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(məgnyē'təgôrsk`), city (1990 pop. 440,000), SW Siberian Russia, on the slopes of Mt. Magnitnaya in the S Urals, on the Ural River. Built (1929–31) under the first Five-Year Plan on the site of iron deposits, the city became a symbol of Soviet industrial growth. Coking coal for steel production comes from the Kuznetsk and Qaraghandy basins; there are also numerous coke and chemical plants. Magnitogorsk was a leading steel manufacturer during World War II, and though it is still a major metallurgical center, steel production has declined sharply.


See S. Kotkin, Steeltown, USSR (1992) and Magnetic Mountain (1995).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Cheliabinsk Oblast, RSFSR. Located at the foot of Magnitnaia Mountain, on the eastern slope of the southern Urals, on both banks of the Ural River. One of the largest centers of the metallurgical industry of the USSR. Population, 379,000 (1973; 311,000 in 1959 and 146,000 in 1939). In 1930 a railroad line linking Magnitogorsk with the Kartaly station (on the Troitsk-Orsk line) was laid. The city has three city raions. It sprang up in 1929-31 in connection with the construction of the Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine. The major enterprises (apart from the metallurgical combine) are a calibration plant, a crane plant, a plant for the repair of mining and metallurgical equipment, and a metallurgical and general metal goods plant. Also developed are the construction materials industry, light industry (garment and footwear factories), and food industry (a dairy plant, a meat combine). The city’s gas is supplied via the Middle Asia-Ural pipeline.

The construction of Magnitogorsk began on the left bank of the Ural River, where Pushkin Avenue was created with a hotel (1929), the CPSU city committee building (1934, architect P. I. Bronnikov), and the Palace of Metallurgists (1936, architects P. I. Bronnikov and M. Kupovskoi). Housing construction consists of completely built-up blocks along the main routes and regularly laid-out settlements with individual dwellings. There has been construction on the right bank since 1945 (the general plan of 1940 was reworked from 1945 to 1948 by the Lengiprogor Institute, architects Iu. M. Kilovatov and others; the detailed planning design is by the architect L. O. Bumazhnyi and others); the two halves of the city are joined by three main roads with embankment-bridges across the reservoir (on the Ural River); the main streets of the right bank are parallel to the reservoir. In the center of the right-bank city is a square linked to a park by radial streets (the main one being Avenue of the Metallurgists). Initially, small and completely built-up housing blocks with low structures were built; after 1953, microraions with four-story and five-story houses were constructed. The House of the Soviets, a theater, a concert hall, the new Palace of the Metallurgists, and a stadium have been built.

Institutes of mining and metallurgy and of pedagogy, eight specialized secondary schools, drama and puppet theaters, and a museum of local lore are in the city.

On Jan. 28, 1971, Magnitogorsk was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.


Serzhantov, V. G. Magnitogorsk. Cheliabinsk, 1955.
Kazarinova, V. I., and V. I. Pavlichenkov. Magnitogorsk. Moscow, 1961. Iz istorii Magnitogorskogo metallurgicheskogo kombinata i goroda Magnitogorska. (1929-1941): Sbornik dokumentov i materialov. Cheliabinsk, 1965.
Magnitka: Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk. Cheliabinsk, 1971.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in central Russia, on the Ural River: founded in 1930 to exploit local magnetite ores; site of one of the world's largest, metallurgical plants. Pop.: 415 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005