Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday fired Yury Luzhkov, ending the 18-year rule of the Moscow mayor who gave the crumbling metropolis a glamorous facelift but was maligned for outdated values and bellicose posturing.
Medvedev signed a decree relieving the 74-year-old mayor of his duties due to the president's "loss of confidence" in him, according to the Kremlin website, The Associated Press reports.
Luzkhov was born in Moscow in 1936, and grew up in the capital. He forged a career in the chemical industry, and joined the Communist Party in 1968. He joined the Mossovet, the capital's city council, in 1977, but he became a national figure when he was appointed Mayor of Moscow in 1992, replacing the ineffectual Gavriil Popov.
Luzhkov proved to be a man who got things done, combining energy with a populist flair, such as wearing his trademark cap, that appealed to ordinary Muscovites. His project to reconstruct the Christ the Saviour cathedral exemplified his style - grandiose projects, realized with sometimes questionable methods, and often scant regard for Moscow's architectural heritage, or cost, according to Telegraph.