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Russian President Fires Mayor of Moscow


In a long-anticipated move, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev fired Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov today due to a "loss of confidence," reports the Associated Press. The 74-year-old Luzhkov was a polarizing figure who stayed on Putin's good side by consistently delivering Moscow voters for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party—which the former mayor helped found. He oversaw an extraordinary regeneration of Moscow, transforming it into a glittering, cosmopolitan city. A string of faux pas may have ultimately doomed Luzhkov, however. In August, Luzhkov relaxed in Austria as severe smog from forest fires smothered Moscow. Later that month, he publicly denounced President Medvedev's decision to suspend a highway project that would have endangered a forest just outside the city. Luzhkov's dismissal leaves time to find a loyal replacement in time for the upcoming 2011 parliamentary election and 2012 presidential contest.


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