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, city (1993 est. pop. 404,000), S Kazakhstan, on the Turkistan-Siberia RR. It has large zinc and lead smelters and machine, chemical, and food-processing industries. Founded in the 12th cent.
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a city and administrative center of Chimkent Oblast (from 1932 to 1962, Iuzhnyi Kazakhstan Oblast; from 1962 to 1964, Iuzhnyi Kazakhstan Krai), Kazakh SSR. Situated on a foothill plain, between the Badam and Sairam rivers of the Syr Darya basin. Junction of railroad lines to Dzhambul, Arys’, and Lenger. Population, 303,000 (Jan. 1, 1977; 74,000 in 1939, 153,000 in 1959, and 247,000 in 1970).
Chimkent has been known since the 12th century. In 1864 it became part of the Russian Empire and was made a district capital in Syr Darya Oblast. During the years of Soviet power, the city has been transformed into a large industrial and cultural center of Kazakhstan.
Industry in Chimkent is linked primarily with the processing of local agricultural products and minerals. One of the city’s largest enterprises is a lead-processing plant. Other enterprises include the Fosfor production association, the Kalinin Automatic Press Plant, plants for the production of Cardan shafts, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and phosphorus salts, and a hydrolysis plant. An oil refinery is under construction (1978). Light industry is represented by a cotton combine, cotton-ginning and karakul plants, the Elastik hosiery and knitwear production association, the Voskhod clothing factory, and the Chimkentmebel’ furniture production association. The food-processing industry is represented by a meat-packing plant, a combine for the production of oils and fats, and a production association of the milk industry. The building-materials industry is represented by a cement plant, a brickyard, and an asbestos roofing combine.
Chimkent has institutes of chemical technology and pedagogy, a pedagogical institute of culture, a branch of the Alma-Ata Institute of the National Economy, and five technicums—power, automotive, polytechnic, cooperative, and irrigation construction technicums. It also has a medical school, a music school, and an art school. There are two theaters (Kazakh and Russian) and a museum of local lore in the city.