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Volgograd ( ), formerly called Tsaritsyn ( ) (1589–1925) and Stalingrad ( ) (1925–1961) is an important industrial city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russiamarker. It is long, north to south, situated on the western bank of the Volga River and has a population of 1.011 millon people. The city was made famous for its resistance and extensive damage during the Battle of Stalingradmarker during World War II.


Coat of Arms of Tsaritsyn (1857)

Volgograd originated with the foundation in 1589 of the fortress of Tsaritsyn at the confluence of the Tsaritsa and Volga Rivers. The fortress Sary Su (a local Tatar language name meaning: Yellow Water/River), was established to defend the unstable southern border of Tsarist Russia. It soon becamse the nucleus of a trading settlement. It was captured twice by Cossack rebels, under Stepan Razin in the rebellion of 1670 and Yemelyan Pugachev in 1774. Tsaritsyn became an important river port and commercial centre in the 19th century.

The city was the scene of heavy fighting during the Russian Civil War. Bolshevik forces occupied it during 1918, but were attacked by White forces under Anton Ivanovich Denikin.The first name of the city, Tsaritsyn, was first mentioned in English explorer Barry in 1579, but did not refer to the city, and to the island on the Volga. Origin of the name is usually traced back to the Turkic "Sary-Su" (yellow water) or "Sary-Sin" (Yellow Island). The date of founding of the city considered to be July 2, 1589, when the name Tsaritsyn fortress was first mentioned in a royal charter. The fortress was located slightly above the confluence of the Volga River Queen on the right bank.

Before the Tsarina in the mouth of the river there was a settlement of the Queen of the Golden Horde.

In 1607 the fortress was a revolt against the king's troops, depressed six months later. In 1608 the city had the first stone church - St. John the Baptist.

At the beginning of XVII century garrison was 350-400 people.

In 1670 the fortress was taken by troops of Stepan Razin, who left her a month. In 1708, about a month as a fortress in the hands of insurgent Cossacks Kondrati Bulavin. In 1717, he was sacked by the Crimean Tatars and Kuban. Later, in 1774, the city unsuccessfully stormed Yemelyan Pugachev.

In 1691 in Tsaritsin established customs. In 1708 Tsaritsyn assigned to the Kazan province, in 1719 - to Astrakhan, from 1779 in the Saratov Viceroyalty. In 1773 the city became the provincial and district town in 1780 Saratov governorship (later province). According to the census in 1720 in the city's population 408 people.

The population of the city in the XIX century, increased rapidly: in 1807 in Tsaritsyn lived less than 3 thousand people, then by 1900 - has about 84 thousand.

The first railroad came to town in 1862. The first theater opened in 1872, and the cinema - in 1907. In 1913 Tsaritsin appeared tram, and at the center have been installed the first electric lights.

During the civil war in November 1917 in Tsaritsyn were proclaimed Soviet power. In 1918 Tsaritsyn was besieged by white troops Ataman Krasnov. Three assault had been repulsed. However, in June 1919 Tsaritsyn was captured troops of General Denikin, leaving the city in January 1920.

The city was renamed Stalingrad April 10, 1925. In 1931, in the city including the German settlement-colony Sarepta (founded in 1765), subsequently became the largest area of the city - Krasnoarmejskij. The first institute was opened in 1930, a year later was opened and the Pedagogical Institute.

The most serious upheaval in the history of the city became the Great Patriotic War. Battle of Stalingrad began on 17 July 1942, and Aug. 23 the city suffered heavy bombardment that destroyed or caused serious damage most of the city buildings. In September, the fighting was already in the city center. The battle for Stalingrad is one of the biggest battles in the history of mankind. In Stalingrad, the fighting seen unprecedented intensity. For example, the central station of the city passed from hand to hand 13 times, and the famous Mamaev Kurgan (one of the heights of Volgograd) was captured and then recaptured by 8 times. Because of the intensity of the fighting mound changed his appearance. Nevertheless, the Wehrmacht advancing troops failed to break the resistance of the defenders of the city. November 19 launched a counter-offensive of Soviet troops, soon the German-Fascist group was surrounded. January 31, 1943 its commander, General-Field Marshal Paulus surrendered, and on February 2, with the elimination of remnants of the encircled troops, the Battle of Stalingrad was over. The restoration of the almost completely destroyed the city.

Under Stalin, the city became heavily industrialized as a centre of heavy industry and trans-shipment by rail and river. During World War II (Great Patriotic War), Stalingrad became the center of the Battle of Stalingradmarker as well as a pivotal turning point in the war against Germany. Essentially, the German offensive was checked at Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad lasted from August 21, 1942 to February 2, 1943, where 1.7 million to 2 million Axis and Soviet soldiers were killed, wounded or captured, in addition to over 40,000 civilians killed. The city was reduced to rubble during the fierce fighting, but reconstruction began soon after the Germans were expelled from the city.

Stalingrad was awarded the title Hero City for its heroism in 1945, and King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded the citizens of Stalingrad the jeweled "Sword of Stalingrad" in admiration of their bravery. A memorial complex commemorating the battle, dominated by an immense allegorical sculpture of Mother Russia, was erected on the Mamayev Kurganmarker, a hill that saw some of the most intense fighting during the battle. A number of cities around the world (especially that which had suffered similar wartime devastation) established sister/friendship/twinning links (see list below) in the spirit of solidarity or reconciliation. One of the first "sister city" projects was that established between Stalingradmarker and Britain's Coventrymarker during World War II (as both suffered extensive devastation from aerial bombardment).

The Panorama Museum sited on the Volga contains artifacts from World War II. These include a panoramic painting of the battlefield from the location of the monument "Mamayev Kurgan." A rifle of the famous sniper Vasily Zaytsev (popularized in Western media in the film Enemy at the Gates) is also on display.

In 1961, Stalingrad was changed to Volgograd ("Volga City") as part of Nikita Khrushchev's programme of de-Stalinization. This was and remains somewhat contentious, given the fame of the name "Stalingrad" and its importance in wartime remembrance. There were once serious proposals to revert the name to "Stalingrad" during Konstantin Chernenko's brief administration in 1985. There remains a strong degree of local support for a reversion but intermittent proposals have been not yet accepted by the Russian government.On May 21, 2007, the CPRF or Communist Party of the Russian Federation obtained an important success in the Volgograd mayoral election. Communist candidate Roman Grebennikov was elected as mayor with 32.47% of the vote. Grebennikov is Russia's youngest mayor of a regional capital.


Modern Volgograd remains an important industrial city. Industries include shipbuilding, oil refining, steel and aluminium production, manufacture of machinery and vehicles, and chemical production. A large Volgograd Hydroelectric Plantmarker stands a short distance to the north of Volgograd.
Volgograd on the 1979 map


Volgograd is a major railway junction serviced by Pri Volga Railway. Rail links include Moscow; Saratov; Astrakhan; the Donbas region of Ukrainemarker; the Caucasus and Siberiamarker. It stands at the east end of the Volga-Don Canalmarker, opened in 1952 to link the two great rivers of Southern Russia. European route E40, the longest European route connecting Calaismarker, Francemarker with Riddermarker, Kazakhstanmarker, passes through Volgograd.Volgograd's public transport system includes a light rail service known as the Volgograd metrotram.

Volgograd is a major rail junction and with trains travelling from the city to Moscow, Saratov, Astrakhan and other cities . The M6 highway between Moscow and the Caspian Sea passes the city. The Volgograd Bridgemarker, under construction since 1995, has been inaugurated in October 2009. The city river terminal is the centre for local passenger shipping along the Volga river.

Volgograd International Airportmarker provides air links to major Russian cities as well as Antalya, Yerevan and Aktau.

Local public transport is provided by buses trolleybuses and trams.



Institutions include:


FC Volgograd and FC Rotor Volgograd are both Russian Second Division football clubs, having been relegated after being in the Russian Premier League in the early 1990s. Lukoil-Spartak represent the city in water polo.

Famous residents

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

As of 2008, Volgograd has 21 sister cities:


File:Volgograd 44.67670E 48.66724N.jpg|Volgograd from SpaceFile:Volgograd districts all.svg| Map of Volgograd's City DistrictsFile:Voldograd City (Den).jpg| The Motherland Calls on the Mamayev Kurgan in spring timeFile:Mamaev Kurgan.jpg|The Mamayev kurganFile:Volgograd Planetarium1.JPG|Volgograd Planetarium with the sculpture by famous Vera MukhinaFile:Volgograd leninsquare.jpg|Underground station of Volgograd metrotramLenin's SquareFile:Volgograd Alleja Gerojev.jpg|Volgograd State Medical University (left) and New Experimental Theater of Volgograd


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