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

Russian magazine and weekly analysts comment on the current trends in diplomacy, military co-operation, semantics and bear handling.

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA’s weekly foreign policy supplement writes that 2007 was a year of much diplomatic activity going on against the background of multiple armed conflicts. Not a single one was actually solved. Of the political and diplomatic conflicts, only the issue of the North Korean nuclear arsenal is showing signs of progress. The paper says economic and political carrots and sticks once again proved more effective than direct threats of war.

A military supplement to the same newspaper writes about the Russia-U.S. joint exercise Torgau-2007. The exercise has been held since 2004. It was even conducted on Russian territory twice, but the General Prosecutor’s office finally objected as according to Russian law any presence of armed foreign troops in Russia is illegal without parliamentary ratification. Last year the exercise was moved to Germany. The supplement points out that while Russia and the U.S. were exchanging blows about missile defence in Europe, in the very heart of Europe Russian and American soldiers were fine-tuning mutual support in combat and joint peacekeeping operations.

NOVAYA GAZETA daily writes that some words in the modern Russian language have a short lifespan. A few reached their expiry date in the year 2007. The ski resort of Courchevel has dropped forever from the lexicon of the Russian rich. Modem, the dial-up device, is vanishing from our lives by the hour. Successor is a word that fell out of fashion immediately after the nomination of Dmitry Medvedev as a presidential candidate. Yukos – at the end of October the company was cleared from the Registry of Legal Entities of the Russian Federation. Gone is the strange and heavy term CMU (Conventional Monetary Unit). It was with us for 15 years meaning sometimes a U.S. dollar and at other times – a euro.

The same paper features a story of a rare Tibetan bear named Motia who was sold by a local zoo in Siberia to a hunting station to become a dog-training tool. A change for the better came in Motia’s life only after local high school students started a campaign to buy him back. But the main turn happened when there came a call from the party headquarters of United Russia, whose symbol is the bear.