James W. Meng

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Units: Foreword 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4


Moscow at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries.
16.1. The legal status of Moscow and its management structure.

Moscow is the capital of the Russian Federation. It is an equal federal subject of the Russian Federation in terms of its legal status, which is on a level with that of the regions, districts, and republics of Russia.

The City of Moscow maintains its own symbolism. Primarily, this is the city's historical coat of arms, officially restored to use in 1993. It is an image of Saint George the Victorious astride a silver horse, striking a black snake with a golden spear over a crimson backdrop. The City of Moscow also has its own anthem, written in 1995 by composer I.O. Dunaevsky and based upon verses by M.S. Lisyansky and S.I. Agranyan. Moscow also has a local holiday, the Day of Moscow, held annually on the first Saturday of September.

Moscow is divided into 12 individual administrative districts - Central, North, Northeast, Northwest, West, Southwest, South, Southeast, East, Zelenograd, Novomoskovsk, and Troitsky. All are goverened by district prefectures, headed by prefects. The districts of Moscow are divided into regions; in total, Moscow has 125 sub-district regions managed by distinct administrations.

In 1991, a new management structure was put into place for the city of Moscow, including two separate, major branches of local government, representative and executive.

The Moscow City Duma is the primary organ of the representative branch of the City of Moscow; it consists of 35 deputies whose term of office is four years. The first elections for the Moscow City Duma took place on December 12, 1993; since 1994, and as of this writing, the chairman of the Moscow City Duma is V.M. Platonov.

The Duma has legislative powers. It establishes and manages local taxes and their collection; makes decisions about the use of government funds, both budgetary and extra-budgetary; determines procedures for use of natural resources, ecological protection, management and maintenance of cultural and historical monuments; determines procedures for privatization of city property; and exercises control over the implementation and enforcement of local laws.

Moscow's executive branch includes the mayor's office, the government of Moscow, and the district and regional governing apparati of the city. Together, the executive bodies constitute the city administration, headed by its mayor, who is the city's highest governing official and whose primary function is to manage the city's overarching socioeconomic processes.

The position of Mayor of Moscow is a part of the executive branch of the Russian Federation and is directly accountable to the President and the Government of the Russian Federation. The first mayoral elections were held in 1991, with the last direct mayoral election held in 2003; from 2007 to 2012, the mayor was appointed directly by the President of the Russian Federation for a four-year term and confirmed by the Moscow City Duma; and on the 27th of June, 2012, the Moscow City Duma passed a law according to which mayoral elections would again be held, via direct secret ballot.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the mayors of Moscow have been G.K. Popov (1991-92), Y.M. Luzhkov (1992-2010), and S.S. Sobyanin (2010-present).

16.2. Economics and finance of contemporary Moscow.

The development of the market economy has been more rapid in the Moscow region than in other parts of Russia: there is an active market for purchase/sale and leasing of real estate, both commercial and residential; joint-stock and other private enterprises operate freely. Many - roughly 50% - of large industrial enterprises are of mixed ownership: joint-stock companies of both open (exchange-traded) and closed (privately owned) types. The process of privatizing state property is particularly active in the sectors of construction, transport, trade, public catering, and consumer services.

The Moscow region's industrial footprint is varied, with mechanical engineering, metalworking, chemicals, food, printing, and other light industry as the most significant by size. The region's industry supplies cars and trucks, machinery, tires, rubber, synthetic fiber, plastics, textiles, medicines and many other manufactured products to the domestic and world markets. As of this writing, Moscow accounts for roughly 25% of the country's total trade and industrial turnover. Nevertheless, Moscow's current leadership feel that the city's future is not connected with the continued growth of the industrial sector, but with the development of trade, finance, and science. At present, the industrial sector in Moscow is actually shrinking, with some industrial firms being liquidated and others being relocated outside the city or to other regions.

Moscow's urban transportation infrastructure is quite developed, with buses, trams, streetcars, and a subway. There are three main airports serving the city: Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo, and Domodedovo. The railway network in Moscow maintains lines in ten different major directions, served by nine railway stations, of which eight are suburban and long-distance: the Belorussky, Kazansky, Kursky, Rizhsky, Kievsky, Leningradsky, and Pavletsky stations.

Moscow has also transformed into Russia's major financial center. As much as 70% of Russia's financial capital is concentrated in the city, as are the headquarters of Russia's largest industrial and insurance companies, banks, trade organizations, and commodity and stock exchanges. As much as 80% of all major financial transactions in Russia are carried out in Moscow, and Moscow's tax revenues account for almost one-third of the total federal budget of the Russian Federation.

Today, Moscow is still being built as much as it is being rebuilt: multi-story office buildings are being erected, as is modern transport infrastructure, elite housing, a new business center - the "Moskva-City" area. But it should be noted that the construction boom of the 1990s led to the destruction of the city's historic appearance, and to the destruction of a number of architectural monuments and the previous urban environment along with it. One problem of contemporary Moscow, particularly as private car ownership and the city's overall population have increased, is that the existing transport infrastructure is somewhat underdeveloped, leading to traffic jams and congestion on public transport - and, thus, to ecological problems.

16.3. Demographic and migration dynamics in the capital.

By population, Moscow is one of the twenty largest cities in the world along with London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, and other megacities. Unlike the countries that host those cities, however, Moscow has been a dense population center for over a century, during which 11% or more of Russia's population has lived within its territory. It continues to grow today as a result of migration both from within Russia and from abroad, both in absolute size and as a major population center of Russia.

In 1989, Moscow's population was approximately 8.9 million people. Today, its population is more than 11.5 million people, composed of more than 120 nationalities. By ethnicity, the percentage of Russians in Moscow exceeds the average for Russian cities at 80%, as do the percentages of both Armenians and Jews, at 0.78% and 0.16%, respectively.

The most significant group of additional population are those who commute into the city from neighboring regions - over 1.3 million people every day. These people are primarily concentrated in the central parts of the city, where a significant portion of the capital's enterprises and institutions are concentrated, increasing the city center's population by more than four times.

In 2010, the decision to expand Moscow in the southwest beyond the MKAD (the Moscow Ring Road) was made. As a result, since July 2012, the city's territory has increased to almost two and a half times its former size. At that time, the population of these newly-added territories was approximately 250,000 people.

In the early 2000s, following a long recession, the birth rate in the capital began to grow once again, spurred on by existing population demographics, improvement in economic conditions, and implementation of state incentives. Generally, Moscow's relatively high standard of living contribute to maintenance of both fertility and life expectancy, though growth in the birth rate has been low.

Moscow's population has also grown significantly as a result of migration. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, political and economic transformations both within Russia and in other former Soviet republics caused a sharp increase in migration to the more economically attractive regions of Russia, of which Moscow is naturally one. Today there also local areas of Moscow that maintain populations of migrants from outside the post-Soviet space: Chinese, Afghans, Vietnamese.

For most years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the growth rate of migration to Russia has been positive, with Moscow among the top three regions of migration growth. In total, from 1990 to 2010, Moscow received migration inflows of over 4.5 million people - 40% of the city's current population). In the 1990s, due to various military conflicts and other difficulties in several former Soviet republics during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, forced migration by refugees and other displaced persons also began to play a role. In place of the extremely limited migration allowed under the Soviet system, foreign labor began to play a critical role in closing the labor market shortages that began to appear in the new market economy, particularly those which proved a poor match for the more greatly-skilled local population. Many new opportunities for employment of migrants appeared, in addition to those traditionally offered (construction, urban transport, housing and communal services, and factory work) in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in street trade and in restaurant businesses. The use of foreign migrants as labor particularly grew during the economic boom of the early 2000s.

Historically, migrants who came to Moscow have been of able-bodied age, between 16 and 49 years old. Also typically noted is a slight predominance of women over men, particularly in older age groups. Immigrants from Central Asia - Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan - predominate, along with those from Ukraine and Moldova. In recent years, the number of migrant workers from other countries outside the former Soviet republics has decreased, among which migrants from China and Vietnam were historically predominant.

Illegal migration also plays a part in the economy to some degree, facilitated by development of the shadow economy and its labor market. According to experts, the number of illegal migrant laborers is currently over one million people, most of whom are employed in construction, housing and communal services, and in urban trade and transport.

Moscow's attractiveness as a migration destination assists in compensating for natural population decline, promoting population growth and slowing the overall aging of its population. At the same time, additional spending on the social sphere and a policy of actively adapting and integrating migrants into the host society is important when increasing dependence on migrant labor.

In furtherance of this goal, on the 1st of December 2012, a law introducing a compulsory Russian language exam for migrants working in the areas of housing and communal services, trade and social services went into effect. Another law, effective 1st January 2015, requires all labor migrants arriving in Russia to take an examination covering a broad array of topics in Russian language, Russian history, and basics of Russian law. Because the presence of significant numbers of foreigners who do not have the opportunity to fully adapt to the cultural and social conditions of their host country provokes tension in a society, these reforms are expected to lead to greater interethnic harmony and an higher-skilled immigrant pool.

16.4. Moscow: the center of political and cultural life of contemporary Russia.

Moscow, even today, remains the leading center of Russia's political life: the federal government, parliament, government agencies, and governing bodies of political parties are all located in the Russian capital. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the city for the first time became acquainted with the threat of international terrorism when several terrorist attacks were carried out.

Yet Moscow today is a zone where different cultures and different forms of cultural interaction coexist peacefully. While it cannot be said that Muscovites are known for a high level of ethnic tolerance (though higher than in Russia as a whole) coexistence of cultures is not always peaceful and interactions not always productive. To say that interethnic and interreligious conflicts is likely is, on the whole, an accurate statement. But - due to its geographic and geopolitical position on the borders of both Europe and Asia, Russia has always been a platform for intercultural dialogues, and its capital has always played the chief role in both the organization and realization of cultural dialogue in times of openness.

Moscow also maintains a great range of religious diversity. The Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) prevails: over 500 associations and organizations related to the Church exist, as do 711 Orthodox churches and chapels, and 6 mens' and womens' monasteries as part of the Moscow City Diocese. 645 churches and chapels are active, of which the largest - the Cathedral of Christ the Savior - is the main cathedral of Russia. In Moscow, in the Danilov Monastery, is the residence of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. The Danilov Monastery also hosts the Bishops' Councils of the Russian Orthodox Church. There are also Old Believer Orthodox associations and organizations, of which the most significant is the Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church, whose services are performed in 13 churches and chapels in Moscow.

Of course, other major religions are also represented in Moscow: Islam, Buddhism, Judaism. Islam is represented by 25 associations and organizations, and worship held in 4 mosques, the largest of which is the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, built in 1904 by architect N.A. Zhukov. During the Soviet period, the mosque remained open and was the only operating mosque in Moscow. From 1996 onward this mosque also now hosts the Council of Muftis as well as the residence of Mufti Ravil Gainutdin. In 2011, the historic mosque was demolished for structural reasons and reconstruction work began.

Moscow also is home to practitioners of Judaism (21 associations and organizations and 5 synagogues), practitioners of Buddhism (16 associations and organizations, 4 houses of worship, and 1 temple); practitioners of the Armenian Apostolic Church (3 associations and organizations and 2 churches); practitioners of Catholicism (12 associations and organizations and 3 churches); practitioners of Lutheranism (10 associations and organizations and 3 churches); and other Protestant churches (roughly 260 associations and organizations, 42 houses of prayer, and 15 other religious sites).

In total, over 1000 religious associations and organizations are officially registered in Moscow across 50 different denominations and religious sects. There are over 150 religious organizations related to society and culture; of these, there are 45 religious centers, 10 religious educational institutions, and 10 monasteries.

Moscow is a major world scientific center, home to research institutes across a wide variety of fields from nuclear power and microelectronics to space exploration and many others. Moscow also hosts the leading universities and institutes of the country. In total, there are more than 260 higher educational institutions, both government and private. Among them are the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov; the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia; the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO), the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas named after I.N. Gubkin, and many more. Today, 11 universities in Moscow maintain the status of National Research Universities. In 2010, the total number of registered students in Moscow was 1,281,100 people.

Moscow is also home to the headquarters of many Russian national creative unions and organizations, major publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasting centers, theaters, universities, and major scientific institutions. It is also where the bulk of these organizations' work takes place. In ares such as book publishing and sales, Moscow firms constitute 87% of the market's activity. All major federal media organizations are also based in Moscow, as is the majority of mass-market cinema production.

The Russian capital maintains a wide network of libraries - 432 in total under the jurisdiction of the Cultural Committee of the Government of Moscow. Among them is the Moscow State University Scientific Library, which is the oldest public library in Russia; and the largest book depository in the country, the Russian State Library named after V.I. Lenin. Their primary readership consists of scientists, teachers, students, and graduate students who use the libraries for professional and personal cultural purposes.

The city is also home to more than 60 museums, among which perhaps the most famous are the Polytechnic museum, the Historical museum, the Zoological museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and the Botanical & Zoological Gardens (Moscow Zoo). One partiularly special place in the cultural life of the capital is the Tretyakov Gallery. There are also large exhibition spaces: the Central House of Artists at the Park of Culture named after M. Gorky, and the Manezh exhibition hall opposite the Kremlin. Of course, in addition to the many public museums and exhibition spaces in Moscow there are also many privately-owned art galleries, many of which specialize in contemporary art.

One popular and rapidly-evolving segment of the cultural sphere in Moscow is that of the leisure sector - that of mass culture and show business. This sector has grown quickly since the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the subsequent emergence of private cultural organizations: art galleries, television companies, and publishers. In recent years, many international cultural and sporting events have been hosted in Moscow.

Many new forms of cultural life have been brought into existence in the capital in recent years: night programs at museums and theatres that involve meetings with artists and playwrights and other forms of interactive cultural experiences. In total, there are more than 150 theatres and theatre associations in Moscow: the Bolshoi Theater, the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater, the Maly Theater, the Operetta Theater, the Sovremennik Theater, the Taganka Theater, the N. Sats Children's Musical Theater, etc.

Moscow also is home to Russia's major film studios: Mosfilm, Film Studio named for M. Gorky, Soyuzmultfilm and others. Since 1997 the capital has also hosted a major film festival, the Moscow International Film Festival, led by President N.S. Mikhalkov.

Among youth in the capital, a phenomenon of 'club culture' also formed around the activities of music clubs, forming a youth fashion in mass culture. These clubs became a platform for communication among young people, influencing the formation of a lifestyle and system of values.

Active restoration of historical and cultural monuments is ongoing in the capital. One particularly notable restoration is that of a full-scale copy of the Christ the Savior Cathedral, which had previously been demolished by the Bolsheviks and turned into a public swimming pool.

The Government of Moscow has also developed a number of standards for the city's park spaces, of which there are no less than 55 in Moscow. It includes dance and children's playgrounds, table tennis clubs, recreation areas, street basketball, and skate parks.

Moscow has been and remains today the center of the country's sporting life, where major national and international sporting events take place. In 2013 Moscow hosted the world championship in track and field athletics. In 2016, Moscow and Saint Petersburg jointly hosted the World Ice Hockey Championship. And in 2018 Moscow and other Russian cities will host the World Cup.

A relatively high concentration of cultural institutions in Moscow means that historically, many representatives of the creative intelligentsia and scientific workers live in the city, meanwhile, Moscow's metropolitan nature means that it performs many representative and PR functions for these institutions.

Thanks to the cultural richness of Moscow's city life, its function as a tourist center has long been a central role for the city. Several of its most significant historical and cultural monuments - the Moscow Kremlin, Red Square, Novodevichy Convent and the Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye - are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 2010 Moscow was ranked 25th on a list of global cities that have made significant contributions to world civilization.