Moscow Oblast

Moscow Oblast
   Administrative region of the Russian Federation. The second most populous federal subject after the Federal City of Moscow, Moscow Oblast has a population of 6.6 million. More than 90 percent of the population is ethnic Russian, but the region is highly cosmopolitan, with nearly every ethnic group from the former Soviet Union represented. At a smallish 45,000 square kilometers, it also one of the most densely populated and urbanized regions in the country; there are more than 70 cities in the region, with 15 that have more than 100,000 residents.
   The region is highly industrialized; metallurgy, chemicals, oil refining, energy production, engineering, and food services are the main sectors. Well connected by rail and roads, the region serves as a hub for travel into and out of Moscow proper. The oblast also possesses significant academic and scientific infrastructure and is a national center of research and development. Despite its urban character, the area is also known for its agriculture and rivers. The region is part of the Central Economic Region and the Central Federal District. It is bordered by Tver, Yaroslavl, Vladimir, Ryazan, Tula, Kaluga, and Smolensk oblasts and is perforated by the Federal City of Moscow.
   The current governor is Boris Gromov, a popular veteran of the Soviet-Afghan War and the last Soviet soldier to quit the country, passing over the Friendship Bridge separating the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from Afghanistan on 15 February 1989. Prior to his 2000 election to the governorship, he served in the State Duma. Gromov, who had the backing of Moscow’s influential mayor, Yury Luzhkov, won the election in a heated battle for power. Gromov has focused on improving living standards for public sector workers, increasing the number of small and mediumsized businesses, and attracting foreign investment to the region. He succeeded Anatoly Tyazhlov, who had governed since 1991 but had seen his popularity decline amid criticism of his alcoholism and poor governance.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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