Vladimir Putin goes on record for inculcating sense of independence and freedom

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has described as a major objective of higher school "educating in young people a sense of independence and freedom." He was speaking on Saturday, replying to questions put to him by professors of Ufa State Oil Engineering University.

After recalling that Moses had led his people through the desert for 40 years to "get rid" of the sense of slavery, Putin said that "for us this is too long". "We should be stamping out everything negative we inherited from past years and in particular the one-party monopoly on power, totalitarianism," Putin said.

At the same time, the Russian president emphasized that bringing up a free man should "go hand in hand with cultivating patriotism in the best sense of the word." On the whole, the head of state said, education should be based on "well-known universal human values", which are spelled out both in the Bible and in the Koran - love of fellow creatures, honesty, and decency.