Moscow mayor whips up a storm as wrong weather hits town

THE MAYOR of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, has long been accused by his critics of striving to run a city state, isolated from the rest of Russia. Now he may go one step further: fed up with unexpectedly filthy weather, he wants his own forecasting service.

An angry Mr Luzhkov has threatened to sever all ties with Russia's national weather service after it failed to give any warning of the past two days of terrible weather, which have buried the capital under at least eight inches of snow.

Such matters are taken seriously by the mayor, not least because the city has to fork out large sums of money on emergency teams of sweepers, salters and icicle removers. He made no secret of his annoyance when the national forecasters, who predicted temperatures of 9C to 11C, turned out to be spectacularly wrong. It was "a deception", said the mayor's spokesman. Such "disinformation" has happened all too often this winter, and "bad forecasting has cost Moscow a great deal of money". The capital, he said, was contemplating starting its own weather service.

Nor was Mr Luzhkov, who is famously outspoken, alone in his outrage. The national weather service yesterday found itself fielding call after call from indignant Muscovites. A hapless weather-service official was wheeled on to a prime-time television programme wryly entitled "Hero of the Day".

The weather has special resonance for Muscovites, not least because it has done much to secure the capital's survival. The Russian winter helped to destroy Napoleon's invading army and kept Hitler at bay.

Last September, Mr Luzhkov tried to take personal control of it, dispatching aircraft into the skies to seed the clouds with iodine pellets to prevent them raining on Moscow's lavish 850th anniversary celebrations. Success was limited: on the final day of the jamboree, the heavens opened.

But not all Mr Luzhkov's subjects will share his irritation. Tonight, Spartak Moscow is to play the second leg of a Uefa cup match against Inter Milan. Russians often complain that they cannot achieve much in spring because the change of season affects their biorhythms. Today's conditions should suit the fans just fine.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teacher Required in Grays

£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee