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Yakutsk (yəko͞otskˈ), city (1989 pop. 187,000), capital of the Sakha Republic, E Siberian Russia, a major port on the Lena River. It is also a highway center and has tanneries, sawmills, and brickworks. Yakutsk was founded in 1632. It has a university (founded 1956) and the Yakutsk branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the capital of the Yakut ASSR and a port on the Lena River. Linked with the Berkakit railroad station by the Amur-Yakutsk Highway, Yakutsk is a junction of highways and air routes. Population, 155,000 in 1978 (53,000 in 1939, 74,000 in 1959, and 108,000 in 1970).

Yakutsk was founded in 1632 as a stockade (seeOSTROG) on the right bank of the Lena River by a detachment of Enisei cossacks led by P. Beketov. Ten years later the stockade, called both Yakut and Lena ostrog, was moved to the left bank. In the 1680’s a town was laid out west of the stockade, and a wooden fortress was built. In the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century Yakutsk served as the military-administrative and trade center of northeastern Siberia and as a springboard for Russian colonization in the Far East. The city’s population consisted chiefly of Russians—cossacks, hunters, traders, and exiles. The number of Yakuts began to increase in the second half of the 18th century, and by the 19th century they constituted 34–35 percent of the population.

Yakutsk was included in Siberia Province in 1708 and in Irkutsk Province in the late 18th century. In 1851 it became the administrative center of Yakutsk Oblast. The city was also the center of the Yakutsk Exile (see). Soviet power was established in the city in July 1918, but the next month it was seized by White Guards. Liberated on Dec. 15, 1919, Yakutsk has been the capital of the Yakut ASSR since Apr. 27, 1922.

In the years of Soviet power Yakutsk has become an industrial, scientific, and cultural center. Its industrial enterprises include a shipyard, a milk plant, a fish cannery, a brewery, a distillery, a meat-packing plant, the Pishcheprom Association, a poultry factory, a garment factory, a furniture factory, the Sardana Souvenir Factory, a building materials combine, and a leather footwear combine. Power is supplied by a state regional power plant and a heat and electric power plant. In addition to a university, Yakutsk has four technicums, offering training in electrical communications, agriculture, finance, and cooperative trade, and schools for river workers, secondary medical personnel, teachers, cultural education workers, musicians, and artists. Research is conducted by the Yakutsk branch of the Siberian Division of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and by the Siberian Division’s Institute of Permafrost Studies. Cultural institutions include the Russian Drama Theater, the P. A. Oiunskii Yakut Drama Theater, a music theater, the E. Iaroslavskii Museum of Local Lore, and the M. F. Gabyshev Museum of Art.

The city has a regular layout. Its oldest structures are a wooden tent-roofed tower (1683) and the stone buildings of the Spasskii Monastery (1664). A master plan developed by the Lengiprogor Institute was adopted in 1969. Noteworthy public buildings include the university building (1967), designed by the architects I. N. Bondarev, E. P. Putintsev, and E. Ia. Nesterov; the building of the city executive committee (1975) and the House of Soviets (1976), both the work of the architect D. I. Savvinov; and the airline (1963) and river (1973) terminals, designed by the architect N. V. Sukhanov. Housing developments are under construction; the principal architects are V. K. Beketov, V. S. Petrov, V. M. Dynin, and O. G. Karamzin. Large-panel residential buildings adapted to the climatic conditions of the Far North are being built.

The city has three fine monuments: the V. I. Lenin Monument (1967, bronze and granite, sculptor Iu. D. Struchkov, architects N. N. Milovidov and S. S. Ozhegov), the Monument to the First Komsomol Members of Yakutia (1966, forged copper and concrete, sculptor Iu. G. Neroda, architects N. N. Milovidov and S. S. Ozhegov), and the Monument to the Civil War Heroes Who Died Fighting for Soviet Power in Yakutia, erected in Fallen Warriors Square (1977, concrete, cast iron, and marble, sculptor V. S. Karamzin, architects I. A. Sleptsov and Iu. I. Kholmogorov).


Syrovatskii, A. D. lakutsk: Spravochnik-putevoditel’. Yakutsk, 1975.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a port in E Russia, capital of the Sakha Republic, on the Lena River. Pop.: 214 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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