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 Cathedral of Intercession of Theotokos on the Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву), popularly known as the Cathedral of Basil the Blessed, is a Russian Orthodox cathedral erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–1561. Built on the order of Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. It was the tallest building of Moscow until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.
The original building, known as "Trinity Church" and later "Trinity Cathedral", contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local Fool Vasily (Basil). In the 16th and the 17th centuries the cathedral, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City was popularly known as the "Jerusalem" and served as an allegory of the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar.
The building's design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, has no analogues in Russian architecture: "It is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium of Byzantine tradition from the fifth to fifteenth century... a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design. The cathedral foreshadowed the climax of Russian national architecture in the 17th century but has never been reproduced directly.
The cathedral has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928. It was completely secularized in 1929 and, as of 2009, remains a federal property of the Russian Federation. The cathedral has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.
Kuzma (Kozma) Minin (Russian: Кузьма (Козьма) Минин; full name Kuzma Minich Zakhariev-Sukhoruky, Russian: Кузьма Минич Захарьев Сухорукий;; ? – 1616) was a merchant from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, who, together with Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, became a national hero for his role in defending the country against the Polish invasion in the early-17th century.
A native of Balakhna, Minin was a prosperous butcher (meat trader) in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. When the popular patriotic movement to organize volunteer corps in his native city was formed, the city merchants chose Minin, a trusted and respected member of the guild, to oversee the handling of the public funds donated by them to raise and equip the Second Volunteer Army.
The army led by prince Dmitry Pozharsky was credited for clearing the Moscow Kremlin from Polish-Lithuanian forces on November 1, 1612. Minin distinguished himself as a skilled commander and was made a nobleman and member of the Boyar Duma under the newly elected Tsar Michael Romanov. He died in 1616 and was interred in the Archangel Cathedral of Nizhny Novgorod. A central square of that city is named after him and Prince Pozharsky.