Yekaterinburg alternatively romanised as Ekaterinburg, is the fourth-largest city in Russia and the administrative centre of Sverdlovsk Oblast, located in the middle of the Eurasian continent, on the border of Europe and Asia. At the 2010 Census, it had a population of 1,349,772.
Yekaterinburg is the main industrial and cultural centre of the Ural Federal District. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was named Sverdlovsk after the Communist party leader Yakov Sverdlov.
Yekaterinburg is situated on the border of Europe and Asia, 1,667 kilometers (1,036 mi) east of Moscow, on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains on the Iset River. It is surrounded by wooded hills, partially cultivated for agricultural purposes, and small lakes. The city features a humid continental climate (Dfb) under the Köppen climate classification. The winter lasts for about six months—from October until the middle of April—and the temperature may fall to −45 °C (−49 °F), though rarely lower than −20 °C (−4 °F) to −25 °C (−13 °F). Summer in the Urals is short, with warm weather for only 65–70 days and an average temperature of +18 °C (64 °F). The city's location "behind" the mountain range and highly variable winds mean that the weather is quite changeable from one day to the next and from year to year.
The main areas of the city's industry are machinery, metal processing, and ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy. Recently the commercial economy has improved, and business centres like Yekaterinburg-City have been planned. The "Vysotsky" is the tallest skyscraper in Russia outside of Moscow. Ural Airlines has its head office in Yekaterinburg.
The Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and numerous other scientific research institutes and establishments are in Yekaterinburg. With its 16 state-owned universities and educational academies, as well as a number of private higher education institutions, Yekaterinburg is considered the leading educational and scientific centre of the Urals. These institutions include the Ural Federal University (comprising Ural State University and Ural State Technical University), Ural State Pedagogical University, Ural State University of Forestry, Ural State Mining University, Ural State University of Railway Transport, Russian State Vocational Pedagogics University, Ural State University of Economics, Military Institute of Artillery, Ural State Conservatory, Ural State Agricultural Academy, Ural State Law Academy, Ural State Medical University, Ural State Academy of Performing Arts, Ural Academy of Public Service, Institute of International Relations, and the Urals Academy of Architecture.