For those who knew the Russian capital in the 2000s, the leap is striking: it is today an ultramodern megalopolis, whose inhabitants regulate their lives on their smartphones.

Who remembers that time when Muscovites whispered in their ear, in the tone of precious advice: “Are you looking for train tickets?” Go to Kazan station, there is only one hour in line! » All of this, in the end, to be snubbed by a little salesperson who counts and recounts your tickets behind a dusty counter.

In barely ten years, the Russian capital has changed times. Moscow is today a city where you can pay for your train or metro ticket (0.55 euros each) with your phone, your smart watch or, for the coolest, your smart ring. Without counting the payment by facial recognition, already in the experimentation phase.

Ultra-connected hipsters

The anecdote of Kazan station therefore seems to belong to the prehistory of this megalopolis of 12 million inhabitants in constant turmoil.

Ironically, it is a young Muscovite who reminds us of it. Kirill Ilnitski, 36, a Belarusian citizen who studied in Italy, is the director of the international department of the Moscow City Innovation Agency. He moved to the Russian capital only six years ago.

“I never thought I would live in Moscow ,” he concedes. For me it was a dirty, hostile, exhausting city … Today, I go to my office by bike, I manage my whole life on my smartphone and I have not been in the bank for six years, when it took me three trips to Italy to close my old account. “ With his cropped hair, his earring and bracelet connected Kirill Ilnitski could belong to the rare breed of hipsters ultra-connected. In reality, the whole city of Moscow took the plunge.

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This reality, a bit confusing for those who knew the city at the turn of the 2000s, is thus confirmed, among other things, by a very comprehensive study by the United Nations (UN), published in 2018, on “e-government” at the level local. Moscow is in first place, ahead of Cape Town (South Africa) and Tallinn, the capital of the highly connected E-Estonia. London and Paris share the fourth position.

Two applications

The main part of the life of the Muscovite lies in two applications, Mos.ru and GosUslugi, which group together services depending on the city and others under federal power. Citizens can manage it, pell-mell: requests for administrative documents; tax management; payment of municipal services, parking lots, fines; monitoring of gas and electricity consumption; medical appointments.