As the USSR disintegrated in 1991, Moscow remained the capital of the Russian SFSR (the Russian SFSR became the Russian Federation on December 25, 1991). Moscow has developed a market economy since then, resulting in an explosion of Western-style retailing, services, architecture, and lifestyles.
The capital city of post-Soviet Russia, Moscow was at the center of the country’s historic transition. In the decade following the collapse of the Soviet Union, many historic buildings, especially churches, were renovated on an unprecedented scale for the city. Foreign investment fueled the growth of Western-style supermarkets, car dealerships, restaurants, and casinos in the country. Moscow’s industrial output dropped sharply, as did other parts of Russia, but unemployment remained below 3 percent. There were bank failures in Moscow in 1998, as well as a devaluation of the Russian currency, but Moscow’s economy recovered in one year. Living standards rose, wages increased, and inflation was reduced to single digits. However, criminal activity, including organized crime, increased significantly. Its population grew from below nine million to above ten million during the 1990s and 2000s. Despite this, there has been a dramatic increase in low-density suburban sprawl since then, owing to the rising demand for single-family homes rather than crowded apartments. The MKAD ring road was widened from four lanes to ten lanes between 1995 and 1997.
Here are some stunning photos of Moscow in 1990, just before the USSR dissolution by hasmonek.