Russia risks collapsing into chaos if officials tinker with the political system by flirting with liberal reforms, Kremlin Deputy Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov said, adding Russia was falling behind in many areas of economic development and that the country could not simply continue being a "resource power." But in answer to calls from opponents for democratic reforms to liberalize the political system built under former President Vladimir Putin, Surkov warned that the resulting instability could rip Russia apart. In other news, opposition activist Maksharip Aushev from Russia's Ingushetia region was shot dead in his car on Sunday in the latest sign of rising violence in the North Caucasus. (Reuters)

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