Moscow is located at 55 45 N and 37 37 E of the Greenwich meridian in the middle of the East European Plain. The area lies at a height of 30-35 meters above the Moskva river and about 150 meters above sea level.
Moscow occupies more than 1,000 square kilometers. The boundary of the city corresponds to the Moscow Ring Road, which is situated at 15-17 kilometers from the city center. The city extends for 42 kilometers from the North to the South and for 35 kilometers from the East to the West.
More than 10 million people are living in Moscow. Among them there are representatives of about one hundred nations and ethnic groups. Russians are the largest ethnic group in Moscow. There are also Jews, Ukrainians, Belorussians and Tatars as well as increasing number of refugees and immigrants from Afghanistan, the Caucasus, the Baltic States and Central Asia. Orthodox Christianity is a predominant religion in Moscow. The city also has communities of Protestants, Roman Catholics, Judaists and Muslims.
Moscow as a separate subject of the Russian Federation is governed by a mayor, who is popularly elected for a four-year term, and by a 35-member Duma (assembly), which is the city's legislature. Moscow consists of 10 administrative regions, which are subdivided into 128 districts. The Duma is elected from administrative regions and each district elects local councils. As the capital of Russia, Moscow is the seat of the national government. The Kremlin palaces house the majority of offices. The prime minister's offices occupy the House of Government of the Russian Federation, usually known as the White House.
Moscow Standard Time - MST differs from Greenwich Mean Time - GMT
Summer MST = GMT+4 hours
The climate in Moscow is temperate continental. It is mainly characterized by hot summers and very cold winters. The amplitude in annual temperature range is 28 C. The cold period starts in October and ends in April. Snow falls in November and stays till March. The height of the snow cover usually reaches 350 millimeters. There may be long frosts or periods of thaw. The mild weather comes in June and stays till September. Rainfall levels during July and August average 72-78 millimeters per day.
The date of Moscow's founding is generally accepted to be April 4, 1147, when the first record of Moscow in Russian chronicles was done. Moscow's history starts from a wooden fortress, which was built by order of Prince Yuri Dolgoruky on a hill at the confluence of the Moskva and the Neglinnaya rivers. It is often said that Moscow is the third Rome, because the main part of the city, according to the legend, was built on seven hills. The city's general scheme can be represented as the system of concentric circles radiating from the Kremlin, Moscow's geographical, historical and political centre.
The official symbol of Moscow is a dark-red shield, where an ancient Old-Russian subject is depicted: St. George fighting down the Serpent. This symbol was restored in 1993 per sample of the first official symbol of Moscow, which was established in 1781.
Moscow has attitudes based on contracts and friendly communications with 50 cities and regions all over the world, 10 CIS countries, 7 Asian countries. There are 31 trade missions, 12 representations of the international organizations with labor relations, 137 diplomatic representatives (embassies) with accreditations in Moscow. Moscow carries out trading communications with about 200 countries. On a constant basis the Government of Moscow keeps in touch with sales representatives of more than 50 countries. More than 2,500 foreign companies are registered in capital representations, more than 7,5 thousand enterprises deal with the foreign capital. About 100 international exhibitions and fairs take place in Moscow every year.
New Year - January 1st
Orthodox Christmas - January 7th
Defenders of the Motherland Day - February 23rd
International Women's Day - March 8th
International Labor Day - May 1st and 2nd
Victory Day - May 9th
Russian Day - June 12th