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Communist leader blasts Russian media

Jan. 26, 2008 at 3:10 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Russia's Communist Party leader Saturday blasted his country's media for its favorable coverage of Kremlin-backed Dmitry Medvedev.

Gennady Zyuganov challenged state-run television stations to hold debates between the presidential candidates even if Medvedev refuses to participate, RIA Novosti reported.

Russia is to hold presidential elections March 2. Election authorities, thus far, have registered four candidates: Zyuganov, Medvedev, who is the first deputy prime minister, Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky and independent candidate Andrei Bogdanov.

Medvedev is strongly supported by outgoing and popular President Vladimir Putin and the ruling United Russia party.

Zyuganov charged media coverage biased in Medvedev's favor is obscuring serious debate about Russia's faltering economy, the Russian news agency reported.

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