Oblast (region) in the western Russian Federation; area 47,000 sq km/18,147 sq mi; population (2002) 6,618,500; (2006 est) 6,628,100; Greater Moscow (2002) 10,382,800; (2006 est) 10,425,100. The capital is Moscow, and other cities in the region are Kolomna, Podolsk, Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Elektrostal, and Serpukhov. The region is located in the central part of the East European plain, between the Volga and the Oka rivers. 40% of the region is covered with mixed forests, and it has a moderate continental climate. Deposits of phosphorite, peat, and lignite are found in the area. Industries include heavy engineering (locomotives and rolling stock, machine tools, and agricultural machinery), textiles, and chemicals. There is a dense road, rail, and water transport network, including the Moscow Canal. Grain, vegetables, and flax are the main crops, and agricultural activity also includes dairy farming.
History The area belonged to the medieval Kievan-Rus state, then in parts to the Rostov-Suzdal (later Vladimir), Ryazan, and Smolensk principalities. A separate Moscow principality existed from 1283, which became the core of Muscovy, and thus of modern Russia. The Battle of Borodino was fought here in 1812. In 1960, the city of Moscow absorbed several of its suburbs.