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RUSSIA lies in the eastern part of Europe and the northern part of Asia. With total land area of 10745.7sq miles. Russia contains more than 1010 cities with total population of some 140 million. The capital is Moscow. Official language is Russian, but English is taught at all school levels, and you will surprise how many people speak some English


Sverdlovsk region is situated in the center of Russia, at the border of Europe and Asia, at an intersection of transport highways which connect the European part of Russia with its Asiatic vast expanses. Its outlines resemble an inverse heart. This is one of biggest industrial regions in the country and at the same time a land of impassable taiga, blue lakes, picturesque rocks, paradise for hunters, mush roomers and fishers. Rocks retain paintings made by ancient Urals residents (Irbit stone is first of known stones in Russia), whose offsprings with hordes of Attila got to Europe and founded Hungary. Ermak and other pathfinders surmounted “stone belt” there in the way to Siberia. By the order of Peter the Grand mines and factories were founded there. They became the economical basis for power of the Russian Empire and gave to the country iron and copper, guns and cannons. “Gold rush” begun here in XIX century and touched at first Siberia and then California and Alaska.

Ekaterinburg, capital of Sverdlovsk region, is often called capital of Ural and third, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg, capital of Russia. Not for nothing academician Sakharov, deputy of the Supreme Soviet, has proposed Ekaterinburg as the capital of the Soviet Union renovated by a type of “united Europe”. This is the center of industry (among other enterprises there is the biggest in the country the machine-building factory “Uralmash”) and science (Urals department of the Russian Science Academy, Urals State University, Urals State Technical University and other institutions of higher learning). Richness of culture life is considerable: beautiful theatres, museums (for example, the collection of Russian avant-garde is worth of a capital museum), the pearl of the International Exposition in Paris 1900 - famous Kasly pavilion – can be seen here. Outward look of the city corresponds to idea of capital: practically all architecture styles which changed one another during its quite short history (its can be compared with the Saint Petersburg history) are presented in the city streets. A lot of buildings in constructivism style make the city a peculiar reserve of ideas of renowned architecture Le Corbusier.

You are welcome to Sverdlovsk region. Visit the museum-city of Verkhoturye, look at the declining tower Nevianskaya, take a good look at the image of “Madonna Taguilskaya” (it can be the real “Madonna del Popolo” by Raphael), put a candle in memory of innocent killed people in the chapel build at the place of Ipapiev house (where the last Russian tsar Nicolas II and his family have been killed), enjoy sceneries which are so fairly beautiful that you seem to find yourself at the kingdom of Mistress of Copper mountain where master Danila is working at his stone flower (after a fairy tale of the famous Urals writer Pavel Bajov).

Also spelled YEKATERINBURG, formerly (1924-91) SVERDLOVSK, city and administrative centre of Sverdlovsk oblast (province), west-central Russia. It lies along the Iset River, which is a tributary of the Tobol River, and on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains. Yekaterinburg is situated 1,036 miles (1,667 km) east of Moscow. Near the village of Shartash, which was founded in 1672 by members of the Russian sect of Old Believers, an ironworks was established in 1721 and a fortress in 1722. In 1723 the new settlement was named Yekaterinburg in honour of Catherine I, the wife of Peter I the Great. The town grew as the administrative centre for all the ironworks of the Urals region, and its importance increased after 1783, when the Great Siberian Highway was built through it. After 1878 the Trans-Siberian Railroad linked the city with Siberia. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 (October), Yekaterinburg achieved notoriety as the scene of the execution of the last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family in July 1918. In 1924 it was renamed Sverdlovsk in honour of the Bolshevik leader Yakov M. Sverdlov, but the city reverted to its original name in 1991. Modern Yekaterinburg is one of the major industrial centres of Russia, especially for heavy engineering. Metallurgical and chemical machinery, turbines, diesels, and ball bearings head a long list of engineering products manufactured there. Some steel is also made in the city. The chemical and rubber-tire industries are well developed, and there is a range of light industries, including a traditional one of gem cutting. The city, laid out on a regular gridiron pattern, sprawls across the valley of the Iset river which was dammed to form a series of small lakes--and the low, surrounding hills.Yekaterinburg is an important railway junction, with lines radiating from it to all parts of the Urals and the rest of Russia. The city is the leading cultural centre of the Urals and has numerous institutions of higher education, including the Urals A.M. Gorky State University (founded 1920), a conservatory, and polytechnic, mining, forestry, agricultural, law, medical, and teacher-training institutes. The Urals branch of the Academy of Sciences and many scientific-research establishments are also located there. Pop. (1993 est.) 1,358,000.

Also spelled CHELIABINSK, OR CEL'ABINSK, city and administrative centre, Chelyabinsk oblast (province), west-central Russia. It lies on the eastern flank of the Ural Mountains and on the Miass River. Chelyabinsk was founded as a fortress in 1736 on the site of a Bashkir village; it became a town in 1787. First a local centre of an agricultural region, it began to grow with the coming of the Trans-Siberian Railroad in 1894-96. Thereafter growth was continuous; it was greatly stimulated by the eastward evacuation of industry in World War II. Today Chelyabinsk is the major focus of the southern half of the Urals industrial region, well served by rail connections to other industrial cities.One of the most important industrial centres of Russia, it has large ironworks and steelworks, a zinc refinery, a ferroalloys plant, chemical industries, and a wide range of heavy- and medium-engineering industries, producing steel pipes and pressings, bulldozers, scrapers, tractors, industrial machinery, and machine tools. The first natural gas from Urengoy, the largest Siberian gas field in operation, reached Chelyabinsk in 1979. Chelyabinsk has a university and a large polytechnic institute as well as medical, teacher-training, and agricultural-mechanization institutes and many scientific-research institutes. There are also an opera, ballet, and other theatres and a philharmonic hall. Pop. (1994 est.) 1,124,500.

Formerly MOLOTOV - city and administrative centre of Perm oblast (province), western Russia. Perm stands on both banks of the Kama River below its confluence with the Chusovaya. In 1723 a copper-smelting works was founded at the village of Yegoshikha (founded 1568), at the junction of the Yegoshikha and Kama rivers. In 1780 the settlement of Yegoshikha became the town of Perm, although another town, Perm Velikaya (Perm the Great; now Cherdyn), had existed 150 miles (240 km) upstream since the 14th century. Perm's position on the navigable Kama River, leading to the Volga, and on the Great Siberian Highway (established in 1783) across the Ural Mountains helped it become an important trade and manufacturing centre. It also lay along the Trans-Siberian Railroad, which was completed to Ekaterinburg in 1878. Perm grew considerably as industrialization proceeded in the Urals during the Soviet period.Modern Perm, which extends for approximately 30 miles (50 km) along the high riverbanks, is still a major railway hub and one of the chief industrial centres of the Urals region. The city's diversified metallurgical and engineering industries produce equipment and machine tools for the petroleum and coal industries, as well as agricultural machinery. A major petroleum refinery uses oil transported by pipeline from the West Siberian oilfields, and the city's large chemical industry makes fertilizers and dyes. Power is supplied by a 500,000-kilowatt hydroelectric station on the Kama just north of the city. The city's institutions of higher education include the Perm A.M. Gorky State University, founded in 1916. There are several theatres, a notable art gallery, and a school of ballet. Perm gives its name to the Permian Period (from 286 to 245 million years ago), which was first identified in geologic strata in the locality. Pop. (1994 est.) 1,086,100.

City and administrative centre of Kurgan oblast (province), west-central Russia, on the Tobol River. In 1553 the fortified settlement of Tsaryovo Gorodishche was founded on a large ancient tumulus or artificial mound (Russian kurgan); it became a town in 1782, and by the late 19th century it was the focus of the surrounding farming area, especially after the building of the railways to Omsk, Chelyabinsk, and Yekaterinburg. The Tobol River, which is frozen from November until May, is navigable the rest of the year and links Kurgan to the Ob-Irtysh system. Agricultural and other machinery, medical preparations, and a wide range of foodstuffs are produced by local industries. The city has agricultural, teacher-training, and machine-building institutes. Pop. (1992 est.) 365,000.

Also spelled TIUMEN, OR T'UMEN', city and administrative centre of Tyumen oblast (province), central Russia. The city lies in the southwestern part of the West Siberian Plain. It is situated on both banks of the Tura River at its crossing by the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Founded in 1586, it is the oldest Russian city in Siberia, located on the site of a Tatar town, Chingi-Tura, founded in the 14th century. A river port, it functions as a transshipment point. Its main industries are metalworking, engineering, shipbuilding, timber products, and chemicals. The city grew rapidly after the discovery of oil and gas farther to the north in Western Siberia. Pop. (1991 est.) 494,200.

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