Russian developers have been hit by slumping demand and a dire shortage of credit to complete projects. Prices have tumbled 60 per cent inside a year as Russia’s oil-fuelled economic boom has turned to bust.

The results — or lack of them — are visible all over the city as idle tower cranes guard unfinished buildings on sites devoid of workers. Plans for landmark projects, such as the 612-metre Russia Tower designed by Lord Foster of Thames Bank, have been frozen. Once set to be the site of the tallest skyscraper in Europe, now it will be a car park.

The Times