Infobox Russian city


CityDay=Second Sunday of September
FederalSubject=Voronezh Oblast
MunStatus=Urban okrug
InJurisdictionOf=Voronezh Oblast
AdmCtrOf=Voronezh Oblast
LeaderName=Sergey Koliukh
Legislature=City Duma
SelfGovAsOf=June 2008
Charter=Charter of Voronezh

Voronezh ( _ru. Воро́неж, IPA-ru|vɐˈronʲɪʂ) is a large city in southwestern Russia, not far from Ukraine. It is located on the Voronezh River, twelve kilometers away from the spot where the Voronezh River empties into the Don. Voronezh is the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is an important railway junction (with lines to Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Kiev), as well as the center of Don Highway (MoscowRostov-on-Don). Population: ru-census2002|848752|; su-census1989|886844|; 660,000 (1970); 447,000 (1959); 344,000 (1939); 120,000 (1926). The city is divided into six administrative districts: Kominternovsky, Leninsky, Levoberezhny, Sovetsky, Tsentralny, and Zheleznodorozhny.


The Voronezh River was first mentioned in Hypatian Codex of 1177; the town was founded in 1585–1586 by Tsar Feodor I as a fort protecting the Russian state from the raids of Crimean and Nogay Tatars. However, settlements had been present here since the Stone Age.

In the 17th century, Voronezh gradually evolved into a sizeable town, especially after Tsar Peter the Great built a dockyard in Voronezh, where the Azov Flotilla was constructed for the Azov campaigns in 1695 and 1696. This fleet, probably the first ever built in Russia, included the first Russian ship of the line, "Goto Predestinatsia".

Owing to the Voronezh Admiralty Wharf, Voronezh became, for a short time, the largest city of South Russia and the economic centre of a large and fertile region. In 1711 it was made the administrative centre of the Azov Province, which morphed into the Voronezh guberniya (known as "namestnichestvo" in 1779-1824).

In the 19th century Voronezh was a centre of the Central Black Earth Region. Manufacturing industry (mills, tallow-melting, butter-making, soap, leather and other works) as well as bread, cattle, suet, and the hair trade developed in the town. A railway connected Voronezh with Rostov-on-Don in 1868 and Moscow in 1871.

During World War II, Voronezh was the scene of fierce fighting between Russian and Wehrmacht troops. It was used by the Germans as a staging area for the attack on Stalingrad, and a key Don River crossing point.

In September 1989, there were famous UFO sightings in Voronezh, which drew attention from the press and TV. There were also reports on two strange creatures that came out of the UFO after it landed in the park.

Between 1991 and 2000, the city high in unemployment became a part of the Communist-voting region known as Russia's "Red Belt". Today Voronezh is the economic, industrial, cultural, and scientific center of the so-called Black Earth Region. There are 7 theaters, 12 cinemas, 19 secondary schools in the city; it is also home to Voronezh State University. The city's large student population includes many foreigners as foreign students in Russia usually take one year of Russian language in Voronezh before moving on to universities elsewhere. This has led in the past to tension between foreign students and the indigenous population leading to a number of murders, the last one being of Peruvian student Enrique Anhelis Hurtado on October 9, 2005, a year that saw 45 reported attacks on foreigners in Voronezh.

Many famous people were born and lived in Voronezh and the surrounding area. Among them are poets and writers such as Platonov, Bunin, Koltsov, Nikitin, Marshak, Troepolskii; painters Kramskoi, Ge, Kuprin, Vikentii Trofimov, the physicist Cherenkov; navigator and polar explorer Valerian Albanov of ill-fated Arctic ship "St. Anna", gymnasts Davydova, Tkachyov; the anarchist Voline, and the surgeon Serge Voronoff. The Russian poet Osip Mandelstam was exiled to Voronezh after his arrest in 1934 and wrote a series of poems there collected under the title "Voronezh Notebooks". The famous Russian punk band "Sektor Gaza" was founded in Voronezh.

Not far from Voronezh is the satellite town of Novovoronezh ("New Voronezh") which serves a local nuclear power plant. Both cities are served by Chertovitskoye Airport. Voronezh is also home to Voronezh Pridacha airport, a major aircraft manufacturing facility where the so-called "Concordski" Tupolev Tu-144 was built and the only operational one is still stored. Voronezh also hosts Voronezh Malshevo air force base southwest of the city, which apparently houses nuclear bombers.

Further reading

Charlotte Hobson's book, "Black Earth City", is an accessible and insightful account of life in Voronezh in the early 1990s. She wrote the book after spending a year in Voronezh as a foreign student in 1991–1992.

Nadezhda Mandelstam's "Hope Against Hope", the first volume of her memoirs concerning the dreadful fate of her husband, the poet Osip Mandelstam, provides many details about life and hardship in Voronezh in the 1930s under Stalinist rule.

And from the mid-nineteenth century is the diary of a British soldier, a sergeant in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, published as "Prisoners of Voronesh (sic)". George Newman was captured in the Crimean War and then marched under a loose guard with a motley crew of PoWs, convicts, etc., to Voronezh. Published by Unwin in 1977, it is a vivid eyewitness account of life and types, instantly recognizable to anyone who has spent much time in that delightful city.


climate chart|Voronezh

Twin cities

*flagicon|Czech Republic Brno, Czech Republic.
*flagicon|Germany Wesermarsch, Germany.
*flagicon|United States Charlotte, United States.
*flagicon|China Chongqing, China.
*flagicon|Bulgaria Sliven, Bulgaria.
*flagicon|Spain León, Spain.


External links

* [http://www.vsu.ru/english/city/index.html Voronezh State University - City page]
* [http://www.voronezh.net/ Voronezh.Net City site] ru icon
* [http://www.moe-online.ru/ MOÈ Newspaper, Voronezh city site] ru icon
* [http://www.voronezh.ru/ Voronezh News] ru icon

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