The Media Mirror: what's in today's Russian newspapers?

The aftermath of Sunday's parliamentary elections and predictions regarding Russia’s future head of state make the headlines. Columnists also focus on Russia-U.S. military co-operation while feature writers look at Thailand's king – the world'

Political scientist Aleksandr Tsipko writes inIZVESTIA daily that the Duma election was about maintaining Russia’s sovereign right to define its future by itself. The Russian public turned down the West’s beloved parties which call themselves “liberal” because their leaders have been neglecting patriotic values for so long.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA daily features an article by Aleksandra Samarina who quotes a source in the Kremlin saying that at the United Russia congress Putin will name only one successor. But there still will be a “collective Putin” in Russia – the constitutional majority in the Duma.

An editorial in the same paper suggests quite the opposite – that the United Russia congress will launch several presidential candidates and Putin will arrange something akin to primaries for them. 

Nikolay Petrov adds to that: a strong new President is hardly an option, as there may be deviations from Putin’s course. A weak new president would not be able to control the balance of interests of the elite groups. Putin may stay in power – but it has to be for an indefinitely long term, not another four years. He has to stay as a monarch or Secretary General. Another option is a regent, Putin’s clone, presumably ex-KGB. In that case Putin will quietly rule from a reserve control centre.

VREMYA NOVOSTEI reports on the signing on Wednesday of the Memorandum of Russia-U.S. Military Co-Operation in 2008. It also publishes an interview on the missile defence controversy. Major-General Aleksandr Yakushin of the Russian Space Forces says the U.S. is building global missile defence while Russia is against it as it ruins the strategic balance between the two countries.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA reports on December 5 the King of Thailand, His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, the longest-reigning monarch on Earth, turned 80. It is interesting how Russia-U.S. competition has made it into His Majesty’s birthday speech. 

“As for submarines, a Russian one may cost us just half the price of a German-made or U.S.-made one. But if we bought from Russia, the U.S., for instance, may be upset. However, Russian submarines are very good. While we should buy a submarine from Russia, the Air Force then should not buy Russian planes,” said the King regarding naval procurements.