Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sacked Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Tuesday, the Kremlin said, saying he had lost confidence in the ability of the long-serving and powerful mayor to run the sprawling Russian capital.
"Yury Luzhkov is being relieved of his duties as Moscow mayor in connection with the Russian president's loss of confidence in him," a decree signed by Medvedev said.
The decree came into force immediately.
The decision was announced after two weeks of swirling speculation over Luzhkov's political fate and how the Moscow city drama could impact politics at the highest level of the state.
The First Deputy Moscow Mayor Vladimir Resin has been appointed acting mayor.
Luzhkov said on Monday he had no plans to resign, despite widespread expectation that he would announce his departure at a City Hall meeting on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Kremlin-backed TV channels broadcast a series of documentaries and news reports accusing Luzhkov of corruption, abandoning his subjects during the summer smog crisis, failing to solve the city's notorious traffic problems, and using his power to help his wife, Yelena Baturina, amass her estimated $2.9 billion fortune in construction projects.
Baturina, the world's third richest woman, has said her husband has been caught in the crossfire between Medvedev and Putin ahead of the 2012 presidential elections, as Russia's powerful prime minister looks set to return to his old office in the Kremlin.
MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti)