News / Europe

Moscow's Fired Mayor Slams Door on Leaving City Hall

Former Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, 27 Sep 2010
Former Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, 27 Sep 2010
James Brooke

After being fired by Russia's president, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has decided he is not leaving gracefully.  

After 18 years as Moscow's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov slammed the door on his way out of City Hall.

After Luzhkov was fired Tuesday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, he has released a letter calling the president a Stalinist.  

In the letter, Luzhkov charged the Kremlin is suppressing dissent and leading the nation "to a situation where there is just one leader in the country whose words are written in granite, and who must be followed unquestioningly."

The chairman of the ruling United Russia Party, Boris Gryzlov, told reporters Luzhkov had been suffering from delusions of grandeur, thinking of himself as 'Master of Moscow.'

Luhkov's friends say he will fight his dismissal with a lawsuit and join opposition politics.  But his comments are not expected to win converts with Russia's democratic opposition.  

During his years as mayor, Luhkov curbed press freedom with libel cases against journalists and politicians, and curbed freedom of assembly by authorizing police to break up demonstrations and arrest protesters.

Veteran Moscow political analyst Chris Weafer dismisses Luzhkov's moves as 'theatrics" and predicts Kremlin officials will offer him a deal like this.

"'We will leave you alone, and we will not investigate you or your wife's business, provided that you also cooperate with us.'  My sense is that the mayor is most unlikely to go into any opposition role," said  Chris Weafer. "He is most unlikely to want to split United Russia or to cause any political disruption.  And I think the greatest likelihood is that he will resurface with some prominent job."

Responding to the sudden end of the Luzhkov era the leader of the Solidarity opposition movement, Boris Nemtsov, called for federal prosecutors to investigate corruption allegations against Moscow City Hall.

Left-wing leader Sergei Udaltsov called for prosecutors to check all building sites for corruption.  

The historic preservation movement, Arkhnadzor, called for a moratorium on the demolition of all buildings in Moscow's historic core.

In another development, Moscow's Deputy Mayor Alexander Ryabinin resigned.  Last May, he had been charged with accepting a bribe.  Mayor Luzhkov had stood by him.

Despite the political turmoil, no large scale inquiries have been launched.  In separate press statements, spokesmen for the Federal Prosecutor's office and the Interior Ministry's Economic Security Department said no new investigations are underway into alleged Luzhkov-era corruption at Moscow's City Hall.

Acting Mayor Vladimir Resin, a veteran bureaucrat, gave a Soviet-style report on the city that left television viewers with little hope he would make any major changes until the Kremlin appoints a new mayor, presumably within one month.  

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid