Moscow's long-serving Mayor Yuri Luzhkov defied the Kremlin yesterday, saying he had no plans to resign, effectively challenging his main critic President Dmitry Medvedev to back off or sack him. Mr Luzhkov, Russia's most powerful regional politician, has angered the Kremlin by criticising Mr Medvedev.
State media has run a vigorous campaign against the 74-year-old Mayor, in office since 1992. Television programmes have accused him of corruption and mismanagement. But, on his first day back after a one-week holiday in Austria, Mr Luzhkov was defiant.