Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has taken the mayor of Moscow at his word, and has fired him. Medvedev has signed Yuri Luzhkov’s resignation papers after the powerful mayor told him yesterday to back off, and either support him or sack him. Medvedev needed little time to choose.
Luzhkov has infuriated the Kremlin by suggesting the country needed a stronger leader. In response there has been a vigorous campaign in the state media, accusing the mayor of corruption.
Medvedev is on a visit to China. The constitution gives him the right to fire Luzhkov, but he is also a prominent member of the ruling United Russia Party.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has pointedly kept quiet in the dispute. Medvedev has appointed Vladimir Resin as acting Mayor of Moscow.