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12 Jul, 2007 13:49

The Media Mirror. What’s in the Russian newspapers today?

Russian Thursday’s newspapers provide readers with “The Gamer’s Guide to Democracy”, write about political opposition in the country, and also speculate on the Lugovoy extradition to the UK.

“The Gamer’s Guide to Democracy”, that’s the title of this article in Izvestia. The Central Electoral Commission has launched a computer game named “The World of Democracy: a journey through the ages”. It leads the player from the Ancient Greek colony, a city-state of Tanais on the Don in Southern Russia, through democratic local governance in the Cossack regions of the Russian Empire, and all the way through the State Duma of the last Czar to the present day Duma. The gamer who conquers every level by answering seriously difficult questions about democracy, receives a virtual “Certificate of Political Maturity”. That is as good a way of luring the voters to the polls as any, writes the paper, and quotes Vladimir Churov, the Chairman of the Commission:

“I don’t object to selling cakes at the polling stations as long as the cakes are not baked in the shape and colours of party symbols.”

But political scientists like Dmitry Oreshkin say all that is not going to guarantee the turn out because at the moment the electorate is not interested in politics but is “engaged in a childish consuming spree, glad that their income and credit have greatly improved in the past years.”

Novaya Gazeta writes about “The Other Russia” – an attempt to unite all opposition groups, left and right, in one organization which, as many think, finally is giving up the spirit. The picture shows the remains of the characters in an old fable – The Swan, the Crawfish and the Pike who needed to pull a cartload of goods but failed to move it at all as each of them was pulling in a different direction. Those who insist on performing this kind of exercise usually wind up in the shape pictured here, hints the paper.

Back to Izvestia and into the Lugovoy extradition. The newspaper conducted an opinion poll through the Internet with well over 2,000 people participating.

7% say that Russia should fear possible sanctions and extradite Evgeny Lugovoy.
16% advise the Russian government to cut down contacts with the UK in response.

43% say, we should once again demand the extradition of Mr Berezovski and Mr Zakayev.

34% think that we should not do anything at all: the whole matter will slowly dissolve and fade away altogether.