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a city, the administrative center of Kozel’sk Raion, Kaluga Oblast, RSFSR. On the Zhizdra River (a tributary of the Oka), 72 km southwest of Kaluga. A junction of railroad lines to Smolensk, Gorbachevo, and Tula.
Kozel’sk is first mentioned in a chronicle in 1146 as part of the principality of Chernigov. Kozel’sk became famous for its courageous defense in the spring of 1238 against the troops of Khan Batu, who named Kozel’sk the “evil city.” (The inhabitants of Kozel’sk defended themselves over a period of seven weeks, wiped out 4,000 Mongol-Tatars, and, preferring death to capture, all perished in unequal battle.) Kozel’sk was temporarily under the authority of Lithuania in 1446. It became part of the principality of Moscow in 1494. One of I. I. Bolotnikov’s detachments, which was stubbornly resisting tsarist troops, found itself in Kozel’sk in 1607. It became a district city in 1776.
Soviet power was established in Kozel’sk on Dec. 7–8 (20–21), 1917. It was occupied by fascist German troops from October 1941 to Dec. 27, 1941, and was almost completely destroyed. The city was rebuilt in the postwar years. A glass factory, metal-working plant, and brickyard are located in Kozel’sk. Architectural monuments remaining intact include the Voznesenskaia Church (1620’s), the baroque Nikol’skaia Church (1740), and the classical Blagoveshchenskaia Church (1810) and the Pokrovskaia Church (1835).