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(vlă'dĭvŏ`stŏk, –vəstŏk`, Rus. vlä'dyēvəstôk`), city (1989 pop. 634,000), capital of Maritime TerritoryMaritime Territory
or Primorsky Kray
, administrative division (1992 pop. 2,309,000), c.64,900 sq mi (168,100 sq km), Russian Far East, between China (Manchuria or the Northeast) in the west and the Sea of Japan in the east. Vladivostok is the capital.
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 (Primorsky Kray), Russian Far East, on a peninsula that extends between two bays of the Sea of Japan. It is the chief Russian port on the Pacific (kept open in winter by icebreakers), the terminus of the Trans-Siberian RRTrans-Siberian Railroad,
rail line, linking European Russia with the Pacific coast. Its construction began in 1891, on the initiative of Count S. Y. Witte, and was completed in 1905.
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 and the Northern Sea Route (see Northeast PassageNortheast Passage,
water route along the northern coast of Europe and Asia, between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Beginning in the 15th cent., efforts were made to find a new all-water route to India and China.
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), the chief base of the Russian navy in the Pacific, and a base for fishing and whaling fleets. The city has large shipyards, railyards, chemical and engineering factories, fish canneries, and food plants. Valdivostok is connected to Russky Island, to the southwest, by a 1.9-mi (3.1-km) bridge (opened 2012). The city is the chief cultural center in the Russian Far East. Among its many educational institutions are the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Far Eastern Univ. (reopened 1956). Russians and Ukrainians comprise most of the city's population.

Russia founded a military post on the site in 1860, and it became an important outpost for Russian expansion in E Asia. Vladivostok became capital of the Maritime Territory in 1888 and grew rapidly after the completion (1903) of the Trans-Siberian RR. It developed as a naval base after the loss (1905) of Port Arthur (see LüshunLüshun
, formerly Port Arthur,
Jap. Ryojun, former city, SW Liaoning prov., China, at the tip of the Liaodong peninsula. It was formerly combined with Dailian (Dairen) into the joint municipality of Lüda; it now is an adminstrative unit of Dalian.
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) to Japan. In World War I the Allies used the city as a major supply depot, and after the Russian Revolution of 1917 they occupied it. Most of the occupying forces were Japanese, but there were also about 7,500 Americans and contingents of British, Italian, and French troops. By 1920, when Vladivostok was included in the newly proclaimed Far Eastern Republic, the Japanese continued to occupy the region and installed a counterrevolutionary Russian puppet government. By 1922 all the interventionist forces had withdrawn and the city came under Soviet control. In World War II, Vladivostok was a major port for lend-lease supplies. After World War II, the port was closed to Western ships, forcing foreign traffic for the Trans-Siberian RR to off-load at NakhodkaNakhodka
, city (1989 pop. 160,000), Russian Far East, c.20 mi (32 km) E of Vladivostok, on the Sea of Japan. A port city with fewer winter ice problems than Vladivostok, Nakhodka assumed an increasingly large share of shipping from the Russian Far East during the 20th cent.
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. In 1990 it was reopened to foreign shipping.

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



a city, the administrative center of Primor’e Krai, RSFSR. It has the largest population in the Far East (441,000 in 1970; 206,000 in 1939). Vladivostok is a terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railroad and a major port on the Pacific Ocean; it also has an airport. It forms an amphitheater on the hills of the southern extremity of the Murav’ev-Amur Peninsula, around Zolotoi Rog Bay, and along the eastern shore of Amur Bay.

Vladivostok was established on June 20 (July 2), 1860, as a military post. In 1862 it was officially called a port. It became a city in 1880 and the administrative center of Primor’e Ob-last in 1888. In 1903 a direct railroad link was established between Vladivostok and Moscow. Vladivostok soon became Russia’s major port in the Far East.

In the early 20th century a social democratic group was formed in Vladivostok. Workers, soldiers, and sailors of Vladivostok actively participated in the Revolution of 1905-07. Soviet power was established there on Nov. 18 (Dec. 1), 1917. In April 1918 Japanese, American, and British forces landed in Vladivostok. Power in the city repeatedly passed from one bourgeois government to another. On Jan. 31, 1920, as a result of an uprising of the Vladivostok working people, an oblast executive committee assumed power; Soviet power was definitively established on Oct. 25, 1922, when the people’s revolutionary army of the Dal’nevostok (Far East) Republic, under the command of I. P. Uborevich and working with partisans, liberated Vladivostok. Welcoming the liberation of Vladivostok by units of the Red Army, V. I. Lenin said in his speech at the plenary session of the Moscow Soviet: “Vladivostok may be far, but it is very much our city” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45, p. 303).

Vladivostok is an important industrial center. The industry includes ship repair and the production of fish and crab canning machines, mine equipment, conveyors, pumps, and metal-frame structures. A precision instrument and radio-electronics industry has been created. Enterprises of the food industry are represented by fish and meat canning combines, dairy plants, and a confectionery factory; the building materials industry includes plants for reinforced-concrete structural elements and for precast large panels for housing construction. Vladivostok is a base of the Far Eastern whaling, crabbing, and fishing industries and of the refrigeration fleet. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of Dec. 14, 1970, Vladivostok was awarded the Order of the October Revolution.

The educational institutions of Vladivostok are represented by a university, a polytechnic institute, an institute of the technology of consumer services, a technical fishing institute, an institute of Soviet trade, a pedagogical art institute, a medical institute, a higher naval engineering school, and 12 specialized secondary educational institutions. Scientific work is done by the Far Eastern Branch of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the Pacific Scientific Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (TINRO), and other organizations. The city has three theaters, the Philharmonic Society, the Museum of the Red Banner Pacific Fleet, the TINRO Museum, a museum of local lore, a picture gallery, and a television broadcast center.

The central area of the city runs east-west from the shore of Amur Bay and parallel to the northern shore of Zolotoi Rog Bay. The city expands in the northwestern direction along the shore of Amur Bay. A number of streets and squares were rebuilt and many large public buildings constructed according to the general plans of 1936 and 1954. In 1960 a resolution was adopted on the development of Vladivostok (general plan, architect, lu. M. Kilovatov), providing for the construction of a new city center on the shores of Zolotoi Rog and Amur bays. New areas are being built up taking the complicated topography of the area into consideration: Vtoraia Rechka, Mingorodok, Koreiskaia sloboda, the Severo-Zapadnyi area of Morskoi Gorodok, and Internatsional’nyi, Sakhalin, Artel’no-Trudovoi, Begovoi, and Sportivnye streets. Recent structures include a marine terminal (1965; architects, P. I. Bronnikov and others), a hotel (1965; architects, Iu. V. Arndt and others), a House of Culture (1967; architects, V. N. Karepov and others), a widescreen motion picture theater (1969; architects, G. K. Mochul’skii and others), and the monument To the Fighters for Soviet Power (bronze and granite, 1961; sculptor, A. I. Teneta).

A group of coastal climate and mud therapy resorts are located along Amur Bay, 14 to 28 km from Vladivostok; the resorts are linked to Vladivostok by a highway and a railroad. The climate is of the monsoon type: the summer is warm (average August temperature 20° C) and the winter is moderately cold (average January temperature -15° C); the precipitation is approximately 690 mm a year. The bathing season extends from July to late September (water temperature, 18°-27° C). The resorts provide climate and mud therapy (mud from the resort city Sadgorod is exported) for disorders of the cardiovascular and nervous systems, gynecological disorders, disorders of the motor and support organs, and tuberculosis. There are sanatoriums, rest homes, and Young Pioneer camps and other children’s health institutions.


Istoriia grazhdanskoi voiny v SSSR, vol. 5. Moscow, 1960. Chapter 9.
Reikhberg, G. Razgrom iaponskoi interventsii na Dal’nem Vostoke. Moscow, 1940.
Belikova, L. Bor’ba bol’shevikov za ustanovlenie i uprochenie Sovetskoi vlasti v Primor’e (1917-1918 gg.). Vladivostok, 1957.
Vladivostok: K 100-letiiu so dnia osnovaniia, 1860-1960. Vladivostok, 1960.
Riabov, N. S., and V. A. Obertas. K istorii zastroiki Vladivostoka. Vladivostok, 1961.
Nikolaev, S. N. Vladivostok. Vladivostok, 1965. (Guide.)
Vladivostok. Moscow, 1967. (Photo album.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a port in SE Russia, on the Sea of Japan: terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway; the main Russian Pacific naval base since 1872 and chief commercial and civilian Russian port in the Far East; university (1956). Pop.: 584 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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