Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits and 17.8 million within the urban area. Moscow has the status of a Russian federal city.
Moscow is a major political, economic, cultural, and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city entirely on the European continent. By broader definitions Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 15th largest urban area, and the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world's largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and is also one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the northernmost and coldest megacity and metropolis on Earth. It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe; the Federation Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Europe; and the Moscow International Business Center. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers (421 to 970 sq mi), and it gained an additional population of 233,000 people. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it the world's most populated inland city. The city is well known for its architecture, particularly its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its brightly colored domes. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012. The city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists, scientists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums, academic and political institutions and theaters.
Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress that is today the residence for work of the President of Russia. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in the city.
The city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside of Asia in terms of passenger numbers, and the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations.
Moscow has a hemiboreal climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) with long, cold (although average by Russian standards) winters usually lasting from mid-November through the end of March, and warm summers. Weather can fluctuate widely with temperatures ranging from −25 °C (−13 °F) in the city and −30 °C (−22 °F) in suburbs to above 5 °C (41 °F) in the winter, and from 10 to 35 °C (50 to 95 °F) in the summer.
The city is full of clubs, restaurants and bars. Tverskaya Street is also one of the busiest shopping streets in Moscow.
The adjoining Tretyakovsky Proyezd, also south of Tverskaya Street, in Kitai-gorod, is host to upmarket boutique stores such as Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., Armani, Prada and Bentley. Nightlife in Moscow has moved on since Soviet times and today the city has many of the world's largest nightclubs. Clubs, bars, creative spaces and restaurants-turned-into-dancefloors are flooding Moscow streets with new openings every year. The hottest area is located around the old chocolate factory, where bars, nightclubs, galleries, cafés and restaurants are placed.
Moscow is the seat of power for the Russian Federation. At the centre of the city, in the Central Administrative Okrug, is the Moscow Kremlin, which houses the home of the President of Russia as well as national governmental facilities. This includes military headquarters and the headquarters of the Federal Security Service. Moscow, like with any national capital, is also the host of all the foreign embassies and diplomats representing a multitude of nations in Russia.
Moscow is designated as one of three federal cities of Russia – the others being Saint Petersburg and Sevastopol (although the status of the latter is disputed). Among the 85 federal subjects of Russia, Moscow represents the most populated one and the second-smallest one in terms of area. Moscow is located within the central economic region, one of twelve regions within Russia with similar economic goals. The basic law of the city is the Charter of Moscow that was adopted in 1995.
Moscow has one of the largest municipal economies in Europe and it accounts more than 1/5 of Russian GDP. As of 2015, the nominal GRP in Moscow reached ₽13,5 trillion $0.22 trillion($0.6 trillion in Purchasing Power) and $18,000 per capita ($51,000 per capita in Purchasing Power).
Moscow has the lowest unemployment rate of all federal subjects of Russia, standing at just 1% in 2010, compared to the national average of 7%. The average monthly wage in the city is ₽60,000 (about $2,000), which is almost twice the national average of ₽27,000 ($900), and the highest among the federal subjects of Russia.
Moscow is the financial center of Russia and home to the country's largest banks and many of its largest companies, such as natural gas giant Gazprom. Moscow accounts for 17% of retail sales in Russia and for 13% of all construction activity in the country. Since the 1998 Russian financial crisis, business sectors in Moscow have shown exponential rates of growth. Many new business centers and office buildings have been built in recent years, but Moscow still experiences shortages in office space. As a result, many former industrial and research facilities are being reconstructed to become suitable for office use. Overall, economic stability has improved in recent years; nonetheless, crime and corruption continue still hinder business development. World Trade Center in Moscow.
The Cherkizovskiy marketplace was the largest marketplace in Europe, with a daily turnover of about thirty million dollars and about ten thousand venders from different countries (including China, Turkey, Azerbaijan and India). It was administratively divided into twelve parts and covers a wide sector of the city. Since July 2009 it has been closed.
In 2008, Moscow had 74 billionaires with an average wealth of $5.9 billion, which placed it above New York's 71 billionaires. However, as of 2009, there were 27 billionaires in Moscow compared with New York's 55 billionaires. Overall, Russia lost 52 billionaires during the recession. Topping the list of Russia's billionaires in 2009 is Mikhail Prokhorov with $9.5 billion, ahead of the more famous Roman Abramovich with $8.5 billion, in 2nd place. Prokhorov's holding company, "ОНЭКСИМ" (ONÈKSIM) group, owns huge assets in hydrogen energy, nanotechnology, traditional energy, precious metals sector, while Abramovich, since selling his oil company Sibneft to Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom in 2005, has bought up steel and mining assets. He also owns Chelsea F.C.. Russia's richest woman remains Yelena Baturina, the 50-year-old second wife of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Oleg Deripaska, the 1st on this list in 2008 with $28 billion, was only 10th in 2009 with $3.5 billion. Based on Forbes' 2011 list of the world's billionaires, Moscow is the city with the most billionaires in the world, with 79 from 115 in all of Russia.
English-language media include The Moscow Times and Moscow News, which are, respectively, the largest and oldest English-language weekly newspapers in all of Russia. Kommersant, Vedomosti and Novaya Gazeta are Russian-language media headquartered in Moscow. Kommersant and Vedomosti are among the country's leading and oldest Russian-language business newspapers.
Other media in Moscow include the Echo of Moscow, the first Soviet and Russian private news radio and information agency, and NTV, one of the first privately owned Russian television stations. The total number of radio stations in Moscow in the FM band is near 50.