“President Vladimir Putin” and “Loss of trust”: chapters from a new book by Yuri Luzhkov

Yury Luzhkov at the International Beer Festival in Moscow, 2001


The former mayor of Moscow wrote memoirs as colorful as himself. The book “Moscow and Life” came out in the publishing house “Eksmo” and is valuable in the first place because Luzhkov finally told about the reasons for his resignation: in 2010, in the administration of President Dmitry Medvedev, their mayor was not informed. As you know, dear Yuri Mikhailovich, if for what he climbs in his pocket, it’s not exactly for the word. So the story took three hundred and fifty-two pages. The 81-year-old author will personally present his work on Monday, November 27 at the Moscow House of Books on the Arbat and are sure to remember many more things that did not fit into the Procrustean bed of one volume. Freedom of speech is also promoted by the fact that the press secretary of the President, Dmitry Peskov, withdrew from the review of the book: after last year’s anniversary with the subbotnik in Kolomenskoye, the highest point of which was the delivery of the fourth order  For Services to the Fatherland , Luzhkov – again an honorary pensioner of Russian significance. **

Fortunately, not only President Medvedev was included in “Moscow and Life”, as in the life of Luzhkov himself. Still, a strong business executive carefully reminds those readers who suddenly forgot that for eighteen years in Moscow, led by him, not only Peter I, Voentorg and Cherkizovsky market (Telman Ismailov, whose correspondence arrest coincided with the publication of memoirs, Luzhkov in By the way, the book not only burns, but also praises, as it should be to the wise father of the city). Luzhkov is rightfully proud that he managed to restore the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in record time, extend a helping hand to the first co-operators, demolish thousands of dilapidated Khrushchev without protests, and many others.We did not forget all these merits, so we publish a chapter on Yury Mikhailovich’s loss of confidence of one president and well-deserved awards from another **.

American actress and singer Lisa Minnelli with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov visiting Moscow City Hall, 1994, Moscow

“President Vladimir Putin”

First on the night after the elections, I got a call and was congratulated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who did not take part in the persecution. I supported him in the elections, and on March 26, 2000 the second Russian president came to power.

Three days before the presidential election, Putin first came to the mayor’s office, where I introduced him to the team. After that we got into the cars and made a Saturday detour for three hours. We drove along the Third Transport Ring, went down to the new metro station, drove into Yasenevo to the new Ice Palace.

Parting, the president joked: “Without creating a personality cult of Yuri Mikhailovich, the constructed one should be attributed to obvious achievements, and much can be called truly monuments to the city government.”

The second meeting took place on City Day in 2001, when the newspapers quoted his statement: “Moscow has always been lucky with Yuriev, starting with Yuri Dolgoruky.”

Putin was present at a reception hosted by the mayor’s office on the occasion of the new year 2004. And there he continued the line begun to pay tribute to Moscow: “Such a busy rhythm, in which Moscow operates, does not know any city in Russia. Moscow does not leave a chance to not amaze us with what is happening in the capital. It really amazes with dynamism, it shows an example to the whole country, how it is necessary to develop in modern conditions. This is an example of effective management of such a complex metropolis as Moscow is. ”

The president visited the reception on the occasion of the new year 2007. And then he found the words that were not wiped out: “Moscow is not only a visiting card of Russia, a city with a splendor of domes, special architecture and comfortable housing. It is also an image of management, an example of attention to people and the solution of their pressing problems. ”

In summer, Putin arrived in Kurkino, not only to see a special “health school” and an experimental residential area, where everything is green, the density of construction is half the usual, without standard houses, and each family has no problems with the garages.

Before the meeting with him, I announced the desire to change the line of business after fifteen years of leadership of the city. My term of office expired. With a pool of journalists, the president arrived to decide whether to extend them or not. Putin was not in a hurry to report that everyone was waiting. As a former deputy head of the government of St. Petersburg, he knew the problems of the city and could compare the results, they clearly were in favor of Moscow.

– You know, – Putin admitted, – say that I liked it, not enough. I really liked what I saw here. This is no worse than in the world’s leading megacities, and in many respects better, this is a solution to the problems of social development. You go, your eyes rejoice. Yes, and that is especially important: it’s not for some groups, it’s for ordinary citizens. ”

I did not doubt his decision, and it took place in such terms: “I would not insist that he continue to fulfill the mayor’s duties if, once again, this is not the result of what we see in Moscow. It’s true”.

At that time, not the voters voted for the mayor of Moscow, but the deputies of the Moscow City Duma.

After the election, Putin came to the mayor’s office for the inauguration ceremony. And, speaking, I recognized that in case of general elections I would become mayor, because the successes of the metropolis are obvious: “Moscow has become not only the largest but the most prosperous city”. It is, he said, ten percent growth in the economy over the past few years, a doubling of the gross domestic product, leadership in housing construction and solving social problems.

After the ceremony, unexpectedly for all, Putin, who was in high spirits, approached the rostrum, asked for “two words not for the record,” and told an anecdote when he heard at the inauguration that I was compared to the orchestra conductor: “And I wanted to tell the story about this. One conductor rehearsed with the orchestra, and he did not like the musicians playing. He stopped working and said: “You and you …” – “Can I?” Said one of the musicians. “Yes, and you, too,” agreed the conductor, “get out of here so that I will not see you again.” Such scenes should be the exception rather for the leadership of Moscow, but if there is such a need, then why not? ”

The third time that year, Putin spoke on the Day of the City and reminded Konstantin Aksakov that Moscow had brought to the people’s mind the idea of ​​”the entire Russian land and the undivided Russian state in response to internal strife and fragmentation.”

From the monument to Yuri Dolgoruky, we went with him to see the Grand Palace and the whole ensemble recreated in Tsaritsyn. Putin knew that they demanded “to leave the ruins as they are”, they say, they are themselves monuments. He supported my desire to recreate an abandoned residence and was amazed at what he saw: palaces, bridges, gates, grottos, a park and ponds filled with people. That was our last trip around Moscow. His cadenza was ending.

In 2007, I gave the rector of the Moscow University a symbolic key from the Fundamental Library and the new buildings of the faculties. For the first time, 100,000 children were born. A hundred kindergartens and over 5 million square meters of housing have been added.

Why do I quote high marks from the president of the Moscow government? In order to prove a simple idea: his successor, despite the city’s achievements, announcing a “retirement from office,” crossed out with one stroke of the pen.

Vladimir Putin and Yuri Luzhkov visiting the Kurkino pilot area, 2007

“Loss of trust”

Strange as it may seem, in democratic Russia my resignation took place according to the old well-known scenario that was played out under the Soviet regime. To remove the leader who fell out of the cage, an article with “party criticism” was published in the organ of the Party Central Committee in the newspaper Pravda or in the Izvestia of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, followed by a resignation. This was done with Molotov and sent the former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR to the ambassador to Mongolia.

Under Gorbachev, after an article on the shortcomings in the construction of Moscow, he lost his membership in the Politburo and the Cabinet of the First Secretary of the CPSU MGK Viktor Grishin.

I had to go through this kind of publication more than once, starting with the ill-fated article “The Snow Falls,” which happened just two years after the inauguration of the mayor of Moscow. It was followed by persecution in the days of Peter, the election campaign in 1999 and so on.

It’s time to leave, I was clearly told when on the eve of May 9, Victory Day, in 2010, on television, showed the colonnade of the Bolshoi Theater, hung with portraits of Stalin. That computer picture of Stalin with the Bolshoi Theater was on a par with the picture of Peter with the feet of Columbus.

Provocation on the eve of Victory Day – on the conscience of television and political breeders. They knew well: no such decision of the Moscow government on Stalin’s portraits at the Bolshoi Theater exists and can not be. But they fulfilled the order – by deception, discrediting Luzhkov humiliated him in the eyes of public opinion, I would say, a boorish and ugly way.

I have no illusions about Stalin and Stalinism. My father’s husband’s husband was in the camp and told me a lot about the horrors of Stalin’s camps.

What caused me to displease President Medvedev? The fact that publicly in spite of him said: the heads of regions should choose the people, not deputies of local assemblies. After that, Medvedev advised dissent from him to resign. Which I did. But he did not accept it.

The last drop of hatred that resulted in my “withdrawal” from power is connected with the history of Leningradka outside Moscow, which is not connected with the decisions of our government. In Rossiyskaya Gazeta, at the request of the editorial board, I wrote in the article that it is possible to argue and continue to protest to the defenders of the Khimki forest, but my approach is that the paved main road must be completed. Khimki forest should not be cut, and the way to enter the city somewhere near the New Riga, there is more space, less forests. But once the state has designed the road, built, and if the Khimki forest is cut down by 80 percent and the way is laid, then stop the work, pay incredible fines to the firms for the losses incurred is not worth it.

I was summoned to the Presidential Administration and did not conceal the fact that the decree was being prepared “on suspicion”, they offered to apply for resignation on their own. And then “I’ll go easy.” They gave time to think and, in order to think more quickly, through the central channels they showed fakes, documentary telefilms “Case in a cap” and “Moscow, which we lost”.

Such pictures are prepared not one day and not a month. The task of removing me was a long time ago. Everyone saw on TV the so-called Cherkizon, a huge and ugly Cherkizovsky market, owned by Telman Ismailov. Thalmann knew my attitude to this market well. I would never have allowed his organization.

Cherkizon appeared not on the municipal territory, on the federal land, transferred to the Institute of Physical Education, of course, not under the trade.

I repeatedly protested against what was happening there. But I was sent far away and answered: “We’ll figure it out ourselves.” That market represented a very profitable investment of minimum funds at maximum profit. In the existence of Cherkizon, many were vitally interested, ranging from the leadership of the institute, to power structures that were well aware of the outrages that were being committed there, the slave labor of emigrants and all other criminal cases.

I warned him several times. I had good relations with him, told him that at the first stage, when it was necessary to open markets everywhere, Cherkizon suffered in a desperate situation. The market filled the Luzhniki, even on Tverskaya near the executive committee of the Moscow City Council traded with hands, Gaidar proposed to install a monument to the peddler as the savior of the fatherland.

He told Telman: “This stage of an insane auction with rats and garbage will quickly pass. – He urged: – Build a modern shopping center, and you will secure a future for yourself in Moscow ». I’m sorry that it all happened to him.

Telman Ismailov, for all that, while silent, has helped a lot of theaters and cultural figures. They would not survive without his means, that’s why the brightest stars of the theater, cinema, variety were shining on the holidays in his house, which was shown on television.

The basis for the paintings was the report compiled by Boris Nemtsov and former Deputy Energy Minister Vladimir Milov “Luzhkov. Results, “a year before the publication of paintings published in the form of a book with the same name. It is possible that the publication was initiated by the Presidential Administration.

How is it possible to explain that Boris Nemtsov, who long ago left the Russian government, was among the authors, a person who at one time was close to President Yeltsin, who saw in him his successor?

That was my revenge. When Nemtsov was appointed first deputy prime minister, he suggested that the population within one year passed to fully paid housing and communal services. We had a very serious conflict with him then. I opposed such a decision, having serious evidence. He showed that the population of the country in the situation in which it turned out was absolutely incapable of paying for services at such a rapid transition. Since Soviet times, only 15 percent of the cost of housing and communal services was paid, the rest of the expenses were covered by the state.

I spoke at a meeting that Yeltsin was leading and proved that Nemtsov’s proposal is absolutely unreasonable, this is another revolutionary way to solve the problem. Can fully pay for housing only 15 percent of the population, and the remaining 85 percent of this would not be able to do. And if we switch to such a system, we will get an insane number of non-payments. With them, neither the government nor the people can cope.

The second conflict occurred when Nemtsov ran for mayor elections in the glorious southern city on the Black Sea, where the Winter Olympics happened. He put forward his candidacy for the post of mayor of Sochi. He was born and lived in this city. Ended that campaign by the fact that I supported his opponent. He came to Sochi, met with voters, spoke at meetings. My candidate won, and Nemtsov, despite the fact that the young, very handsome and bright, lost with a crash. All his voters knew him in person from appearances on television, when he acted as deputy prime minister. Such is the story.

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