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.
Aerial overall of the Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin (Russian: Московский Кремль, Moskovskiy Kreml), sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River (to the south), Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square (to the east) and the Alexander Garden (to the west). It is the best known of kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes four palaces, four cathedrals and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of Russia.
The name The Kremlin is often used as a metonym to refer to the government of the Soviet Union (1922–1991) and its highest members (such as general secretaries, premiers, presidents, ministers, and commissars), in the same way the name Whitehall refers to the British government, or White House refers to the executive branch of the government of the United States. It is still used in reference to the government of the Russian Federation. "Kremlinology" referred to the study of Soviet policies.
Mathias Rust (born July 1968 in Wedel, Schleswig-Holstein, West Germany) is a German man known for his illegal landing near Red Square in Moscow in 1987. As an amateur aviator, he flew from Finland to Moscow, being tracked several times by Soviet air defence and interceptors. The Soviet fighters never received permission to shoot him down, and several times he was mistaken for a friendly aircraft. He landed on Vasilevski Spusk next to Red Square near the Kremlin in the capital of the USSR.
Rust's intentions, as he stated, were to create an "imaginary bridge" to the East, and he has claimed that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides. Rust's successful flight through a supposedly impregnable air defense system had a great impact on the Soviet military and led to the firing of many senior officers, including Defence Minister Sergei Sokolov. The incident enabled Mikhail Gorbachev to speed his reforms (by removing numerous military officials opposed to him), and reduced the prestige of the Soviet military among the population, thus helping bring an end to the Cold War.