(Nikolaevsk from 1835 to 1918), a city under oblast jurisdiction and administrative center of Pugachev Raion, Saratov Oblast, RSFSR. Landing on the right bank of the Bol’-shoi Irgiz River (a tributary of the Volga). Railroad junction for lines to Balakovo, Ershov, and Kuibyshev. Population, 35,000 (1974).
Pugachev has a plant for the construction of equipment for livestock farms and a furniture factory. The food-processing industry is represented by a milk-canning combine, a flour-milling plant, a vegetable cannery, and a poultry-processing plant. There are two mixed-feed plants, and the city also produces construction materials.
Pugachev has a drainage and irrigation technicum, a museum of local lore, the V. I. Chapaev House-Museum, and a people’s amateur theater. E. I. Pugachev lived in the sloboda (tax-exempt settlement) of Mechetnaia (later Nikolaevsk), which was founded in the 1760’s.