Moscow (Russian: romanised: Moskva) is the capital of
Russia, and the country's economic, financial,
educational, and transportation centre.
It is located on the Moskva River in the Central
Federal District, in the European part of Russia.
Moscow is the largest city in Europe.
Historically, it was the capital of the former
Soviet Union and the Grand Duchy of Moscow,
the pre-Imperial Russian state.
It is the site of the Kremlin, which now serves
as the ceremonial residence of
the President of Russia.
Moscow also remains a major economic centre and
is home to a large number of billionaires; in 2007
Moscow was named the world's most expensive city
for the second year in a row.
It is home to many scientific and educational
institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities.
It possesses a complex transport system that
includes the world's busiest metro system,
which is famous for its architecture.
Moscow (English) Political status: Federal district Area: 1,081 km² (417.4 sq mi) Population: (2002 Census) 10,126,424 inhabitants Legislative body: City Duma Charter: Charter of Moscow Founded: 1147 Postal code: 101xxx-129xxx Dialling codes: +7 495, +7 499 Official website: http://www.mos.ru
The city is named after the river 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 Dolgoruki called upon the prince
of the Novgorod Republic to "come to me,
brother, to Moscow."
Nine years later, in 1156, Prince Yuri Dolgoruki
of Rostov ordered the construction of a wooden
wall, which had to be rebuilt multiple times,
to surround the emerging city.
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 an independent principality in 1327.
Its favourable position on the headwaters of the
Volga River contributed to steady expansion.
Moscow developed into a stable and prosperous
principality for many years and attracted a
large number of refugees from across Russia.
Under Ivan I 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 Dmitri Donskoi of Moscow
led a united Russian army to an important
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 centre of power in Russia.
Under Ivan III the city became the capital of an
empire that would eventually encompass all of
present-day Russia and other lands.
In 1571, the Crimean Tatars attacked and sacked
Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin.
In 1609, the Swedish-Finnish army led by Count Jacobus
(Jaakko) De la Gardie ("Lazy Jaakko") and Evert
(Eetvartti) Horn started their march from Velikiy
Novgorod towards Moscow to help Tsar Vasili Shuiski,
entered Moscow in 1610 and suppressed the rebellion
against the Tsar, but leaving it early next year 1611,
following which the Polish-Lithuanian army invaded.
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 had killed half the
population of Moscow.
The city ceased to be Russia's capital in 1712,
after the founding of St. Petersburg by Peter
the Great on the Baltic coast in 1703.
When Napoleon invaded 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.
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
March 12, 1918, Moscow became the capital of
the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
and the Soviet Union less than five years later.
1941 May Day parade at the Red Square with Stalin
Red Square military Parade 1974
The Soviet military might paraded at the Red Square,
that kept the west shaking in their boots
during the 'Cold War' years
During the Great Patriotic War (a part of World War
II after German invasion in the USSR), the Soviet
State Committee of Defence and the General Staff
of the Red Army was located in Moscow.
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.
In November 1941, German Army Group Centre was
stopped at the outskirts of the city and then
driven off in the course of the Battle of Moscow.
Many factories were evacuated, together with much of
the government, and from October 20 the city was
declared to be under siege.
Its remaining inhabitants built and manned antitank
defences, while the city was bombarded from the air.
It is of some note that 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.
On May 1, 1944, a medal For the defence of Moscow and in
1947 another medal In memory of the 800th anniversary
of Moscow were instituted.
On May 8, 1965, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary
of the victory in World War II, Moscow was one of
twelve Soviet cities awarded the
title of the Hero City.
In 1980, it hosted the Summer Olympic Games.
In 1991, Moscow was the scene of a 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.
Besides the historical traits of Moscow, it
has many different agricultural attributes.
In 1998, it hosted the first World Youth Games.
New year celebration at the Red Square 2007
For a more information about
Moscow see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia