Washington, Feb.10 (ANI): Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev has told students that protests against Vladimir Putin will increase if he retakes the presidency.
Delivering a lecture entitled "My Life in Politics" at the International University he founded, in Moscow, Gorbachev said Putin's autocratic and top-down Kremlin-centric regime risked repeating many of the errors that led to the downfall of the USSR and could face a mass challenge from the streets if it failed to implement democratic reforms.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Gorbachev, who faced a popular groundswell of opposition in the dying days of the Soviet Union, has advised Putin to drop his bid for election to a third presidential term in March 4 polls and leave.
With society turning against him, Putin is no longer able to handle the burdens of the presidency, Gorbachev said during a meeting with students at Moscow's International University.
"Most likely Putin will manage to become president" in next month's voting, Gorbachev said.
The election features a ballot from which most serious challengers have been weeded out.
"But if he fails to overcome himself, and the situation in our country fails to change significantly following the presidential election, people will take to the streets again," Gorbachev warned.
Russia must avoid a revolution at all costs, he added.
"We can't let it happen. We've already seen what happens on city squares," Gorbachev said in an apparent reference to the Arab Spring, and its sometimes bloody outcomes. (ANI)
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