Former Mayor Yuri Luzhkov
(Pic: Andrey Surikov)

Moscow’s gays and lesbians could enjoy a little more freedom after the city’s openly homophobic Mayor was fired on Tuesday.

Yuri Luzhkov was dismissed from his post by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev who said that Luzhkov had lost “the trust of the president of the Russian Federation”.

Luzhkov, who ruled as mayor for 18 years, labelled gay Pride parades as “Satanic” and refused to allow them to take place.

Gay Pride organiser Nikolai Alexeyev – who laid charges at the European Court of Human Rights in connection with the Pride bans – told the Moscow News that his only regret about Luzhkov’s sacking is that “he will not be around to face the music”.

He added that he hoped that “the new mayor will be a more European mayor and will understand that Moscow has to become a real European city and will have to accept the features of a European city…”

Alexeyev was recently allegedly abducted for more than two days by unknown assailants who reportedly attempted to intimidate him into giving up the case at the European Court.

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