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Chita (chētäˈ), city (1989 pop. 366,000), capital of Chita region, SE Siberian Russia, at the confluence of the Chita and Ingoda rivers and on the Trans-Siberian RR. Railroad and food-processing equipment are manufactured. Founded in 1653, Chita was a place of exile of the 19th-century Decembrist rebels.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and administrative center of Chita Oblast, RSFSR. Located in Transbaikalia, at the influx of the Chita River into the Ingoda River. Population, 294,000 (1977; 121,000 in 1939, 172,000 in 1959, and 241,000 in 1970). A transportation junction on the Trans-Siberian Railroad and a highway junction, Chita has an airport. It is divided into four city districts. It was awarded the Order of the October Revolution on Oct. 23,1972.

Chita has existed since 1653, when it was known as the settlement of Ingodinskoe Zimov’e. In 1690 it became a sloboda (tax-exempt settlement), populated by cossacks and trappers (it was renamed Chitinskaia in 1706), near which a stockade was built, where many Decembrists later served their sentences of hard labor. In 1851 it became a city and administrative center of Transbaikalia Oblast. Chita’s economic importance grew after the building of the Transbaikal Railroad in 1900. Gold mining and the lumber industry developed in the city’s environs. Chita was the seat of the administration of the Nerchinsk Mining District. In 1902, under the direction of E. M. Iaroslavskii, a Social Democratic organization and a committee of the RSDLP were established. The workers and soldiers of Chita took an active part in the Revolution of 1905–07 (seeCHITA REPUBLIC).

Soviet power was established on Feb. 16, 1918. On Aug. 26, 1918, the city was seized by White Guard bands. On Oct. 22, 1920, partisan units of the Amur Front liberated the city, which became the capital of the Far East Republic. In 1922 it was made the administrative center of Transbaikalia Province, in 1926, of the Chita District of the Far East Krai, and in 1937, of Chita Oblast.

Chita is a major industrial and cultural center of Eastern Siberia. The most important enterprises are the automotive assembly plant, the machine-building plant, the machine-tool plant, the K. E. Voroshilov Locomotive and Railroad Car Repair Plant, and the furniture and wood-products combine. A state district power plant is located in the city, as is the Vostochnaia lignite mine. Light industry is represented by worsted cloth and leather-footwear combines, a chrome-leather tannery, and a sheepskin and fur factory. The food industry is represented by flour-milling, meat-packing, and milk combines and by enterprises of the Ingoda food firm.

Among the research and educational institutions in Chita are the Transbaikalia Integrated Scientific Research Institute of the Ministry of Geology of the USSR, the Transbaikalia Scientific Research Technological Institute of Sheep and Beef Cattle Raising, a branch of the institute of experimental veterinary medicine of Siberia and the Far East, pedagogical, medical, and polytechnic institutes, a branch of the Khabarovsk Institute of Railroad Engineers, a correspondence law school of the University of Irkutsk, and 12 specialized secondary educational institutions. Also in Chita are a dramatic theater, a puppet theater, a philharmonic society, and the oblast museum of local lore.


Dvornichenko, N. E. Chita: Spravochnik-putevoditel’. Chita, 1959.
Galkova, G. N., V. F. Balabanov, and V. G. Mal’tseva. Chite—125: Rekomendatel’nyi ukazatel’ literatury k 125-letiiu Chity, kak oblastnogo tsentra. Chita, 1976.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


an industrial city in SE Russia, on the Trans-Siberian railway. Pop.: 309 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005