Gorbachev pans Putin for rampant corruption, roll back of democracy in Russia

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London, Sep 5 (ANI): Former President of USSR Mikhail Gorbachev has criticized Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for failing to fight corruption and for rolling back democracy in the country.

Gorbachev attacked Putin in an exclusive interview to The Times over his failure to convict the killers of prominent Kremlin critics such as the journalist Anna Politkovskaya and the dissident spy Alexander Litvinenko.

The former USSR President accused Europe and America of a failure to understand Russia since he started his glasnost and perestroika reforms of the Soviet Union almost a quarter of a century ago.

Admitting Putin to be Russia's most popular political leader, Gorbachev said that he "very openly and directly" criticised the failings of the former President who is now Prime Minister.

"I've been saying for some time that the election system needs to be changed. I have also been saying that there's been a lot of talk about fighting corruption but there is no real fight against corruption," he said.

"We have seen these terrible tragedies when journalists have been killed...some of the highest profile crimes have not been solved. And I say that I doubt that everything possible has been done to solve those crimes."

He said that the West seemed more interesting in keeping Russia "on its knees".

Gorbachev expressed admiration for US President Barack Obama as the champion of an American "perestroika" (rebuilding) and compared his efforts to revive America after the financial crash to his own reforms of Soviet society.

He described the economic crisis as a consequence of Western triumphalism over winning the Cold War. (ANI)

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