Medvedev unveils Russia reform but warns 'extremists'
President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday warned that "provocateurs and extremists" were seeking to stir unrest in Russia, as he unveiled a drive for political reform in response to an outburst of protests.
Two days ahead of a new mass rally accusing the authorities of rigging parliamentary elections, he proposed a range of political reforms including the resumption of direct elections of local governors.
But in his last state-of-the-nation address before his expected handover of the Kremlin to Vladimir Putin next year, Medvedev also warned that Russia would not allow its biggest protest wave in years to destabilise the country.
"Attempts to manipulate Russian citizens, lead them astray and incite strife in society are unacceptable," Medvedev told both houses of parliament. "Russia needs democracy and not chaos."