Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree firing powerful Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, Russian media say.
They quote the presidential press service as saying that Mr Luzhkov, 74, was removed because he had lost the president's trust.
In recent weeks Mr Luzhkov - who has been in office since 1992 - had faced harsh criticism from the Kremlin.
The move follows weeks of speculation that Mr Luzhkov would be be forced out after disagreements with the president.
Mr Medvedev stripped Mr Luzhkov of his post "because he has lost the trust of the president of the Russian Federation", Itar-Tass news agency reported.
|Gay Pride Russia Nikolai Alexeev|
The mayor's first deputy, Vladimir Resin, was appointed the acting head of Moscow.
Mr Luzhkov has recently been criticised by state-run TV for gridlock on the capital's roads and bulldozing of historic buildings. He and his billionaire wife have been also accused of corruption.
Mr Luzhkov denounced all the claims as "total rubbish", designed to make him "lose his balance". He has threatened to sue the TV channels concerned.
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