The capital of Russia is Moscow, the country’s largest city, its major political, industrial and cultural center. First tribes appeared on the territory of the future Moscow in the Neolithic epoch. The reference to a Moscow, as to a town, is found in the old manuscript of 1147. Today Moscow is one of the world biggest megapolises and the biggest city in Europe. Its population is about 15 million people.
As the cultural centre of Russia, Moscow served as the home of Russian artists, scientists, and sports figures due to the presence of its numerous museums, academic and political institutions and theatres. The city is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is well known for its display of Russian architecture such as the Saint Basil's Cathedral, the Red Square, and the Moscow Kremlin, of which the latter serves as the seat of power of the Government of Russia. Moscow is home to many Russian companies in numerous industries, such as finance and technology. Moscow is served by a comprehensive transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, a tram system, a monorail system, and most notably the Moscow Metro – the busiest metro system in Europe, and one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world
Moscow occupies more than 2,500 square kilometers. The boundary of the city corresponds to the Moscow Ring Road, which is situated at 15-17 kilometers from the city center. The city extends for 38 kilometers from the North to the South and for 39 kilometers from the East to the West.
The climate in Moscow is temperate continental. It is mainly characterized by hot summers and very cold winters. The amplitude in annual temperature range is 28 C. The cold period starts in October and ends in April. Snow falls in November and stays till March. The height of the snow cover usually reaches 350 millimeters. There may be long frosts or periods of thaw. The mild weather comes in June and stays till mid-September
More than 12 million people are living in Moscow. Among them, there are representatives of about one hundred nations and ethnic groups. Russians are the largest ethnic group in Moscow. There are also Jews, Ukrainians, Belorussians and Tatars as well as increasing number of refugees and immigrants from Afghanistan, the Caucasus, the Baltic States and Central Asia. Orthodox Christianity is a predominant religion in Moscow. The city also has communities of Protestants, Roman Catholics, Judaists and Muslims.
Moscow as a separate subject of the Russian Federation is governed by a mayor, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, and by a 35-member Duma (assembly), which is the city's legislature. Moscow consists of 10 administrative regions, which are subdivided into 128 districts. The Duma is elected from administrative regions and each district elects local councils. As the capital of Russia, Moscow is the seat of the national government. The Kremlin palaces house the majority of offices. The prime minister's offices occupy the House of Government of the Russian Federation, usually known as the White House.
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The areas operate in what is referred to in international standards as Moscow Standard Time, which is 3 hours ahead of UTC, or UTC+3