The Media Mirror - Today's Russian press review

The upcoming Duma election may pass without European monitors; in Georgia the opposition hopes for a victory and plans an end to the Presidential Republic; Kosovo's independence is close at hand: the newly-elected Serpent will see to it – those

Vremya Novostei newspaper says the refusal of the Bureau of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to monitor the Duma election in Russia flowed originally from Vladimir Putin's speech in Munich. Then the Russian leader urged the West to stop treating Russia as a second-rate nation.

Many in Russia think that foreign election monitors are too attentive to small details and like to jump to conclusions far too often.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily says that formally Russia is right to set its own terms and conditions for foreign monitors. However, continues the publication, the time left before the election is simply not enough for them to get through their own bureaucracy.

The same paper reports from Georgia: the abrupt change of Prime Minister was caused by President Saakashvili's lack of enthusiasm about running in the early election with a Head of the Cabinet who is known for his negative role in economic troubles of the recent past.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Izvestia newspaper, the main opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze says: the appointment of Lado Gurgenidze as Prime Minister is meant to demonstrate to the West that the Georgian business community supports Saakashvili. Asked about his immediate plans in case he is elected President, Gachechiladze says, he's going to abolish the presidential system of government.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta paper reports on the Kosovo election: the Democratic Party of Kosovo headed by a former militant field commander Hashim Tachi, known as the Serpent, has won a majority in parliament. Analysts noted a low voter turn-out of 40 to 45%.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes an expert saying the low voter turn-out is more due to the public's apathy. Independence alone, they say, is no longer a good enough reason to go to the polls.

Vremya Novostei reminds readers that Hashim Tachi started as a Marxist philosopher and dreamer who wanted to unite all the lands populated by Albanians into one greater Albania. One of his mentors from the Kosovo Government in Exile said about him: “Corpses have never been obstacles in Tachi's career.”