In the 9th century, the Oka River was part of the Volga trade route, and the upper Volga watershed became an area of contact between the indigenous Finno-Ugric such as the Merya and the expanding Volga Bulgars (particularly the second son of Khan Kubrat who expanded the borders of the Old Great Bulgaria), Scandinavian (Varangians) and Slavic peoples.
The earliest East Slavic tribes recorded as having expanded to the upper Volga in the 9th to 10th centuries are the Vyatichi and Krivichi.
Moscow is the seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress that is today the residence for work of the President of Russia.
The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city.
The first known reference to Moscow dates from 1147 as a meeting place of Yuri Dolgoruky and Sviatoslav Olgovich.
At the time it was a minor town on the western border of Vladimir-Suzdal Principality.
In 1156, Knjaz Yury Dolgoruky fortified the town with a timber fence and a moat.
In the course of the Mongol invasion of Rus, the Mongols under Batu Khan burned the city to the ground and killed its inhabitants.
Various other theories (of Celtic, Iranian, Caucasic), having little or no scientific ground, are now largely rejected by contemporary linguists.
By paying high tribute, Ivan won an important concession from the Khan.
While Khan of the Golden Horde initially attempted to limit Moscow's influence, when the growth of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania began to threaten all of Russia, the Khan strengthened Moscow to counterbalance Lithuania, allowing it to become one of the most powerful cities in Russia.
Daniel has been credited with founding the first Moscow monasteries, dedicated to the Lord's Epiphany and to Saint Daniel. Before his death he became a monk and, according to his will, was buried in the cemetery of the St. Moscow was stable and prosperous for many years and attracted a large number of refugees from across Russia.
Daniel I ruled Moscow as Grand Duke until 1303 and established it as a prosperous city that would eclipse its parent principality of Vladimir by the 1320s. The Rurikids maintained large landholdings by practicing primogeniture, whereby all land was passed to the eldest sons, rather than dividing it up among all sons.
Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in the city.