Here's how politics work in Russia: be as corrupt as you want, as long as you keep your mouth shut; but criticize those above you, and they'll use their media lackeys to crush you. Just like America, in other words.

Yuri Luzhkov is Moscow's mayor-for-life, a man who's "ruled this city often like a fief for nearly two decades," enriching himself and his wife along the way. Which is fine, in Russia! (It's also fine in Washington, DC). But he made the mistake of criticizing the president, Dimitri Medvedev, in the newspaper, and suddenly the "Kremlin-controlled news media" has decided to air all of Luzhkov's dirty laundry, out of, uh, a sense of duty to the public. The NYT reports:

[A news report] criticized Mr. Luzhkov for taking a vacation in Austria this summer as Muscovites choked on noxious fumes from peat bog fires during a record heat wave, and said the mayor, an avid beekeeper, returned to Moscow only to save his hives.

This is one beekeeper that better be keepin' away—from the Kremlin! Ehh? Seriously though, Scooter Libby would fit right in over there.

[NYT. Pic: AP]