Russia's Future without Andrei Illarionov

The Times Online has a terrific article discussing the problems Russia may face now, attenuant to Illarianov’s resignation:

WHEN Andrei Illarionov joined the Kremlin as an economic adviser in 2000, he and most of the Western world were convinced that Russia was finally heading towards a brighter, freer future.
For five years he advised President Putin and headed Russiaâ??s negotiations with the G8, which Russia joined in 1997 as a reward for its liberal political and economic reforms.
But yesterday â?? five days before Russia takes over the rotating G8 presidency for the first time â?? Mr Illarionov resigned from the Kremlin, saying that his country was no longer politically or economically free.
â??It is one thing to work in a country that is partly free. It is another thing when the political system has changed, and the country has stopped being free and democratic,â? he told reporters. â??I did not go to work for such a country.â?
Mr Illarionov, 44, had been sidelined since he described last yearâ??s forced renationalisation of the oil company Yukos as the â??scam of the yearâ? and was replaced as Russiaâ??s G8 â??sherpaâ? in January.
But his resignation will fuel concern in the West that Russia is not fit to lead the G8 group of leading industrialised nations, comprising Britain, the United States, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and Canada.
Mr Putin wants to use the presidency to reclaim Russiaâ??s status as a world power and to focus the G8 on issues affecting the former Soviet Union â?? energy security, education and health.
The G8 summit in St Petersburg is supposed to be the high point of his presidency, and by the end of the year he hopes to win full membership of the group, whose finance ministers still meet as the G7.
But after recent moves by the Kremlin to curb democracy Western leaders are under pressure to deny Russia full membership, boycott its G8 summit, or even evict it from the club altogether.

The article ends with this laundry list of Russia’s recent grievances against democracy:

1 President Putin has re-established direct or indirect control over all national TV channels and most newspapers
2 The Kremlin scrapped direct elections for regional governors this year
3 Russiaâ??s hardline policies in the North Caucasus, especially Chechnya, are radicalising Muslims in neighbouring republics and around the world
4 The oil company Yukos was effectively renationalised and its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, jailed this year in what was widely seen as punishment for his meddling in politics
5 The Duma passed a Bill last week allowing the Kremlin to shut down NGOs that criticise its policies
6 Russia is helping Iran to build a nuclear reactor and sold Tehran $1 billion of weapons last month
7 Moscow is blocking moves to censure Syria over the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister
8 Kremlin has backed Uzbekistanâ??s auto- cratic regime over the massacre of protesters in the city of Andijan
9 Russia maintains troops in Transdniester, a separatist region of Moldova, despite committing to withdraw them in 1999
10 Moscow is trying to reform the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to prevent it from criticising rigged elections in the former Soviet Union

High point of the article: the rationalizations the bureaucrats provide for curbing individual rights and free market reforms. What goons.