Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that restrictions on human rights were unacceptable and that stifling criticism could lead to a rise in the powers of far-right groups.
“Today, more than ever, there is a great temptation to once again engage in a tightening of the screws,” Medvedev told a political forum in Yaroslavl, some 250km north of Moscow.
Medvedev said that stamping out dissent was the “simplest response” to the problems of “crime, separatism and poverty.”
“[But] it is unacceptable to limit human rights and clamp down on criticism,” he added.
He went on to warn that such a response to dissent could lead to “reactionary or ultra-conservative ideas” taking over and far-right parties making parliamentary gains.
He also noted that not so long ago, no one even spoke to the representatives of such forces, while now they were a feature of everyday life.