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Voronezh (Rus. vərôˈnyĭsh), city (1989 pop. 887,000), capital of Voronezh region, central European Russia, on the Voronezh River. A river port and a major industrial center in a black-earth agricultural region, it has industries producing machinery, synthetic rubber, oil, and food products. A nuclear power station operates at Voronezh. Founded in 1586 as a frontier fortress against Crimean and Nogai Tatar attacks from the southern steppe, it became a shipbuilding center in the Azov campaign (1695–96) of Peter I. It has been important as a commercial and cultural center since the 1830s. During World War II it was largely destroyed (1942–43) when a German advance was stopped there; it was rebuilt completely after the war. The architectural monuments, the Nikolsk church (early 18th cent.), and the Potemkin palace (18th cent.) were restored. The Univ. of Voronezh, originally the Univ. of Tartu, was transferred there in 1918. The poet Koltsov was born at Voronezh. There are Scythian burial mounds outside the city.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and center of the Voronezh Oblast, RSFSR. Located on the Voronezh River, 12 km from its confluence with the Don River. A major railroad junction (of lines to Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, and Kiev). Population, 660,000 (1970; 120,000 in 1926; 344,000 in 1939; 447,000 in 1959). Divided into five administrative raions.

Voronezh is first mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle toward the year 1177. In 1585 a fortress was built for defense against the raids of Crimean and Nogai Tatars. In the 17th century it became an important commercial and artisan center. In 1648 there was an antifeudal uprising in Voronezh. In 1695-96, Peter I built a shipyard in Voronezh where the Azov fleet was built for the Azov Campaigns of 1695-96. In 1711, Voronezh became the capital of Azov Province, in 1725 the capital of Voronezh Province, and in 1779 the capital of the Voronezh Vicegerency. In 1824 the city became the capital of Voronezh Province. In the 18th and 19th centuries Voronezh was the center of the chernozem agricultural region. In the city industries for processing agricultural raw materials were developed, including mills, creameries, and tallow-melting, soapmaking, and tanning factories. There was also a growth of trade in grain, cattle, tallow, and wool. In the 19th century a railway connected Voronezh with Rostov-on-Don (1868) and with Moscow (1871).

In 1879 a congress of the Land and Liberty Party was held in Voronezh, after which the Narodniks (Populists) formally split into the People’s Will and the Black Partition factions. In 1895 a Social Democratic group was created from existing Marxist circles in Voronezh. Soviet power was established in Voronezh on Oct. 30 (Nov. 12), 1917. In the fall of 1919 the Voronezh-Kastornoe Operation of 1919 was conducted in the Voronezh area during which Red Army units destroyed the White Guard forces. In 1928, Voronezh became the administrative center of the Central Chernozem Oblast, and in 1934, of the Voronezh Oblast. In July 1942 the city’s right bank was occupied by the fascist German invaders. For 6½ months there was constant fighting. On Jan. 25, 1943, Voronezh was completely liberated.


Voronezh today is the major industrial center of the Central Chernozem Economic Region and one of the country’s largest industrial centers. It is an important center of the machine-building industry, with factories producing excavation machinery, forge and press equipment, heavy mechanical presses, ore dressing equipment, lathes, automatic food packaging machines, agricultural machinery, domestic television sets and radio receivers, radio components, and electrical equipment; there is also repair of diesel locomotives and railway cars. Voronezh is also an important center of the chemical industry (synthetic rubber, tires, and pharmaceutical products) and the construction-materials industry (ceramics, reinforced-concrete structural components, construction parts, and bricks). The food industry is represented by a meat combine, a fats combine, a dairy, a grain hulling and milling plant, a confectionery factory, and a macaroni factory. Light industry is also well developed, including footwear, garment, and knitwear factories.


Architectural monuments in Voronezh include the bell tower of the former Akatov monastery (1620), the Uspenskaja Church (1694-1702), the Church of St. Nicholas, built (1720) in the architectural traditions of the 17th century, the Arsenal (1696), and the Voronezh Palace (18th century, baroque). Destroyed during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, Voronezh was rebuilt and many new buildings are being constructed according to a general plan. On the left bank of the river new industrial and residential areas were added. Among the important public buildings are the House of the Soviets, the university complex, the dramatic theater, and the railway station. In 1970 a new general plan was adopted providing for the expansion of residential areas to the Don. On the outskirts of the city, the burial ground Dense Burial Mounds was excavated between 1910 and 1956. The burial mounds date from the sixth to the third centuries B.C. and contained weapons, clay and silver vessels, and gold ornaments belonging to the Scythians, as well as artifacts from the Greek colonies of the Prichernomor’e and from Siberia.

Voronezh is a major cultural center. The city has eight higher educational institutions: a university (founded in 1918) and institutes of agriculture (founded in 1913), forestry, technology, polytechnics, civil engineering, medicine, and pedagogy. There are also 12 specialized secondary schools. Voronezh has a museum of local lore and a fine arts museum. The city also has a number of theaters—the A. Kol’tsov Dramatic Theater, an opera and ballet theater, a children’s theater, and a puppet theater. There is also a television center. The poets A. V. Kol’tsov and I. S. Nikitin were born and lived in Voronezh, and Nikitin’s house is now a museum.


Dolgopolov, K. V.Tsentral’no-Chernozemnyiraion. Moscow, 1961.
Voronezh, 2nd ed. Voronezh, 1967.
Perepiska V. I. Lenina s voronezhtsami. Voronezh, 1960.
Ocherki istorii Voronezhskogo kraia, vols. 1-2. Voronezh, 1961-67.



an urban-type settlement in Shostka Raion, Sumy Oblast, Ukrainian SSR, located within 2 km of the Tereshchenskaia railroad station on the Konotop-Khutor Mikhailovskii line. Population, 10,000 (1969). Voronezh has a sugar plant. A church built in the classical style (1781) has been preserved.



a river in Tambov, Lipetsk, and Voronezh oblasts, RSFSR; left tributary of the Don. It is formed by the confluence of the Pol’noi Voronezh and the Lesnoi Voronezh. The length of the Voronezh itself is 342 km; basin area, 21,600 sq km. The Pol’noi Voronezh is 178 km long and the Lesnoi Voronezh 164 km long. The right bank is steep and high, and the left bank is low. Mixed and pine forests grow in the valley. The river is fed by snow. The mean annual discharge of water near the city of Voronezh is 70.8 cu m per sec. The river freezes in the first half of December, and the ice breaks up in late March. It is navigable in its lower course. The cities of Voronezh and Lipetsk are on the Voronezh River. The Voronezh Reservoir is under construction (1971).

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


a city in W Russia: engineering, chemical, and food-processing industries; university (1918). Pop.: 842 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Lappo evacuated to Voronez together with the university and during the Civil War emigrated first to Prague (Russkie v Prage 1928), later to Kaunas (9) from where he went to Dresden during World War II where he was killed on 23 December 1944 during bombing.
In the spring of 1918 he handed in his completed Master's thesis but he could not defend it in Tartu because the town was occupied by the Germans and the university was evacuated to Voronez. He defended this thesis at the University of Voronez already in 1921 and many years later, in 1943, defended his doctoral thesis at the University of Moscow, which was also devoted to the relations between Russia and Sweden at the beginning of the 17th century.
Also, evacuation to Voronez in the conditions of the 1918 German occupation was carried out by administrative measures.
7, 105-134, Voronez: Izdatel'stvo Voronezskogo universiteta.
264-267, Voronez: Izdatel'stvo Voronezskogo universiteta.
2, 93-105, Voronez: Izdatel'stvo Voronezskogo universiteta.
175-190, Voronez: Izdatel'stvo Voronezskogo universiteta.