Volgograd is a city in and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is situated on the west bank of the Volga River. Volgograd population in 2002 was 1,011,417 .
Volgograd originated with the foundation in 1589 of the fortress of Tsaritsyn at the confluence of the Tsaritsa and Volga rivers. The fortress, which took its name from the local name Sary Su (Yellow WaterRiver in Tatar language), was established to defend the unstable southern border of tsarist Russia and became the nucleus of a trading settlement. It was captured twice by Cossack rebels, under Stenka Razin in the rebellion of 1670 and Yemelyan Pugachev in 1774. Tsaritsyn became an important river port and commercial centre in the 19th century.
Volgograd was the scene of heavy fighting during the Russian Ci
vil War. Bolshevik forces under Joseph Stalin, Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Budyonny defended it during 1918 but were evicted by White forces under Anton Ivanovich Denikin, who held the city in 1919. After its recapture, Volgograd was renamed Stalingrad (literally: "Stalin city") in 1925. The name change typifies the way in which a role much larger than he actually played in the Russian Revolution of 1917 became attributed to Stalin retroactively.
Under Stalin, the city became heavily industrialized and was developed as a centre of heavy industry and trans-shipment by rail and river. During World War II (Great Patriotic War), the city of Stalingrad became the center of the battle of Stalingrad, the costliest battle in human history, as well as the pivotal turning point in the war against Germany. The battle lasted from August 21, 1942 to February 2, 1943. In terms of loss of human life, roughly 500,000 Axis troops as well as approximately one million Soviet soldiers died, not to mention the unknown number of civilians killed and the many more wounded during the battle. The city was reduced to rubble during the fighting, but reconstruction began soon after the Germans were expelled from the city.
In 1961, the city's name was changed to Volgograd ("Volga city") as part of Nikita Khrushchev's programme of destalinization. This was and remains somewhat contentious, given the fame of the name Stalingrad, and there were once serious proposals to change the name back during Konstantin Chernenko's brief administration in 1985. There is still a strong degree of local support for a reversion and proposals have been made from time to time, though as yet none have been accepted by the Russian government.
Volgograd is still an important industrial city. Its industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, steel and aluminium production, manufacture of machinery and vehicles, and chemical production. A large hydroelectric power plant stands a short distance to the north of Volgograd.
Volgograd is a major railway junction with links to Moscow, the Donbas region of Ukraine, the Caucasus, and Siberia. It stands at the east end of the Volga-Don Canal, opened in 1952 to link the two great rivers of southern Russia.
European route E40, the longest European route connecting Calais, France with Ridder, Kazakhstan, passes through Volgograd.
Educational institutions include Volgograd State Pedagogical University.
Sister/friendship cities :
Coventry, England (1943)
Ostrava, Czech Republic (1948)
Kemi, Finland (1953)
Liege, Belgium (1954)
Dijon, France (1959)
Torino, Italy (1961)
Port Said, Egypt (1962)
Chennai, India (1966)
Hiroshima, Japan (1972)
Cologne, Germany (1988)
Chemnitz, Germany (1988)
Cleveland, United States (1990)
Toronto, Canada (1991)
Jilin, China (1994)
Chengdu, China (1998)
Krusevac, Serbia and Montenegro (1999)
Ruse, Bulgaria (2001) This article is licensed under the [GNU Free Documentation License]. It uses material from Wikipedia
Volgograd Image : lukoil.ru