Moscow (UK // or US //; Russian: Москва (help·info), 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, 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 10,535,100.
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. 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).
A person from Moscow is called a Muscovite in English or Moskvich in Russian.
The Battle of Moscow (Russian: Битва под Москвой, Romanized: Bitva pod Moskvoy, German: Schlacht um Moskau) is the name given by Soviet historians to two periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942. The Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's strategy that considered Moscow, capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the largest Soviet city, to be the primary military and political objective for Axis forces in their invasion of the Soviet Union.
The German strategic offensive named Operation Typhoon was planned to conduct two pincer offensives, one to the north of Moscow against the Kalinin Front by the 3rd and 4th Panzer Groups, simultaneously severing the Moscow - Leningrad railway, and another to the south of Moscow Oblast against the Western Front, south of Tula by the 2nd Panzer Army, while the 4th Army advanced directly towards Moscow from the west. A separate operational German plan, codenamed Operation Wotan, was included in the final phase of the German offensive.
Initially, the Soviet forces conducted a strategic defence of the Moscow Oblast by constructing three defensive belts, and deploying newly raised reserve armies as well as bringing troops from the Siberian and Far Eastern Military Districts. Subsequently, as the German offensives were halted, a Soviet strategic counter-offensive and smaller-scale offensive operations were executed to force German armies back to the positions around the cities of Oryol, Vyazma and Vitebsk, nearly surrounding three German armies in the process.