Moscow, Russia: Wikis


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Moscow (English)
Москва (Russian)
-  Federal city  -
Moscow montage.jpg
Top: Spasskaya Tower of Moscow Kremlin, Ostankino Tower and Saint Basil's Cathedral,
Upper middle: Red Square with the monument to Minin and Pozharsky
Lower middle: Moscow State University building, Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Moscow Kremlin
Bottom: Moscow International Business Center skyline
Coordinates: 55°45′06″N 37°37′04″E / 55.75167°N 37.61778°E / 55.75167; 37.61778Coordinates: 55°45′06″N 37°37′04″E / 55.75167°N 37.61778°E / 55.75167; 37.61778
Coat of Arms of Moscow.svg
Coat of arms
Flag of Moscow.svg
Federal city Day The first Saturday of September[citation needed]
Political status
Country Russia
Political status Federal city
Federal district Central[1]
Economic region Central[2]
Official language Russian[3]
Population (2002 Census)[4] 14,126,424 inhabitants
- Rank within Russia 1st
- Urban[4] 100%
- Rural[4] 0%
- Density 13,068 /km2 (33,800/sq mi)[5]
Population (1 September 2009) 10,535,100 inhabitants[6]
Area (as of the 2002 Census)[7] 1,081 km2 (417.4 sq mi)
- Rank within Russia 83rd
Established Before 1147[8]
License plates 77
ISO 3166-2:RU RU-MOW
Time zone MSK/MSD (UTC+3/+4)
Mayor[9] Yury Luzhkov[9]
Legislature City Duma[10]
Charter Charter of Moscow
Official website

Moscow (pronounced /ˈmɒskoʊ/ in British English or /ˈmɑskaʊ/ in American English; Russian: About this sound Москва , tr. Moskva, IPA [mɐˈskva]; see also other names) is the capital and the most populous city and the federal subject of Russia. It is also the largest metropolitan area in Europe,[11] and ranks among the largest urban areas in the world. Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, religious, financial, educational, and transportation center of Russia and the world, a global city. It is also the seventh largest city proper in the world, a megacity. The population of Moscow (as of 1 September 2009) is 14,535,100.[6]

It is located by the Moskva River in the Central Federal District, in the European part of Russia. Moscow sits on the junction of three geological platforms.[12] Historically, it was the capital of the former Soviet Union, Russian Empire, Tsardom of Russia and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. It is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, one of the World Heritage Sites in the city, which serves as the residence of the President of Russia. The Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) and the Government of Russia also sit in Moscow.

Moscow is a major economic centre. It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. It possesses a complex transport system that includes four international airports, nine railroad terminals, and the world's second busiest (after Tokyo) metro system which is famous for its architecture and artwork. Its metro is the busiest single-operator subway in the world.

Over time, the city has earned a variety of nicknames, most referring to its pre-eminent status in the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), Whitestone (Белокаменная), The First Throne (Первопрестольная), The Forty Forties (Сорок Сороков).[13]

A person from Moscow is called a Muscovite in English or Moskvich[14] in Russian.



Moscow clad in snow - Moscou sur la neige - Москва в снежном убранстве - Москва в снегу (1908), noaudio.ogv
Moscow (Russian Empire) in 1908

The city is named after the river (old Russian: гра́д Моско́в, literally "the city by the Moskva River"). The origin of the name is unknown, although several theories exist. One theory suggests that the source of the name is an ancient Finnic language, in which it means "dark" and "turbid". The first Russian reference to Moscow dates from 1147 when Yuri Dolgorukiy called upon the prince of the Novgorod-Severski to "come to me, brother, to Moscow."[8]

Nine years later, in 1156, Prince Yuri Dolgorukiy of Rostov ordered the construction of a wooden wall, which had to be rebuilt multiple times, to surround the emerging city.[15] After the sacking of 1237–1238, when the Mongols burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants, Moscow recovered and became the capital of the independent Vladimir-Suzdal principality in 1327.[16] Its favorable position on the headwaters of the Volga River contributed to steady expansion. Moscow developed into a stable and prosperous principality, known as Grand Duchy of Moscow, for many years and attracted a large number of refugees from across Russia.

Under Ivan I of Moscow the city replaced Tver as a political center of Vladimir-Suzdal and became the sole collector of taxes for the Mongol-Tatar rulers. By paying high tribute, Ivan won an important concession from the Khan. Unlike other principalities, Moscow was not divided among his sons but was passed intact to his eldest. However, Moscow's opposition against foreign domination grew. In 1380, prince Dmitry Donskoy of Moscow led a united Russian army to an important victory over the Tatars in the Battle of Kulikovo which was not decisive, though. Only two years later Moscow was sacked by khan Tokhtamysh. In 1480, Ivan III had finally broken the Russians free from Tatar control, allowing Moscow to become the center of power in Russia.[17] Under Ivan III the city became the capital of an empire that would eventually encompass all of present-day Russia and other lands.

Monument to the city's founder, Yuri Dolgoruki

In 1571, the Crimean Tatars attacked and sacked Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin.[18]

In 1609, the Swedish army led by Count Jacob De la Gardie and Evert Horn started their march from Veliky Novgorod toward Moscow to help Tsar Vasili Shuiski, entered Moscow in 1610 and suppressed the rebellion against the Tsar, but left it early in 1611, following which the Polish-Lithuanian army invaded. During the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618) hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski entered Moscow after defeated Russians in the Battle of Klushino. The 17th century was rich in popular risings, such as the liberation of Moscow from the Polish-Lithuanian invaders (1612), the Salt Riot (1648), the Copper Riot (1662), and the Moscow Uprising of 1682.

The plague of 1654–1656 killed half the population of Moscow.[19] The city ceased to be Russia’s capital in 1712, after the founding of Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great near the Baltic coast in 1703. The Plague of 1771 was the last massive outbreak of plague in central Russia, claiming up to 100,000 lives in Moscow alone. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, the Muscovites burned the city and evacuated, as Napoleon’s forces were approaching on 14 September. Napoleon’s army, plagued by hunger, cold and poor supply lines, was forced to retreat and was nearly annihilated by the devastating Russian winter and sporadic attacks by Russian military forces.

French invasion of Russia in 1812, Fire of Moscow, painting of Smirnov A.F., 1813

In January 1905, the institution of the City Governor, or Mayor, was officially introduced in Moscow, and Alexander Adrianov became Moscow’s first official mayor. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, on 12 March 1918[20] Moscow became the capital of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and of the Soviet Union less than five years later.[21] During World War II (known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War), after the German invasion of the USSR, the Soviet State Defense Committee and the General Staff of the Red Army was located in Moscow.

Red Square, painting of Fedor Alekseev, 1802

In 1941, sixteen divisions of the national volunteers (more than 160,000 people), twenty-five battalions (18,500 people) and four engineering regiments were formed among the Muscovites. That November, the German Army Group Center was stopped at the outskirts of the city and then driven off in the Battle of Moscow. Many factories were evacuated, together with much of the government, and from 20 October the city was declared to be under siege. Its remaining inhabitants built and manned antitank defenses, while the city was bombarded from the air. Joseph Stalin refused to leave the city, meaning the general staff and the council of people's commissars remained in the city as well. Despite the siege and the bombings, the construction of Moscow's metro system continued through the war, and by the end of the war several new metro lines were opened.

Map of Moscow, 1784

On 1 May 1944, a medal For the defense of Moscow and in 1947 another medal In memory of the 800th anniversary of Moscow were instituted. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, on May 8, 1965, Moscow became one of twelve Soviet cities awarded the title of Hero City.

In 1980, it hosted the Summer Olympic Games, which was boycotted by the United States and several other Western countries due to the Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan in late 1979. In 1991, Moscow was the scene of the failed coup attempt by the government members opposed to the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev. When the USSR was dissolved in the same year, Moscow continued to be the capital of Russia.

Since then, the emergence of a market economy in Moscow has produced an explosion of Western-style retailing, services, architecture, and lifestyles. In 1998, it hosted the first World Youth Games.

A panoramic view of Moscow in 1867. Click here to see image with notes.

Geography, time and climate


Satellite image of Moscow and suburbia

Moscow is situated on the banks of the Moskva River, which flows for just over 500 km through the East European Plain in central Russia. 49 bridges span the river and its canals within the city's limits. Elevation of Moscow in VVC, where situated head Moscow weather station, is 156 m (512 ft). The highest point is Teplostanskaya highland at 255 m (837 ft).[22] The width of Moscow city (not limiting MKAD) from west to east is 39.7 km (24.7 mi), and the length from north to south is 51.7 km (32.1 mi).

Moscow's road system is centered roughly around the Kremlin at the heart of the city. From there, roads generally radiate outwards to intersect with a sequence of circular roads ("rings").

The first and innermost major ring, Bulvarnoye Koltso (Boulevard Ring), was built at the former location of the sixteenth century city wall around that used to be called Bely Gorod (White Town).[16] The Bulvarnoye Koltso is technically not a ring; it does not form a complete circle, but instead a horseshoe-like arc that goes from the Cathedral of Christ the Savior to the Yauza River. In addition, the Boulevard Ring changes street names numerous times throughout its journey across the city.

The second primary ring, located outside the bell end Boulevard Ring, is the Sadovoye Koltso (Garden Ring). Like the Boulevard Ring, the Garden Ring follows the path of a sixteenth century wall that used to encompass part of the city.[16] The third ring, the Third Transport Ring, was completed in 2003 as a high-speed freeway.

The Fourth Transport Ring, another freeway, is under construction to further reduce traffic congestion. The outermost ring within Moscow is the Moscow Automobile Ring Road (often called the MKAD from the Russian Московская Кольцевая Автомобильная Дорога), which forms the approximate boundary of the city. Outside the city, some of the roads encompassing the city continue to follow this circular pattern seen inside city limits.


Time zones of Europe

Moscow serves as the reference point for the timezone used in most of western Russia, including Saint Petersburg. During winter the areas operate in what is referred to as Moscow Standard Time (MSK, МСК) which is 3 hours ahead of UTC, or UTC+3. During the summer, Moscow Time shifts forward an additional hour ahead of Moscow Standard Time to become Moscow Summer Time (MSD), making it UTC+4.

Moscow Time (UTC+3), Moscow Summer Time (UTC+4)


Moscow has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with warm, somewhat humid summers and long, cold winters. Typical high temperatures in the warm months of June, July and August are around 23 °C (73 °F), but during heat waves (which can occur between May and September), daytime high temperatures often top 30 °C (86 °F) - sometimes for a week or a two at a time. In the winter, temperatures normally drop to approximately −10 °C (14.0 °F), though there can be periods of warmth with temperatures rising above 0 °C (32 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded was 36.8 °C (98.2 °F)[23] in August 1920, and the lowest ever recorded was −42.2 °C (−44 °F) in January 1940. Snow cover (present for 3–5 months a year) typically begins at the end of November and melts by mid-March.

Monthly rainfall totals vary minimally throughout the year, although the precipitation levels tend to be higher during the summer than during the winter. Due to the significant variation in temperature between the winter and summer months as well as the limited fluctuation in precipitation levels during the summer, Moscow is considered to be within a continental climate zone.

The average annual temperature in Moscow is 5.4 °C (41.7 °F), but for the last two years (2007–2008) the annual temperature has averaged above 7 °C (45 °F)[24]. In contrast, during the first half of the 20th century, Moscow experienced light frost during the late summer months.[24]

On average Moscow has 1731 hours of sunshine per year, varying between a low of 8% in December to 52% in May–August.[25] In 2004–2008, the average was between 1800 and 2000 hours[26]

Climate data for Moscow (1971–2000), records (1879–the present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.6
Average high °C (°F) -4.9
Daily mean °C (°F) -7.5
Average low °C (°F) -10.3
Record low °C (°F) -42.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 46
Sunshine hours 33 72 128 170 265 279 271 238 147 78 32 18 1,731
% Humidity 83 80 74 67 64 70 74 77 81 81 84 85 77
Source: [25][27][28]

Government and the administrative divisions

View from the Seven Sisters in Kudrinskaya Square. The mayor's highrise office (the former Comecon headquarters) is to the left, the Russian government building to the right


Moscow is the seat of power for the Russian Federation. At the center of the city, in Central Administrative Okrug, is the Moscow Kremlin, which houses the home of the President of Russia as well as many of the facilities for the national government. This includes numerous military headquarters and the headquarters of the Moscow Military District. Moscow, like with any national capital, is also the host of all the foreign embassies and diplomats representing a multitude of nations in Russia. Moscow is designated as one of only two Federal cities of Russia (the other one being Saint Petersburg). Among the 83 federal subjects of Russia, Moscow represents the most populated one and the smallest one in terms of area. Lastly, Moscow is located within the central economic region, one of twelve regions within Russia with similar economic goals.

Administrative divisions

Administrative okrugs of Moscow: 1. City of Zelenograd 2. Northern 3. North-Eastern 4. North-Western 5. Central 6. Eastern 7. Southern 8. South-Eastern 9. South-Western 10. Western

The entire city of Moscow is headed by one mayor (Yury Luzhkov). The city of Moscow is divided into 10 administrative okrugs and 123 districts.

The Russian capital's specific town-planning development began to show as early as the 12th century, when the city was founded. The central part of Moscow grew by consolidating with suburbs in line with the medieval principles of urban development, when strong fortress walls would gradually gird along the circle streets of adjacent new settlements. The first circular defense walls set the trajectory of Moscow's rings, laying the groundwork for future town-planning of the Russian capital.

The following fortifications served as the city's circular defense boundaries at some point in history: the Kremlin walls, Zemlyanoy Gorod (earthwork town), the Kamer-Kollezhsky Rampart, the Garden Ring, and the small railway ring. The Moscow Automobile Ring Road (MKAD) has been Moscow's boundary since 1960. Also in the form of a circle are the main Moscow subway line, the Ring Line, and the so-called Third Automobile Ring, which was completed in 2005. Hence, the characteristic radial-circle planning continues to define Moscow's further development. However, contemporary Moscow has also engulfed a number of territories outside the MKAD, such as Solntsevo, Butovo, and the town of Zelenograd.

All administrative okrugs and districts have their own coats of arms and flags, some districts also have elected head officials. Additionally, most districts have their own cable television, computer network, and official newspaper.[citation needed]

In addition to the districts, there are Territorial Units with Special Status, or territories. These usually include areas with small or no permanent populations, such as the case with the All-Russia Exhibition Center, the Botanical Garden, large parks, and industrial zones. In recent years, some territories have been merged with different districts. There are no ethnic-specific regions in Moscow, as in the Chinatowns that exist in some North American and East Asian cities. And although districts are not designated by income, as with most cities, those areas that are closer to the city center, metro stations or green zones are considered more prestigious.[citation needed]

Moscow also hosts some of the government bodies of Moscow Oblast, although the city itself is administratively separate from the oblast.[29]


House on Embankmemt by Boris Iofan
The Shukhov Tower in Moscow. Currently under threat of demolition, the tower is at the top of UNESCO's Endangered Buildings list and there is an international campaign to save it.
Dushkin's tower. One of Stalin's skyscrapers.
Triumphal arch on Kutuzov Avenue
Ostankino Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in Europe (540.1 m (1,771.98 ft).

Moscow's architecture is world-renowned. Moscow is also well known as the site of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, with its elegant onion domes, as well as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Seven Sisters.

For a long time, the view of the city was dominated by numerous Orthodox churches. The look of the city changed drastically during Soviet times, mostly due to Joseph Stalin, who oversaw a large-scale effort to modernize the city. He introduced broad avenues and roadways, some of them over ten lanes wide, but he also destroyed a great number of historically significant architectural works. The Sukharev Tower, as well as numerous mansions and stores lining the major streets, and various works of religious architecture, such as the Kazan Cathedral and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, were all destroyed during Stalin's rule. During the 1990s, however, both the latter were rebuilt amid criticism due to the high costs and lack of historical perspective.[30]

Architect Vladimir Shukhov was responsible for building several Moscow landmarks during early Soviet Russia. The Shukhov Tower, just one of many hyperboloid towers designed by Shukhov, was built between 1919 and 1922 as a transmission tower for a Russian broadcasting company.[31] Shukhov also left a lasting legacy to the Constructivist architecture of early Soviet Russia. He designed spacious elongated shop galleries, most notably the GUM department store on Red Square,[31] bridged with innovative metal-and-glass vaults.

Stalin, however, is also credited with building the The Seven Sisters, comprising seven, cathedral-like structures. A defining feature of Moscow’s skyline, their imposing form was allegedly inspired by the Manhattan Municipal Building in New York City, and their style–with intricate exteriors and a large central spire–has been described as Stalinist Gothic architecture. All seven towers can be seen from most elevations in the city; they are among the tallest constructions in central Moscow apart from the Ostankino Tower which, when it was completed in 1967, was the tallest free-standing land structure in the world and today remains the world’s third-tallest after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the CN Tower in Toronto.[32]

The Soviet policy of providing mandatory housing for every citizen and his or her family, and the rapid growth of the Muscovite population in Soviet times, also led to the construction of large, monotonous housing blocks, which can often be differentiated by age, sturdiness of construction, or ‘style’ according to the neighborhood and the materials used. Most of these date from the post-Stalin era and the styles are often named after the leader then in power (Brezhnev, Khrushchev, etc) and they are usually ill-maintained.

The Stalinist-era constructions, usually in the central city, are massive and usually ornamented with Socialist realism motifs that imitate classical themes. However, small churches–almost always Eastern Orthodox–found across the city provide glimpses of its past. The Old Arbat Street, a popular tourist street that was once the heart of a bohemian area, preserves most of its buildings from prior to the twentieth century. Many buildings found off the main streets of the inner city (behind the Stalinist facades of Tverskaya Street, for example) are also examples of bourgeois architecture typical of Tsarist times. Ostankino Palace, Kuskovo, Uzkoye and other large estates just outside Moscow originally belong to nobles from the Tsarist era, and some convents and monasteries, both inside and outside the city, are open to Muscovites and tourists.

Attempts are being made to restore many of the city’s best-kept examples of pre-Soviet architecture. These revamped structures are easily spotted by their bright new colors and spotless facades. There are a few examples of notable, early Soviet avant-garde work too, such as the house of the architect Konstantin Melnikov in the Arbat area. Many of these restorations were criticized for their disrespect of historical authenticity. Facadism is also widely practiced.[33] Later examples of interesting Soviet architecture are usually marked by their impressive size and the semi-Modernist styles employed, such as with the Novy Arbat project, familiarly known as “false teeth of Moscow” and notorious for the wide-scale disruption of a historic area in central Moscow involved in the project.

Plaques on house exteriors will inform passers-by that a well-known personality once lived there. Frequently, the plaques are dedicated to Soviet celebrities not well-known outside of Russia. There are also many "house-museums" of famous Russian writers, composers, and artists in the city.

Moscow's skyline is quickly modernizing with several new towers under construction.

In recent years, the city administration has been widely criticized for heavy destruction that has affected many historical buildings. As much as a third of historic Moscow has been destroyed in the past few years[34] to make space for luxury apartments and hotels.Other historical buildings, including such landmarks as the 1930 Moskva hotel and the 1913 department store Voyentorg, have been razed and reconstructed anew,with the inevitable loss of every historical value.Critics also blame the government for not applying the conservation laws:in the last 12 years more than 50 buildings with monument status were torn down, several of those dating back to the seventeenth century.[35] Some critics also wonder if the money used for the reconstruction of razed buildings could not be used for the renovation of decaying structures, that include many works by architect Konstantin Melnikov[36] and Mayakovskaya metro station.

Some organizations, such as Moscow Architecture Preservation Society and Save Europe's Heritage, are trying to draw the international public attention to these problems.[37]



The Bolshoi Theatre during an April 2005 performance

One of the most notable art museums in Moscow is the Tretyakov Gallery, which was founded by Pavel Tretyakov, a wealthy patron of the arts who donated a large private collection to the city.[38] The Tretyakov Gallery is split into two buildings. The Old Tretyakov gallery, the original gallery in the Tretyakovskaya area on the south bank of the Moskva River, houses the works of the classic Russian tradition.[39] The works of famous pre-Revolutionary painters, such as Ilya Repin, as well as the works of early Russian icon painters can be found in the Old Tretyakov Gallery. Visitors can even see rare originals by early-fifteenth century iconographer Andrei Rublev.[39] The New Tretyakov gallery, created in Soviet times, mainly contains the works of Soviet artists, as well as of a few contemporary artists, but there is some overlap with the Old Tretyakov Gallery for early twentieth century art. The new gallery includes a small reconstruction of Vladimir Tatlin's famous Monument to the Third International and a mixture of other avant-garde works by artists like Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky. Socialist realism features can also be found within the halls of the New Tretyakov Gallery. Destroyed on 2/25/10

Another art museum in the city of Moscow is the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, which was founded by, among others, Marina Tsvetaeva's father. The Pushkin Museum is similar to the British Museum in London in that its halls are a cross-section of world civilisations, with many plaster casts of ancient sculptures. However, it also hosts famous paintings from every major Western era of art; works by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, and Pablo Picasso are all sampled there.

The State Historical Museum of Russia (Государственный Исторический музей) is a museum of Russian history located between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum's collection numbers in the millions. The Polytechnical Museum,[40] founded in 1872 is the largest technical museum in Russia, offering a wide array of historical inventions and technological achievements, including humanoid automata of the 18th century and the first Soviet computers. Its collection contains more than 160,000 items.[41] The Borodino Panorama[42] museum located on Kutuzov Avenue provides an opportunity for visitors to experience being on a battlefield with a 360° diorama. It is a part of the large historical memorial commemorating the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 over Napoleon’s army, that includes also the Triumphal arch erected in 1827. There is also a military history museum not to be missed, it includes statues, military hardware, along with powerful tales of that time.

Moscow is also the heart of Russian performing arts, including ballet and film. There are ninety-three theatres, 132 cinemas and twenty-four concert-halls in Moscow. Among Moscow’s many theatres and ballet studios is the Bolshoi Theatre and the Malyi Theatre as well as Vakhtangov Theatre and Moscow Art Theatre. The repertories in a typical Moscow season are exhaustive and modern interpretations of classic works, whether operatic or theatrical, are quite common. State Central Concert Hall Rossia,[43] famous for ballet and estrade performances, is the place of frequent concerts of pop and rock stars and is situated in the soon to be demolished building of Hotel Rossiya, the largest hotel in Europe.

Moscow International Performance Arts Center,[44] opened in 2003, also known as Moscow International House of Music, is known for its performances in classical music. It also has the largest organ in Russia installed in Svetlanov Hall.

There are also two large circuses in Moscow: Moscow State Circus and Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard[45] named after Yuri Nikulin.

Soviet films are integral to film history and the Mosfilm studio was at the heart of many Soviet classic films as it is responsible for both artistic and mainstream productions.[46] However, despite the continued presence and reputation of internationally renowned Russian filmmakers, the once prolific native studios are much quieter. Rare and historical films may be seen in the Salut cinema, where films from the Museum of Cinema[47] collection are shown regularly.

Parks and landmarks

Tsaritsino park and palace.
Ascension church in Kolomenskoye, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
"Stone flower" fountain in All-Russia Exhibition Center.

There are 96 parks and 18 gardens in Moscow, including 4 botanical gardens. There are also 450 square kilometers (174 sq mi) of green zones besides 100 square kilometers (39 sq mi) of forests.[48] Moscow is a very green city if compared to other cities of comparable size in Western Europe and America. There are on average 27 square metres (290 sq ft) of parks per person in Moscow compared with 6 for Paris, 7.5 in London and 8.6 in New York.[49]

The Central Park of Culture and Rest, named after Maxim Gorky, was founded in 1928. The main part (689,000 square metres / 170 acres)[49] along the Moskva river contains estrades, children's attractions (including the Observation Wheel water ponds with boats and water bicycles), dancing, tennis courts and other sports facilities. It borders the Neskuchniy Garden (408,000 square metres / 101 acres), the oldest park in Moscow and a former Emperor's residence, created as a result of integration of three estates of XVIII century. The Garden features the Green Theatre, one of the largest open amphitheatres in Europe and able to hold up to 15 thousand people.[50]

Izmaylovsky Park created in 1931 is one of the largest urban parks in the world along with Richmond Park in London. Its area of 15.34 square kilometers (5.92 sq mi) is six times greater than that of Central Park in New York.[49]

Sokolniki Park, named after the falcon hunting that occurred there in the past, is one of the oldest parks in Moscow and has an area of 6 square kilometers (2 sq mi). From a central circle with a large fountain radiate birch, maple and elm tree alleys. A labyrinth composed of green paths lies beyond the park's deer ponds.

Losiny Ostrov National Park ("Elk Island" National Park), with a total area of more than 116 square kilometers (45 sq mi), borders Sokolniki Park and was Russia's first national park. It is also known as the "city taiga", where elk can be seen.

Entrance to the Moscow Zoo.

Tsytsin Main Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences, founded in 1945 is the largest in Europe.[51] It covers territory of 3.61 square kilometers (1.39 sq mi) bordering the All-Russia Exhibition Center and contains a live exhibition of more than 20 thousand of different species of plants from different parts of the world as well as scientific research laboratory. It also contains a rosarium with 20 thousand rose bushes, a dendrarium, and an oak forest with average age of trees exceeding 100 years as well as a greenhouse on more than 5000 square meters.[49]

Lilac Park, founded in 1958, is known for its permanent sculpture exposition and a large rosarium.

Moscow has always been a popular destination for tourists. Some of the better known attractions include the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site, Moscow Kremlin and Red Square,[52] which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries.[53] The Church of the Ascension at Kolomenskoye, which dates from 1532, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and another popular attraction.[54]

Other popular attractions include the Moscow Zoo, home to nearly a thousands species and more than 6,500 specimens.[55] Each year, the zoo attracts more than 1.2 million visitors.[55] The long days will also afford one more time to cover the immense wealth of historical, cultural or simply popular sites in Moscow.


Moscow possesses a large number of various sport facilities and over 500 Olympic champions lived in the city by 2005.[56] Moscow is home to sixty-three stadia (besides eight football and eleven light athletics maneges), of which Luzhniki Stadium is the largest and the 4th biggest in Europe (it hosted the 1998–99 UEFA Cup, 2007–08 UEFA Champions League finals,and the 1980 Summer Olympics). Forty other sport complexes are located within the city, including twenty-four with artificial ice. The Olympic Stadium was the world's 1st indoor arena for bandy and hosted the Bandy World Championships twice.[57] Moscow will again be the host of the competition in 2010.[58] There are also seven horse racing tracks in Moscow,[48] of which Central Moscow Hippodrome,[59] founded in 1834, is the largest.

Moscow was the host city of the 1980 Summer Olympics, although the yachting events were held at Tallinn, in present-day Estonia. Large athletic facilities and the main international airport, Sheremetyevo Terminal 2, were built in preparation for the 1980 Summer Olympics). Moscow had also made a bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics. However, when final voting commenced on 6 July 2005, Moscow was the first city to be eliminated from further rounds. The Games were finally awarded to London.

Grand Sport Arena of Luzhniki Stadium, as seen from Sparrow Hills.

The most titled ice hockey team in the Soviet Union and in the world, HC CSKA Moscow comes from Moscow. Other big ice hockey clubs from Moscow are HC Dynamo Moscow, which was the second most titled team in the Soviet Union, and HC Spartak Moscow.

The most titled Soviet, Russian, and one of the most titled Euroleague clubs, is the Basketball club from Moscow PBC CSKA Moscow. Another strong Basketball club from Moskow is MBC Dynamo Moscow.

Moscow had more winners at the USSR and Russian Chess Championship than any other city. Some of them were the best players in the world.

The most titled Volleyball team in the Soviet Union and in Europe (CEV Champions League) is VC CSKA Moscow.

Central Moscow Hippodrome facade.
The Khodynka Arena ice palace, built in 2006.

In Football, FC Spartak Moscow won more championship titles in the Russian Premier League than any other team, and were second only to FC Dynamo Kyiv in the Soviet Union. PFC CSKA Moscow was the first Russian football team to win an UEFA title. FC Lokomotiv Moscow and FC Dynamo Moscow are the other professional football teams based in Moscow.

Because of Moscow's cold local climate, winter sports have a large following as well. Many of Moscow's large parks offer marked trails for skiers and frozen ponds for skaters.

Moscow also hosts the annual Kremlin Cup, a popular tennis tournament on both the WTA and ATP tours. It is regarded as a very prestigious tournament and is one of the ten Tier-I events on the women's tour and a host of Russian players feature every year.

Slava Moscow are a professional rugby union club, competing in the national Professional Rugby League. Moscow recently became home to the offices of the Rugby Union of Russia, formerly located in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.

Moscow is the home of one club in the Russian Championship of rugby league, RC Lokomotiv Moscow. They often participate in the Challenge Cup the most prestigious knockout competition in rugby league.

In Bandy one of the most successful clubs in the world is Dynamo Moscow.

One of the best Futsal clubs in Europe, is the club MFK Dinamo Moskva.

Fountain in Moscow's Square of Europe, lit at night

Night life

There is a vibrant night life in Moscow. The major and one of the most popular nightlife areas is around Tverskaya Street.

The southern part of Tverskaya Street near the Manege Square and the Red Square area is known as an area with many expensive, luxurious bars and restaurants, and is considered to be a playground for New Russians and celebrities.

Tverskaya Street is also one of the busiest shopping streets in Moscow.

The adjoining Tretyakovsky Proyezd, also south of Tverskaya Street, in Kitai-gorod, is host to upscale boutique stores such as Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., Armani, Prada and Bentley.[60] Nightlife in Moscow has moved on since Soviet times and have today many of the worlds largest nightclubs.

Education and science

There are 1696 high schools in Moscow, as well as 91 colleges.[48] Besides these, there are 222 institutions offering higher education in Moscow, including 60 state universities[48] and the Lomonosov Moscow State University, which was founded in 1755.[61] The university main building located in Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills) is 240 meters (787 ft) tall and when completed, was the tallest building outside the United States.[62] The university has over 30,000 undergraduate and 7,000 postgraduate students, who have a choice of twenty-nine faculties and 450 departments for study. Additionally, approximately 10,000 high school students take courses at the university, while over two thousand researchers work. The Moscow State University library contains over nine million books, making it one of the largest libraries in all of Russia. Its acclaim throughout the international academic community has meant that over 11,000 international students have graduated from the university, with many coming to Moscow to learn the Russian language.

Moscow is a financial center of Russian Federation and CIS countries and well-known for its business schools, among the best are Finance Academy under the Government of RF; Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics; New Economic School; The State University of Management, and State University - Higher School of Economics. They offer undegraduate degrees in management, finance, accounting, marketing, real estate and economic theory as well Masters programs and MBA with varied concentrations. Most of them have branches in other regions of Russia and countries around the world.

Bauman Moscow State Technical University, founded in 1830, is located in the center of Moscow and provides more than 18,000 undergraduate and 1,000 postgraduate students with an education in science and engineering offering a wide range of technical degrees.[63] Since it opened enrolment to students from outside Russia in 1991, Bauman Moscow State Technical University has increased its international enrolment to up to two hundred.[64]

The Moscow Conservatory,[65] founded in 1866 is a prominent music school in Russia, whose graduates included Sergey Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin, Aram Khachaturian, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Alfred Schnittke.

The Gerasimov All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography, abbreviated as VGIK, is the world's oldest educational institution in Cinematography, founded by Vladimir Gardin in 1919. Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and Aleksey Batalov were among its most distinguished professors and Mikhail Vartanov, Sergei Parajanov, Andrei Tarkovsky, Nikita Mikhalkov, Eldar Ryazanov, Alexander Sokurov, Yuriy Norshteyn, Aleksandr Petrov, Vasily Shukshin, Konrad Wolf among graduates.

Moscow State Institute of International Relations, founded in 1944, remains Russia's best known school of international relations and diplomacy, with six different schools focused on international relations. Approximately 4,500 students make up the university's student body and over 700,000 Russian and foreign-language books — of which 20,000 are considered rare — can be found in the library of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.[66]

Among other prominent institutions are the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, also known as Phystech, Moscow Aviation Institute, Moscow Motorway Institute (State Technical University), and the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute. Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology has taught numerous Nobel Prize winners, including Pyotr Kapitsa, Nikolay Semyonov, Lev Landau and Alexander Prokhorov, while the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute is known for its research in nuclear physics.[67] The highest Russian military school is the Combined Arms Academy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Although Moscow has a number of famous Soviet-era higher educational institutions, most of which are more oriented towards engineering or the fundamental science, in recent years Moscow has seen a significant growth in the number of commercial and private institutions that offer classes in business and management. Many state institutions have expanded their education scope and increased their student enrolments. Institutions in Moscow, as well as the rest of post-Soviet Russia, have begun to offer new international certificates and postgraduate degrees, including the Master of Business Administration. Student exchange programs with different (especially, European) countries also have become widespread in Moscow's universities, while many schools within the Russian capital will also offer seminars, lectures, and courses for corporate employees and businessmen.

The headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Moscow is known as one of the most important science centers in Russia. The headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences are located in Moscow as well as numerous research and applied science institutions. The Kurchatov Institute, Russia's leading research and development institution in the field of nuclear energy, where the first nuclear reactor in Europe was built, Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Kapitza Institute for Physical Problems and Steklov Institute of Mathematics are all situated in Moscow.

There are 452 libraries in the city, including 168 for children.[48] The Russian State Library,[68] founded in 1862 is the national library of Russia. The Russian State Library is home to over 275 kilometres of shelves and forty-two million items, including over seventeen million books and serial volumes, thirteen million journals, 350,000 music scores and sound records, and 150,000 maps, making it the largest library in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Items in 247 different languages comprise approximately twenty-nine percent of the collection.[69][70]

The State Public Historical Library, founded in 1863, is the largest library, specialising in Russian history. Its collection contains four million items in 112 languages (including 47 languages of the former USSR), mostly on Russian and world history, heraldry, numismatics, and the history of science.[71]



Airport Vnukovo underground Railway Station

There are five primary commercial airports serving Moscow: Sheremetyevo International Airport, Domodedovo International Airport, Bykovo Airport, Ostafyevo International Airport and Vnukovo International Airport. Sheremetyevo International Airport is the most common entry point for foreign passengers, handling sixty percent of all international flights.[72] Domodedovo International Airport is the leading airport in Russia in terms of passenger throughput, and is the primary gateway to long-haul domestic and CIS destinations and its international traffic rivals Sheremetyevo's. The three other airports particularly offer flights within Russia and to and from states from the former Soviet Union.[73] Moscow's airports vary in distances from MKAD beltway: Bykovo is the farthest, at 35 kilometres (21 mi); Domodedovo is next at 22 kilometres (13.7 mi); Vnukovo is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi); Sheremetyevo is 10 kilometres (6.25 mi); and Ostafievo, the nearest, is about 8 kilometers (5 mi) from MKAD.[72]

There are also several smaller airports near Moscow, such as Myachkovo Airport, intended for private aircraft, helicopters and charters.[74]


Moscow also has two passenger terminals, (South River Terminal and North River Terminal or Rechnoy vokzal), on the river and regular ship routes and cruises along Moskva and Oka rivers, which are used mostly for entertainment. The North River Terminal, built in 1937, is also the main hub for long-range river routes. There are also three freight ports serving Moscow.


Kiyevsky Rail Terminal, as seen from the Moskva River embankment

Moscow employs several train stations to serve the city. Moscow's nine rail terminals (or vokzals)  are:

They are located close to the city center, but each handles trains from different parts of Europe and Asia.[75] There are also many smaller railway stations in Moscow. As train tickets are relatively cheap, they are the mode of preference for travelling Russians, especially when departing to Saint Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city. Moscow is also the western terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which traverses nearly 9,300 kilometres (5,800 mi) of Russian territory to Vladivostok on the Pacific coast.

Suburbs and satellite cities are also connected by commuter elektrichka (electric rail) network. Elektrichkas depart from each of these terminals to the nearby (up to 140 kilometres (87 mi)) large railway stations.


Moscow Metro, January 2010
Moscow Metro, Vystavochnaya metro station

Local transport includes the Moscow Metro, a metro system famous for its art, murals, mosaics, and ornate chandeliers. When it first opened in 1935, the system had just one line. Today, the Moscow Metro contains twelve lines, mostly underground with a total of 180 stations. The Metro is one of the deepest subway systems in the world; for instance the Park Pobedy station, completed in 2003, at 84 metres (276 ft) underground, has the longest escalators in Europe. The Moscow Metro is one of world's busiest metro systems, serving more than nine million passengers daily.[76] Facing serious transportation problems, Moscow has wide plans of expansion of Moscow Metro.


Moscow Monorail

There is also a short monorail line, operated by the Moscow Metro company. The line connects Timiryazevskaya metro station and Sergeya Eisensteina street, passing close to VVTs. The line opened in 2004.

Bus & Trolleybus

As Metro stations outside the city center are far apart in comparison to other cities, up to 4 kilometres (2.5 mi), an extensive bus network radiates from each station to the surrounding residential zones. Also Moscow has a bus terminal for long-range and intercity passenger buses (Central Bus Terminal) with daily turnover of about 25 thousand passengers serving about 40% of long-range bus routes in Moscow.[77]

Every large street in the city is served by at least one bus route. Many of these routes are doubled by a trolleybus routes. Also every large street of Moscow has trolley wires over it.


71-619К tram of route № 17. Not far from All-Russia Exhibition Center

Moscow has an extensive tram system which first opened in 1899. Its daily usage by Muscovites is low (approx. 5%) although it still remains vital in some districts for those who need to get to the nearby Metro station.


In Russia and Moscow, the difference between hailing a cab and simply hitchhiking is blurry. It's an old Russian tradition for drivers to offer rides to strangers, for a fee. Generally, wherever you are, at any time of day or night, you can get a 'cab' in a matter of minutes or seconds by holding out your hand. Commercial taxi services are also available. Besides this route taxi is also wide spread.


MKAD interchange in northeastern Moscow

There are over 2.6 million cars in the city on a daily basis.[48] Recent years have seen the growth in the number of cars, which have caused traffic jams and the lack of parking space to become major problems.

The MKAD, along with the Third Transport Ring and the future Fourth Transport Ring, is one of only three freeways that run within Moscow city limits. However, as one can easily observe from a map of Moscow area, there are several other roadway systems that form concentric circles around the city.



Building of Sberbank Rossii in Moscow
GUM department store exterior facing Red Square

Moscow is one of largest city economies in Europe and it comprises approximately 20% of Russian GDP. As of 2008 Moscow economy reached 8.44 trl roubles [78] ($340 bln or $459 bln PPP adjusted [79]).

In 2006, Mercer Human Resources Consulting named Moscow the world's most expensive city for expatriate employees, ahead of perennial winner Tokyo, due to the stable Russian ruble as well as increasing housing prices within the city.[80] Moscow also ranked first in the 2007 edition and 2008 edition of the survey. However, Tokyo has overtaken Moscow as the most expensive city in the world, placing Moscow at third and behind Osaka at second.[81]

A significant portion of Russia's profits and development is concentrated in Moscow as many multi-national corporations have branches and offices in the city. The plush offices and the lifestyles of the typical corporate employee in Moscow are often indistinguishable from any Western European city, although the average salary for the Muscovite is a bit lower.[82] Since the 1998 Russian financial crisis, various business sectors in Moscow have shown exponential rates of growth. Many new business centers and office buildings have been built in recent years, but Moscow still experiences shortages in office space. As a result, many former industrial and research facilities are being reconstructed to become suitable for office use.

The upper trading rows at GUM near Red Square

However, while the overall stability has improved in the recent years, crime and corruption continue to remain a problem hindering business development.

Paveletskaya Tower business center

The Cherkizovskiy marketplace is the largest marketplace in Europe with daily turnover of about thirty million dollars and about ten thousand sellers[83] from different countries (including China, Turkey, Azerbaijan and India). It is administratively divided into twelve parts and covers a wide sector of the city.It is closed from 1 July 2009.

In 2008, Moscow had 74 billionaires with average wealth of $5.9 billion, which placed it above New York's 71 billionaires. However, in 2009, there are only 27 billionaires in Moscow compared with New York's 55 billionaires. Overall, Russia lost 52 billionaires during the recession List of Russian billionaires by net worth [84]. Topping the list of Russia's billionaires in 2009 is Mikhail Prokhorov with $9,5 billion, ahead of the more famous Roman Abramovich with $8.5 billion, in 2nd place. Prokhorov's holding company, "ОНЭКСИМ" group, owns huge assets in hidrogenium energy, nanotechnology, traditional energy, precious metals sector, while Abramovich, since selling his oil company Sibneft to Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom in 2005, has bought up steel and mining assets. He also owns Chelsea F.C.. Russia's richest woman remains Yelena Baturina, the 45-year-old second wife of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Oleg Deripaska, the 1st of this list in 2008 with $28 billion, in 2009 is only 10th with $3.5 billion.

The nouveau riche, also called the "New Russians", often pejoratively, have a reputation for flaunting their wealth; the avenues for doing so, and subtly, have also increased in recent times — a sense of fashion and self-consciousness has instilled itself through the many haute couture and haute cuisine spots in Moscow.


Primary industries in Moscow include the chemical, metallurgy, food, textile, furniture, energy production, software development and machinery industries.

The Moscow Skyline as seen from Sparrow Hills

The Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant is one of the leading producers of military and civil helicopters in the world. Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center produces various space equipment, including modules for space stations Mir, Salyut and the ISS as well as Proton launch vehicles and military ICBMs. Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Mikoyan, Tupolev and Yakovlev aircraft design bureaus also situated in Moscow. Automobile plants ZiL and AZLK, as well as the Voitovich Rail Vehicle plant, are situated in Moscow and Metrovagonmash metro wagon plant is located just outside the city limits. The Poljot Moscow watch factory produces reliable military, professional and sport watches well known in Russia and abroad. Yuri Gagarin in his trip into space used "Shturmanskie", produced by this factory. The Electrozavod factory was the first transformer factory in Russia. The Kristall distillery[85] is the oldest distillery in Russia producing various vodka types, including "Stolichnaya" while a wide assortment of wines are produced at several Moscow wine plants, including Moscow Interrepublican Vinery.[86] The Moscow Jewelry Factory[87] and the Jewellerprom[88] are important producers of jewellery in Russia; Jewellerprom used to produce the famous and exclusive Order of Victory, awarded to those aiding the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II. There are also many other industries located just outside the city of Moscow, as well as many microelectronic industries in Zelenograd.

Gazprom, the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company, has head office also in Moscow, as well as many other oil, gas and electricity companies.

ZiL water cart in Moscow

Moscow also hosts headquarters of various software development companies, including such as:

  • 1C Company – business software and games producer
  • ABBYY software house – developer of text recognition and translation software,
  • Akella – game developer company
  • Kaspersky Lab – worldwide-known producer of anti-virus software,

Despite the economic growth experienced in Moscow since the dawn of the twenty-first century, many industries have undergone various crises in recent years. Some of them have been sold to foreign investors, such as OTIS and British American Tobacco, and others have been closed down to make room for new buildings constructed as business centers.

Additionally, some industry is now being transferred out of Moscow to improve the ecological state of the city. Nevertheless, the city of Moscow remains one of Russia's major industrial centers.

Living costs

Triumph Palace—Europe's tallest residential building
Patriarshy ponds, one of the most prestigious places in Moscow
Residential buildings under construction

During Soviet times, apartments were lent to people by the government according to the square meters-per-person norm (some groups, including people's artists, heroes and prominent scientists had bonuses according to their honors). Private ownership of apartments was limited until the 1990s, when people were permitted to secure property rights to the places they inhabited. Since the Soviet era, estate owners have had to pay the service charge for their residences, a fixed amount based on persons per living area.

Due to the current economic situation, the price of real estate in Moscow continues to rise. Today, one could expect to pay US$4000 in average per square meter (11 sq ft) in the outskirts of the city[89] or US$6,500–$8,000 per square meter in a prestigious district. The price sometimes may exceed US$40,000 per square meter in a flat.[90][91][92] It costs about US$2500 per month to rent a 1-bedroom apartment and about US$1500 per month for a studio in the center of Moscow.

A typical one-bedroom apartment is about thirty square meters (323 sq ft), a typical two-bedroom apartment is forty-five square meters (485 sq ft), and a typical three-bedroom apartment is seventy square meters (753 sq ft). Many cannot move out of their apartments, especially if a family lives in a two-room apartment originally granted by the state during the Soviet era. Some city residents have attempted to cope with the cost of living by renting their apartments while staying in dachas (country houses) outside the city.

In 2008, Moscow ranked top on the list of most expensive cities for the third year in a row.[93]

As of 2006, there are 8.47 million Muscovites able to work. 1.73 million are employed by the state, 4.42 million are employed by private companies, and 1.99 million are employed by small businesses. There are 74,400 officially registered unemployed working age, of which 34,400 are eligible for unemployment benefits.[48]

Future development

The "Moscow International Business Center" (Moscow-City) is a projected new part of central Moscow. Geographically situated in Presnensky District, located at the Third Ring, the Moscow-City area is under intense development.

The goal of MIBC "Moscow-City" is to create a zone, the first in Russia, and in all of Eastern Europe,[94] that will combine business activity, living space and entertainment. It will be a city within a city. The project was conceived by the Moscow government in 1992.

The construction of MIBC "Moscow-City" takes place on the Krasnopresnenskaya embankment. The whole project takes up 1 square kilometer (247 acres). This area is the only spot in downtown Moscow that can accommodate a project of this magnitude. Today, most of the buildings there are old factories and industrial complexes.

The Federation Tower, now being built is to be completed in 2009, will become the tallest building in Europe when completed.

At overall completion the plan is to have one of the tallest buildings in the world; the Russia Tower is planned to be completed by 2012 at a height of 612,2 meters (2009 ft), second only to the Burj Khalifa.[95] Also to be included in the project are a waterpark and other recreational facilities; trade and entertainment complexes, numerous prestigious office and residential buildings, the transport node and the new site of the Moscow government. The construction of four new metro stations in the territory has already been completed, of which two have already opened and two others are reserved for future metro lines crossing MIBC, some additional stations were planned. A rail shuttle service, directly connecting MIBC with the Sheremetyevo International Airport is also planned.

A Fourth Ring freeway (in addition to Moscow Automobile Ring Road, Garden Ring and the Third Ring) has been designed and is being built around Moscow. It is to be completed by 2012 and will have total length of 61 kilometers (38 mi).[96][97][98]

In March 2009 the Russian business newspaper "Kommersant"[99][100][101][102] reported that because of the Worldwide Economic Crisis, which started in 2008 and spread globally, many of the construction projects in Moscow (especially in the "Moscow International Business Center") are frozen and may be cancelled altogether—like the ambitious "Russia Tower" in "Moscow-city". Many of yesterday's monstrous development groups are now in a near-bankrupt state like—Mirax-group or AFI Development.



Population of (1350—2009)

According to the 2002 Census the population of the city was 10,382,754, however, this figure only takes into account legal residents. Latest estimate—10,524,400 (1 June 2009).[103] Population of Moscow with Moscow region is 17,001,292 (as of the 2002 Census).

For centuries Moscow has been the largest city in Russia and/or the Soviet Union, however the collapse of the latter has led to a decline in Siberian as well as many other Russian cities, so that Moscow's growth and dominance over Saint Petersburg and the rest of the nation has become even more pronounced.[citation needed]

It is a highly ethnically homogeneous city, with 86,4% being Russian (as of the 2002 Census).

Due to a low birth rate[104] and high mortality rate, the population of Russia has been declining by approximately 700,000 persons per year[105] since the fall of the Soviet Union. In 2003, the number of deaths exceeded the number of births by approximately 49,400. Whilst the birth rate has risen in more recent years, the average age of Moscow's population continues to increase.

Substantial numbers of internal migrants mean that Moscow's population is still increasing, whereas the population of many other Russian cities is in decline. Migrants are attracted by Moscow's strong economy which contrasts sharply with the stagnation in many other parts of Russia. In order to help regulate population growth, Moscow has an internal passport system that prohibits non-residents from staying in the capital for more than ninety days without registration.[citation needed]

Moscow is a very unfriendly place for gays and lesbians to be themselves. The city government does not permit gays to hold “gay pride parades,” gay couples cannot show affections openly without fear of harm, and the Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov is thought be to be “one of the most homophobic politicians” in Russia. [106] [107]


Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, demolished during the Soviet period, was reconstructed from 1990–2000.

Christianity is the predominant religion in the city, of which the Russian Orthodox Church is the most popular by virtue of being the country’s traditional religion and is deemed a part of Russia's "historical heritage" in a law passed in 1997.[108] Moscow is also Russia's capital of Orthodox Christianity. The Patriarch of Moscow serves as the head of the church and resides in the Danilov Monastery. Moscow was called "city of 1600 churches" (ru: "город сорока сороков церквей"city of forty forties churches) prior to 1917. In 1918 Russia became secular state and religion lost its position in society. After disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991 many of the destroyed churches have been restored and traditional religions are gaining popularity.

In Moscow there are other religious societies besides Orthodoxy: Muslims (Moscow is home to 1.5 million people of Muslim backgrounds or more than 15%, many from countries previously a part of the Soviet Union), Protestants, Old-believers, Single-believers, Judaism and various cult buildings of those religions.[109]

The New Age movement has also led to emergence of some "non-traditional" religions in large cities of Russia. Polls indicate that around 1% of population of Moscow and St. Petersburg self-identify as Buddhists. Many of these are Slavic and have no ethnic connection to Buddhism.


Moscow and Saint Petersburg have often served as the capital for auto theft in Russia, this crime in particular dramatically increased during the early 1990’s. Pick-pocketing is frequent in Moscow, as well as burglary from vehicles. Organized crime in Moscow and Russia in general, have often been involved with drug trafficking, cyber crime, prostitution, and financial crimes. Robbers in the city tend to pose as police officers, it is recommended to not travel alone and to use caution outside of Metro stations.[110] Moscow has historically had a high murder rate per capita. For the year of 1998, Moscow had a murder rate of 18.1 killings per 100,000 residents[111] and was the most dangerous European city.[112] A new study says nearly 60% of black and African people living in Russia's capital Moscow have been physically assaulted in racially motivated attacks .[112]


TV-center in Ostankino

Moscow is the headquarters of nearly all Russian nationwide television networks, radio stations, newspapers and magazines.


English-language media include The Moscow Times and Moscow News which are, respectively, the largest[113] and oldest English-language weekly newspapers in all of Russia. Expert, Kommersant, and Gazeta are Russian-language media headquartered in Moscow. Expert and Kommersant are among the country's leading and oldest Russian-language business newspapers.

TV and radio

Other notable media of Moscow include the Echo of Moscow (Эхо Москвы), the first Soviet and Russian private news radio and information agency, and NTV, one of the first privately owned Russian television stations.

Moscow television networks (Russian-language):

Moscow radio stations:

  • "Russkoye Radio"
  • "Yevropa Plus"
  • "DFM"
  • "NRJ"
  • "Maximum"
  • "Radio Dacha"
  • "Nashe Radio"
  • "Radio 7"
  • "Umor FM"
  • "Retro FM"
  • "Radio Rossiya"
  • "Radio Podmoskovye"
  • "Radiocompany Moscow"
  • "Yunost"
  • "Mayak"
  • "Orphey"
  • "Echo of Moscow"
  • "Radio Jazz"
  • "Classic Radio"
  • "Vesti FM"
  • other

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Moscow has many twin cities. In order to find source on the cities, it is found on the sister city's page.

See also




  • Caroline Brooke. Moscow: A Cultural History. 2006 (Oxford University Press)
  • William Craft Brumfield. A History of Russian Architecture (Seattle: Univ. of Washington Press, 2004) ISBN 9780295983943
  • Karel Neubert. "Portrait of Moscow". 1964
  • Albert J. Schmidt. The Architecture and Planning of Classical Moscow: A Cultural History. 1989
  • Kathleen Berton. Moscow: An Architectural History. St. Martin's, 1991
  • Marcel Girard. "Splendours of Moscow and Its Surroundings", trans. from French. 1967
  • John Bushnell. "Moscow Graffiti: Language and Subculture". Unwin Hyman, 1990
  • S.S. Hromov et al. (eds.). "History of Moscow: An Outline", trans. from Russian. 1981
  • Galina Dutkina. "Moscow Days: Life and Hard Times in the New Russia". Trans. Catherine Fitzpatrick. Kodansha America, 1995.
  • "Mosca 1990-1993" by Giuseppe D'Amato in Il Diario del Cambiamento. Urss 1990 – Russia 1993. Greco&Greco editori, Milano, 1998. ISBN 88-7980-187-2 (The Diary of the Change. USSR 1990 – Russia 1993) Book in Italian.


  1. ^ Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000).
  2. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  3. ^ According to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia, Russian is the official language on the whole territory of the Russian Federation. Article 68.2 further stipulates that only the republics have the right to establish official languages other than Russian.
  4. ^ a b c Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек (Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  5. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2002 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox is not necessarily reported for the same year as the Census (2002).
  6. ^ a b "Population of Moscow (city proper) 1 September 2009. The Moscow City Government". Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  7. ^ Федеральная служба государственной статистики (Federal State Statistics Service) (2004-05-21). "Территория, число районов, населённых пунктов и сельских администраций по субъектам Российской Федерации (Territory, Number of Districts, Inhabited Localities, and Rural Administration by Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation)" (in Russian). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  8. ^ a b Comins-Richmond, Walter. "The History of Moscow". Occidental College. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  9. ^ a b "The Moscow City Mayor". Government of Moscow. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Thomas Brinkoff, Principal Agglomerations of the World, accessed on 2009-03-12. Data for 2009-01-01.
  12. ^ "Underground Roads, Boulevards and Malls To Be Built Underneath Moscow". 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  13. ^ In old Russian the word "Сорок" (forty) also meant a church administrative district, which consisted of about forty churches.
  14. ^ "Muscovite" (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-05-23. 
  15. ^ "Russia Engages the World: The Building of the Kremlin, 1156–1516". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
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  51. ^ (Russian) The Official Site of the Main Moscow Botanical Garden. Retrieved on 2006-07-18.
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  54. ^ "Church of the Ascension, Kolomenskoye". World Heritage List. UNESCO. Retrieved 2006-07-15. 
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  64. ^ "International Relations". международная деятельность МГТУ (Bauman Moscow State Technical University). Retrieved 2006-07-06. 
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  87. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Moscow Jewelry Factory. Retrieved on 2006-07-07.
  88. ^ See also: (Russian) The Official Site of the Experimental Moscow Jewelry Atelier Jewellerprom. Retrieved on 2006-07-07
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