Russians have themselves to blame for the lack of democracy in their country, former Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn said this week. In a rare television interview, the 86-year-old Nobel laureate defended President Vladimir Putins abolition of local elections, saying they had been hijacked by the mafia. Solzhenitsyn said that criticism of the Kremlin for restricting political freedoms was misplaced. What democracy is threatened? he asked on the state-run TV station. Power of the people? We never had it.