There have been some reports that Moscow has seen the warmest winter this season (2019/2020) and that "fake snow" had to be brought in! Is this true? Has the situation changed? If we're planning to travel in the last week of Feb (or first week of March), can we expect to see a Moscow covered in a blanket of snow? What about surrounding smaller cities?
I'm not in Moscow, I'm in Nizhny Novgorod (450 km East of Moscow), but we also did not have much snow a month ago, and now we have a rather decent snow cover. Maybe less than on average year, but it is clearly here and fairly thick.
Moscow being West from us usually sees a bit less snow, but I guess they must also have some snow now. You can google for online webcams from Moscow, this is one I found just now, and it shown some snow layer in one of Moscow parks.
In fact, the news about fake snow are from around New Year time. It is not unusual nowadays to have New Year holidays with little to no snow in western Russia (in particular, both in Moscow and Nizhny), so the news about fake snow seems at least possible. However, usually still a lot of snow accumulates during January and February and partially March. Late February and early March is the snowest time of year, and surely you will see a lot of snow.
The only thing to note is that Moscow streets are often very well cleared of snow, especially in tourist areas, so you will probably not notice the snow at first. But in any parks you should see it.
Also, as any big city, Moscow is warmer than its surroundings, so it usually has less snow than countryside around it.
I just returned from Moscow to the USA. I was there from the end of December to Jan 17th 2020.
This is the fourth New Years Eve in a row I have spent in Moscow. This winter was by far the warmest I have seen in the past 4 years. In the past 4 years, Moscow has had some very harsh winters and some of the biggest snowfall on record.
Unfortunately this year (2020) that has not been the case. I think it snowed only 2 days while I was there in January, and usually it snows every single day in January while I am there. We did not have the winter wonderland experience we usually get. I hope this helps.
Can we expect to see a Moscow covered in a blanket of snow? What about surrounding smaller cities?
I would expect to see Moscow covered in a blanket of sludge. When I was there a few weeks ago, a local told me "This isn't snow, this is mud.". I had to laugh. Do not slip and fall in that sludge. You've been warned.
Surrounding cities depends on location. We went to our dacha in the Dorokhovo region, about two hours east of Moscow. We did get snowed in (and the car broke down) and it was a winter wonderland. But it did not last but two days and melted soon after we returned to Moscow.
So, from my recent experience, I do not think you will have a winter wonderland snow experience in Moscow for late February/early March this year.
I am from Moscow and travel there often. It used to be very snowy in winter, over the years the amount of snow has decreased.
There might be wet layers of snow (not a lot) in paths but not on roads as they are cleared well. I find more snow in February, every 3/4 days if can snow and you can get quite a big layer (almost as high as your foot).
There is more snow in outer cities and parks in Moscow. If you want more snow go to Siberia :)