Russia will not allow 'colour' revolution: security chief
MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Russian police officers arrest an activist during an unauthorized opposition protest marking one year since the start of protests against Vladimir Putin, in Moscow, on December 15, 2012. AFP photoRussia's security council chief said Tuesday he did not see any grounds for a popular uprising in the country but warned the Kremlin would not allow opposition protests to wreak havoc.
"In today's Russia there are no preconditions for possible 'colour' revolutions and we are certain that we will not allow the realisation of such scenarios in our country," Nikolai Patrushev told tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Russia has always regarded with suspicion the so-called "colour revolutions" such as the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine or the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia.
These peaceful uprisings brought to power pro-Western leaders who sought to move their nations away from Moscow's influence and also sparked Kremlin worries of similar events in Russia itself.
Strongman Vladimir Putin's announcement last year that he would be coming back for a third presidential term coupled with fraud-tainted parliamentary elections triggered unprecedented protests against his decade-long rule.
Weeks after his May inauguration, Putin imposed a clampdown on civil society, signing off on a raft of laws in what critics saw as a bid to quash dissent.
Since then the protest movement has lost momentum, with the rallies becoming less regular and attracting fewer people. For the first time since the start of the anti-Putin protests, organisers were unable to get permission from city authorities for a march through the city centre last Saturday.
Patrushev praised what critics call the repressive laws.
"These measures proved effective," Patrushev, who is also a former chief of the FSB security services, successor to the KGB, told Komsomolskaya Pravda.
"Some representatives of opposition movements and radical structures were seeking to use our citizens' political energy to provoke mass unrest."