Moscow was founded in 1147.

Geographic location. Moscow is situated in the Oka and Volga interfluve, in the centre of Moscow region. Moscow is generally limited by Moscow encircling highway (MKAD).

Natural conditions. The climate is moderately continental; January average temperature is -10 degrees centigrade, July average temperature is +17 degrees centigrade, annual precipitation is about 450—650 mm. The main river is the Moscow river.

Population. The population of Moscow amounts to 10 million 357 thousand inhabitants. In spite of the formal domination of Russians (more than 90%, according to official data), Moscow could be considered a multinational city due to a great amount of visiting people from other regions and countries. Moscow is the center of the largest in Russia city agglomeration. In spite of the decrease of registered population the demographic setting has been improving: the death rate has reduced and natality – stabilized.

Status of Moscow. Moscow is a special subject of the Federation. It's a city of republican subjection and the capital of Russia at the same time. The highest representative body is Moscow city duma. The executive power is carried out by the city administration and Moscow government headed by the mayor, prime minister of the government. Moscow is divided into 10 administrative districts, and the latter consist of municipal districts. Zelenograd (being an administrative district) and three urban settlements are subjected to Moscow.

Economic advantages and disadvantages. Advantageous central economic and geographic position of Moscow in Russia has been the main factor of its development for more than 500 years. Within the administrative borders of Moscow and partly in Moscow region there have been set up 4 free economic zones: «Technology town Zelenograd», free trade zone Sheremetyevo (Sheremetyevo airport), free customs zones «Moscow franco port» (Vnukovo airport) and «Franco port-terminal» (Western river port).

The city is over-loaded with secondary, non-core enterprises, which is a problem (motor-car building, metallurgy). Transport and ecological problems are close to critical. Significant property stratification of the population can be a threat to social stability.

Specialty. Moscow is the largest management, financial, bank, commercial, scientific and cultural centre of Russia. Nearly all Russian companies have their offices in Moscow. It is also a big transport junction connecting 11 railroads, 13 highways 3 river ports and 4 airports (Vnukovo, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Bykovo). Significant construction capacities are concentrated in the city.

Main industries: machine-building — airspace industry, motor-car, machine-tools, electric machine-building, radio electronic industry, instrument making. Light, printing and flavoring industries are well developed. Among other branches one can note metallurgy («Serp i Molot» plant), chemical and oil-refining industries, building materials production. Moscow is the largest manufacturer of electric power in European part of Russia. Enterprises registered in Moscow are monopolists in Russia in production of 22 types of products and services.

Expert RA