Heavy snowfall and strong winds have hit the Russian capital, slowing traffic and causing numerous flight delays.

The snowstorm that continued for most of the day Tuesday and is forecast to last overnight has strained the resources of municipal services, which deployed thousands of snowplows and trucks to clear the streets.

Russian news reports said that dozens of flights at Moscow airports were cancelled or delayed.

A massive cyclone that hit Moscow also affected most other areas of western Russia.

The heavy snowfall follows an unseasonably warm spell in December when temperatures didn't drop below freezing until the end of the month.