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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gorbachev Heads New Group

Itar-TassGorbachev speaking to Union of Social Democrats delegates on Saturday.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has been elected head of a new political movement founded, he said, to fight corruption and help bring democratic principles to Russia.

The movement, called the Union of Social Democrats, is the second political grouping that Gorbachev has headed in the past three years.

Gorbachev told about 200 delegates attending the founding meeting Saturday that the new movement would seek to rid the country of "extreme political forces" and help promote liberal values.

The movement also will support President Vladimir Putin's reforms but does not intend to participate in State Duma elections in December. "We are fighting for power, but only for power over people's minds," Gorbachev told the delegates, the BBC reported.

In 2001, Gorbachev helped found the Social Democratic Party of Russia, but resigned three years later in a disagreement with the leadership about working more closely with United Russia. The Social Democratic Party later was one of several ordered closed by the Supreme Court under new registration rules.

(AP, MT)