There were times когда каждый москвич мог быть уверен (when every Muscovite could be sure) that here was the city, and there it was ... well, say the end of the city, the suburbs.
The word “город” (city) comes from “ограда” (fence), and implies everything, houses, gardens, streets, that was within the boundaries of fences. And in the old days, of course, собственно городом Москвой был только Кремль (the city of Moscow was only the Kremlin).
In the beginning of the 14th century, Moscow gradually grew around the Kremlin. Two centuries later, the city is formed of five concentric divisions that were formerly separated form one another by walls including the Kremlin, Китай город (Kitai gorod), Белый город (White Town, so called because of the white defensive walls that protected it), Земляной город (Earthworks Town) and Мещанский город (Bourgeois Town).
During the great fire of 1812, the ramparts burnt down and were replaced by the Бульварное кольцо (Boulevard Ring) and the Садовое кольцо (Garden Ring).
The last change that clearly show the boundary of the city was Камер-Коллежский вал (Kamer-Kollezhsky Val), a ring of streets that has been partially integrated into the modern Third Ring.
After that, the extension of Moscow wasn't controlled anymore by fences or walls but by the construction of new roads. From 1917, the boundary of the city was marked by the railroads, and from 1960, the МКАД - Московская кольцевая автомобильная дорога (Moscow Ring Road).
here were times когда каждый москвич мог быть уверен (when every Muscovite could be sure)…