Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday was elected head of a new political movement founded, he said, to 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, 76, told about 200 delegates attending the founding meeting that the new movement would seek to rid the country of "extreme political forces" and help promote liberal values, Russian news agencies reported.
The new effort is unlikely to attract much support from other Russian liberals, who are famously fractious and divided. Moreover, Gorbachev is widely loathed in Russia, blamed for the years of economic and social turmoil that followed the Soviet collapse - even as he is still admired around the world for his work in ending the Cold War.