, city (1989 pop. 120,000), E central Russia, on the Sosna River, a tributary of the Don. A rail junction in a black-earth agricultural district, the city exports livestock and grain. Yelets has been famed for its lace since the 19th cent.
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a city in Lipetsk Oblast of the RSFSR, on the Sosna River (a tributary of the Don) and the Moscow-Voronezh highway. Located 78 km west of Lipetsk. A junction of railroad lines to Moscow, Orel, Valuiki, Griazi, and Troekurovo. Population, 102,000 (1971; 43,000 in 1926, 51,000 in 1939).
Elets is first mentioned in a chronicle in 1146. Founded as a fortified point in the principality of Riazan’ for defense against the Polovtsy, it was destroyed in 1237 by the forces of Baty, and in 1395 was seized by Tamerlane. The ravages of the Tatars in 1415 and 1450 brought the city into decline, but it was restored at the end of the 16th century. In 1778 it became a district administrative center.
Elets produces machinery and equipment (a voltaic cell and a hydraulic tractor assemblies plant, the Prozhektornye Ugli Plant, the Gidroprivod Plant, a machine shop, and a medical equipment plant) and construction materials. It has a meat-packing combine, a sugar refinery, a tannery, and clothing, knit-wear, tobacco, and cardboard factories. Elets is famous for lace-making. It has a teachers college, a railroad transport technicum, a medical school, and a music school. There is a museum of local lore in the city.