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Former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov Dies at 83

Luzhkov, who served as Moscow's mayor for 18 years from 1992-2010, reportedly died during a heart operation. Vyacheslav Prokofyev / TASS

Yury Luzhkov, the former mayor of Moscow who led the city's transformation into a modern metropolis, died Tuesday at age 83, a source close to him told Interfax.

Luzhkov, who served as Moscow's mayor for 18 years from 1992-2010, was in Europe when he died, Interfax quoted the source as saying.

An unnamed source told the REN TV television channel that Luzhkov died after undergoing heart surgery at a clinic in Munich.

Luzhkov's family plans to hold a funeral ceremony in Germany before returning his body to Moscow, Interfax reported. His family has asked permission for him to be buried at the famous Novodevichy Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Yelena Baturina, one of Russia’s two female billionaires and its reigning richest woman since at least 2014. 

Luzhkov's successor, current Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, tweeted his condolences, calling him an "energetic, cheerful person who led Moscow in the difficult post-Soviet period."

Luzhkov was appointed mayor by then-President Boris Yeltsin in 1992. He was fired for poorly managing Moscow and fostering “exorbitant corruption” in the Russian capital, the Kremlin said in 2011. Then-President Dmitry Medvedev had initially only said he had “lost confidence” in Luzhkov when he dismissed him after 18 years as mayor in September 2010.

This year, Luzhkov revealed that his team had had contacts with U.S. President Donald Trump on the construction of a sprawling underground mall near the State Duma in the late 1990s. “The matter didn’t go further,” the ex-mayor said in February.

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