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Moscow presses on while snow storms cripple Europe & US

Widespread blizzards have brought America's East Coast and parts of Europe to a standstill over the last few days, but Moscow has battled through the heavy snows thanks to a finely tuned operation.

Heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures hit cities from Washington to Warsaw at the weekend, causing havoc and severe disruption to all forms of transport.

In the US, one of the worst blizzards in decades sprawled over a dozen states affecting travel and also Christmas trading, while in Europe many people hoping to getaway for the holidays were left stranded in airports as flights were cancelled due to the snow.

Russia, however, has managed to mostly control the problem after years of experience.

Unlike elsewhere, disruption caused by winter weather is kept to a minimum thanks to tried and tested methods.

Dealing with heavy snow in Moscow is a slick operation. City authorities send in around 10,000 snow ploughs and employ an army of 50,000 municipal workers to clear the snow and work around the clock.

As such most roads are kept open, even if the traffic is a bit slow.

Moscow spends about $12 million each winter to clear the streets of snow and avoid travel chaos, but it is not just the authorities who go to extra efforts. Drivers also take action, and top of the list is winter tires.

Driver Aleksey Federov says that “they ensure better road grip and make you feel more secure.”

Indeed, Moscow has had plenty of time to perfect its annual war on winter weather and one thing which is crucial is preparation.

The latest equipment and machinery is rolled out months in advance to show that, when it comes to fighting snow, you need a sophisticated and serious operation.