Yuri Luzhkov has officially been reappointed as Moscow’s mayor. Last week, members of the Russian capital’s council overwhelmingly backed him for a fifth four-year term.
Luzhkov is widely popular and credited with transforming a drab city that was once the capital of world communism into a vibrant metropolis.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was full of praise for a man once tipped to be president himself.
“Moscow’s economy has grown by 10 percent every year since Luzhkov has been in power,” he said.
“He could double the city’s GDP and we’re expecting him to do so soon,” he added.
But Luzhkov is not without his own critics.
Many accuse him of running the city like a personal fiefdom and of taking control of massive industries such as real estate and construction.
Some residents also say he has destroyed the city’s architectural heritage through the razing of historical buildings.