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

Every front page in Russia is dominated by one man – presidential candidate Dmitry Medvedev.

IZVESTIA shows his double reflection in a Kremlin corridor mirror, with President Putin walking just a step behind, smiling an enigmatic smile. However this time, says the paper, the mysteries are over. The Presidential race ended before it had a chance to start.

KOMMERSANT's Andrey Kolesnikov reports from the Kremlin: on a usual Monday only the maniacs of the journalistic profession go to Cabinet briefings: nothing usually happens on a Monday. This time the journalists were invited to the President's private office. When they saw Vladimir Putin with Dmitry Medvedev on his right and the leaders of four political parties sitting around, everything became instantly clear. The columnist writes: they could have sat in total silence and then call it quits, and still we would have had a story.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA quotes well-known experts.
Aleksey Markin – If Dmitry Medvedev becomes the head of state there won't be many changes in Russia's political priorities. Medvedev is a serious and cautious reformer. He is not an interim figure. He represents a strategic choice by the incumbent President. Vyacheslav Nikonov – I don't see any one among the opposition who could match Medvedev. Sergey Markov – Medvedev is a super-manager hired by the politician Vladimir Putin to do a super-job – that of President of the Russian Federation.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA continues with more experts. Mikhail Leontiev: It was clear anyway that Putin isn't leaving. Medvedev is the most liberal of the possible candidates from the authorities. Gleb Pavlovsky: Medvedev is a uniting figure. He won't cause any stir or internal conflict in the Putin Majority. Alexey Mukhin: this is not the end of the campaign. There will be other candidates. Maybe some parties will decide to support Sergei Ivanov, who knows? Then we'll have a real clash of the Titans here, even if they are the Kremlin's own Titans. German-Russia watcher Alexander Rahr: this is a positive signal for the West.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA calls the Medvedev nomination “a triumph of the Liberals”, meaning the Liberal wing of United Russia. In an editorial the paper says: the election of Dmitry Medvedev to the post of President is inevitable. He is the best prepared among the possible candidates. And he has no obligations to any one but Putin. Not a bad record for the next President of Russia.