It took a journalistic investigation to find out that Vladimir Putin presented a gift of a two-bedroom apartment to his schoolteacher. The old lady who used to teach the future President in a Leningrad school now lives in Israel.