Moscow preview

Russia

Moscow (Moskva to its resident – the Muscovite or Moskvich) is the capital of Russia, and, with an estimated population of 12 million, not only the largest metropolitan area in Europe, but the 7th-largest city in the world.

The city is named after the river Moskva, on which it was built. The earliest historical reference to the city of Moscow dates to 1147 AD. A principality long under Mongol-Tartar rule, Moscow claimed independence and control over Russian territory in 1480 under the rule of Ivan III. Numerous wars and the deathly plague of the mid-15th century took its toll on the city, and it was demoted from its status as Russia’s capital in 1712 when czar Peter I moved his court to the newly founded Saint Petersburg on the Baltic coastline. Nevertheless, the city remained a major trade capital. During the French invasion of Russia in 1812, Muscovites burned it almost to the ground to prevent it from falling into Napolean’s hands. Starved and freezing, with no supplies, the army was forced to retreat in the bitter Russian winter.

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the overthrowing of Russia’s final czar Nicholas III, Moscow was reinstated t…

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