Khimki (Химки) is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, situated just northwest of Moscow, at the west bank of the Moscow Canal. Population: 180,000 (2005 est.); 141,000 (2002 Census); 106,000 (1977); 23,000 (1939).
The town of Khimki was officially founded in 1939. It was established around a railroad station with the same name which existed since 1850 on route between St.Petersburg and Moscow. Currently, the city of Khimki is directly adjacent to the territory of the city of Moscow.
Khimki was the site of the closest German advance to Moscow in November-December of 1941. A memorial marking this in a form of a giant tank trap is located near the intersection of Moscow-St.Petersburg highway and railroad, close to IKEA shopping center.
After the 2nd World War, Khimki became a home for several Soviet aerospace defence development centers which were the principal employers for majority of the city population. This includes R&D enterprises which designed surface-to-air missiles for S-75, S-125, S-200, S-300 Soviet air defense systems, engines for intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite launch vehicles, and other types of equipment. For this reason, Khimki was off limit for all foreigners visiting USSR, despite its location on a highway between Moscow and its major international airport. Some aerospace development centers located in Khimki currently contribute to a program of the International Space Station.
In recent years, population of the city of Khimki continues to grow rapidly due to massive residential building construction driven by its proximity to Moscow megapolis which is densely populated and needs new areas to expand.
The city enjoys a great deal of commerce due to its location between Moscow and one of its main airports, Sheremetyevo. The city is a home to one of the largest shopping malls in Russia, which features French chain-store Auchan and Swedish furniture retailer IKEA.
The city also boasts one of the up and coming teams in European Basketball, BC Khimki.