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Related to Volgograd: Stalingrad


(vôlgəgrät`), formerly


city (1989 pop. 999,000), capital of Volgograd region, SE European Russia, a port on the Volga River and the eastern terminus of the Volga-Don Canal. As a transshipment point, the port handles oil, coal, ore, lumber, and fish. Volgograd is also a major rail center, with connections to Moscow, the Donets Basin, the Caucasus, and SW Siberia. A large hydroelectric dam stands on the Volga just above the city. A center of heavy industry, Volgograd has shipyards, oil refineries, steel and aluminum mills, and tank, tractor, cable, machinery, and chemical factories. Other industries include food processing, flour milling, distilling, sawmilling, tanning, and the manufacture of farm and oil-field equipment.

Founded in 1589 as a stronghold to defend Russia's newly acquired land along the Volga, the city was originally called Tsaritsyn. It fell to the Cossack rebels under Stenka Razin in 1670 and Yemelyan Pugachev in 1774. In the 19th cent. it became an important commercial center. During the Russian civil war the city was defended (1918) by Soviet forces under StalinStalin, Joseph Vissarionovich
, 1879–1953, Soviet Communist leader and head of the USSR from the death of V. I. Lenin (1924) until his own death, b. Gori, Georgia.
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, VoroshilovVoroshilov, Kliment Yefremovich
, 1881–1969, Soviet military leader and public official. A Bolshevik from 1903, he was an active revolutionary prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and an outstanding Red Army commander in the civil war (1918–20) that followed it.
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, and BudennyBudenny, Semyon Mikhailovich
, 1883–1973, Russian marshal. A sergeant major in the czarist cavalry, he joined the Communist party in 1919, helped to organize the Soviet cavalry, and served in the Russian civil war (1918–20). He was made marshal in 1935.
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, but White troops under DenikinDenikin, Anton Ivanovich
, 1872–1947, Russian general. The son of a serf, he rose from the ranks. After the Bolshevik Revolution in Nov., 1917 (Oct., 1917, O.S.), he joined General Kornilov, whom he succeeded (1918) as commander of the anti-Bolshevik forces in the south.
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 took it in 1919–20. The city was renamed Stalingrad in 1925, then Volgograd in 1961, following Nikita KhrushchevKhrushchev, Nikita Sergeyevich
, 1894–1971, Soviet Communist leader, premier of the USSR (1958–64), and first secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union (1953–64).
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's denunciations of Stalin's dictatorship.

During World War II, the city was nearly destroyed in a battle that marked a major turning point in the war and a landmark in military history. In Sept., 1942, a German army exceeding 500,000 men (including Italians, Hungarians, and Romanians) and commanded by Gen. Friedrich von Paulus began an all-out attack on Stalingrad, which was defended by 16 Soviet divisions under Gen. Vasily I. Chuikov. Stalin ordered that the city be held at all costs. After two months of house-to-house fighting, the Germans had taken most of the city, but the Soviet garrison, receiving supplies across the Volga, held out, thus giving Gen. Georgi ZhukovZhukov, Georgi Konstantinovich
, 1896–1974, Soviet marshal. He fought in the October Revolution (1917) and in the civil war (1918–20), which brought the Bolsheviks to power, and saw action against the Japanese on the Manchurian border (1938–39) and in the
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 time to prepare a counteroffensive.

Hitler reaffirmed his intention to take Stalingrad, despite great losses and lack of reserves. He refused, against his general staff's advice, to allow Paulus to withdraw. In Nov., 1942, two Soviet forces, advancing from the north and south in a pincers movement, encircled the Germans. In December a German relief force was routed. Paulus surrendered the remnants of his army on Feb. 2, 1943. The combined German and Soviet losses during the battle were staggering—the Germans alone suffered approximately 300,000 casualties. The Soviets followed up with a westward drive and generally remained on the offensive for the remainder of the war. Rebuilding began immediately after the city's liberation.


See A. Beevor, Stalingrad (1998).

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



(until 1925, Tsaritsyn; until 1961, Stalingrad), a city and center of Volgograd Oblast, RSFSR. Situated on a bend in the lower reaches of the Volga, it extends for more than 70 km along its right bank. The V. I. Lenin Volga-Don Ship Canal begins in Volgograd. The city is a large river port and an important railroad junction, with lines to Moscow, Kazan, the Tikhoretskaia railroad junction in the Caucasus, the Likhaia railroad junction in the Donets Basin, and Astrakhan’. Population (1970), 818,000 (55,000 in 1897, 148,000 in 1926, 445,000 in 1939, and 591,000 in 1959). Volgograd is divided into seven city-raions for administrative purposes.

The city was founded in the 16th century on an island across from the confluence of the Tsarita and Volga rivers to protect the Volga trade route at the junction (crossportage) of the Volga and Don rivers. At the beginning of the 17th century Tsaritsyn burned down and was rebuilt in 1615 on the right bank of the Volga. During the 17th and 18th centuries Tsaritsyn was a major center of the struggle of the people against feudal exploitation. In May 1670 the city was seized by detachments of S. T. Razin. In August 1774 the troops of E. I. Pugachev defeated a large detachment of tsarist troops near Tsaritsyn. In 1782, Tsaritsyn became the chief town of a district of Saratov Province.

With the development of capitalism in Russia, a timber processing industry developed rapidly; by 1915 there were 45 sawmills with 20,000 workers. The largest petroleum yard on the Volga was constructed by the Nobel Association; the boiler shops of the Frenchman Barrot, the Ural-Volga metallurgical plant (1898), and other enterprises were also constructed there. In the second half of the 19th century several railroad lines were laid through Tsaritsyn, and the city became a large railroad junction, linked with central Russia, the Donbas, and the Caucasus.

A Social Democratic organization was formed in the city in 1905. The workers actively participated in the Revolution of 1905-07 and the Great October Socialist Revolution. Soviet power was established on Nov. 4 (17), 1917. The heroic Tsaritsyn Defense of 1918-19 ruined the plans for the unification of the southern interventionist forces with those of the Eastern Front. The city was awarded the Battle Revolutionary Banner of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (May 14, 1919) and the Order of the Red Banner (Apr. 14, 1924). During the years of Soviet power, Volgograd has become one of the country’s largest industrial and cultural centers. Old factories have been reconstructed and 50 new ones built, including the first tractor factory in the USSR. From July 1942 through February 1943, on the appreaches to the city and in the city itself, the heroic battle of the Soviet Army with the fascist German invaders took place (Battle of Stalingrad of 1942-43). The For the Defense of Stalingrad medal was introduced on Dec. 22, 1942, in honor of the valiant defense of the city. Stalingrad became a hero-city. On May 8, 1965, by an edict of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the city was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal for the courage and heroism displayed by the working people of Volgograd in the struggle with the fascist German invaders.


Volgograd is one of the largest industrial centers of the Volga Region. Major industries include machine-building, metalworking, metallurgy, chemicals, construction materials, food, and woodworking. The most important industrial enterprises are a tractor factory, the Red October Metallurgical Plant, aluminum and shipbuilding plants, a petroleum refinery, the G. K. Petrov Petroleum Machine-building Plant, and plants for the production of gas equipment, tractor components and standard equipment, medical equipment, engines, steel wire cables, and pipes. Major enterprises of the construction materials industry include factories for the production of reinforced-concrete products, bricks, plastics, and ceramics. Important woodworking enterprises are the la. Z. Erman Furniture and Woodworking Factory, the V. V. Kuibyshev Woodworking Plant, factories for the impregnation of masts and sleepers, a house-building plant, and a hydrolysis plant. The food industry is represented by a meat combine, cannery, margarine plant, milk plant, and confectionery factory. Significant light industry enterprises include footwear and leather factories. The mighty power junction consists of the Twenty-second Congress of the CPSU Volga Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Volga Regional Hydroelectric Power Plant, which operates on gas transported by pipeline from the north and west of the oblast, and the Heat and Electric Power Plant 2, which operates on the wastes of the oil refinery. By 1969 industrial production increased by a factor of 9.5 in comparison with 1940. In 1969, Volgograd accounted for 57 percent of the industrial production of the entire Volgograd Oblast.


Volgograd was almost completely destroyed in 1942-43. It was reconstructed in the postwar years according to a general plan (1945; architects K. S. Alabian, N. Kh. Poliakov, and others) which preserved the grid layout but eliminated previous shortcomings—freeing the riverside from industrial structures, storehouses, and the like which had cut off the residential regions from the river. The center of the modern city is formed by a system of squares and boulevards dispersed along one axis perpendicular to the Volga—Vokzal’-naia Square, Demonstratsii Square, Pavshie Boitsy Square, and Geroi Avenue complete with propylaea and a granite main stairway descending to the esplanade (1952-53). The rest of the city is divided into sections connected by transport highways parallel to the Volga. Since 1958 the city has been built up into a complex system of mikroraions (neighborhood units). Large public buildings include the Central Stadium (1962) and the House of the Soviet Army (1967). To mark the victory of the Soviet people in the battle on the Volga, a monument complex was built in Volgograd during 1963-67 on the Mamaev Burial Mound, designed by E. V. Buchetich, la. B. Belopol’skii, V. A. Demin, V. E. Matrosov, A. S. Novikov, and A. A. Tiurenkov (Lenin Prize, 1970).

In 1969 there were more than 49,000 children in 363 pre-school institutions. In the 1968-69 academic year there were 146 schools with 125,456 students (before 1917 there were 26 schools with 3,955 students), 17 vocational and technical schools and other schools with 8,972 students, 18 special secondary schools with 23,309 students, and six institutions of higher learning with 33,821 students—polytechnic, urban engineering, agricultural, pedagogical, and medical institutes and an institute of physical education. As of Jan. 1, 1970, Volgograd had 105 general libraries with nearly 4 million books and journals, 58 clubs, three museums (the State Museum of Defense, the Oblast Museum of Local Lore, and the Museum of Fine Arts), four theaters (the M. Gorky Dramatic Theater, a musical-comedy theater, a puppet theater, and a young people’s theater), a philharmonic society, 76 motion picture projectors, three Palaces of Pioneers, two Houses of Pioneers, three stations of youthful technicians, seven sports schools, a children’s railroad, and others.

The oblast paper is Volgogradskaia pravda (since 1917), and the Komsomol paper Molodoi leninets (since 1928). The oblast radio and television as well as a television center are located in the city.

In 1940, Volgograd had 3,286 hospital beds (73.8 beds per 10,000 inhabitants) and 850 doctors (one doctor per 555 inhabitants). After the Battle of Stalingrad (1942-43) only two hospitals with 215 beds remained. On Jan. 1, 1970, Volgograd had 4,200 doctors (one doctor per 200 inhabitants) and 9,800 secondary medical personnel. The number of hospital beds totaled 9,900 (120 beds per 10,000 inhabitants), and there were 11 dispensaries, ten public health centers, four children’s sanatoriums (two for tuberculosis), one tuberculosis sanatorium for adults, and six sanatoriums, under the auspices of industrial enterprises, with 705 places for the cure and prevention of occupational diseases. The N. A. Semashko Physical Therapy Institute (founded in 1927) and the Sanitary Bacteriology Institute (founded in 1930) are located in the city.



Savchenko, I. P., A. F. Lipiavkin, and P. P. Kalinichenko. Tsaritsyn-Stalingrad-Volgograd. Volgograd, 1961.
Samsonov, A. M. Stalingradskaia bitva, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Vodolagin, M. A. Ocherki istorii Volgograda. Moscow, 1968.
Mamaev kurgan: Pamiatnik-ansambl’ geroiam Stalingradskoi bitvy. Leningrad, 1967. (Album.)
Putevoditel’ po Volgogradu. Volgograd, 1966.
Pozharskii, A. E. Stalingrad. Moscow, 1948.
“Stalingrad.” In Stroitel’stvo i rekonstruktsiia gorodov, 1945-57, vol. 2. Moscow, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a port in SW Russia, on the River Volga: scene of a major engagement (1918) during the civil war and again in World War II (1942--43), in which the German forces were defeated; major industrial centre. Pop.: 1 016 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The blast occured in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia.
Coun Dave Chater (Coventry City Council), Vice-Mayor of Volgograd Andreii Doronin, Pru Porretta (Lady Godiva); Ben Freeman (Coventry Association of International Friendship), Jo Jacques (The Herbert), Vladimir Molchanov (First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in London), Dr Madeline Sharp (Medical and Scientific Aid for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia charity).; Tatiana Kuzmina (Battle of Stalingrad Panorama Museum), Coventry's Lord Mayor Coun John Gazey, Coun Shabbir Ahmed (Coventry City Council), Roger Vaughan (The Herbert).
Coun Crookes said: "Our thoughts have recently been with the citizens of Volgograd during their tragedy due to the suicide bombings.
Police said she had initially bought a bus ticket from Makhachkala to Moscow and was travelling to the capital but for unknown reasons got off in Volgograd where she later boarded the local No 29.
Pursuant to the agreement Praxair will construct a new, energy-efficient air separation plant with a capacity of 350 tons per day in Volgograd, the centre of an industrial region in southern Russia.
Speaking to the Telegraph from Volgograd, she said: "I've come to Volgograd several times already, but normally I would fly in.
Visitors Dr Oleg Inshakov, the rector of Volgograd University, and Professor Ivan Kurilla, from the university's School of International Relations, were impressed with the whistle-stop tour.
Cllr Mutton, a former Lord Mayor, said: "It takes five hours from Heathrow to Moscow and one and a half to two hours from Moscow to Volgograd."
Secretary John Moore explained: "Before the end of Communism, there were frequent trips by groups from Volgograd to Coventry.