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Description of Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk is one of the largest cities in
Russia, a cultural, economic, industrial and educational center of
Central and Eastern Siberia. It is the administrative center of the
Krasnoyarsk Territory (the second largest subject of the Russian
Federation) and the city district is Krasnoyarsk. Center of the East
Siberian economic region. Founded in 1628, it is the largest
of the ancient cities of Siberia. During the “gold rush” for a long
time was a major prosperous merchant center of Siberia. The most
eastern millionaire city in Russia.
The city is located in
the center of Russia, on both banks of the Yenisei at the junction
of the West Siberian Plain, the Central Siberian Plateau and the
Sayan Mountains in the gorge formed by the northernmost spurs of the
Eastern Sayan. The population of the city is 1,090,811
(2018). The Krasnoyarsk agglomeration has more than one and a half
million inhabitants. The main branches of the economy are nonferrous metallurgy,
hydropower, space industry and other engineering, chemical,
History of Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk was founded on August 19, 1628 as a Russian border
fort when a group of service class people from Yeniseysk led by
Andrey Dubenskoy arrived at the confluence of the Kacha and Yenisei
Rivers and constructed fortifications intended to protect the
frontier from attacks of native peoples who lived along the Yenisei
and its tributaries. Along with Kansk to the east, it represented
the southern limit of Russian expansion in the Yenisei basin during
the seventeenth century. In the letter to Tsar Michael I the
...The town of trunks (log buildings) we
have constructed and around the place of fort, we the servants of
thee, our lord, have embedded posts and fastened them with double
bindings and the place of fort have strengthened mightily...
The fort was named Krasny Yar (Russian: Кра́сный Яр) after the Yarin
(a dialect of Khakas) name of the place it was built, Kyzyl Char
('red steep-riverbank'), which was translated as Krasny Yar (using
the old meaning of krasny). An intensive growth of Krasnoyarsk began
with the arrival of the Siberian Route (the road M53 nowadays) in
1735 to 1741 which connected the nearby towns of Achinsk and Kansk
with Krasnoyarsk and with the rest of Russia.
In 1749, a
meteorite with a mass of about 700 kilograms (1,500 lb) was found
230 km (140 mi) south of Krasnoyarsk. It was excavated by Peter
Simon Pallas in 1772 and transported to Krasnoyarsk and subsequently
to St. Petersburg. The Krasnoyarsk meteorite is important because it
was the first pallasite ever studied and the first meteorite ever
The name Krasnoyarsk was given in 1822 when the
village of Krasny Yar was granted town status and became the
administrative center of Yeniseysk Governorate. In the 19th century,
Krasnoyarsk was the center of the Siberian Cossack movement. By the
end of the 19th century, Krasnoyarsk had several manufacturing
facilities and railroad workshops and an engine-house. Growth
continued with the discovery of gold and the arrival of a railroad
In the Russian Empire, Krasnoyarsk was one of the
places to which political exiles were banished. For example, eight
Decembrists were deported from St. Petersburg to Krasnoyarsk after
the failure of the revolt.
After the Russian Revolution of
1917, during the periods of centralized planning (Five Year Plans)
numerous large plants and factories were constructed in Krasnoyarsk:
Sibtyazhmash, the dock yard, the paper factory, the hydroelectric
power station (now the fifth largest in the world and the second in
Russia), and the river port.
In 1934, Krasnoyarsk Krai, was
formed, with Krasnoyarsk as its administrative center.
Stalinist times, Krasnoyarsk was a major center of the gulag system.
The most important labor camp was the Kraslag or Krasnoyarsky ITL
(1938-c.1960) with the two units located in Kansk and Reshyoty. In
the city of Krasnoyarsk itself, the Yeniseylag or Yeniseysky ITL
labor camp was prominent as well during World War II (c. 1940-41).
During World War II, dozens of factories were evacuated from
Ukraine and Western Russia to Krasnoyarsk and nearby towns,
stimulating the industrial growth of the city. After the war
additional large plants were constructed: the aluminum plant, the
metallurgic plant, the plant of base metals and many others.
In the late 1970s, the Soviet Union began constructing a phased
array radar station at Abalakova, near Krasnoyarsk, which violated
the ABM Treaty. Beginning in 1983, the United States demanded its
removal, until the Soviet Union admitted the radar station was a
violation in 1989. Equipment was slowly removed from the site and by
1992 it was officially declared to be dismantled, though the
equipment from the site was likely relocated to a new site near
Komsomolsk-na-Amure. Krasnoyarsk was also a home to Krasnoyarsk
Northeast air base, which was turned into living blocks after the
dissolution of the Soviet Union.
After the dissolution of the
Soviet Union and beginning of privatization, many large plants and
factories, such as the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant, became owned by
alleged criminal authorities and oligarchs, while others were
declared bankrupt. The economic transition resulted in a dramatic
rise in unemployment and numerous strikes.
The best known
financial scandal of the second half of 1990s happened when
ownership of the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant by a known Krasnoyarsk
businessman Anatoliy Bykov had been canceled after he was accused of
murdering his partner, Vilor Struganov. The accusation eventually
turned out to be false. The Krasnoyarsk plant's ownership problems
continue through the early 21st century since nearly all of them are
owned either by monopolistic financial groups or by oligarchs.
Since the election of Pyotr Pimashkov as the mayor of Krasnoyarsk
in 1996, the appearance of the city gradually improved: the old
historical buildings were restored, the asphalt walkways were
replaced with paving-stone, and numerous squares and recreation
areas with fountains were either restored or constructed from
scratch. Now the majority of the city keeps only a few traces of its
former, drab, post-collapse look.