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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Luzhkov has earned its “rehabilitation”

By order of the Kremlin Yury Luzhkov was obviously touched – six years after the dismissal of former Moscow mayor described it as “return from hiatus”. 80th anniversary Luzhkov became the occasion to remember the man who became one of the main symbols of post-Soviet Russia. What it misses – and what merits?

Yury Luzhkov has thanked Vladimir Putin for the fourth degree order “For merits before Fatherland” (first and second degree he has) almost a trembling voice:

“Luzhkov loved Moscow – but he absolutely knew nothing about urban policy”

“This award… for me is very important. Because it is also a symbol of the return of timelessness, in which I was involved a few years ago.”

Indeed, the post of mayor Luzhkov lost with offensive wording “in connection with loss of trust of the President.” Without weeks six years ago, Dmitry Medvedev removed Luzhkov from office, which he held for 18 years – and many thought that would take forever. Muscovites on the whole well treated Luzhkov, and therefore his dismissal was unexpected and not a very popular decision. Vladimir Putin, commenting on the removal of Luzhkov, called it “a symbolic figure of modern Russia”, noted that he did much for the capital, and explained that by the fact that the mayor has not developed a relationship with the President – and that he is guilty, that nothing was done to correct them.

Indeed, in 2010, when the position of the mayor staggered, Luzhkov took up that Medvedev then called “personal PR and political con” – that is, relying that it “will protect Putin”. But the then Prime Minister did not do that. Though, because of claims to Luzhkov’s really been a lot. What then formulated Medvedev, could tell Putin:

“The duty of any leader of our country – to monitor the territory. We all know and love. This city has a huge number of problems. Corruption of epic proportions, traffic jams, traffic jams, and not just because of the fact that the President or the Prime Minister on the car ran. Mindlessly stumbles buildings. Competitive environment: all contracts and tenders who won until the last time? Know how such decisions are made, all this must end”.

Briefly, the reasons for dismissal, called the then head of the presidential administration Naryshkin – “This is, first, extremely inefficient city management and, secondly, the exorbitant level of corruption admitted by Luzhkov and its environment”.

Of course, Luzhkov could leave voluntarily and without insulting language – but by logging in to clinch with Medvedev, he had committed himself to “dismissal with the formulation”. Chase Luzhkov did not – although he feared, for some time, even lived abroad, but then returned to active work. Engaged in agriculture and with his usual enthusiasm told me, referring to Putin:

“Over the years I… tried to learn, difficult issues that have developed in our agriculture. And some conclusions I could give you… the Development of agriculture can… to consent to a dependence on oil and gas. The development of agriculture gives us our identity and the identity that is born in the depths of our people, about our land.”

And this, incidentally, is the absolute truth – agriculture can not only change the structure of our exports, but also to return lost Russian national identity. Luzhkov is right – how right he was and the Crimea as the Russian land in those years when other high-ranking officials didn’t even think about it. Luzhkov wanted to be was a Federal politician and in 1999 was even head of the party “Fatherland All Russia”, which will not appear Putin would beat for something to drop down from the hands of Yeltsin took power a bunch of Primakov – Luzhkov. Ideologically Luzhkov – a statesman, a patriot. Still, in the first place he was mayor, and that municipal Affairs should evaluate it.

As the man Luzhkov is quite colorful – childhood bully, then head of the design Bureau, doctor of chemical Sciences. The Director of a large NGO, then, at the dawn of perestroika, the head of Department in the Union Ministry of chemical industry. Then he noticed who led the Moscow Yeltsin and in 1987 was made the first Deputy head of Moscow city. This is the current level of the first Vice-the mayor – although at the time the decisions were made in the city Committee of the CPSU. He headed the capital, he in 1992, when it became clear that “popularly elected” mayor Professor Popov knows nothing about running the city. Luzhkov in 1991 in conjunction with him was elected Vice-mayor, and the city fell into his hands.

It was a time of disintegration of all things – and in the country and in the capital. And luck of Moscow that the head of the city was a man of the practitioner, and not the market dogmatists of the “Gaidar”. Luzhkov gradually brought at least some order. Of course, he did not reach the level of the head of the capital of the state and in a normal, stable situation would never become. But he came to the fore in the era of the troubles and tried as he could to organize the chaos.

Luzhkov, like other “strong economic managers” or like Shaimiev Rakhimov, tried to defend the city property from the onslaught of the privatizers oligarchs. And did it more-less successfully – but then he became part of the oligarchic capitalism. Not because I was greedy. Rather, he justified himself by the fact that, time went so booze, can’t stand in the way. And, most importantly, to defend the interests of the city, needs its oligarchs.

And they came – relatives (in-laws Yevtushenkov, then his own wife Elena Baturina), Andrei Borodin, Bank of Moscow, all sorts of Telmana, Ismailov, and others. Corruption has penetrated all levels of city government. There is only partial justification Luzhkov may be that in the 90s in the country so it was everywhere. He turned a blind eye to embezzlement of public funds, for the expansion of the prefectures and insolently assured that his wife is just “a talented businessman”.

Luzhkov loved Moscow, but absolutely knew nothing about urban policy. That is why shamelessly built up the center, did not pay sufficient attention to the roads, urban spaces were given under the different “European”. The General plan of development in Moscow, of course, was – but, unfortunately, it was not in the mind of Luzhkov.

For good, he would need to leave in the middle of zero, when he was 70 – but it is clear that he was not going anywhere. Although by this time the Kremlin had first cleared the rubble at the Federal level, and it was clear that long tolerate chaos Moscow will not. Luzhkov personally appreciated for his real merit in the past, but Luzhkov’s system had to be dismantled.

The city was suffocating from congestion, corruption, mad construction, Mercantile spirit, the invasion of migrant workers, neglected urban spaces (the same parks). Moscow had to pull out. Moscow needed to improve and develop. It was clear that Luzhkov and his team was not able to. Even to deal with the surrounding thieves and crime the mayor could not – in order to close the “Cherkizon”, it took direct orders from Putin.

While delaying the decision on the mayor led to consequences not only urban but also political. Uncontrolled migration ultimately resulted in December 2010 in the Manege – which occurred three months after the removal of Luzhkov, but was the result of all its “migration policy”.

Of course, all bad will be forgotten, and Muscovites Luzhkov will be remembered as “the person who built the Church of Christ and victory Park, Moscow ring road and third ring road. Will be thankful for the resettlement of five-story buildings and social programs, even at the fair of honey. In the end, he really did a lot of good for the city – and at the same time a lot of the bad things multiplied and grew, too. Thanks to his connivance, confusion, complicity is a weak man, and not by Senka cap was. But anyway – happy anniversary, Yuri Mikhailovich! This mayor of Moscow any more will not be exact.


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