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5 Mar, 2008 03:34

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

The question this time is not “Who is Mr. Medvedev” but “What is Mr. Medvedev going to do?” Commentaries from the Russian press. And what do Russians feel on the 55th anniversary of Stalin’s death?

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA says that whatever the critics may say Medvedev won the election fair and square – even if all the irregularities the opposition speaks of truly happened, still it is clear that the majority of the Russian people voted for him.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA has an article by Mikhail Gorbachev. The former President of the USSR thinks that due to the efforts of the previous few years Russia has been given a unique chance to start in earnest on the path of modernisation in all spheres – industrial production, politics, the economy and social security.                                                                                                             

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA publishes expert opinions on the questions of what Medvedev should do and what obstacles there may be in his way? Sergey Markov says Putin and Medvedev will surely find the best possible way to cooperate as President and Prime Minister. There’s no fear of any rift between them. Vitaly Tretyakov agrees, saying Putin and Medvedev aren’t friends for nothing, and friends they will stay. But what about turf conflicts between the bureaucrats in their executive offices? Mikhail Dmitriev sees tomorrow’s danger in the success of today. He says the public has become better off but the middle class still comprises only 15 to 20% of the public. The problem of upward mobility must be tackled soon or we may face a social explosion some time in the future.

On the 55th anniversary of Stalin’s death ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA offers two verbal portraits of this controversial figure. One, by author and movie director Aleksey German, presents Stalin as a creature from hell sent to Earth and as a re-creator of the Russian Empire under the guise of a Socialist state.

Another, by historian Evgeny Fedorov, shows Stalin as a statesman who lived by the principle that what is good for the state must be good for its elite, including himself. He sacrificed many of his own to this principle. He sacrificed millions of those unknown to him, but he restored greatness to a once-great nation. The historian says there may come a day when Russia’s elite drives the people to the point when they finally say “We need Stalin.”