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Putin Says He Approves of Online Criticism

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told students Wednesday that he is aware of criticism directed toward him online and that such discussion is positive, Interfax reported.

"You know very well — you hang out online — how your humble servant is bashed there, what goes on there," Putin said at a meeting with students at Tomsk Polytechnic University.

"This is a positive process. The important thing is that we don't break the cultural code, that we always use standard vocabulary, that it is done in civilized limits. The fact that discussion is unfolding, society is being built—this is very good," Putin said, Interfax reported.

Putin said last month that he does not use the Internet because he is too busy.

The prime minister and presidential candidate also said Wednesday that Russia is a "free country" and will never be a dictatorship.

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