Moscow is the capital and the largest city of Russia. Moscow is one of largest city economies in Europe and it comprises approximately 20% of Russian GDP. Russia is in Northern Asia (the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean. Ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast. Broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions. The official language is Russian. The younger generation commonly speak English, but the language barrier can be a problem with older business people and an interpreter is generally needed. French and German are the most commonly spoken languages after English. Knowledge of the Cyrillic script is essential for reading the names of streets and metro stations. The main religions are Christianity, Islam. The economy of Russia is the eighth largest economy in the world by nominal value and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of Russian exports abroad. The security risk for expatriates in Russia is medium to high, but extreme for The North Caucasus. Risks include petty crime and poor infrastructure including roads, while violent crime involving expatriates is rare. Additional risks in the North Caucasus include conflict between security forces and militants, and kidnapping. The population in Moscow is 11.5 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 7.8% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Moscow as at 1 October 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Moscow, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very High 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Very Low 5) Furniture & Appliances: Very High 6) Groceries: Very High 7) Healthcare: Very High 8) Household Accommodation: Very High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Average Moscow is for example 52.2% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, 66.6% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and 11.4% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Moscow is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Moscow for an expat from Zurich is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Moscow) premium of 30% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Moscow? Register subscribe to your home location and Moscow and run your personalised reports.