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Mikhail Gorbachev has called on Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to give up power.
Mikhail Gorbachev, former Soviet leader, said on Thursday he thinks Vladimir Putin has “exhausted” his role as Russia’s leader, the Guardian reported.
"He has exhausted himself," Gorbachev said during a lecture at a Moscow university, the Guardian reported. "If he does not overcome himself, change the way things are – and I think it will be difficult for him to do that – then everything will end up on city squares."
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Protests against Putin have broken out in Russia and many feel he could face the same uprising leaders in Arab countries have dealt with. On Sunday, protesters vowed to continue demonstrations against Putin as thousands waved banners and marched through the streets, Reuters reported.
Putin became Russia’s prime minister after serving as the country’s president from 2000 to 2008. He is almost certain to be reelected as president again during the election on March 4, even though protesters have shown opposition to the leader, the Associated Press reported.
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Soon after Gorbachev made his comments about Putin, the prime minister came forward with ways to cut corruption in Russia and made amends with businessmen involved in the unpopular 1990s privatization of state enterprises, the AP reported.
Gorbachev, the latest ruler of the Soviet Union from 1985 until its collapse in 1991, has recently called for Putin to step down. He urged Putin to annul the results of December’s fraud-tainted parliamentary vote, which was the cause of the anti-Putin rallies, the AP reported.
"It's the system that must be changed," Gorbachev said, the Guardian reported.
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