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(pĭnsk, Rus. pēnsk), city (1989 pop. 118,636), S Belarus, in the Pripyat Marshes and at the confluence of the Pina and Pripyat rivers. A port on the Pina River (part of the Dnieper-Buh waterway), it has long been a noted water transport junction; timber is now the chief export. Pinsk is also a rail terminus. Industries include the manufacture of metal products, building materials, and clothing. A national university is in the city.

Mentioned in the chronicles in 1097 as part of the Kievan state, the city became the capital of Pinsk duchy in the 13th cent. It passed to Lithuania in 1320 and to Poland in 1569. Pinsk was transferred to Russia in 1793 with the second partition of Poland; it reverted to Poland in 1921 but was ceded to the USSR in 1945. During the German occupation of World War II, the city's Jews (who had formed a majority of the population) were mostly exterminated.

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city under oblast jurisdiction, administrative center of Pinsk Raion, Brest Oblast, Byelorussian SSR. Pinsk is situated on the left bank of the Pina River at the Pina’s confluence with the Pripiat’ River, 180 km east of Brest. It has a railroad station on the Brest-Luninets line and a port. Population, 77,100 (1974).

Pinsk is first mentioned in the chronicles for 1097. During the period of Kievan Rus’, it was part of the Turov-Pinsk Principality; at the end of the 12th century it became the capital of an independent principality. Circa 1318 it came under Lithuanian rule, and in 1521 under Polish rule. It became part of Russia in 1793.

The production of leather, felt, bricks, and other goods began in Pinsk during the first half of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 20th century, the city had railroad yards, a steamship-construction plant, and a match factory. The number of workers increased from 300 in 1883 to 4,000 in 1901. A group of Iskra revolutionaries were active in Pinsk in 1901, and in 1905 a Social Democratic organization was formed. During World War I, beginning on Sept. 15, 1915, Pinsk was occupied by German troops.

Soviet power was established in the city on Dec. 25, 1918. In accordance with the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921, Pinsk was ceded to bourgeois Poland. On Sept. 20, 1939, it was liberated by the Red Army, and together with Western Byelorussia it became part of the Byelorussian SSR. From July 4, 1941, through July 14, 1944, Pinsk was occupied by fascist German troops, who inflicted heavy damage on the city. Its inhabitants took part in the partisan movement, particularly in the group led by V. Z. Korzh (Komarov).

During the postwar period, Pinsk was reconstructed, and industry and scientific and cultural institutions were developed further. The city saw the growth of light industry (a knitwear combine, a synthetic-leather plant, and a flax-processing plant), as well as of the woodworking and food-processing industries. Pinsk has shipyards, foundries, machinery works, excavator-repair plants, and plants that manufacture reinforced-concrete products. It is the center for the Byelorussian SSR’s program for land reclamation and drainage. Also in Pinsk are the All-Union Institute for Designing Reclamation Systems, the Poles’e Complex Section of the Byelorussian Scientific Research Institute of Reclamation and Water Systems, and six specialized secondary educational institutions—vocational instructors training, water and land reclamation, meat and dairy, and accounting tech-nicums, a pedagogical school, and a medical school. Pinsk has a museum of local lore and a people’s amateur dramatic theater.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in SW Belarus: capital of a principality (13th--14th centuries). Pop.: 134 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005