Putting into action plans initiated by then-President Dmitry Medvedev, Moscow on Sunday absorbed a large swath of land on its southwest border, more than doubling its territory and giving hundreds of thousands of new residents the right to call themselves Muscovites.
Starting July 1, Moscow's land area will be 255,000 hectares, about 2.4 times larger than its previous area of 107,000 hectares. The long, narrow strip of land added to the capital reaches all the way to the border with the Kaluga region.
The land addition contains two cities (Troitsk and Shcherbinka), 19 smaller municipalities and 232,000 residents, all of which are now part of Moscow.
The relatively underpopulated areas being added to the capital have radically reduced Moscow's population density, from 10,700 people per square kilometer to 4,600 people overnight.
The move was first announced by Medvedev on June 17 last year, when he said the new territories would host new executive and legislative government buildings as well as an international financial center. The move seeks to greatly reduce traffic flows into the traditional city center.