Gorbachev criticized the system of strong and centralized state power restored by Mr. Putin, who came to power aiming to reverse a decade of economic slump, social collapse, and political drift.
In a state-of-the-nation speech Thursday, Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev reviewed his own pet economic innovations but didn't criticize the tightly controlled political edifice
Putin burnishes his image by unjamming 200 miles of traffic and helping 500 laid-off workers get back pay in a single-industry town. But critics say Russia's economic woes are beyond the reach of one individual.
Economic angst is prompting more rallies Sunday. How will the Kremlin react?