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Moscow (English pronunciation: /ˈmɒskaʊ/ or /ˈmɒskoʊ/; Russian: About
this sound Москва́ (help·info), tr. Moskva, IPA: [mɐˈskva]; see also
other names) is the capital, the most populous city, and the most
populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political,
economic, cultural, religious, financial, educational, and
transportation centre of Russia and the world, a global city. Moscow is
the most populous city on the continent of Europe and the seventh
largest city proper in the world, a megacity. The population of Moscow
(as of 1 January 2010) is 10,563,038.
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 big
geological platforms. Historically, it was the capital of the former
Soviet Union, Russian Empire (for three years in 1728–30), the 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 preeminent status in the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим),
Whitestone (Белокаменная), The First Throne (Первопрестольная), The
Forty Forties (Сорок Сороков).
Economy of Russia
Moscow is one of largest city economies in Europe and it comprises
approximately 24% of Russian GDP. As of 2008 Moscow economy reached 8.44
trl roubles ($340 bln or $459 bln PPP adjusted).
In 2006, Mercer Human Resources Consulting named Moscow the world's most
expensive city for expatriate employees, ahead of perennial winner
Tokyo, due to the stable Russian ruble as well as increasing housing
prices within the city. Moscow also ranked first in the 2007 edition and
2008 edition of the survey. However, Tokyo has overtaken Moscow as the
most expensive city in the world, placing Moscow at third and behind
Osaka at second.
A significant portion of Russia's profits and development is
concentrated in Moscow as many multi-national corporations have branches
and offices in the city. The plush offices and the lifestyles of the
typical corporate employee in Moscow are often indistinguishable from
any Western European city, although the average salary for the Muscovite
is a bit lower. Since the 1998 Russian financial crisis, various
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.
The upper trading rows at GUM near Red Square
However, while the overall stability has improved in the recent years,
crime and corruption continue to remain a problem hindering business
Paveletskaya Tower business center
The Cherkizovskiy marketplace is the largest marketplace in Europe with
daily turnover of about thirty million dollars and about ten thousand
sellers from different countries (including China, Turkey, Azerbaijan
and India). It is administratively divided into twelve parts and covers
a wide sector of the city. It is closed from 1 July 2009.
In 2008, Moscow had 74 billionaires with average wealth of $5.9 billion,
which placed it above New York's 71 billionaires. However, in 2009,
there are only 27 billionaires in Moscow compared with New York's 55
billionaires. Overall, Russia lost 52 billionaires during the recession
List of Russian billionaires by net worth. 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" group, owns huge assets in
hydrogenium 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 45-year-old second wife of Moscow Mayor
Yuri Luzhkov. Oleg Deripaska, the 1st of this list in 2008 with $28
billion, in 2009 is only 10th with $3.5 billion.
The nouveau riche, also called the "New Russians", often pejoratively,
have a reputation for flaunting their wealth; the avenues for doing so,
and subtly, have also increased in recent times — a sense of fashion and
self-consciousness has instilled itself through the many haute couture
and haute cuisine spots in Moscow.