The Media Mirror - What's in today's Russian press?

Russian newspapers today give political forecasts for the August and for the rest of 2007 in general, some of them pointing out August as traditionally a special month for Russian politics.

A bit of political forecast is coming from Vitaly Tretyakov, Editor-in-Chief of MOSKOVSKIE NOVOSTI, and other analysts writing in this newspaper.

In his political diary Mr Tretyakov predicts unspecified important events are to happen in August. He believes one of them might be the appointment of a new Prime Minister of Russia.

He also says that December’s parliamentary elections are going to bring about a few nice surprises in spite of the widespread opinion that the result is easily predictable.

Vitaly Tretyakov writes, those who expect the Kremlin to control and guide the election process towards a landslide victory by the United Russia party presumed at the moment to be the government party, are way off the mark. They think, the Kremlin does not change or evolve, and they are wrong.

Today’s Kremlin, having invested enough of its time and money in the step-by-step construction of political parties, such as United Russia and Fair Russia for example, is going to sit back and watch the clean and completely legitimate elections that it wants to see.

Mr Tretyakov says that the appointment of Vladimir Churov, relatively unknown to the general public but respected for his honesty in the academic world, as Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission means just that: the Kremlin, for completely pragmatic reasons of laying out a future political system, most probably a two-party system, wants the elections to be as clean and honest as possible.

Historian Roman Trunov writes that August has always been a special month for Russian politics:

1917 – General Kornilov prepares a coup to prevent the left-wing gaining power in St. Petersburg (Petrograd then) but is betrayed by the ministers of the Provisional government and arrested. This opens the way for the Bolshevik revolt two months later.

1991 – a group of top officials of the Soviet Union start a coup in order to prevent the collapse of the Union. The people were mostly on their side but the ethnic elites in the republics were not. The country split into 15 new entities plus a few unrecognised states.

1998 – Russia defaulted on its financial obligations; the Asian Financial Crisis hit the country.

1999 – Vladimir Putin was appointed Prime Minister and immediately started solving the problems accumulated during the crisis year.

All that is left now is to hope this August brings something more like 1999 than 1998.