Moscow’s long serving mayor, Yuri Lushkov is to sue state run TV channels over claims he used his position to bankroll his wife.
Former President Vladimir Putin is a supporter and appointed Lushkov to his current term.
There is speculation in Moscow a power struggle is behind the events with President Medvedev wanting to get rid of the Mayor who has openly stated he will not resign before next year.
The main criticism of the TV programmes highlighted the mayors controversial construction activities which have failed to preserve the capital’s historic buildings. Opponents say he has knocked down the city’s unique architectural heritage.
New skyscrapers built by his wife’s company Inteko have replaced them. She is the world’s third richest woman. In one Kremlin sanctioned documentary the Mayor was also accused of caring more about his bee collection than the Moscovites.
While the people were suffering in the summer smog their mayor went on holiday and on his return gave more money, alleged the programme, to bee keepers than those who had suffered.
Analysts believe the real issue is the nature of relationships between Moscow and the federal state.