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see YekaterinburgYekaterinburg
or Ekaterinburg
, formerly Sverdlovsk
, city (1989 pop. 1,365,000), capital of the Sverdlovsk region and the administrative center of the Ural federal district, E European Russia, in the eastern foothills of the central Urals, on the Iset River.
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, Russia.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(before 1924, Ekaterinburg), a city and administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast, RSFSR. Sverdlovsk is one of the Soviet Union’s principal industrial, cultural, and scientific centers and a major transportation junction. Renamed in honor of Ia. M. Sverdlov, the city is situated on the eastern slopes of the Central Urals, on the Iset’ River, a tributary of the Tobol; it covers more than 400 sq km and comprises 12 city districts. During the years of socialist construction, Sverdlovsk has grown to become the 13th largest city in the USSR. In 1975 it had a population of 1.147 million (approximately 43,000 in 1897,140,000 in 1926,423,000 in 1939,779,000 in 1959, and 1.025 million in 1970).

Sverdlovsk is considered to have been founded on Nov. 7 (18), 1723, the date on which the first unit of the State Metallurgical Plant, built on the Iset’ River on the initiative of V. N. Tatishchev, came into production. The Iset’ Plant and the nearby fortress were soon thereafter named Ekaterinburg, in honor of Empress Catherine I. From the 18th century, Ekaterinburg was the center of the mining industry in the Urals and the seat of the Urals Mining Board. In 1796 it became a district capital in Perm’ Province. In 1878 it was linked with Perm’ by a railroad, which was extended to Tiumen’ in 1885 and to Cheliabinsk in 1896. In the early 20th century, the ctiy had more than 3,500 factory workers and more than 1,700 artisans.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Ekaterinburg was a center of the revolutionary movement in the Urals. In 1897 the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class was organized here, and in 1903, the Central Urals committee of the RSDLP. In 1905–06 and in 1917, Ia. M. Sverdlov conducted party work in the city.

Soviet power was established in Ekaterinburg on Oct. 26 (Nov. 8), 1917. In July 1918 the deposed emperor Nicholas II was executed here by firing squad by decree of the Urals oblast soviet. On July 25, 1918, the city fell to the White Czechs; it subsequently was ruled by the White Guards. It was liberated on July 14–15, 1919, as a result of the Ekaterinburg Operation of 1919. In 1919 it was made the administrative center of Ekaterinburg Province, in 1923 the administrative center of Ural’sk Oblast, and in 1934 the administrative center of Sverdlovsk Oblast.

Between 1929 and 1940, the years of the first five-year plans, Sverdlovsk’s various enterprises were modernized and large new plants for heavy and chemical machine building were built, for example, Uralmash and Uralelektrotiazhmash. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, the city’s industry produced various types of military hardware, such as tanks, self-propelled artillery, and field guns. In this period, machine-building enterprises increased their output by a factor of five to seven, and several branches of machine building, those that produced machines for the energy, chemical, and metallurgical industries, were virtually built anew. Several new plants came into production, including the Urals Chemical Machine-building Plant and an instrument plant. On Nov. 16, 1973, for its contributions in labor and to the revolution and the war effort and in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of its founding, Sverdlovsk was awarded the Order of Lenin.

Several eminent figures were born in Sverdlovsk, including the heat engineer I. I. Polzunov, the writer F. M. Reshetnikov, and the artist A. K. Denisov-Ural’skii. The writers D. N. Ma-min-Sibiriak and P. P. Bazhov lived and worked here.

Sverdlovsk is a major machine-building center in the USSR. Of particular note are the Urals Heavy Machine-building Plant, the Urals Chemical Machine-building Plant, Uralelektrotiazhmash, and the Urals Turbine Engine Plant; the plants produce equipment for mining, metallurgy, electric-power generation, the chemical industry, and other branches of heavy industry. The city’s various machine-building plants also produce machinery for commercial enterprises and public eating places, household appliances, medical equipment, and various metal products, for example, ball bearings, metal-cutting tools, and steel and electrical cables.

Ferrous metallurgy is one of Sverdlovsk’s leading industries. The Verkhnii Iset’ Metallurgical Plant and the steel-casting shops of the large machine-building plants (small-scale metallurgy) are prominent in this respect. The chemical industry has also grown rapidly, especially since 1945; the city’s chemical plants produce plastics, chemical reagents, rubber goods, pharmaceuticals, and antibiotics. The footwear industry is represented by several enterprises, including the Uralobuv’ Production Association and a sports-footwear factory. Sverdlovsk also has a worsted combine, a factory for spinning and weaving flax, a furniture firm, a meat-packing plant, flour-milling combines, and a confectionery factory. The building-materials industry is represented by plants for the production of large panels used in housing construction, cellular concrete, and gypsum products and by housing-construction combines and a ceramics plant. The city has the Russian Gems Plant and a jewelry plant. Sverdlovsk’s electric-power needs are met by the Urals Energy System.

Several railroads converge in Sverdlovsk, including the Mos-cow-Perm’-Tiumen’ line, the Moscow-Kazan-Sverdlovsk-Kamensk-Ural’skii-Kurgan line, the Polunochnoe-Serov-Nizhnii Tagil-Sverdlovsk-Cheliabinsk line, and the Tavda-Ir-bit-Sverdlovsk line. The city is also a highway junction. It has two airports. The Middle Asia-Urals and North Tiumen’ Oblast-Urals gas pipelines supply the city with natural gas.

Sverdlovsk has expanded along the hilly banks of the Iset’ and in the area between the Iset’ and Pyshma rivers. Rivers within the city limits have in places been damned, and a series of reservoirs has been formed. The largest reservoir is the Verkh-Isetskii Pond; others are the Gorodskoi, Ol’khovskii, Parkovyi, and Nizhneisetskii ponds, which stretch in a chain across most of the city for approximately 20 km.

The rectangular network of streets in downtown Sverdlovsk’ is derived from the grid plan of the 18th-century Urals fortress-plant and from the comprehensive city plans of 1804, 1829, 1845, which the architect M. P. Malakhov helped draw up. Several buildings in the classical style have been preserved, including the Mining Office (1737–39; rebuilt 1833–35 according to a design by M. P. Malakhov) and the residence of Rastorguev-Kharitonov (now a palace of Pioneers; 1794–1824, architect M. P. Malakhov).

Since the late 1920’s, Sverdlovsk has been modernized and built up at a rapid pace. Its principal thoroughfare—V. I. Lenin Prospect—and nearby districts have been given distinctive architectural form by the large public buildings and apartment houses, done primarily in the constructivist style, including the House of Offices (1930; architect V. I. Smirnov), the Chekist Town residential complex (1931; architects I. P. Antonov, V. D. Sokolov, and others), and the Higher Technical School campus (1929–39). Near the new plants built in the late 1920’s and in the 1930’s, public hearings and large apartment complexes have sprung up, for example, the Uralmash socialist town (1929–40; architects P. V. Oranskii and M. I. Reisher). In Sverdlovsk, now a much larger city in terms of area, residential districts have been nicely interspersed with large forest parks, which extend deep into the center of the city. In 1959 large-scale construction was begun on large-block and large-panel apartment houses within the city and in the suburban Southwest, Uktus, and other districts. Total living area in the city amounts to 13.6 million sq m, of which 10.7 million sq m were built between 1940 and 1973. A comprehensive plan for Sverdlovsk has been approved (1972; architects K. A. Uzkikh, V. A. Piskunov, and others).

Downtown Sverdlovsk is expanding along the Iset’ River. Several new structures have been built, including the Cosmos Cinema and Concert Hall (1967; architects G. I. Beliankin, V. P. Zonov, and others), the Sverdlovsk Hotel (1969; architect A. B. Fishzon), the House of Political Education (1970), and the Palace of Youth (1973; architects G. I. Beliankin and others). Construction on a museum and memorial complex on History Square is under way (1973). Sverdlovsk has various monuments, including monuments to Ia. M. Sverdlov (1927; sculptor M. Ia. Kharlamov, architect S. V. Dobrovol’skii), G. K. Ord-zhonikidze (1955; sculptor G. V. Neroda, architect A. A. Boi-ko), and V. I. Lenin (1957; sculptor V. I. Ingal, architect A. I. Pribul’skii) and a monument, with an eternal flame, to the heroes of the Revolution and the Civil War of 1918–20 (1919–20; reconstructed 1959 according to a design by architects Iu. F. Potapov and M. A. Izmodenov).

Before 1917, Sverdlovsk had 53 schools, with 5,900 pupils, and three specialized educational institutions, with 300 pupils. In 1974 it had 529 preschool institutions, with 68,900 children. In the 1974–75 academic year, it had 164,100 pupils in 214 general-educational schools of all types, 16,000 students in 28 vocational schools, and 47,000 students in 34 specialized educational institutions at the secondary level. Approximately 84,000 students were enrolled at 13 institutions of higher education, including the Urals University, the Urals Polytechnic Institute, an electromechanical institute for railroad-transportation engineers, and institutes for the study of agriculture, forestry, jurisprudence, architecture, medicine, pedagogy, mining, and economics. The Urals Research Center of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR is in Sverdlovsk.

On Jan. 1, 1975, Sverdlovsk had 181 public libraries, with a total of 6.6 million books and journals. It has six museums: the Oblast Museum of Local Lore, the D. N. Mamin-Sibiriak Literary Museum, the Oblast Picture Gallery, the Urals Geological Museum, the Ia. M. Sverdlov Memorial Museum, and the P. P. Bazhov House-Museum.

Sverdlovsk is one of the most important music and theater centers in the RSFSR. Its first professional theater troupe, formed in 1843 by the entrepreneur P. A. Sokolov and made up primarily of serf-actors, presented plays, operas, and operettas. Theater buildings were erected in 1847 and 1912. In 1975, Sverdlovsk had the Sverdlovsk Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Sverdlovsk Drama Theater, the Theater of Musical Comedy (since 1933), the Young People’s Theater (1930), the Puppet Theater (1930), a philharmonic society (1936), a conservatory (1934), the Urals Folk Chorus, and a music school. In 1974 it had several periodical publications, such as the oblast newspaper Ural’skii rabochii (since 1907), the Komsomol newspaper Na smenu (1920), and the municipal newspaper Vechernii Sverdlovsk (1957). Sverdlovsk receives four relay programs from All-Union Radio; local radio programs are broadcast seven hours a day. Programs from Central Television are broadcast 11.3 hours a day, and local television programs, four hours a day. Sverdlovsk has a radio and television studio.

In 1974, Sverdlovsk had 63 hospitals, with a total of 16,100 beds, or 14 beds per 1,000 inhabitants; in 1913 it had only 11 hospitals, with 299 beds, and in 1940, 29 hospitals, with 4,500 beds. In 1974 it had 6,900 physicians, or one physician for every 172 inhabitants; in 1913 it had 69 physicians, and in 1940, 1,238. There are seven children’s sanatoriums, with a total of 1,400 beds; in 1940, there were 10, with 580 beds. Since 1931, Sverdlovsk has had a medical institute, with departments of medicine pediatrics, and public hygiene. Local medical scientific research institutes do varied research, notably on viral infections, health-resort science and physiotherapy, tuberculosis, occupational hygiene and occupational diseases, maternity and child care, traumatology, and orthopedics.


Komar, I. V. Sverdlovsk. Moscow, 1954.
Ekonomika Sverdlovska prezhde i teper’. Sverdlovsk, 1967.
Arkhipova, N. P. Okrestnosti Sverdlovska, 2nd ed. Sverdlovsk, 1972.
Sverdlovsk: Putevoditel’-spravochnik. Sverdlovsk, 1973.
Vekhi istorii: K 250-letiiu Sverdlovska. Sverdlovsk, 1973.
Ocherki istorii Sverdlovska, 1723–1973. Sverdlovsk, 1973.
Sverdlovsk: Ekskursii bez ekskursovoda. Sverdlovsk, 1973.
Sverdlovsk. Sverdlovsk, 1973. (An album of photographs.)
Sverdlovsk: Ukazatel’ literatury. Sverdlovsk, 1973.



a city (since 1938) under oblast jurisdiction and administrative center of Sverdlovsk Raion, Voroshilovgrad Oblast, Ukrainian SSR; located 5 km from Dolzhanskaia railroad junction. Population, 69,000 (1975; 37,000 in 1939, 62,000 in 1959, and 68,000 in 1970). Coal is extracted from ten nearby mines; the city has three ore-enrichment plants. Local plants repair mining equipment and produce housewares and rein-forced-concrete items. Sverdlovsk also has food processing and light industry.

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