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Ekaterinburg is a major city in the central part of Russia, the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast. Situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountain range, it is the main industrial and cultural center of the Urals Federal District with a population of 1,350,100 in the 2010 Census making it Russia's fourth largest city at the time. Between 1924 and 1991, the city was known as Sverdlovsk, after the Bolshevik party leader Yakov Sverdlov.
Ekaterinburg is situated on the border of Europe and Asia, 1,667 kilometers or 1,036 miles east of Moscow, on the eastern side of the Ural mountains along the Iset River. It is surrounded by partially-wooded plains, mainly cultivated for agricultural purposes, and small lakes. The city features a humid continental climate under the Koppen climate classification. The winter lasts for about 5 months — from November until the middle of April — and the temperature may fall to minus 45 degrees Celsius or minus 49 Fahrenheit, though rarely lower than minus 20 to minus 25 degrees Celsius - minus 4 to minus 13 Fahrenheit. Summer in the Urals is short, with warm weather for only 65–70 days and an average temperature of 18 degrees Celsius or 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the city's location behind the mountain range and to differing winds, the weather is quite changeable from one day to the next and from year to year.
Ekaterinburg, which is still called by its Soviet name Sverdlovsk in rail timetables, is an important railway junction on the Trans-Siberian Railway, with lines radiating to all parts of the Urals and the rest of Russia. As the economy grew stronger after the slump of the 1990s, several European airlines started or resumed flying to the city's Koltsovo International Airport. These include Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Malév, Austrian Airlines, Czech Airlines and Finnair as well as two low-cost airlines - SkyExpress and Avianova. Ekaterinburg is also served by the smaller Yekaterinburg Aramil Airport. Ekaterinburg's public transit network includes many tram, bus, trolleybus, Marshrutka routes and the Ekaterinburg Metro which opened in 1991. Today, the Yekaterinburg Metro contains one line, with a total of 7 stations.
Soon after the Russian Revolution, on 17 July 1918, Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and their children Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Tsarevich Alexei were murdered by the Bolsheviks at the Ipatiev House in this city. In 1977 the Ipatiev House was destroyed by order of Boris Yeltsin, to prevent it from being used as a rallying location for monarchists. He later became the first President of the Russian Federation and represented the people at the funeral of the Tsar in 1998. On 24 August 2007, the BBC reported that Russian archaeologists had recently found the remains of two children of Russia's last Tsar. The remains were in ground close to the site in Yekaterinburg where the Tsar, his wife and their three other daughters were found in 1991 along with the remains of four servants. The 2007 discoveries are thought to be those of Prince Alexei and his elder sister Maria. Archaeologist Sergei Pogorelov said bullets found at the burial site indicate the children had been shot. He told Russian television the newly unearthed bones belonged to two young people: a young male aged roughly 10-13 and a young woman about 18-23. Ceramic vessels found nearby appear to have contained sulphuric acid, consistent with an account by one of the Bolshevik firing squad, who said that after shooting the family they doused the bodies in acid to destroy the flesh and prevent them becoming objects of veneration. The Tsar's remains were given a state funeral in July 1998.
Yekaterinburg is often called the capital of contemporary dance for a number of famous dance companies residing in the city: the Kipling, the Provincial Dances, the Tantstrest, and a special department of contemporary dance at the Yekaterinburg University of Humanities. A number of popular Russian rock bands, such as Urfin Dzhyus, Chaif, Chicherina, Nautilus Pompilius, Nastya, Trek, Agata Kristi and Smyslovye Gallyutsinatsii, were originally formed in Yekaterinburg (Ural Rock is often considered as a particular variety of rock music; Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg are considered to be the main centers of rock music in Russia). Also, some famous opera singers - Boris Shtokolov, Yuri Gulyayev, Vera Bayeva - graduated from the Urals State Conservatory. The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra (currently conducted by Dmitry Liss), founded by Mark Paverman and located in Yekaterinburg, is also very popular in Russia and in Europe, as well as the Ural Academic Popular Chorus, a famous folk singing and dance ensemble.