The Media Mirror - Weekend's Russian press review

The Russian press is still thrilled with Friday’s appointment of the new Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov. It also covers issues of international politics, domestic social problems and the ways in which modern Russian pop culture finds its way to former USSR

MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI has a new column by its editor-in-chief, Vitaly Tretiakov. He writes that in the next eight to nine months the President needs the government to be a consolidated team of like-minded co-workers. To create such a team is the task entrusted to Viktor Zubkov. To do that, says Tretiakov, he is given carte blanche to fire and appoint ministers.

PROFILE ON-LINE suggests that Viktor Zubkov may be an interim candidate for the Presidency and a personal reserve for President Putin. He is known to be very close to the President, writes the magazine. The publication also hints at Zubkov’s son-in-law, Anatoly Serdiukov, as being a likely presidential candidate. Serdiukov is the acting Minister of Defence at the moment.

Governments fall and are built anew, but life goes on.

ITOGI weekly points out that last week’s Sydney summit was most probably the last meeting of Vladimir Putin and George Bush in their official capacity of presidents.

In PROFILE magazine – the hard copy edition – Chief Editor Mikhail Leontyev interviews Patrick Buchanan, a renowned American politician. Mr Buchanan says the interventionist policy of the U.S. administration may lead to “an eternal war for eternal peace”. Democratic imperialism and the export of democracy is viewed by the neo-conservatives as a remedy for international terrorism, he says. But in fact, it only breeds terrorism. Iraq has become an imperialist operation that didn’t work. Now, he continues, the neo-cons are trying to drag the U.S. into a war with Iran.

ROSSIYSKAYA FEDERATSIYA SEGODNIA, the magazine of the Russian Senate brings a column by Yuri Feofanov titled “Not by bread alone”. The author describes the hard life of Russian senior citizens. He speaks of various bureaucratic procedures, from applying for a pension to getting access to discounted medication. In the past few years, he writes, they have become more complex and frustrating than ever.

OGONYOK writes that Russian pop music is loathed by the intellectual elite for its corruption of the Russian language. But lately it has become a vehicle of Russian influence in post-Soviet states. In Ukraine, for instance, 90% of the pop on TV and radio is Russian or Western, and only 10% is Ukrainian. The weekly writes that gossip on the lives of Russian pop stars completely dominates the local glossy press.