Russian President Fires Moscow Mayor

On Tuesday, Russian president Dimitry Medvedev fired 74-year-old Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov after he had served as mayor for 18 years. "It's hard to imagine a situation in which (Luzhkov) and the president of Russia ... continue to work together when the president has lost confidence int he regional leader," Medvedev said while he was in Shanghai. While Luzhknov oversaw Moscow's "makeover" from slum to bustling metropolis and promoted massive construction projects, he notably used his billionaire wife's construction company for most of these projects, leading to allegations of corruption. He was also condemned for his behavior this summer: The mayor continued his August vacation in Austria while Moscow's air became dangerously saturated with smog from nearby forest fires.

But the final blow was an open spat with Medvedev over plans to build a highway through a forest just outside of Moscow that environmentalists wanted to protect. Medvedev in August ordered the project suspended, a decision that Luzhkov criticized in a newspaper article.

While many Muscovites have watched their city's feverish changes with pride, Luzhkov was despised by preservationists for bulldozing historic buildings in prime locations. In some cases, including the iconic Moskva Hotel, the buildings were demolished only to be replaced by clumsy replicas.

He also inflicted a tacky aura by promoting the gargantuan works of sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, including a 370-foot (94-meter) statue of Peter the Great on a man-made island in the Moscow River that ranks in some surveys as one of the world's ugliest structures.

Read the full story at the Associated Press.

Presented by

Elizabeth Weingarten is an editorial assistant at the New America Foundation. A former Slate editorial assistant, she also previously wrote for and produced the Atlantic's International Channel.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Global

Just In