Past Cities

Angarsk, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia

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Angarsk is a city located in the Irkutsk Oblast of Russia. It has a population of over 230,000 people as of 2021 and is one of the largest cities in the region. The history of Angarsk is long and varied, with many events shaping the city into what it is today.

The area where Angarsk is located has a long history of human settlement. The earliest known inhabitants were the Tungus people, who lived in the area around 3,000 years ago. Later, the Buryat people migrated to the area and established a settlement on the banks of the Angara River, which flows through the region. The area remained sparsely populated until the Russian Empire began to expand into Siberia in the 17th century.

In the 17th century, the Russian Empire began to explore and colonize Siberia, and the area around Angarsk was no exception. In 1638, the Cossack Ataman Ivan Galkin established a winter camp near the Angara River. This camp would later become the town of Irkutsk, which is located just a few kilometers from Angarsk. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the area continued to be settled by Russian colonists, who established farms and small settlements throughout the region.

The 19th century saw significant growth and development in the region around Angarsk. In 1822, the Trans-Siberian Railway was established, which connected Moscow to Vladivostok and passed through the Irkutsk Oblast. This led to an influx of people and goods into the region, and many new settlements were established along the railway line. In 1926, Angarsk was officially founded as a city, and it quickly grew into a major industrial center.

During the Soviet era, Angarsk became an important center for heavy industry. The city was home to a number of large factories, including a chemical plant, a refinery, and a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. These factories provided employment for thousands of people in the region and helped to drive the economy of the city. However, they also had a significant impact on the environment, and there were a number of environmental disasters in the region, including a major nuclear waste spill in 1993.

In recent years, the city has continued to grow and develop. The economy has diversified, and new industries, such as software development and renewable energy, have emerged. The city is also home to a number of cultural and educational institutions, including a university and several museums.

The political environment has also had a significant impact on the history of Angarsk. During the Soviet era, the city was tightly controlled by the Communist Party, and dissent was not tolerated. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the political landscape of the region changed dramatically. Today, the city is governed by a democratically elected mayor and city council.

The geography of the region has also played an important role in the history of Angarsk. The city is located on the banks of the Angara River, which is one of the largest and most important rivers in Siberia. The river has provided a source of water and transportation for the city and has been a key factor in the development of the region. The surrounding area is also home to a number of natural resources, including timber, minerals, and oil, which have helped to drive the economy of the city.