It was constructed from the year 1932 to the year 1937 by Gulagprisoners during the early to mid Stalin era, under the direction of Matvei Berman. During the process, about 22,000 prisoners died.
Thanks to the Moscow Canal, Moscow has access to five seas: the White Sea, Baltic Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov, and the Black Sea. This is why Moscow is sometimes called the "port of the five seas" (порт пяти морей). Apart from transportation, the canal also provides for about half of Moscow's water consumption, and the shores of its numerous reservoirs are used as recreation zones.