Yuri Luzhkov’s destiny was closely woven with the fate of Moscow for almost two decades. And it seemed that this is the nature of things. Until Tuesday, when … President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree on terminating the powers of Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov (who was in powers from 1992). The decree was signed ahead of time and has appointed Deputy Mayor of Moscow Vladimir Resnin in that post, as reported by the Kremlin’s press service.
Dmitry Medvedev said he did so due to a loss of confidence in the city’s top official. “I decided to dismiss the mayor of Moscow. The decree I signed states that I, as President, have lost trust in Yury Luzhkov. And it is a legal reason for his dismissal. It has happened for the first time but I don’t rule out that such cases might happen again. I cannot work with officials I cannot trust” stated Dmitry Medvedev. Commenting on Luzhkov’s dismissal, Premier Vladimir Putin stated that he had done a lot for the development of Moscow, but forgot about the boundaries in his defiance. “It is quite obvious that there was a strain in Moscow mayor’s relations with the president, but the mayor is subordinate to the president, not the other way round. He should have taken the necessary steps to normalize the situation on time” . However, just two weeks ago, a source inside the Kremlin has accused Moscow Mayor Y. L. of attempting to cause a conflict between the president and the prime minister. If it’s true, this was a big mistake of ex-Mayor.
Let me remind that there had been rumors about Yuri Luzhkov’s dismissal. The more so because, the longeval mayor of Moscow lately has been the center of aggressive media campaigns. The prosperous business of Lujkov – Baturina couple were repeatedly in the Moscow media attention. But many Russians – especially Muscovites – preferred to turn a blind eye to that, sharing a typical stereotype that corruption is an inevitable concomitant of power. Luzhkov’s efforts in improving life in the capital and his efficiency as a manager were believed to be outweighing all the negative nuances. Then, allegations of corruption were added to inefficient management of the catastrophic situation in Moscow has gone this summer, through the fires in the surrounding areas. In this mosaic, not be omitted the struggle between different interest groups sponsored by the various oligarchs.
The explanation for the dismissal of an omnipotent person that Luzhkov brings together a combination of factors: statements hostile to the Kremlin, rivals and enemies come together in the 18-year term, and not least a cold political calculation. The current power can’t afford to lose Moscow City. The upcoming elections are expected to take place in October – November 2011. Appointment currently of a person affiliated to power authorities provides time to preparation and to gain sympathy and trust of Muscovites. The expected completion of Luzhkov’s term (July 2011) would have meant a huge loss of time and less chance for the future candidate of the ruling party.