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Medvedev Rips 'Provocateurs, Extremists'

President offers some reforms, but opposition says not enough
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2011 9:34 AM CST
Medvedev Rips 'Provocateurs, Extremists'
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev makes his annual state of the nation address in the Moscow Kremlin, on December 22, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev used his final state-of-the-nation address today to offer reforms in the wake of the massive protests and upheaval that have gripped the country since the Dec. 4 parliamentary elections, but he also railed against the "provocateurs and extremists" who threaten stability, reports the AP. Russia needs "democracy, not chaos," said Medvedev, warning that "we won't allow any outside interference into our domestic affairs."

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But Medvedev also offered a few olive branches to opposition groups, such as reducing the number of signatures a presidential candidate needs to get on the ballot to 300,000 from 2 million, easing registration for political parties, and relaxing government control over at least one of three national TV stations. Opposition leaders welcomed the changes, but said they were not enough. "Medvedev's address is like an injection in an artificial limb," tweeted one columnist. (Read more Russia stories.)

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