The heart of modern Russia is definitely the capitol – Moscow. The heart of Moscow (also where the Zero Kilometer of the city lies) is Red Square, a perfect unison between the Kremlin and Saint Basil’s Cathedral, attracting tourists and still a popular spot for Muscovites to meet up.

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The Kremlin stretches along the Moskva River, reaching the Cathedral of Christ the Savior which is now the tallest Orthodox Christian Church in the world with a whopping height of 338 ft. The church was demolished under the rule of Joseph Stalin and was rebuilt from 1995-2000.

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A local fire department in a central neighborhood displays posters celebrating 70 years of defeating the Nazis on May 9, 1945. Even though the celebratory parade has long passed, the posters are still up at the end of August.

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Moscow is constantly under renovation and restoration because of its elaborate architecture and design that the city keeps in good condition amidst new, modern buildings. The construction drop on one of the buildings is another reminder of celebrating the victory over Nazis.

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Stray cats and dogs are a huge problem in the city of Moscow due to no or little money dedicated to the problem and overstocked shelters.

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Visiting and understanding rural Russia might be more important than visiting the capitol. I took a 3 hour train from Moscow to visit a village called Vlasovo to live the simple, yet fruitful countryside life. Many own enough land to plant and harvest food over Summer and Fall, many of which are later pickled and dried for the Winter times.

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Most countryside land was given out in a fair lottery during the USSR, which means almost every family owns some bit of land unless they sold it or lost it after the fall of the union. Most houses still remain simple and old, with most people having no monetary ability to afford a much needed make-over.

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