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Mortality from cardiovascular diseases is particularly high in Russia compared with the European average. The National Priority Project ‘Health’, launched in 2005, aimed to promote prevention of non-communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases, in primary care and to increase availability of state-of-art cardiovascular disease management.This is a multiregional population based study with analysis of indicators for cardiovascular health and coronary heart disease in Moscow, St Petersburg, the Moscow region and across Russia, including a total population of 143.7 million inhabitants between 2005 and 2013. Data were collected using conventional methodology and originate from open statistical sources.The overall age-standardized coronary heart disease mortality decreased in 2005–2013 by 24.7% from 383.6 to 289.0 per 100000 population, but with substantial interregional differences: it declined from 306.1 to 196.9 per 100,000 in Moscow (–35.7%), from 362.1 to 258.9 per 100,000 in St Petersburg (–28.5%) and from 433.8 to 374.3 per 100,000 in the Moscow region (–13.7%). Income in Moscow exceeded the national average 2–3-fold, and Moscow had the highest availability of modern treatments and interventions. Although vegetables, fruits and fish consumption increased overall in Russia, this trend was most prominent in Moscow. Indicators for psychosocial well-being also were best in Moscow. Life expectancy in Moscow is almost six years higher than the Russian average.Health policy interventions turned out to be successful but with substantial interregional differences. Lower coronary heart disease mortality and higher life expectancy in Moscow may be due to a more favourable socioeconomic and psychological environment, more healthy eating and greater availability of medical care.