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Belgorod(byĕl`gərəd), city (1989 pop. 300,000), capital of Belgorod region, S central European Russia, on the Northern Donets River. It is a railway junction and one of the chief centers in Russia for the manufacture of cement and construction materials. These industries are based on nearby limestone deposits; the nearby iron deposits are part of the Kirsk Magnetic Anomaly. Known since the 13th cent., Belgorod was the center of the Muscovite southern defense against Crimean Tatar attacks in the 17th cent.
a city; center of Belgorod Oblast, RSFSR. It is located on the right bank of the Severskii Donets, at the junction of the Moscow-Kharkov and Kupiansk-Briansk railroads. Belgorod is the chief economic and cultural center of the oblast. Population, 151,000 (1970); up from 34,000 in 1939 and 72,000 in 1959.
Belgorod was mentioned for the first time as a settled area in 1237. In about 1596 it became a fortress city and the center of the Belgorod defense line against the Crimean Tatars. Soviet power was established there on Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), fierce battles between Soviet troops and the German fascist invaders took place in the region of Belgorod in July-August 1943 as part of the Kursk battle.
The major industries of the city are the building materials industry, machine building, and the food industry. The building materials industry is represented by a big cement plant that produces high-grade cement, an asbestos-cement combine (asbestos-cement pipes and roofing slates), and a chalk and lime combine (construction lime and chalk for the perfume, glass, rubber, and metallurgical industries). A mica factory was put in operation in 1966. Machine building includes a boiler plant (power-plant boilers of high and medium capacity and high-pressure pipelines), and enterprises for the repair of transportation equipment. A plant for cutting tools has been under construction since 1970. Enterprises of the food industry include a fruit and vegetable canning combine, a flour milling and groat combine, and a meat combine, as well as new enterprises that are the biggest in the country and in Europe—a vitamin combine and a citric acid plant. A big thermal electric power plant is linked up with the southern and central power systems. The Shebelinka-Moscow Gas Pipeline passes through Belgorod.
Belgorod has pedagogical and technological building materials institutes (since 1970), branches of all-Union correspondence polytechnical and finance-economic institutes and of the Kharkov Agricultural Institute, and six specialized secondary educational institutions. Belgorod is a center of scientific research and planning for the exploitation of the Kursk magnetic anomaly. The city has a local lore museum, the M. S. Shchepkin Drama Theater (Shchepkin being a native of Belgorod Oblast), a puppet theater, and a television center.
REFERENCESBelgorod: Ocherk o proshlom, nastoiashchem i budushchem goroda. Voronezh, 1969.
Ivanchikhin, A., and V. Pershin. Belgorod (Ocherki po istorii goroda). Belgorod, 1957.
E. F. FEDOROVA