03 June 2008

Russia -- A Free Press

Russia has not been known for its free press under the previous President, Vladimir Putin, and many have assumed that his anointed successor, Dmitry Medvedev, would be nothing more than a figure head as the real power would now move to the Prime Minister, a position now held by Putin. However, maybe this is not the case as Medvedev has essentially quashed amendments to the libel law which would have made the press in Russia a much less open place than it is now.

It is being reported that the Kremlin is keen to highlight the much more liberal views on matters such as press freedom. Perhaps this is to soften a particularly hard line approach adopted under Putin's Presidency. However, the proof of this will evolve over time as it remains to be seen how influential the former President will be as Prime Minister.

The Russian system of governance is an interesting one in that a "critical" note on a piece of legislation in effect sinks it. I guess this is some kind of veto power (note: I need to learn more about governance in Russia).

Apparently, this issue came about because Mr. Putin wants to dump his wife and run off and marry a 24-year old gymnast (I am guessing for her increased flexibility). Look, Putin would not be the first European leader to dump the wife for a younger, sexy, more flexible new wife. Putin only needs to look as far as France for an example of this, as Nicolas Sarkozy dumped his wife for the former model Carla Bruni.

Currently, the media in Russia can only be shut down for trading in the following news worthy items: state secrets, extremist statements, calls to carry out terrorist acts or statements justifying terrorism.

It would seem though that this is a no win situation for Medvedev as even those likely to benefit from this are sure to be vocal critics that this is nothing more than an exercise in propaganda.

2 comments:

GJ said...

Not sure about Russian free press or governance procedures. I just want a picture of the "flexible" 24yo gymnast, thats got to be worth a post.

Rob Baiton said...

It is an interesting topic. However, I am trying to find out if I write about certain topics and use certain country / regional tags whether or not this gets me traffic...

Kind of like a self-funded, self-taught, learn the ropes by yourself deal!

Yep, flexible gymnasts! It is an Olympic year so hopefully you will get your fill on the TV.

It's the reason I have cable.

On ESPN the other day they had the US National Cheer Leading competition...very interesting :D