Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kiriyenko Harvests 'Kompromat' From Hot Line

As part of his ammunition against his political rival, former Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko revealed a hodgepodge of complaints aimed at Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Thursday - blaming the mayor for everything from poor plumbing to the high cost of medicine.

Kiriyenko, who plans to run for the mayoralty in December, unveiled the results of the first week of the hot line he set up for Muscovites looking to criticize the current mayor's activity.

Referring to his stash of kompromat, or compromising material, Kiriyenko said he would use it in his campaign against Luzhkov, who is a likely contender to succeed President Boris Yeltsin in the 2000 presidential election.

"There will be no other compromising materials," Kiriyenko said at a news conference Wednesday. "Our kompromat is based on the people's voices."

The majority of the 2,010 people who called the hot line during its first week of operation criticized Luzhkov's administration for overly bureaucratic procedures that make seemingly simple tasks - such as calling for a municipal plumber - needlessly complicated.

"The fact that the creation of the hot line which gives people a chance to speak about their problems is being accepted so painfully [by City Hall] proves that we are right," Kiriyenko said.

There has been no official response from Luzhkov about the hot line.

Many of those who called Kiriyenko's "Moskovskaya Alternativa," or Moscow Alternative hot line, complained about the high cost of medicine, poor sanitary conditions, exorbitant prices at food markets, and the city's environmental problems.

Kiriyenko criticized Luzhkov for his inefficient use of city funds, which he said are ample to cover many of the problems facing Muscovites.

Confirming his decision to run, Kiriyenko said he will not change his mind as long as City Hall plans to push up the mayoral elections.

The election had been scheduled for June 2000, when the presidential vote is to take place. Luzhkov decided to push up the Moscow elections to December of this year - for economic considerations, he said. However, it is widely believed that Luzhkov would rather secure his seat as mayor first before he becomes a full-fledged presidential candidate

Many analysts say that it was Luzhkov's decision to move up elections that prompted the Kremlin - increasingly wary of the mayor's presidential ambitions - to push forward Kiriyenko as a mayoral rival.

The former prime minister, however, denied charges that he is a Kremlin pawn. To distance himself further from his former boss, Kiriyenko, 36, called for Yeltsin's resignation.

"We will start a new millennium, the year 2000. Let us start it with a new Duma and a new president," Kiriyenko said Thursday. "[Yeltsin] has completed his work, it remains for him only to quit."