Moscow: The controversial mayor of
Moscow, savaged over his handling of Russia`s wildfire crisis,
has the highest family income of any Russian state official,
according to a new rating published on Wednesday.
Yuri Luzhkov topped the list with a family income
of 30.9 billion rubles (USD one billion) last year, the
Russian edition of Forbes magazine said, despite a relatively
modest declared income in 2009 of 7.98 million rubles
(USD 2,59,000 dollars).
A populist figure in a flat cap with a hobby of
beekeeping, Luzhkov has led Moscow for 18 years.
Now 73, with his current term ending next year, he
has faced a squall of criticism over his failure to return
promptly from holiday this month to deal with the wildfires in
the Moscow region that left an acrid smog over the city.
Luzhkov initially refused to return from holiday,
with his aides earning ridicule in the tabloid press by
denying there was any crisis in the city.
When he finally did show up a Kremlin source told
Russian news agencies: "But of course this should have
happened earlier.... The absence of the mayor clearly did not
help the necessary decisions being made on time, without
Luzhkov`s wife, Yelena Baturina, heads a
construction and real estate empire and is listed by Forbes as
Russia`s richest woman with an estimated fortune of USD 2.9
The Luzhkov family has a history of enmity with
Forbes Russia -- Baturina`s company won libel action against
the magazine over a feature about how she acquired her wealth
published in 2006.
The Forbes Russia rating, published in the
September issue of the magazine, is the first to focus on
civil servants, lawmakers, and the heads of state
President Dmitry Medvedev last year ordered
officials to declare both their own incomes and property and
those of their spouses in a new move to crack down on