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a city in Minsk Oblast, Byelorussian SSR, 65 km northeast of Minsk, on the Moscow-Minsk railroad line. It has a harbor on the Berezina River and a railroad station. Population, 77,000 (1969). The leading industries are machine building (manufacture of electrical equipment for automobiles and tractors, hydraulic apparatus, and the like), metalworking, and woodworking (plywood and matches combine, woodworking combine, and others). It also has chemical enterprises, for industrial rubber products, plastics, chemical and pharmaceutical products, and the like; food enterprises, including a meat combine, a flour combine and a macaroni factory; the piano factory “Belarus’ ”; a plant for reinforced concrete products; and a glass factory. Borisov has a medical school, a polytechnicum, and a regional museum.
Borisov was founded in 1102 by the Polotsk prince Boris Vseslavich. The town is first mentioned in the Lavrentii Chronicle under the year 1127 (in the Ipat’evskaia Chronicle under 1128). In 1128 it became part of Kievan Rus’; from the late 12th century on it was under the rule of Lithuania, and then of Poland. It was returned to Russia in 1793 and became a district city in 1795. On Nov. 14–16, 1812, the battle of the Berezina took place north of Borisov, a battle in which Napoleon’s retreating army was completely routed. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Borisov was occupied by the German fascist troops and liberated on July 1, 1944.