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The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

Voter apathy just two weeks from election day, Russia's complete withdrawal from Georgia and Kosovo's independence before Christmas – that's the mixed bag featured in Russian newspapers.

Vremya Novostei publishes an interview with the Director General of the National Centre for Public Opinion Research, Valery Fedorov, who says: our polls suggest that the public interest in the upcoming election is quite low. The economic stability and the opportunities presented by the economic growth distract people from politics. Another factor – there is no ideological purity any more. The Communists are not exactly what they sound like: they support business and private property. The conservatives have nothing to conserve. Every party builds its programme around universal values. An ideological cocktail is the trend of our time. In these circumstances no clone of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union may emerge. Trust me on that, says Fedorov.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta describes the final minutes of the last unit of the Russian army on Georgian soil. As it was promised, not a nail is being left behind. Most service people would be moving to the Russian military base 102 in Gyumri, Armenia. The paper gives the list of countries with a Russian military presence: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Syria.

Vremya Novostei quotes a Georgian political scientist Shalva Pichkhadze as saying: the Georgian authorities will treat the pull out of the Russian troops as their success. As for their claims that Russia was behind the opposition protests – well, our government, by its own actions has created such a gap between Georgia and the West that Russia doesn't really need to do anything but sit back and enjoy the show.

On another page Russian military experts give their opinion. The head of the Centre for Military Forecast Anatoly Tsiganok says: the Russian troops vacated the barracks in Georgia for the coming NATO units, most probably Turkish. General Mahmoud Gareev, President of the Academy of Military Science: Russia has once again demonstrated to the world community that it is serious about its international obligations.

Vremya Novostei quotes the leader of the ORA party of Kosovo, Veton Surroi: after December 10 the Kosovo authorities will have to take upon themselves additional responsibilities. By the day of the Roman Catholic Christmas Kosovo will be independent.