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Ulan-Ude(o͞olän'-o͞odĕ`), city (1989 pop. 353,000), capital of the Buryat Republic, SE Siberian Russia, on the Selenga River near its confluence with the Uda. A major transportation hub, it is a river port, a junction on the Trans-Siberian RR, and the starting point of a railway to Ulaanbaatar and Beijing. Industries include railroad maintenance, ship repairing, sawmilling, food processing, meat canning, and the manufacture of locomotives. Founded in 1649 as a Cossack winter encampment, Ulan-Ude became a fortress in 1689 and a city in 1775. It developed as an important trade center of Transbaykalia, along the tea route to China. The city became the capital of the Far Eastern Republic in 1920 and of the Buryat-Mongol Autonomous SSR in 1923. Formerly called Udinsk and Verkhneudinsk, it was named Ulan-Ude in 1934.
(until 1934, Verkhneudinsk), the capital of the Buriat ASSR.
Ulan-Ude is situated on the right bank of the Selenga River, at the Uda’s confluence with the Selenga, 75 km east of Lake Baikal. An important railroad junction on the Trans-Siberian Railroad, from which there is a line southward to the border of the Mongolian People’s Republic, it is also an important junction of highways leading north, south, and northeast. It is a landing on the Selenga River and has an airport. It is very important for the transport of transit freight, including exports and imports, especially to and from the Mongolian People’s Republic. Ulan-Ude occupies an area of 170 sq km and is divided into three urban raions. Population, 302,000 (1976; 28,000 in 1926, 125,000 in 1939,175,000 in 1959, and 263,000 in 1970).
Ulan-Ude was founded in 1666 as the cossack wintering quarters of Udinskoe. From 1689 it was the Verkhneudinskaia Fortress, around which the city grew. In the 17th century it was the administrative and military center of Transbaikalia. Beginning in 1783 it was known as Verkhneudinsk and was first a district capital of the Irkutsk Namestnichestvo (Vicegerency), then of Irkutsk Province. From 1851 it was located in Transbaikal Oblast, during which time it was a major commercial center. In 1899 the Trans-Siberian Railroad was laid through the city, which furthered the city’s economic development. Until 1905, Verkhneudinsk served as a place of exile.
From 1905 to 1917, Verkhneudinsk was the center of the revolutionary struggle in the Cisbaikal Region. Soviet power was established in February 1918. In the period 1918-20 the city was occupied by the White Guards and by the foreign interventionists. From April to October 1920 it was the capital of the Far East Republic. In 1921 and 1922 it was the administrative center of the Buriat Autonomous Oblast in the Far East Republic. Beginning in 1923, it was the capital of the Buriat-Mongolian ASSR (from 1958, the Buriat ASSR). On July 27,1934, it was renamed Ulan-Ude (“Red Uda”).
Under Soviet power, Ulan-Ude has been transformed into a major industrial center of Eastern Siberia. The main branches of industry are machine building and metalworking, which together account for more than 30 percent of the city’s gross industrial output; light industry, which accounts for more than 30 percent; and food processing, which accounts for 20 percent. Other industries are the production of building materials and woodworking, which together account for 5 percent of the gross industrial output. The city numbers 46 industrial enterprises, the largest of which are an aircraft factory, a factory for the production of locomotives and the repair of railroad cars, a shipyard, the Elektromashina and Teplopribor instrument-making plants, a plant for the construction of metal-bridge structural members, meat-packing, milling, and milk combines, a combine for the production of fine-wool cloth, and factories for the production of macaroni products, confectioneries, and felt boots. The leading enterprises for the production of building materials are a plant for reinforced-concrete products, a glassworks, and a house-building combine. There is a thermal electric power plant in the city.
Most of Ulan-Ude’s older districts are situated in the low-lying areas along the river and to some extent still retain the regular layout of the late 18th century. Architectural monuments include the Odigitrievskii Cathedral (1741-85), the Great Commercial Rows and Merchants’ Quarter (1803-56; architect A. P. Losev), and dwellings in the classical style.
Since the establishment of Soviet power, the foothill plain has been built up. According to the general plans of 1947-50 (Lengi-propor Institute, architect S. L. Permut) and 1964 (architect L. N. Puterman), a new center was created, dominated by the Square of the Soviets and the Square of the Revolution, linked by Lenin Street. Major avenues and new residential districts have been built. The House of Soviets (1928-31; architect A. A. 01’), the Buriat Theater of Opera and Ballet (1947-52; architect A. N. Fedorov), and other buildings have also been erected. Among the city’s monuments are the monuments to V. I. Lenin (granite, 1971; sculptors G. V. Neroda and Iu. G. Neroda; architect A. N. Dushkin), to the fighters who gave their lives for communism in 1918-20 (granite, 1920-26; architect A. S. Kotov; moved to the Square of the Revolution in 1969), and to the Buriat soldiers who died on the battlefield during the Great Patriotic War (bronze and granite, 1970; sculptor A. I. Timin; architect V. G. Bel’gaev).
Ulan-Ude is the scientific, scholarly, and cultural center of the Buriat ASSR. It is the site of the Buriat branch of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, with scientific research institutes in the natural and social sciences and sections on geological and economic research and biologically active substances of Indo-Tibetan medicine. It has four higher educational institutions—in technology, agriculture, pedagogy, and culture— and 17 specialized secondary educational institutions. Museums include a museum of local lore, an ethnographic museum, a museum of fine arts, and the Ts. S. Sampilov house-museum. Among the cultural institutions are (1976) the Kh. Namsaraev Buriat Theater of Drama, the Buriat Theater of Opera and Ballet, the Russian Dramatic Theater, the Buriat Puppet Theater, and a philharmonic society.
REFERENCESDondukov, Ts. Ts. Ulan-Ude: Istoriko-kraevedcheskii ocherk. Ulan-Ude, 1965.
Kim, N. V. Ocherki istorii Ulan-Ude (XVII-nachalo XIX vv,). Ulan-Ude, 1966.
Serebriakova, R. A. Ulan-Ude: Putevoditel’. Ulan-Ude, 1968.
Ulan-Ude—300 let. [A photographic album.] Ulan-Ude, 1966.