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Kremlin means 'citadel' in Russian; there are Kremlins in many Russian cities but the term almost invariably refers to the Kremlin in Moscow, which since the Russian capital moved to that city in 1918 has been the secretive center of government of the Soviet Union and, since 1991, of the Russian Federation. The term is also used to refer to the Russian government, much as Downing Street is shorthand for the British government, the Elysee Palace for the French government, and the White House for the American government.

See also