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Moscow’s 860th birthday party wraps up

Russia's capital city has celebrated its 860th anniversary with an action-packed weekend. Millions of people took part in more than five thousand events across Moscow, ranging from music and dancing to exhibitions and parades.

A hundred stages were set up around town – both in the centre and the suburbs – treating Muscovites to two whole days of non-stop entertainment.  A broad mix of musical tastes were on offer, including folk, pop and classical.  

Some used platforms to promote their political parties in the run-up to parliamentary elections in December.  

But for most, the festivities offered a day out in the city centre. An estimated 3.5 million people took part in the weekend’s celebrations.

Security was tight, with around 20.000 police officers on duty.  The city centre was closed to traffic, allowing families and revellers to walk around the attractions in safety.

Moscow’s birthday gift came in the form of a renovated country estate. Tsaritsyno was originally commissioned by Catherine the Great but was never completed. President Putin opened the18th century landmark to the public after extensive building work.

In the evening time, revellers poured out into the street: “The city has changed so much, it gets better every year!” said one satisfied guest at the party.

Moscow has changed dramatially in recent decades and continues to develop. It is now a booming metropolis with rocketing prices and daunting traffic jams. But the majority of those who came out to celebrate – Muscovites or not – simply love it as it is.