The Media Mirror – Weekend's Russian press review

The Russian press gives prominence to the new Russian government, Iran issue and the situation around the monument to the Empress Catherine the Great in Odessa, Ukraine.

Moskovskie Novosti’s Editor-in-Chief Vitaly Tretyakov writes: the new Russian government is a government of trust. The people trust it. Vladimir Putin trusts it. The author says, by a minimal personnel shake-up the President has managed to solve all the problems that could have become threatening to the country’s stability during the election year.

The same weekly has a column by political scientist Aleksey Zudin who says the changes in the government were about the reconstruction of priorities. If it has been done correctly, then the Russian government is getting closer to the classical model – strong defence, healthy finance, active social policy.

Moskovskie Novosti also looks at the Iran issue. Iran wants to become nuclear capable, writes Georgy Mirsky. But it is more a matter of status than a real threat to anybody. Iran’s missiles or bombers cannot reach U.S. territory. They can hit Israel, says the author, but in that case over six million Palestinian Muslims will perish too. That is out of the question for Iran, a claimant for leadership in the Islamic world.

An article from Kyrgyzstan says, in case of war the U.S. military base “Manas” makes the Central Asian republic a legitimate target for an attack from Iran. Kyrgyzstan has friendly relations with Iran and doesn’t want to put it in more jeopardy.

Profile magazine’s Chief Editor Mikhail Leontyev writes: from the geopolitical point of view Iran is the main factor of stability in its region. The Islamic revolution is long since over. The potential of Islamic radicalism of Iranians has diminished.                      .

The same magazine offers a story “The Clash of Civilizations”. The article by the chairman of the Islamic Committee of Russia speaks of 1999 U.S. plans of a simultaneous attack on Iran and Iraq. Today, claims the author, the U.S. is closer than ever to the realisation of its ultimate desire – a strike against Iran.

Ogoniok has a cartoon about ‘a really cool Stalin’. A school textbook, praising Stalin as one of the most capable leaders of the Soviet Union, has been recently published.

Moskovskie Novosti also looks at the situation in Odessa, Ukraine. Police, guarding the newly built monument to the Empress Catherine the Great, had to fend off an attack of armed Ukrainian nationalists led by an Orthodox priest known to be a former Special Forces officer.