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Bishkek (bĭshˈkĕk), formerly Frunze (fro͞onˈzĕ), city (1993 est. pop. 640,700), capital of Kyrgyzstan, on the Chu River and on a branch of the Turkistan-Siberia RR. It is a rail and highway hub and the industrial and cultural center of Kyrgyzstan. Its meatpacking and agricultural machine plants were among the largest in the former USSR. Other industries include metalworking, food processing, and the manufacture of assorted craftworks. Bishkek has a hydroelectric station. The Uzbek khans of Kokand built a fortress on the site in 1846; it was taken by Russian forces in 1862 and became the fort of Pishpek. The city, which grew up around the fort, was chartered in 1878. It was named Frunze from 1926 to 1991. In 1926 the city became the administrative center of the Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which was raised to the status of a union republic in 1936. Kyrgyzstan became an independent republic in 1991. Bishkek has a university (est. 1951).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(before 1926, Pishpek), the capital of the Kirghiz SSR and a major industrial, transportation, and cultural center of Kirghizia. The city is situated in the Chu Valley, at the foot of the Kirghiz Range, at an elevation of 750–900 m. The average January temperature is –5.4°C, and the average July temperature is 24.4°C. Annual precipitation is 471 mm.

Frunze’s area is 130 sq km, and its population is 511,000 (as of Jan. 1, 1977; 7,000 in 1897, 37,000 in 1926, 93,000 in 1939, 220,000 in 1959, 431,000 in 1970). According to the 1970 census, Kirghiz account for 12.3 percent of the population, and Russians account for 66.1 percent. Other nationalities include Ukrainians (6.2 percent), Tatars (3.2 percent), Uighurs (1.6 percent), and Uzbeks (1.5 percent). Frunze is divided into four urban districts.

Historical survey. In 1825 the Kokand fortress of Pishpek (Bish-pek) was established on the site of modern Frunze. It was captured by Russian troups in 1860 and 1862 and destroyed. In 1864 the Russian military settlement of Pishpek was founded; soon the Semirech’e trade route, which extended from Tashkent to Semi-palatinsk, passed through the settlement. In 1878, Pishpek became a district capital of Semirech’e Oblast. The city’s economy was limited to the small-scale production of food products and leather goods. The inhabitants engaged in trade, haulage, and the raising of fruits and vegetables.

During the Revolution of 1905–07 workers’ demonstrations took place in the city. In October 1917 a Bolshevik organization was created, headed by A. I. Ivanitsyn. Soviet power was established on Jan. 1 (14), 1918. In 1918, Pishpek became part of the Turkestan ASSR. In 1924 it was made the administrative center of the Kara-Kirghiz (from 1925 the Kirghiz) Autonomous Oblast, and a rail link was constructed to Aulie-Ata (now the city of Dzhambul). In 1926, Pishpek was renamed Frunze in honor of M. V. Frunze, who was born in the city, and became the capital of the Kirghiz ASSR. Since 1936 it has been the capital of the Kirghiz SSR.

Under Soviet power Frunze has become the economic and cultural center of Kirghizia. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 dozens of industrial enterprises were evacuated to Frunze, where they produced munitions for the front. Metalworking and machine building underwent considerable development, and after the war Frunze became the largest industrial center of the Kirghiz SSR.

Economy. The leading branches of industry are machine building and metalworking, whose major plants include the M. V. Frunze Agricultural Machinery Plant, an automotive-assembly plant, the Tiazhelektromash Plant, and the Kirgizavtomash Plant. Principal enterprises of light industry include a worsted-wool combine, the Cholpon Footwear Production Association, the 40 Let Oktobria Garment Factory, knitwear factories, spinning and weaving factories, and leather-goods plants. Food-processing enterprises include a meat-packing combine, a confectionary production association, and a champagne combine. Frunze has a furniture factory, prefabricated-housing combines, and plants making reinforced-concrete products. The city has a district heat and power plant and receives natural gas from the Bukhara-Tashkent-Frunze-Alma-Ata pipeline. Frunze is a highway junction; it has two railroad stations, Frunze and Pishpek, and two airports.

Architecture. In accordance with a plan drawn up in 1872, Frunze acquired a rectilinear layout with blocks of moderate size. Pit houses and houses of pisé and adobe brick predominated. During the Soviet period, however, the architecture of the city has been completely transformed. In the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s numerous buildings were constructed, including the building of the Ministry of Culture of the Kirghiz SSR (1926, engineer A. P. Zenkov), the Government House of the Kirghiz SSR (1934, architect Iu. B. Dubov), and the building of the medical institute (1939) and the Oblast Executive Committee Building (1938; architects of both buildings F. P. Steblin and S. Kh. Saakian).

A plan for modernizing the city was drafted in 1939 by the architect N. N. Smirnov, in consultation with I. V. Zholtovskii, and subsequent plans were drawn up between 1948 and 1958 by the architect A. S. Smolitskii and in 1971 by the architects V. I. Nen-arokov and V. P. Sherstnev. These plans were based on the already existing rectilinear layout. Blocks have been enlarged, and mikroraions (neighborhood units in urban planning) and green zones have been created. Dzerzhinski Street has been transformed into a boulevard with 16 median strips planted with greenery. It is lined with apartment houses and public buildings of two to four stories that are highly resistant to earthquakes. Between the 1950’s and 1970’s urban construction increased: new mikroraions were built on Mir Prospect, (architect E. A. Lovush-kina), and Mikroraion No. 2 was built near the Botanical Gardens (architect A. S. Arbuzov). The housing stock increased by a factor of 8.7 between 1941 and 1974 and totaled 4,935,000 sq m of usable space at the end of 1975.

Frunze’s notable public buildings include the Kirghiz Theater of Opera and Ballet (1955, architects A. I. Laburenko and others), the N. G. Chernyshevskii State Library (1957–62, architect V. E. Nusov), and the architectural ensemble on Sovetskaia Square, which includes the City Executive Committee Building (1956, architect P. P. Ivanov), the secondary specialized polytechnic (1954, architect E. G. Pisarskoi), and the Ministry of Agriculture (1954–60, architect, V. E. Nusov). Other buildings include the M. V. Frunze Museum-House (1968, architects Iu. P. Karikh and G. Kutateladze), the Supreme Court of the Kirghiz SSR (1973, architect V. V. Kurbatov), the V. I. Lenin Sports Palace (1974, designed by the Soiuzsportproekt Institute), and the Museum of Fine Arts (1974, architects Sh. Dzhekshenbaev, V. Nazarov, and D. Yryskulyv). The city has many parks and recreational areas.

Frunze has monuments to V. I. Lenin (bronze and granite, 1948, sculptor G. V. Neroda, architect V. V. Veriuzhskii), I. V. Panfilov (granite and cement, 1942, sculptors A. A. Manuilov and O. M. Manuilova), and M. V. Frunze (bronze and granite, 1972, sculptors L. I. Dubinovskii and A. N. Posiada, architect A. Isaev). Also noteworthy is the Friendship Monument (marble and bronze, 1974, sculptors T. Sadykov, Z. Khabibulin, and S. Baksheev, architect A. Nezhurin).


Education and cultural affairs. In the 1914–15 academic year 439 pupils were enrolled in four general-education schools; there were no secondary schools or higher educational institutions. In the 1975–76 academic year there were 79,600 pupils in 92 general-education schools of all types, 10,000 students in 13 vocational-technical educational institutions, 20,800 students in 13 specialized secondary educational institutions, and 30,000 children in 181 preschool institutions.

In 1975, Frunze had seven higher educational institutions, with a total enrollment of 41,100 students. Kirghiz University, the Frunze Polytechnic Institute, the K. I. Skriabin Kirghiz Institute of Agriculture, the V. V. Mayakovsky Kirghiz Women’s Pedagogical Institute, the Kirghiz Medical Institute, the Kirghiz Institute of Physical Education, and the Kirghiz Institute of the Arts. Frunze is the location of the Academy of Sciences of the Kirghiz SSR. Other institutions include the Kirghiz branch of the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Electrical Mechanics, the Kirghiz Scientific Research Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, the Kirghiz Scientific Research Institute of Land Cultivation, the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for the Integrated Automation of Land Reclamation Systems, the Kirghiz Scientific Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology, the Kirghiz Scientific Research Institute of Tuberculosis, the Kirghiz Scientific Research Institute of Health Resort Science and Physical Therapy, the Kirghiz Scientific Research Institute of Obstetrics and Pediatrics, and the Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology, Microbiology, and Hygiene.

In 1975 the city’s cultural institutions included the N. G. Chernyshevskii State Library of the Kirghiz SSR and 87 public libraries, with approximately 2.5 million books. Frunze has three museums: the State Historical Museum of the Kirghiz SSR, the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Kirghiz SSR, and the M. V. Frunze Museum-House. The city’s four theaters are the Kirghiz Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Kirghiz Drama Theater, the N. K. Krupskaia Theater of Russian Drama, and the Republic Puppet Theater. Musical institutions and concert halls include the Tokto-gul Satylganov Philharmonic Society and the concert hall of the V. I. Lenin Palace. Frunze has the Kirgizfil’m Motion Picture Studio, 27 clubs, 60 motion-picture projection units, and two extracurricular institutions.

Three republic publishing houses—Kyrgyzstan, Mektep, and Ilim—are located in Frunze, as well as Middle Asia’s largest printing combine and the Kirghiz Telegraph Agency (KirTAG). As of 1976, nine republic newspapers were published in Frunze, in addition to 33 magazine-type publications, including 15 magazines. The city newspaper, Vechernii Frunze, began publishing in 1974. Local radio programs in Kirghiz and Russian are broadcast for a total of 31 hours daily; programs of All-Union Radio are broadcast for a total of 36 hours daily. The city has a television station that broadcasts local programs in Kirghiz and Russian for six hours daily; the program East and programs of the Órbita system are relayed from Moscow, and programs in Kazakh are relayed from the Alma-Ata Television Studio.

Public health. In 1913, Frunze had one hospital with 23 beds and five physicians (one physician per 3,800 inhabitants). As of Jan. 1, 1976, the city had 25 hospitals, with a total of 7,800 beds (15.7 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), as compared to six hospitals, with 800 beds (6.6 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) in 1940. As of Jan. 1, 1976, Frunze had 3,822 physicians (one physician per 130 inhabitants), as compared to 201 physicians (one physician per 588 inhabitants) in 1940; there were more than 7,000 secondary medical personnel in 1975, as opposed to 400 in 1940.

Located in Frunze and its environs are the balneological health resort Issyk-Ata, four sanatoriums, and houses of rest. Frunze is one of the republic’s centers for tourism and the starting point for tourist excursions on the lake Issyk-Kul’. Eight all-Union tourist routes pass through Frunze. The city has a tourist hotel and tourist center.


Usubaliev, T. U. Frunze—stolitsa sovetskogo Kirgizstana. Moscow, 1971.
Takyrbashev, A. T. Stolitsa sovetskogo Kirgizstana. Frunze, 1971 (Contains bibliography.)
Pisarskoi, E. G. Gorod stanovitsia krashe. Frunze, 1973 (Contains bibliography.)
Gorod Frunze v tsifrakh: Kratkii statistich. sb. Frunze, 1972.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo Kirgizskoi SSR v 1974: Statistich. ezhegodnik. Frunze, 1975.
Pisarskoi, E. G. Arkhitektura goroda Frunze. Frunze, 1965.



(until 1937, Kadamdzhai), an urban-type settlement in Frunze Raion, Osh Oblast, Kirghiz SSR. Frunze is situated on the Shakhimardan River, in the foothills of the Alai Mountains, 35 km south of the Fergana railroad station. The settlement has a combine for the production of antimony.



an urban-type settlement in Oknitsa Raion, Moldavian SSR. Frunze has a railroad station (Gyrbovo), on the Ok-nitsa-Zhmerinka line and a sugar-refining combine.



an urban-type settlement in Slavianoserbsk Raion, Voroshilovgrad Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Situated on the Lugan’ River of the Severskii Donets River basin, Frunze has a railroad station (Sentianovka) on the Krasnyi Liman-Rodakovo line. The settlement has enterprises of the railroad transport industry.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sources: Arkhangel'skii, Vladimir V., Frunze. Moscow, 1970.
Chinese guests examined the museum's permanent exhibition in detail and noted special significance Frunze museum, the museum said.
Absence of the state catalogue is one of the reasons behind disappearance of museum exhibits, Frunze Museum Director said at the today's meeting of Ata Meken parliamentary faction, which was considering the fact of missing 503 exhibits from the National Historical Museum and 104 exhibits from the Frunze Museum.
The capital's Erkindik Avenue will host a photo exhibition entitled "Pishpek - Frunze - Bishkek" dedicated to the City Day on September 27, according to project coordinator Zarina Nurmaganbetova.
After he returned to Frunze (former name for Bishkek), the veteran devoted himself to pedagogy and worked his way up from an ordinary teacher to a principal.
Movement of vehicles on Kiev and Frunze streets will be limited as well.
A policeman rescued three people pulling them out of the burning house in Frunze village of Sokuluk district on March 2, the press service of the Interior Ministry reported today.
Thus, persons in camouflage uniforms and black masks broke into a karaoke club Lux, located at the intersection of Prospect Mira and Frunze Street, and used physical force against the South Korean citizen.
In 1965, he entered the Frunze Art School, where he studied painting culture, understanding of beauty, attention to models and nature.