Russian Federation. It was a dramatic year in Russian politics with two dismissed governments, a major war against Chechnya and the sudden resignation of President Boris Yeltsin.
Everything was played out in the background of a deep economic crisis. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Russia. The consequences of the previous year’s ruble crash continued to plague the Russian Federation. Productivity and real income were halved compared to 1989. In practice, the Russian Federation had suspended its payments, as the new IMF loans negotiated during the year would only be used to pay off old foreign debt. Capital equivalent to several thousand billion SEK had been brought out of the country during the 1990s, and Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov tried to tackle the corruption among the so-called oligarchs, financiers with ties to the political elite. State Prosecutor Yuri Skuratov investigated suspected corruption of, among other things, financier Boris Berezovsky, influential friend of President Yeltsin’s family. Berezovsky ended up in prosecution, and some of the shady shops seemed to have connections to Yeltsin’s daughter and sister. Yeltsin tried to dismiss the prosecutor, but the Federation Council, the upper house, refused to approve his dismissal application.
Primakov received an increasingly strong popular support and was seen by many as a future president. But Yeltsin stopped Primakov by abruptly dismissing him in May. The physically weak Yeltsin was forced time and time again during the year to hospital care, but stood up constantly and showed who had the formal power.
To Primakov’s successor as head of government, Yeltsin appointed the more loyal Home Minister Sergei Stepashin. He was surprisingly quickly approved by the duma, and Yeltsin won the tug-of-war against the duma even when it came to the national prosecution case against him that has long been discussed in the lower house. None of the five charges, including the war against Chechnya 1994-96, gathered sufficient support in the Duma vote in mid-May.
After only three months, in early August, Yeltsin also sacked Stepasjin and replaced him with Vladimir Putin, until then head of the Federal Security Service FSB (heir to the KGB) and secretary of the mighty Security Council. Putin became the fifth Yeltsin Prime Minister in 17 months. The president declared that Putin was now his candidate for the 2000 presidential election, he himself would not run for office. The shift came shortly after Moscow’s mayor Yuriy Luzhkov had created a electoral cooperation between his political movement The Fatherland and the movement All Russia. By his maneuver, Luzhkov had emerged as Yeltsin’s main challenger to the elections. Assessors also believed that Putin’s experience with the security service would be an asset to the Yeltsin corruption-accused circuit.
Islamic rebels from the breakaway republic of Chechnya had entered the southern Russian republic of Dagestan in early August and taken control of some mountain villages. Led by field commanders Shamil Basayev and Khattab, the rebels proclaimed an independent Islamic state in the area. Putin ordered the Russian army to attack the rebels, and fierce battles with losses on both sides were fought for a few weeks before the rebels were forced back into Chechnya.
In September, a series of powerful bombs exploded in Dagestan and Moscow. Over 300 people were killed in total and many were injured in the death. The Russian authorities claimed that the perpetrators were Chechens. From Moscow, thousands of Caucasians were displaced, and in the mass media and with the public, a racist campaign against Caucasus peoples was conducted.
In September, the Russian Federation attacked Chechnya in a land and air war that would eventually include over 100,000 soldiers, harvest thousands of lives, and send hundreds of thousands of refugees to flight. (See also Chechnya-Ingushenia.) The war was still going on at the end of the year. With intensive propaganda in mass media, the Kremlin gained public support for the war, which favored Putin and his support parties ahead of the December parliamentary elections. At the same time, the regime’s main opponent Luzhkov was thrown into the media.
The largest in the election was the Communist Party, which gained 24.4%, an increase of a few percentage points. But most successful was the newly formed Unity, which lacked political program and had emerged as a power base for Putin. Consensus went from nothing to 23.7%. Putin’s Allied Right Union gained 8.7%, while the Fatherland/Whole Russia took 12.1%. Many independent candidates were expected to support Putin, who could thus take over control of the state duma from the communists.
In foreign policy, the relationship between the Russian Federation and the Western world deteriorated significantly during the year. The Kosovo crisis triggered NATO bombings of Yugoslavia in March, and in the Kremlin they were overrun by the West and reacted bitterly. Former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, however, participated in the mediation that led to an end to the war. But in the international peacekeeping force that then entered Kosovo, the Russian alliances ended up in the middle, which increased Russian dissatisfaction.
In the autumn and winter the roles were changed. From the West – the OSCE, the EU and the US – came increasingly strong criticism of the Russian Federation’s war in Chechnya. Boris Yeltsin responded that the United States could not dictate anything to the Russian Federation, recalling the existence of the Russian nuclear weapons. It happened during a visit to Beijing in December when Yeltsin demonstrated agreement with China’s leaders. Subsequently, the Russian Duma rejected the government’s proposal to debate and ratify the nearly seven-year-old Start-2 agreement with the United States on a sharp reduction in the number of nuclear warheads. At the same time, the duma voted through the union agreement with Belarus criticized by the United States. The two countries will remain independent, but must coordinate legislation and have close military cooperation and in the long term obtain common currency.
On the last day of the year, Boris Yeltsin departed surprisingly, six months before the planned presidential election. Thus, the election was postponed earlier, until March 26, 2000. Prime Minister Putin was appointed acting president, and one of his first measures was to issue a decree guaranteeing freedom of prosecution for Yeltsin.
Russian Federation – Moscow
Moscow, capital of the Russian Federation; 12. 2 million residents (2017). Moscow is located in the country’s European part of the Moscow River. Until 1991, Moscow was the capital of the Soviet Union.
Moscow is by far the most important industrial city of the Russian Federation. When the city was industrialized in the late 19th century, the textile industry dominated, and Moscow is still the country’s textile center. The industry is versatile, and the main focus is on technologically advanced products, e. g. the aerospace and automotive industries as well as the electrical, electronic, chemical and graphic industries as well as the steel and food industries. In order to improve the city’s environment, relocation of the industries from the center is recommended. Moscow’s industrial focus today is in the southern and southeastern districts. In connection with industry there are many research institutes in Moscow.
Moscow is the centerpiece of the Russian railway network built during the 1850s-70s. Nine main stations are connected around the center by an outer ring line. The peripheral motorway ring, which is at the same time a city boundary, is supplemented by a number of radial motor traffic routes. The city’s concentric structure is accentuated by two wide circular paths around the center. Moscow also has a canal connection north with Volga, and in the green belt are three major airports: Sjeremetievo (main airport), Vnukovo and Domodedovo.
The body of the capital’s public transport consists of a subway system (the oldest line was inaugurated in 1935) with radial lines and a ring line. The older metro stations are characterized by unusual splendor. The subway is complemented by extensive tram, wire bus and bus line networks.
Architecture and cityscape
Moscow is concentrated around the original fortified city center of the Kremlin. Outside its walls is the Red Square with the Cathedral of Vasily (1555–60), the Lenin Mausoleum (Aleksey Shchusev, 1930) and along the east side the GUM department store with its glazed galleries (Aleksandr Pomerantsev, 1889–93). Behind GUM lies Kitajgorod, an early trading center. To the north there is a series of monumental urban spaces, built after the fire in 1812 and further expanded during the Stalin era. Here are the neoclassical Manegen (1817) and the Bolshoi Theater (Osip Bove, 1821-25).
At the site of older walls and ramparts, two ring roads were built from the end of the 18th century. Moscow was the center of constructivism and has many buildings from this time. Major urban building interventions were made during the Stalin era, in the form of radial “prospectuses” and “chaussées” and strategically placed high-rise buildings. Prospect Kalinina (now Novyj Arbat) with a series of high-rise buildings from the 1960s is one of the last cuts through central Moscow from a time when the city otherwise mainly grew outward through large element-built residential areas.
Among the forty repertory theaters in Moscow, the Art Theater (MChAT) and the Lilla theater (Malyj) have the oldest traditions. Among the most popular today are Lenkom (former Youth Communist Theater), Sovremennik, Satirical Theater, Majakovsky Theater and Mossovjet Theater. The Taganka Theater, which, under the leadership of Yuriy Ljubimov, reached world renown, was closed in the fall of 1993 due to internal strife. The number of small professional experimental scenes as well as amateur and student theater groups is also very large. Moscow has three permanent children’s theaters, including a children’s opera, in addition to Sergei Obraztsov’s world-famous puppet theater, a Roman theater and a deaf theater and two permanent circuses.
The most important art museums are the Tretiakov Gallery in two different facilities, with Russian art, not least icons, and the Pushkin Museum, for foreign art, especially famous for its collection of French Impressionists, the Museum of Oriental Art as well as the Rubljov Museum of Icons and Old Russian Art and Crafts. Old ex Manegen just outside the Kremlin is the largest exhibition venue. During the 1990s several private galleries arose.
Moscow is one of music’s world capitals, with several symphony orchestras, the Grand Opera (Bolshoi Theater) with two stages, one of which is in the Kremlin congress palace, and a few other lyrical theaters. Tchaikovsky Conservatory has three concert halls. In the large Tchaikovsky Hall at the Triumphalnaja Square, concerts and dance nights are given. The number of chamber orchestras, professional choirs and ensembles for folk music and folk dance is harsh when unclear. The flow to the west of musicians who have received their education in Moscow has increased sharply in recent years. An important feature of music life is intimate music and poetry evenings in museum floors.
Moscow is the main university and university center of the Russian Federation. The oldest and most important is the university, founded in 1755. Among the universities are several for theater, dance, film, art and music education, as well as a number of research centers for the free arts and an Academy of Art.
In Moscow every four years the International Tchaikovsky Contest for Young Musicians is held, annually a festival of contemporary music, “Moscow Autumn”, every two years an international film festival and (since 1977) an international book fair.
Moscow is mentioned for the first time in the Chronicle literature in 1147 as a subordinate prince in Vladimir – Suzdal. Strategically located between the rivers Oka and Volga, Moscow grew around the Kremlin wooden fortress. During the 13th century, the city was under fire by Mongol conquerors, which the prince of Moscow was forced to submit to. However, through skilful diplomacy he was soon able to exploit the Mongols to subvert the competing principality. In the 1320s, Moscow became the political center of northeastern Russia, which was symbolically confirmed by the Orthodox metropolitan move to Moscow from Vladimir (1326). Ivan I adopted the Grand Prince title (1328) and the Kremlin was expanded. The authority of the growing city increased since, after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the epithet “third Rome” and the great prince Ivan III were givenfinally defeated the Mongols in 1480. During the reign of Ivan IV (1533–84, from 1547 as Russian tsar), a Russian empire began to be built from Moscow.
In 1712, Peter I (the big) capital moved to the newly created Saint Petersburg, but Moscow remained an important city and gained Russia’s first university in 1755. In 1812, the city was burned in connection with Napoleon’s capture. In the reconstruction, Moscow gained a more industrial feel, which in the 19th century led to a large influx of poor farmers as a labor force.
Following the Bolshevik coup in 1917, the new Soviet government moved to Moscow in 1918, which thus regained its status as capital. A violent industrial expansion period followed. Between 1926 and 1939, the city’s population increased from two to just over four million, but without sufficiently changing infrastructure.
During the Second World War, the Germans suffered a decisive defeat outside Moscow from October 2 to December 8, 1941, as their major offensive, the Barbarossa Operation, was finally halted. Soviet resistance had gradually hardened, despite enormous losses in personnel and equipment. Most German senior executives called for the offensive to be interrupted for regrouping and the supply of winter equipment, but Hitler refused categorically. Soviet counter-attacks – thanks to the addition of rested Siberian divisions – and rapidly increasing cold forced the Germans to stop. The main covenants had then reached all the way to Moscow’s suburbs. On December 8, the operations were canceled, which meant that the German army suffered its first defeat, which would have decisive consequences.