Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov left the country today amid growing speculation
that he could be dismissed.
Luzhkov's spokesman, Sergei Tsoi, told state-run RIA news agency that the mayor planned to spend a week in Austria on a break.
Luzhkov, who has been mayor of Moscow since 1992, has faced unusually vocal criticism in the media in recent weeks, as well as street protests and direct criticism from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
A close ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Luzhkov and his billionaire property mogul wife Yelena Baturina are viewed as having fallen out of favor.
On September 18, Russia's state-linked NTV channel showed its second documentary in as many weeks alleging corruption by Luzhkov and his wife, and a meeting between Luzhkov and Putin that media widely reported would be held this weekend seems to have been canceled.compiled from agency reports