Interfax news agency quoted the pioneer of glasnost and perestroika as saying the 30 January elections in Iraq were "very far from what true elections are".

 

Gorbachev said: "And even though I am a supporter of elections and of the transfer of power to the people of Iraq, these elections were fake.

"I don't think these elections will be of any use. They may even have a negative impact on the country. Democracy cannot be imposed or strengthened with guns and tanks," Gorbachev said, according to Interfax.

 

Current Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, said he believed elections this weekend in Iraq were a "positive event" on the road to normalising the situation in the country,  Interfax news agency said on Monday.