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Medvedev Calls For Russia's Speakers' Corner

Good cop
Good cop
After his interview with "Novaya gazeta" earlier this week, Medvedev has made another apparent gesture to the liberal intelligentsia.

From Reuters:

President Dmitry Medvedev has told human rights campaigners he would like to set aside a small area in central Moscow akin to London's "Speakers' Corner" where Russians can give free vent to their political ideas.

Russia saw a blossoming of public activism and rallies in the 1990s, breaking with a harsh tradition of Tsarist and then communist rule. Rights groups argue those freedoms of speech, the media and fair elections have now been stripped away.

"It looks cool," Medvedev said of Speakers' Corner, set at the edge of Hyde Park in the centre of London. "I need to speak with the Russian authorities and build our very own Hyde Park."

The jury is still out on whether these types of moves are an indication of his more progressive leanings or whether he's just playing "good cop" to Putin's bad in a "managed democracy"? Or a bit of both.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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