Yuri Luzhkov, the powerful mayor ousted from his post by the Kremlin last week, has said he will form a political movement that would help support democracy and challenge the present regime’s authoritarian grip.

In his first public comments since he was sacked by President Dmitry Medvedev following a bitter power struggle, Mr Luzhkov told Russian opposition magazine The New Times that he would fight any criminal charges that might be filed against him and defend his record as mayor of the capital for the last 18 years.

“I will fight for my honour, because I still have it,” Mr Luzhkov told the magazine in an interview published on Monday. “I honestly served Muscovites and no one can claim I did anything in a criminal way.”

However, Mr Luzhkov was vague about the details of his plans for a political movement and said he would not run for president nor compete in parliamentary elections. “Going into politics means working on the establishment of the laws of a democratic society. Today our society has laws that are not democratic.”

He also said he did not intend to contest his sacking in court. “I do not believe that the supreme court will make a decision which would contradict with the president’s decree,” he said.

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