Gorbachev: Russia won't follow Ukraine

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russia won't follow Ukraine's democratic "Orange Revolution," former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said Friday.

Gorbachev told an audience at Moscow Lomonosov State University that he believed the scenario of the Ukrainian revolution from November to January was unlikely to be replayed in Russia, according to an Interfax news agency report.

"I believe the chances for such processes to develop are little," Gorbachev said. But then he added, "I think something of the sort might happen here as well. This is possible if the government continues to act like this. The country has been stirred up, and protests have broken out in different regions."

The ex-Soviet leader criticized the Russian parliament and the law replacing social benefits with monetary compensation. "There is no opposition in the parliament today, and United Russia (the faction of President Vladimir Putin) has thrown aside all restraint. Proposals to have medical and educational services be made (only) half-paid (by the state) have been considered, which is against the constitution," he said.

"The people's patience can't be endless, though the Russian people are super-patient," Gorbachev said.

Source: UPI