The Conference will be held at the Lomonosov Moscow State University and at the federal Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
One of the oldest Russian institutions of higher education, Moscow University was established in 1755. Moscow University wasn’t originally situated where you’ll find it now and there were only three faculties; Faculty of Philoshpy, Law Faculty and Faculty of Medicine. Lectures were delivered either in Latin, the language of educated people at the time, or in Russian.
From the very beginning, elitism was alien to the very spirit of the University community, which determined Moscow University's long-standing democratic tradition. The university was to educate commoners; only serfs were not admitted. Lomonosov himself pointed out that in European universities it was the academic achievements of a student that mattered, not his social position or family background. In the late part of XVIII century there were only three noblemen among the 26 professors at Moscow University, most of the students were commoners too. The best students were sent to continue their education abroad, establishing the contacts with the international scientific community.
Originally, tuition at Moscow University was free for all students; later only poor students were exempt from tuition fees. The state funding did not cover all the University expenses; thus, the administration had to find ways to raise additional funds.
Moscow University played an outstanding role in popularizing science and learning in Russia making the lectures of its professors open to the public. Book publishing in Russia started in 1756, when a printing house and a bookshop were opened on campus; printing one of the first Russian newspapers “Moskovskie Vedomosti” (Moscow Gazette). The first literary periodical in Moscow “Poleznoe Uveselenie” (Useful Entertainment) was also printed at the University printing house since 1760. For over a century, since 1756, the University library was the only one open to the public in Moscow.
In 1940, the university was named after Academician Mikhail Lomonosov (1711 - 1765), an outstanding Russian scientist, who greatly contributed to the establishment of the university in Moscow.
The political repressions of the 1930s and 1950s negatively affected the development of scientific ideas, as Soviet scientists had virtually no contacts with their colleagues abroad, while certain branches of science were condemned as based on the ideology alien to Communist ideas, and a number of scientists and scholars were sentenced for life imprisonment.
The Great Patriotic War was one of the most difficult periods in the history of Russia. The first group of University students and staff joined the army on the third day of fighting. During the war, the university focused on military science, inventing new explosives and developing aircraft.
Over 5000 University students, instructors, professors and staff fought in the war. In 1975, a memorial was erected on campus to honour over 3000 people Moscow University lost during the war. During the post-war period, the new University campus was built on Vorobievy Gory (Sparrow Hills), where all the lecture halls and laboratories had the latest equipment available at the time.
Nowadays, Moscow State University is a major traditional educational institution in Russia. It offers training in almost all branches of modern science and humanities. Its undergraduates may choose from 57 qualifications, while doctoral students may specialize in 168 different areas. The total number of MSU students exceeds 40,000.
All the history of the University is the evidence of the outstanding role its alumni have played promoting the ideas of freedom, common good, humanity, and truth. In summary:
- Moscow State University was established in 1755
- More than 40 000 students (graduate and postgraduate) and about 7 000 undergraduates study at the university, and over 5 000 specialists do the refresher course here. More than 6 000 professors and lecturers, and about 5 000 researchers work for the faculties and research institutes.
- Every year Moscow University enrolls about 4 000 international students and postgraduates from all over the world.
- Moscow University campus is an extremely complex system, with its 1 000 000 m2 floor area in 1 000 buildings and structures, with its 8 dormitories housing over 12 000 students and 300 km of utility lines.
- MSU library system is one of the largest in Russia, with its 9,000,000 books, 2,000,000 of them in foreign languages, and the average number of readers 55,000, using 5,500,000 books a year.
There are 3 passenger airports in Moscow. Sheremetyevo, Domodedevo and Vnukovo.
Sheremetyevo has 6 terminals: Terminal A is for business and private flights, B is for domestic low-cost flights, C is for international charter airlines, D is mainly for flights by the company Aeroflot, E unifies terminal D and F and has a few Aeroflot flights, F is the main international terminal. The main option to get into the city centre from Sheremetyevo is to use Aeroexpress; an express train service that operates every half hour between Sheremetyevo terminals DEF to Belorussky railway station. There is also a free shuttle bus service to terminals B and C.
+7 (495) 578-65-65 (around-the-clock); +7 925 100-65-65 (around-the-clock, free call for Russia)
Domodedevo is the farthest airport from the city centre. It's a fairly new airport and therefore has good quality services.
There are a couple of options to get into the city centre from the airport. There is a train service which takes 40minutes to get into Paveletsky Station. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket desk in the terminal.
Another option is to get a shuttle bus to the nearest metro station, Domodedovskaya. The journey lasts approximately 30 min. Tickets are bought on the bus.
+7 495 933-66-66
Vnukovo serves mainly domestic flights but some international flights, mainly from Eastern Europe. This airport is also served by an Aeroexpress line to Kievsky station. The train departs on the hour and a single adult ticket costs 320roubles.
Of course from every airport you are able to catch a taxi to the centre, but be careful because they may be extremely expensive and tend to charge foreign visitors much higher rates than locals. To be extra careful, we recommend you booking a transfer with Express to Russia in advance. This is the safest way to avoid being overcharged.
Moscow is the center of this region. It was founded in 1147 on Borovitsky hill and is mentioned for the first time in the Ipat'evskaya chronicle. In this long and fascinating chronicle, there is a story in which Yuri Dolgoruky (Yuri the long-armed) invites Duke Svyatoslav to "Come to me ... in Moskov..." The modern name Moscow finally stuck only in the 14th century.
In the first half of 13th century Moscow gradually became the cultural and political center of the Russian people, however in the winter of 1237-1238 it was sacked and ruined by Mongol-Tatar tribes. Those damn Mongol-Tartars were always messing things up! Luckily, it soon recovered and became a center of a separate principality. In 1326, the residence of the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church was moved from Vladimir to Moscow. At this time, the city became the political and spiritual center of Rus (a Nordic word meaning "the Russian Nation"). In 1712, Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg, where it remained for two centuries (good for Peter - St. Petersburg is in fact a much nicer place than Moscow!). In March of 1918, Lenin moved the capital back to Moscow.
Moscow is situated on the delta of the Moskva river. Today, its population is approximately 10 million. The city is the residence of President Putin (but he is actually from St. Petersburg) and the Russian Government. Moscow and the Central region is currently the most developed area in the entire country. Moscow has an international airport and the majority of train journeys in Russia start from train stations in the city center.
The region is situated in the center of the European part of Russia. This region is very Russian. It has all the marks of Russian Orthodoxy and the Russian character, even the language (dialect) differs from, let's say, the St. Petersburg area. Extremely beautiful, large, old, white churches are scattered throughout the land and the countryside abounds with Russia's legendary birch trees - the land is really inspiring! The climate is temperate continental. The average temperature in January is -10°C and in July +17°C. The Moscow region is a land of ancient towns and monasteries, century-old artistic traditions and buzzes with creative activity.
An interesting place to visit is the Novy Jerusalem Resurrection Monastery, which is situated in the town Istra. The Monastery was founded by the reformer of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Nikon (1605-1681) in 1658. Nikon's idea was to reconstruct the image of the Holy Land with the exact copy of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on the bank of the Istra River near Moscow. The well-known architectural complex is included on the UNESCO list as a landmark of world culture.
Moscow's population(as at 2006)
Moscow's area1,035 sq km
400 sq miles
Moscow's time zoneGMT/UTC +3
Daylight savings starts on the last Sunday in March
Daylight savings end on the last Sunday in October
Moscow's telephone code+7 495
Moscow has a humid continental climate with warm or hot summers and long cold winters.Average temperatures are:
- Winter: -6°C (21.2°F) during the day, -12.7°C (9.2°F) at night
- Spring: 8.7°C (47.6°F) during the day, -1°C (30.2°F) at night
- Summer: 22.7°C (72.8°F) during the day, 11.3°C (52.4°F) at night
- Autumn: 8°C (46.4°F) during the day, 0.7°C (33.2°F) at night
It rains in the summer and it snows (sometimes heavily) in the winter
Moscow's CultureThe Moscow's culture life in figures:
- Theatres, theatre-studios, experimental theatres - 93
- The most well-known theatres: the Bolshoi, the May, the Vakhtangov Art Theatre, Theatre on the Tanganka.
- Cinemas - 132
- Concert organizations - 24
- Museums - 61
- Museums of worldwide reknown: Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the State Historical Museum, and others.
- Exhibition halls - 30.
- Houses of Culture - 88
- Children's musical and art schools - 138
- 434 libraries, including 168 children's libraries
- 96 parks
- 18 gardens, of which 4 are botanical.
- 400 squares
- 160 boulevardes
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Moscow
Theatre Square in Moscow. The quadriga above the portico was sculpted by Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg.
- Red Square
- Iberian Gate and Chapel
- Kilometre Zero
- Monument to Minin and Pozharsky
- Upper Trade Rows (GUM)
- Lenin's mausoleum
- Alexander Garden
- Lobnoye Mesto
- Novodevichy Convent
- Architectural Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra
- Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye
- State Historical Museum
The history of Moscow
How deep this world
Touches the Russian heart!
How much it means!
These are the immortal lines of Pushkin's poem, well known to every citizen of Moscow since school. No matter how often you read them, they never lose their beauty. It is probably the best way to express those feelings that one might have thinking about Moscow.
- Moscow in the 12-13th centuries
The foundation of the city
The capital city appeared where the Moscow River meets the Negilinnay River. Archeologists say settlements on the territory of Moscow appeared thousands years ago. According to legends, the great duke Yuri Vladimirivich Dolgoruky invited duke Svyatoslav Igorevich (from "Slovo o polku Igoreve") to the site of current-day Moscow and they had a feast, after which the city was founded.
Moscow opened trade routes to Oka and Volga to everyone from Russia's northern and southern territories, from Ryazan and Smolensk, and between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Moscow became a dominant city - the symbol of Russian people.
The first Duke of Moscow was Vladimir Vsevolodovich(1194-1228), who inherited Moscow from his father Vsevolod III. He didn't do anything of note.
Moscow in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
The forefather of the dynasty of Moscow Dukes was a son of Alexander Nevsky - Daniil Alexandrovich. He started to gather piece of land around Moscow. And very soon became the territorial center of Russia. In 1326 the residence of Russian metropolitans (orthodox bishops) was moved from Tver to Moscow - an event of a great importance.
There were numerous attacks on Moscow. In 1382 the tatar khan Tohtamysh occupied Moscow. 24 thousand citizens were killed, and the Kremlin was burned to the ground. In 1382 Moscow was destroyed by a fire. Since that time chronicles started mentioning a "Kreml" (Kremlin) which was made out of wood and stone and looked like that until 1485.
The Rise of Moscow
Daniil Aleksandrovich, the youngest son of Nevsky, founded the principality of Muscovy based in the city of Moscow, which eventually expelled the Tartars from Russia. Well-situated in the central river system of Russia and surrounded by protective forests and marshes, Muscovy was at first only a vassal of Vladimir, but soon it absorbed its parent state. A major factor in the ascendancy of Muscovy was the cooperation of its rulers with the Mongol overlords, who granted them the title of Grand Prince of Russia and made them agents for collecting the Tartar tribute from the Russian principalities. The principality's prestige was further enhanced when it became the center of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its head, the metropolitan, fled from Kiev to Vladimir in 1299 and a few years later established the permanent headquarters of the Church in Moscow.
By the middle of the 14th century, the power of the Mongols was declining, and the Grand Princes felt able to openly oppose the Mongol yoke. In 1380, at Kulikovo on the Don River, the khan was defeated, and although this hard-fought victory did not end Tartar rule of Russia, it did bring great fame to the Grand Prince. Moscow's leadership in Russia was now firmly based and by the middle of the fourteenth century its territory had greatly expanded through purchase, war, and marriage.
- Kremlin in the times of Ivan III
Ivan III, the Great
In the 14th century, the grand princes of Muscovy began gathering Russian lands to increase the population and wealth under their rule. The most successful practitioner of this process was Ivan III, the Great (1462-1505), who laid the foundations for a Russian national state. A contemporary of the Tudors and other "new monarchs" in Western Europe, Ivan more than doubled his territories by placing most of north Russia under the rule of Moscow, and he proclaimed his absolute sovereignty over all Russian princes and nobles. Refusing further tribute to the Tartars, Ivan initiated a series of attacks that opened the way for the complete defeat of the declining Golden Horde, now divided into several khanates.
Ivan III was the first Muscovite ruler to use the title of "Tsar", derived from "Caesar", and he viewed Moscow as the Third Rome, the successor of Constantinople, the "New Rome". (Since Rome fell in 410 and the Byzantine Empire in 1453 to the Ottoman Turks, Moscow concluded that it now fell to the "Third Rome" to save Christian civilization.) Ivan competed with his powerful northwestern rival Lithuania for control over some of the semi-independent former principalities of Kievan Rus' in the upper Dnieper and Donets River basins. Through the defections of some princes, border skirmishes, and a long, inconclusive war with Lithuania that ended only in 1503, Ivan III was able to push westward, and Muscovy tripled in size under his rule.
Internal consolidation accompanied this outward expansion of the state. By the 15th century, the rulers of Moscow considered the entire Russian territory their collective property. Various semi-independent princes still claimed specific territories, but Ivan III forced the lesser princes to acknowledge the grand prince of Muscovy and his descendants as unquestioned rulers, with control over military, judicial, and foreign affairs. Gradually, the Muscovite ruler emerged as a powerful, autocratic ruler - a tsar.
Ivan IV, the Terrible
The development of the tsar's autocratic powers reached a peak during the reign of Ivan IV (1547-1584), and he became known as "Ivan the Terrible." Ivan strengthened the position of the tsar to an unprecedented degree: he ruthlessly subordinated the nobles to his will, exiling or executing many on the slightest provocation. Nevertheless, Ivan was a farsighted statesman who promulgated a new code of laws, reformed the morals of the clergy, and built the great St. Basil's Cathedral that still stands in Moscow's Red Square.
Time of Troubles
Ivan's death in 1584 was followed by a period of civil wars known as the "Time of Troubles". These troubles related to the succession and resurgence of the power of the nobility.
The autocracy survived the "Time of Troubles" and the rule of weak or corrupt tsars because of the strength of the government's central bureaucracy. Government functionaries continued to serve, regardless of the ruler's legitimacy or the faction controlling the throne. The succession disputes during the "Time of Troubles" caused the loss of much territory to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden during the wars such as the Dymitriads, the Ingrian War and the Smolensk War. Recovery for Russia came in the mid-17th century, when successful wars with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1654-1667) brought substantial territorial gains, including Smolensk, Kiev and the eastern half of Ukraine.
- Kremlin in the 17th century
Order was restored in 1613 when Michael Romanov, the grandnephew of Ivan the Terrible, was elected to the throne by a national assembly that included representatives from fifty cities. The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia until 1917.
The immediate task of the new dynasty was to restore order. Fortunately for Moscow, its major enemies, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden, were engaged in a bitter conflict with each other, which provided Muscovy the opportunity to make peace with Sweden in 1617 and to sign a truce with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1619.
Rather than risk their estates in more civil war, the great nobles or boyars cooperated with the first Romanovs, enabling them to finish the work of bureaucratic centralization. The state required service from both the old and the new nobility, primarily in the military. In return the tsars allowed the boyars to complete the process of enserfing the peasants.
In the preceding century, the state had gradually curtailed peasants' rights to move from one landlord to another. With the state now fully sanctioning serfdom, runaway peasants became state fugitives. Landlords had complete power over their peasants and bought, sold, traded, and mortgaged them. Together the state and the nobles placed the overwhelming burden of taxation on the peasants, whose rate was 100 times greater in the mid-17th century than it had been a century earlier. In addition, middle-class urban tradesmen and craftsmen were taxed, and, like the serfs, were forbidden to change residence. All segments of the population were subject to military levy and to special taxes.
The greatest peasant uprising in 17th century Europe erupted in 1667, in a period when peasant disorders were endemic. As the Cossacks reacted against the growing centralization of the state, serfs joined their revolts and escaped from their landlords by joining them. The Cossack rebel Stenka Razin led his followers up the Volga River, inciting peasant uprisings and replacing local governments with Cossack rule. The tsar's army finally crushed his forces in 1670; a year later Stenka was captured and beheaded. The uprising and the resulting repression that ended the last of the mid-century crises entailed the deaths of a significant share of the peasant population in the affected areas.
- Moscow in the 19th century
Moscow from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries
The period at the beginning of the seventeenth is known in history as Smutnoe Vremya (Time of Troubles). During this period the rulers changed frequently, and Moscow was occupied by Poland. During few years of poor harvests a severe famine took away thousands of lives. In 1612 Minin and Duke Pogarsky liberated Moscow from Polish occupation. The monument to Minin and Posharsky, which appeared on Red square in 1818, commemorates this even with the inscription "To Minin and Duke Pogarsky from grateful Russia". In 1613 Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov became tsar.
In the middle of the eighteenth century Moscow gradually transformed itself into a national cultural center. In 1755 Moscow University, along with two gymnasiums (schools), was founded. Here Moscow's independent newspaper, Moskovskie Vedomosty (Moscow News) was published. Its first magazine Poleznoe Uveselenie (Useful Joy), edited by Mikhail Heraskov, was printed here as well.
In 1812 Napoleon sent his troops to Moscow. It was a difficult, prolonged war, during which Moscow was again razed to the ground. As a memorial to those who died in the war (in which Russian eventually triumphed) the Cathedral of God's Ascension was built. All citizens of Moscow took part in the erection of the cathedral, and it was finally completed in 1880. The Triumfalnie Vorota (triumphal gates), located on Tverskaya Ulitsa, were also built as a memory of the war. The idea to build Triumfalnie Vorota belonged to emperor Nikolay I, and they were finally opened for the public view only in 1834, on the twentieth anniversary of the end of the Patriotic War.
The cultural life of Moscow of that period was colorful and interesting. Many well-known magazines were published at that time. In 1802 Nikolay Karamzin founded the Vestnik Evropi (The Messenger of Europe) magazine. Another magazine, "Russky Vestnik" (Russian Messenger), mainly covered Russian history, especially the history of Moscow.
In 1812 the "Association of Russian Literature Lovers" was founded. Many prominent writers such as Pushkin, Turgenev, Ostrovsky, Tolstoy were the members of this society, which, by the way, functioned for almost 100 years.
Moscow in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the banishment of French army from Moscow became the main reason for the cultural and political renaissance of the city.
There was also a healthy dose of political dissent in Moscow. Many Decembrists (participants in an uprising in St. Petersburg in 1825) were born here; in fact 50 of them studied at Moscow University. The first Decembrist organization, called "the Military Society" was founded in the city. Another significant event was the arrival of Alexander Pushkin to the city, where in the residences of Sobolevsky and Venevitinov he read his tragedy "Boris Godunov", based on the great Russian historian Karamzin's account of the aforementioned Time of Troubles.
Domestic industry grew fast, many new factories appeared, industrial equipment was renovated, the railroad network became broader and trade flourished. In the 1860s the number of Moscow citizens was 400 000; in 1897 it grew to 1 million. The opening of Pushkin Monument, which attracted many famous people from different parts of Russia, forever cemented the poet's iconic status. The celebration lasted for four days and included a particularly impressive speech by Dostoevsky.
In between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when Russia was on the brink of revolution, the situation in Moscow was very tense. At the beginning of the twentieth century many people became victims of revolution. Then there was civil war, economic struggle, and many political disruptions. All that was a heavy burden for Moscow. Then Germany attacked, and Moscow was seen as the only savior of Russia: while the city was still free, hope was still alive. The Germans came very close to Moscow and Stalin started to doubt whether they'd be able to prevent an attack on what was now the country's capital, however in Tula, on the border of the last outpost, the German troops were finally shattered. Moscow became a symbol of the courage and independence of the country during the great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. A memorial to those who died during the war on Poklonnaya Gora was built shortly after.