10 largest cities of Russia
Omsk is one of the largest cities in Russia,
located at the confluence of the Irtysh and Om rivers. It is a major
scientific, cultural, sports and industrial center. City of Labor
Glory. It is a million-plus city (1,172,070 people for 2018), the
second most populous in Siberia and the eighth in Russia. A major
transportation hub: from the west to the east, the Trans-Siberian
Railway passes through the city, and from the south to the north -
the navigable river Irtysh.
Founded in 1716, Omsk officially received city status in 1782. The capital of the Russian State (White Russia) (1918-1920). Since 1934 - the administrative center of the Omsk region.
The wooden fort of Omsk was built in 1716 by a cossack unit led
by Ivan Buchholz to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the
Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz and Dzungar nomads of
the Steppes. In 1768 Om fortress was relocated. The original Tobolsk
and the restored Tara gates, along with the original German Lutheran
Church and several public buildings are left from that time. Omsk
was granted town status in 1782.
In 1822 Omsk became an administrative capital of Western Siberia and later in 1882 the center of the vast Steppes region (today the northern part of Kazakhstan) and Akmolinsk Oblast, in particular acquiring several churches and cathedrals of various denominations, mosques, a synagogue, the governor-general's mansion, and a military academy. But as the frontier receded and its military importance diminished, the town fell into lethargy. For that time Omsk became a major center of the Siberian exile. From 1850 to 1854 Fyodor Dostoyevsky served his sentence in an Omsk katorga prison.
Development of the city was catalyzed with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway in the 1890s that affected significance of Omsk as a logistic hub. Many trade companies established stores and offices in Omsk defining the character of the city center. British, Dutch, and German consulates were established roughly at the same time in order to represent their commercial interests. The pinnacle of development for pre-revolutionary Omsk was the Siberian Exposition of Agriculture and Industry in 1910. Popularity of the World Fairs contributed to the image of Omsk as the "Chicago of Siberia".
Soon after the October Revolution, anti-Bolshevik White forces seized control of Omsk. The "Provisional All-Russian Government" was established here in 1918, headed by the Arctic explorer and decorated war hero Admiral Kolchak. Omsk was proclaimed the capital of Russia, and its central bank was tasked with safekeeping the former empire's gold reserves. These were guarded by a garrison of former Czechoslovakian POWs trapped in Siberia by the chaos of World War I and the subsequent Revolution. Omsk became a prime target for the Red Army leadership, which viewed it as a major target of their Siberian campaign and eventually forced Kolchak and his government to abandon the city and retreat along the Trans-Siberian eastward to Irkutsk. Bolshevik forces entered the city in 1919.
The Soviet government preferred the young Novonikolayevsk (later known as Novosibirsk) as the administrative center of Western Siberia, prompting the mass transfer of administrative, cultural, and educational functions from Omsk. This somewhat stunted Omsk's growth and sparked a continuing rivalry between the two cities. Omsk received new life as a result of World War II. Because it was both far from the fighting and had a well-developed infrastructure, Omsk provided a perfect haven for much of the industry evacuated away from the frontlines in 1941. Additionally, contingency plans were made to transfer the provisional Soviet capital to Omsk in the event of a German victory during the Battle of Moscow (October 1941 to January 1942). At the end of the war, Omsk remained a major industrial center, subsequently becoming a leader in Soviet military production.
Military industries which moved to Omsk included part of the OKMO tank-design bureau in 1941, and S.M. Kirov Factory no. 185 from Chelyabinsk, in 1962. The Kirov Factory and Omsk Transmash design bureau (KBTM) produced T-80 tanks from the 1970s, and were responsible for the BTR-T, TOS-1, and the prototype Black Eagle tank. Omsk Transmash declared bankruptcy in 2002.
In the 1950s, following the development of the oil and natural-gas field in Siberia, an oil-refining complex was built, along with an entire "town of oil workers", expanding Omsk northward along the Irtysh. It is currently the largest such complex in Russia. Gazprom Neft, the parent company, is the largest employer in the city, wielding its tax rates as leverage in negotiations with municipal and regional authorities.