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(ômsk), city (1989 pop. 1,148,000), capital of Omsk region, W Siberian Russia, at the confluence of the Irtysh and Om rivers and on the Trans-Siberian RR. It is a major river port and produces agricultural machinery and railway equipment. There are also oil refineries supplied by pipelines from the West Siberian basin. Factories in Omsk also produce footwear, clothing, tires, and consumer goods. Founded as a fortress in 1716, Omsk became a major transportation and administrative center in the 19th cent. and a place of detention for political exiles. Feodor DostoyevskyDostoyevsky or Dostoevsky, Feodor Mikhailovich
, 1821–81, Russian novelist, one of the towering figures of world literature.
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 was imprisoned there from 1849 to 1853. During the civil war that followed the Revolution of 1917, Omsk served as headquarters of the anti-Bolshevik armed forces of Admiral A. V. Kolchak.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city; administrative center of Omsk Oblast, RSFSR. Situated at the confluence of the Om’ and Irtysh rivers. A major port on the Irtysh and a railroad junction on the trunk line of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, the city also has an airport. The area of the city is 43,600 hectares. In 1974 its population was 935,000 (113,700 in 1917; 161,700 in 1926; 288,900 in 1939; 581,100 in 1959; and 821,100 in 1970). In population and area the city ranks second in Siberia (after Novosibirsk). There are seven municipal districts in Omsk.

History. Founded in 1716 as a fortress, Omsk was the district city of Tobol’sk Vicegerency (1782–97) and of Tobol’sk Province (1804–22, 1839–68), as well the administrative center of Omsk Oblast (1822–39) and Akmolinsk Oblast (1895–1918). It was the administrative center of the Siberian Cossack Host (1808–1917), the governor-generalship of Western Siberia (1824–82), and the Steppe governor-generalship (1882–1917). Since the end of the 18th century the city has had a landing on the Irtysh. In 1894–95 a branch of the Siberian Railroad connected Omsk with Cheliabinsk and Ob’, and in 1913 a line was built to Tiumen’. At the beginning of the 20th century, Omsk was the trading center for Western Siberia (the export of agricultural products). Industry was poorly developed. Soviet power was established in the city on Nov. 30 (Dec. 13), 1917, and at the beginning of 1918, Omsk became a provincial city. In June 1918 it was captured by White Guards and became the capital of the Kolchak “government.” It was liberated by the Red Army on Nov. 14, 1919. From 1919 to 1922 the Siberian Revolutionary Committee had its headquarters in Omsk. From 1925 to 1930, Omsk was a district administrative center and from 1930 to 1934, a raion administrative center of Siberian Krai (since 1930, Western Siberian Krai). It has been an oblast administrative center since 1934. In 1971, Omsk was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. The city is the birthplace of V. V. Kuibyshev.

Economy. During the period of socialist construction Omsk became Siberia’s major industrial center. The main branches of industry are machine building, oil refining, light industry, and food processing. The city’s plants produce motors, spare parts for tractors and motor vehicles, trailer trucks, farm machinery, electrical instruments, and equipment for light industry and food processing. There are plants specializing in machine building for the chemical industry. A major oil-refining complex processes oil from the Middle Ob’ region, which has been shipped regularly to Omsk since 1965 along the Ob’ and the Irtysh. Since 1967, oil has been delivered via the Ust’-Balyk-Omsk pipeline (1,036 km). The chemical industry is represented by plants that produce tires, synthetic rubber, chemicals, and carbon black and industrial rubber goods. The petrochemical industry has developed as a branch of oil refining. There is a shipyard, a wood products plant, and a plant manufacturing gas equipment. Among the city’s other developed industries are light industry (factories producing leather goods, textiles, footwear, sheepskins and sheepskin coats, garments, cloth, furniture, and carpets), food processing (for example, a meat-packing plant and a milling combine), and the building materials industry (bricks and rein-forced-concrete products). There are four regional electric power plants with a total capacity of approximately 900 megawatts.

Architecture and city planning. Until 1973, construction was concentrated on the right bank of the Irtysh. The erection of residential and industrial buildings on the left bank is among the goals of the city’s general plan (1970). Among the buildings from the prerevolutionary period are the Drama Theater (1901–05, architect I. G. Khvorinov) and the Oblast Executive Committee building (1914–17, architect V. A. Prusakov). Contemporary buildings include the Oil Workers’ Palace of Culture (1960–62, architects M. A. Miskevich and G. G. Protopopov) and the river terminal (1961–63, main architects S. A. Mikhailov and T. P. Sadovskii). A motion-picture and concert hall was built between 1965 and 1967 (architects A. M. Karimov and A. I. Iumakaev), as was a young people’s theater (architect V. N. Belousov). The most recent structure is a circus built between 1969 and 1973 (standard design modified by the architects Iu. A. Zakharov, A. I. Lunin, and A. I. Iumakaev).

Education, cultural affairs, and public health. The city has nine institutions of higher learning: the University of Omsk, the Omsk Medical Institute, and the Omsk Institute for Agriculture, as well as polytechnic, veterinary, motor and highways, railroad transport engineering, pedagogical, and physical culture institutes. There are 29 specialized secondary educational institutions. Located in the city are a number of scientific research institutes, including the Siberian Scientific Research Institute of Agriculture. Omsk has four theaters—a drama theater, a musical comedy theater, a young people’s theater, and a puppet theater. There is a museum of local lore and a fine arts museum.

In 1913, Omsk had eight hospitals with 404 beds (4.5 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), four outpatient clinics, and 54 practicing physicians (one per 1,700 inhabitants). By 1974, there were 55 hospitals with 11,900 beds (13.3 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), as compared with 27 hospitals and 3,100 beds in 1940 (10.2 beds per 1,000 inhabitants). There were 96 outpatient clinics and polyclinics in 1974, as well as 11 public health epidemiology stations (in 1940, 30 outpatient clinics and polyclinics and four public health epidemiology stations). Institutions for children, which could accommodate only 1,300 patients in 1940, had 45,100 places in 1973. The city had 4,800 practicing physicians in 1973 (one per 185 inhabitants), as compared with 804 in 1940 (one per 370 inhabitants). There are four sanatoriums within the city limits. A scientific research institute of infectious diseases (founded in 1921) is located in Omsk.


Iurasova, M. K. Omsk: Ocherki istorii goroda. Omsk, 1972. (Contains a bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in W central Russia, at the confluence of the Irtysh and Om Rivers: a major industrial centre, with pipelines from the second Baku oilfield. Pop.: 1 132 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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