Gorbachev: Russia can not to beat down democracy

Soviet ex-president Mikhail Gorbachev speaks during a press conference in Moscow on August 17, 2011.</p>

Soviet ex-president Mikhail Gorbachev speaks during a press conference in Moscow on August 17, 2011.

Mikhail Gorbachev said there will be more unrest in Russia, despite President Vladimir Putin's crackdown on free speech, unless the nation continues on its path toward democracy.

The former Soviet leader said in a lecture on Saturday "the authorities have managed to beat down the wave of protest for a while, but the problems have not disappeared. If everything remains as before, they will escalate," RIA news agency reported.

The 82-year-old added if the government does not continue with reform "we [will] face a new attempt by Russian society to move to real democracy and it will be of historic significance."

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