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'A man of remarkable energy': the ex-mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, died

In the 84 year of life, the ex-mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, died. Writes about it RBC.

Фото: Depositphotos

Yuri Luzhkov led Moscow for 18 years, from June 1992 to September 2010. In 2010, he was dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev with the phrase "loss of confidence." After the resignation, Luzhkov went into beekeeping and introduced himself as an owner of a farm in an interview.

He will be buried in Moscow, at the Novodevichy cemetery. The date of the funeral has not yet been determined.

It is reported that Luzhkov died in a hospital in Munich after heart surgery. The Russian embassy said it was helping organize transportation of the body to Moscow. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin created a commission to organize the funeral. Writes about it with the BBC.

In an interview, he said that he also writes memoirs. “For a person at any age, and especially when you are at 80, the most important thing is not to lie on the sofa and not stare at the TV. This is detrimental to everyone, both physically and intellectually and morally. After the transition to such a regime, a person very quickly dies, ”said Luzhkov.

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Yuri Luzhkov ruled the capital and the largest city of Russia 18, and taking into account the work of the prime minister of the city government under the mayor Gavriil Popov - all 20 years.

He became the only, except for Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, a modern Russian politician who gave his name to the era. And the only native Muscovite in Soviet and post-Soviet history at the head of the city.

The image of Luzhkov is inseparable from the cap that the mayor wore in all seasons, and the honey that he obtained in his apiary in the Kaluga region and constantly praised.

Perhaps there was no more controversial town governor in Moscow throughout its history. Almost all of his qualities and deeds provoked diametrically opposite assessments.

When in the morning of August 20 of 1991, the commander of the Moscow Military District, General Kalinin, called the prime minister of the metropolitan government and announced that he had been appointed commandant of the city by the Emergency Committee, Luzhkov snappedthat "Moscow does not need commandants." And then he ordered the defenders of the White House to deliver food, mobile toilets and concrete blocks for the construction of barricades.

During the political crises of the mid-90s, Luzhkov supported Yeltsin. Supporters of the late president still remember the election rally on Vasilyevsky Spusk in the spring of 1996, where the capital's mayor, jumping up and down with excess energy, chanted into the microphone: “Russia! Yeltsin! Victory!"

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Luzhkov was one of those who stood at the origins of the new economy, in 1988-1990 years heading the commission of the Moscow City Executive Committee in the cooperative movement.

At the same time, he subsequently had an extremely negative attitude towards the liberal economic model and the “young reformers”. In 1992, by a strong-willed decision, he banned in "his" city privatization for vouchers, and, although it was against the law, the federal government humbled itself because of political expediency.

Moscow passed “shock therapy” easier than the rest of Russia, the standard of living in the capital was and remains significantly higher than the national average. State employees and pensioners received significant “mayor's” allowances, which brought electoral support to Luzhkov. Luzhkov's supporters called him the most effective manager in post-Soviet Russia.

Critics argued that Moscow had objective economic advantages, so there was no particular merit for Luzhkov, and he himself is a typical Soviet business executive who does not understand the essence of a competitive market economy and builds relations with advanced citizens on the patriarchal principle: “I decide for you, but you obey, I care about you, and you thank ”.

Under Luzhkov, the capital experienced a construction boom. The Cathedral of Christ the Savior was restored at an accelerated pace, the Moscow ring road was modernized, hundreds of residential and office buildings were erected - for this, the mayor's admirers called him "Prince Yuri the Builder."

Opponents accused Luzhkov of voluntarism, architectural tastelessness and erosion of the historical image of the city, repeating after Boris Grebenshchikov: "Forests climb into the sky over broken-down Moscow - the Turks build dummies of Holy Russia in half an hour!"

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The Cyclopean monument to Peter I, erected on an island in the middle of the Moscow River, by the sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, known for his friendship with Luzhkov, aroused particular criticism and ridicule - especially since Peter, as it is believed, could not stand Moscow.

Part of society in response reminded that the Eiffel Tower at first was also considered an ugly monster, and in general it is impossible go on with the conservativeswho want to see the city as they remember it from childhood.

According to analysts, Luzhkov, not belonging to Vladimir Putin's team, turned out to be his political forerunner. Back in the mid-1990s, he built and tested in Moscow a “vertical of power” that Putin extended to all of Russia: with “manual control” of one person, no real opposition, pocket parliament, controlled by business, courts and the media.

The peak of Luzhkov's political influence came in 1999, when he, together with the President of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev and other regional "heavyweights", created the Fatherland party.

Most Russian and Western experts considered the tandem in the person of President Primakov and Luzhkov, a prime minister with extended powers.

Historians do not have a definite answer than Luzhkov did not arrange as a successor to Boris Yeltsin, or rather, his entourage. Some talk about the influence of the deceased. Boris Berezovskywho allegedly hoped to get a more controlled president in the person of Vladimir Putin.

Throughout the entire period of Luzhkov's rule, talk about corruption in the capital's mayor's office did not stop. Particular discontent was caused by the activities of the Inteko company, headed by the mayor's wife Elena Baturina. Critical citizens said that in a truly democratic country, the mayor, whose wife became a multimillionaire during his leadership of the city, would lose the next election no matter what.

The first of the major Russian politicians, Yuri Luzhkov, publicly raised the "Crimean issue", although he demanded the transfer of not the entire peninsula to the Russian Federation, but only the city of Sevastopol, which he had repeatedly visited. For such speeches, the Ukrainian authorities back in May 2008 forbade him to enter to the country.

28 September 2010 years Dmitry Medvedev dismissed Luzhkov from office, as it was said, "in connection with the loss of the president's confidence." The specific reasons for mistrust have not been named so far.

Before that, Luzhkov for some time refused to resign, despite clear desire the then head of state and, according to observers, hoping for Putin’s support.

A year later, Inteko was sold to Russian investors for 1,2 billion dollars.

For some time, Yuri Luzhkov lived mainly abroad, although he did not recognize himself as an emigrant, and in June 2013 he acquired an agricultural company in the Kaliningrad Region, where, in particular, he bred horses, produced cheese and buckwheat, which he supplied to the Baltic Fleet.

In 2015-2016, the ex-mayor became politically active: he criticized demolition of street stalls in Moscow, Russian agriculture и the economy as a wholein the State Duma elections acted as proxy Communist Party candidate Vladimir Komoyedov.

In January 2016 of the year, 79-year-old Luzhkov and his 52-year-old wife Elena Baturina got married on your silver wedding day.

In September 2016, Vladimir Putin awarded Luzhkov in connection with the 80 anniversary Order of Merit for the Fatherland. The ex-mayor called it "a return from the state in which he had been for several years."

The mayor of the capital of Russia, Sergei Sobyanin, wrote about the death of Luzhkov on Twitter. “I am sincerely sorry that this energetic cheerful person who headed Moscow in the difficult post-Soviet period did not do much for the city and Muscovites,” he wrote.

Moscow City Duma Chairman Alexei Shaposhnikov wrote on Twitter that Luzhkov’s memory should be immortalized in the capital. “There were different assessments of his work, but we certainly must pay tribute to this brilliant politician. I am sure that his memory will be immortalized in Moscow, ”he wrote. Moscow Region Governor Andrei Vorobyov also responded to Luzhkov’s death in his social networks, calling him “a talented politician” who “made a world-class metropolis from the Soviet capital.”

“We had many years of friendship, everyone remembered. He was a very close person to me. I was friends with Luzhkov, I loved and will remember, ”said Vladimir Yevtushenkov, the main owner of AFK Sistema.

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Before the creation of AFK Sistema, Yevtushenkov was the head of the technical department, the head of the main department for science and technology of the Moscow City Executive Committee (in 1987 – 1988 years), and in 1990 he became chairman of the Moscow City Committee for Science and Technology. Luzhkov in April 1990 of the year became the acting chairman of the Moscow City Executive Committee, and then he headed it.


Luzhkov was born in Moscow in 1936 in a family of workers. In 1958, he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Petrochemical and Gas Industry named after IM Gubkin. In the 1950's, Luzhkov managed to work in a student unit on virgin soil in Kazakhstan.

Luzhkov began working at the Plastics Research Institute as a junior research fellow and rose to the rank of deputy head of the laboratory. In 1964, he moved to the State Committee on Chemistry and later worked at the Ministry of Chemical Industry. By 1986, he became head of the Department of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Chemical Industry.

Luzhkov began his political career in Soviet times, first as a deputy of the Moscow Soviet, and then as the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1987, he became the first deputy chairman of the Moscow City Executive Committee, and in 1990, he headed it.

During the first mayoral election in Moscow, which Gavriil Popov won, Luzhkov became vice mayor and soon headed the city government. However, in 1992, Popov resigned and appointed Yeltsin the mayor of Luzhkov, who thus combined the posts of mayor and prime minister of the city government. He later won the mayoral election three times: in 1996 (received 87% of the vote), 1999 (69,8%) and in the 2003 year (74,8%).

In 2010, there was a public conflict between Luzhkov and President Dmitry Medvedev. On 27 of September, he sent a letter to the head of state in which he proposed to stop public pressure or dismiss him. 28 September, Medvedev signed a decree on the early resignation of Luzhkov.

“He has done a lot for our country and especially for Moscow. In the most difficult period, he almost began to rebuild the capital, built a lot. He is a man of remarkable energy, a professional, very respectable ... He was a kind of motor that made a lot of useful and interesting things for our Fatherland as a whole, not to mention Moscow, ”said Lev Leshchenko, Soviet and Russian pop singer, national artist.

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