News in Brief

Illarionov Gets Into Politics



Former presidential adviser Andrei Illarionov has become head of a new anti-Kremlin political organization, Interfax reported Friday.

Members of the Union of the Liberal Charter, a little-known group dating back to the late 1980s, said they were creating a new political wing to combat oppression.

"Those of us who are ready use public methods to fight for the reduction of violence perpetrated by the authorities against Russian society have formed a political wing of the Union," they said in a statement, Interfax reported. "Its leader is Andrei Illarionov."

One of Russia's most liberal economists, Illarionov served as an aide to President Vladimir Putin from 2000 to 2005, when he resigned in protest against what he called Russia's drift away from democracy. (MT)




New Mayor for Vladivostok



Voters on Sunday elected a United Russia senator as the next mayor of Vladivostok -- a city that has long symbolized the endemic corruption and political incompetence plaguing many of Russia's far-flung provinces.

With nearly 100 percent of ballots counted, preliminary results showed Federation Council Senator Igor Pushkaryov beating out three other contenders for the mayoralty, garnering about 57 percent of the vote, the regional elections commission said.

Only 21 percent of voters turned out to cast ballots, the commission said in a statement posted on its web site. (AP)




For the Record



Mutabar Tadjibayeva, an Uzbek woman imprisoned for criticizing the government over its armed response to an uprising in Andijan three years ago, has won the 2008 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. (Reuters)

A Russian supply ship docked to the international space station on Friday, delivering more than 2 tons of food, water, equipment and scientific experiments. The three men aboard the space station monitored everything from inside. Russian and U.S. space officials said the docking went smoothly. (AP)