Mikhail Gorbachev
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Gorbachev says Putin's inner circle is 'full of thieves'

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has denounced new laws passed in Russia as an "attack on citizens' rights".

In an interview with the BBC's Steve Rosenberg, he called on President Vladimir Putin "not to be afraid of his own people".

Mr Gorbachev also criticised Mr Putin's inner circle, saying it was full of "thieves and corrupt officials".

The laws include fines for organising unsanctioned protests, stiffer libel penalties, a wider definition of treason and restrictions on websites.

  • 07 Mar 2013
  • From the section Europe
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