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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Finally, Luzhkov Jumps In

It was hardly the sensation of the year. Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov announced Wednesday he will seek re-election in the city mayoral ballot scheduled for June 16.

Following a fashion set by President Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev, Luzhkov has been dropping increasingly broad hints about his intentions, but insisted that Wednesday's announcement was the first official one -- almost.

Meeting with students and faculty at his alma mater, Gubkin State Oil and Gas Academy, Luzhkov did not deny he had made no secret of his intention to run. He said this was "practically the first time I am doing so publicly, looking in the eyes of Muscovites, and fully realizing the responsibility of such a decision," Interfax reported.

Just one week ago, Luzhkov told Moscow viewers on Moscow Television's "Face to the City" program his team was "qualified and serious, with experienced people, and with the desire to work another four years to finish what's been started."

In late February, Luzhkov told Interfax he would run, but stopped just short of an official announcement.

Luzhkov has only one rival in the race for City Hall -- fringe nationalist-communist Stanislav Terekhov, a one-time organizer of the October 1993 coup attempt, who announced his intentions last week.