Moscow is the capital of Russia and its political, scientific, historical, architectural and business centre, from which power and might of the Russian state developed. Moscow is the barometer and nucleus of the changes sweeping through Russia. Nowhere are Russia’s contrasts more apparent than here – ancient monasteries and ultra-modern monoliths stand side by side, and New Russian millionaires and poverty-stricken pensioners walk the same streets. Moscow’s history lies in layers. In the Kremlin, for instance, both Ivan the Terrible and Stalin orchestrated their terrors; Napoleon watched Moscow burn; Lenin fashioned the dictatorship of the proletariat; Kruschev directed the cold war and Gorbachev unleashed perestroika.

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