Medvedev’s Gorbachev Moment

This bit comes from Andreas Umland writing in the Asia Times Online:

However, in the middle of his long speech, Medvedev also voiced a sharp critique of historical Russian statism, and did not hesitate to hail the adoption of the Russian constitution under Yeltsin, in 1993. He proposed that “Russian democracy should develop further”. In its first analyses of Medvedev’s speech, the Western media tended to emphasize a couple of technical innovations proposed by the president for the country’s political system, such as the prolongation of the terms of the president (to six years) and the State Duma (the Lower House).

What was, however, more significant in Medvedev’s presentation was the outspokenness with which he condemned the Russian state apparatus’s interference in elections, mass media, civil society and the economy – all of which gives, in Medvedev’s opinion, birth to corruption in the bureaucracy.In view of the many deficiencies of the post-Soviet political system, the president announced a number of practical changes which, if implemented in full scale, could signal the start of a new transformation of the nature of politics in Russia.