Bratsk

Bratsk

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Bratsk is a city in Irkutsk Oblast
Irkutsk Oblast
Irkutsk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located in southeastern Siberia in the basins of Angara River, Lena, and Nizhnyaya Tunguska Rivers. The administrative center is the city of Irkutsk. Population: -History:...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, located on the Angara River
Angara River
The Angara River is a long river in Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai, south-east Siberia, Russia. It is the only river flowing out of Lake Baikal, and is the headwater tributary of the Yenisei River....

 near the vast Bratsk Reservoir
Bratsk Reservoir
Bratsk Reservoir is a reservoir on the Angara River, located in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. It is named after the city of Bratsk, the largest city adjacent to the reservoir. It has a surface area of and a maximum volume of 169.27 × 1012 litres .The concrete dam of the Bratsk hydroelectric plant was...

. Population:

Although the name sounds like the Russian word for 'brother' ('brat'), it actually comes from 'bratskiye lyudi', an old name for the Buryats
Buryats
The Buryats or Buriyads , numbering approximately 436,000, are the largest ethnic minority group in Siberia and are mainly concentrated in their homeland, the Buryat Republic, a federal subject of Russia...

.

History


The first Europeans in the area arrived in 1623, intending to collect taxes from the local Buryat population. Permanent settlement began with the construction of an ostrog
Ostrog
Ostrog may refer to:* Ostrog, Slovenia, a settlement in Šentjernej municipality in Slovenia* Ostrog monastery, a Serbian Orthodox Christian monastery in Montenegro* Ostroh, a historic town in Ukraine* Ostrog, a Russian term for a small fortress...

 (fortress) in 1636 at the junction of the Oka
Oka River (Siberia)
The Oka is a river in Siberia, left tributary of the Angara River. It originates in the Sayan Mountains in western Buryatia and flows through Irkutsk Oblast. It flows for 630 km , into the Bratsk reservoir....

 and Angara
Angara River
The Angara River is a long river in Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai, south-east Siberia, Russia. It is the only river flowing out of Lake Baikal, and is the headwater tributary of the Yenisei River....

 rivers. Several wooden towers from the 17th-century fort are now exhibited in Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate situated several kilometers to the south-east of the city-centre of Moscow, Russia, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna...

 Estate of Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, there was an increase in industrial activity in Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

, as Soviet industry was moved to the lands east of the Urals. After the war's end, development slowed as resources were required in the rebuilding of European Russia
European Russia
European Russia refers to the western areas of Russia that lie within Europe, comprising roughly 3,960,000 square kilometres , larger in area than India, and spanning across 40% of Europe. Its eastern border is defined by the Ural Mountains and in the south it is defined by the border with...

.

In 1947, the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 Angara prison labor camp was constructed near Bratsk, with capacity for up to 44,000 prisoners for projects such as the construction of the railway from Tayshet
Tayshet
Tayshet is a town and a railroad junction in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Population: Here the Baikal Amur Mainline begins, branching northeast from the Trans-Siberian Railway...

 to Ust-Kut
Ust-Kut
Ust-Kut is a town in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Located on a western loop of the Lena River, it spreads out over along the left bank, near the point where the Kuta River joins from the west. The town's name means 'mouth of the river Kuta' in Russian, with the name Kuta coming from an Evenk word...

 via Bratsk (now the western section of the Baikal Amur Mainline).

The city's rapid development commenced with the announcement in 1952 that a dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

 and hydroelectric plant would be built at Bratsk on the Angara River
Angara River
The Angara River is a long river in Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai, south-east Siberia, Russia. It is the only river flowing out of Lake Baikal, and is the headwater tributary of the Yenisei River....

. Town status was granted to Bratsk in 1955. The 4,500-megawatt Bratsk hydroelectric plant
Bratsk hydroelectric plant
The Bratsk Hydroelectric Power Station is a concrete gravity dam on the Angara River and adjacent hydroelectric power station. It is the second level of the Angara River hydroelectric stations cascade in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Located in Bratsk...

 was built between 1954 and 1966, bringing numerous workers to the town.

Other industries in the city include an aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 smelter and a pulp mill
Pulp mill
A pulp mill is a manufacturing facility that converts wood chips or other plant fibre source into a thick fibre board which can be shipped to a paper mill for further processing. Pulp can be manufactured using mechanical, semi-chemical or fully chemical methods...

.

Economy and infrastructure


Bratsk is served by the Baikal Amur Mainline railway and Bratsk Airport
Bratsk Airport
Bratsk Airport is an airport in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia located north of Bratsk. It is a mixed use airfield, providing 32 parking spaces for medium-sized airliners, as well as a large number of branched fighter revetments....

. There is a hydrofoil up the Angara to Irkutsk
Irkutsk
Irkutsk is a city and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, one of the largest cities in Siberia. Population: .-History:In 1652, Ivan Pokhabov built a zimovye near the site of Irkutsk for gold trading and for the collection of fur taxes from the Buryats. In 1661, Yakov Pokhabov...

.

The city's economy is largely reliant on heavy industry, including one of Russia's largest aluminum plants, lumber mills, chemical works, and a coal-fired power station
Coal-fired power station
A coal-fired power station produces electricity, usually for public consumption, by burning coal to boil water, producing steam which drives a steam turbine which turns an electrical generator...

.

Higher educational facilities include the Bratsk State University and a branch of the Irkutsk State University
Irkutsk State University
Irkutsk State University was founded in October 1918 in Irkutsk, Siberia.At present, the University consists of 10 faculties, 4 educational institutions and 2 branches. Over 18 thousand students including 300 foreign students from 27 countries study at University in 52 specialties. More than 620...

.

Administrative divisions


Bratsk is spread around the head of the Bratsk Reservoir. The city is divided into three districts (populations are per the 2010 Census preliminary results):
  • Padunsky , 56,182 inhabitants;
  • Pravoberezhny , 38,550 inhabitants;
  • Tsentralny , 151,616 inhabitants.


Residential districts
Microdistrict
Microdistrict, or microraion , is a residential complex—a primary structural element of the residential area construction in the Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet and former Communist states...

 of the city, some of which are separated by open country, include: Bikey, Chekanovsky, Energetik, Gidrostroitel, Osinovka, Padun, Porozhsky, Sosnovy, Stenikha, Sukhoy, Tsentralny, and Yuzhny Padun.

Pollution


Bratsk was among the Blacksmith Institute's "Dirty Thirty", the thirty most polluted places in the world.
Until recently, the Bratsk Reservoir—one of the world's largest—was a source of drinking water for many nearby cities. In 1998, after tons of mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

 were found at the bottom of the reservoir, warnings were posted urging local citizens to avoid the reservoir at all costs. However, owing to Russia's economic troubles, the reservoir still remains a source of fish and other food products for many hard-pressed local residents. According to Yuri Udodov, head of the Federal Committee on Ecology (FCE) in the state of Irkutsk, this region has "the highest rate of discharge of metallic mercury into the environment [in] all of Siberia." The extent of mercury pollution in the ground around the nearby Usolye chemical plant is equal to half the total global production of mercury in 1992.

Bratsk has been declared an ecological disaster zone. The Bratsk Aluminum Plant has been polluting its surroundings to such great degree that Chikanovsky was evacuated in 2001 due to repeated health emergencies.

Twin towns/sister cities


Bratsk is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Nanao
Nanao, Ishikawa
is a city located in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan.As of March 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 58,204 and a population density of 183 persons per km². Nanao is the fifth largest city by population in Ishikawa, behind Kanazawa, Hakusan, Komatsu, and Kaga.Nanao is situated in the...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 Zibo
Zibo
Zibo is a prefecture-level city in central Shandong province, People's Republic of China. It borders the provincial capital of Jinan to the west, Laiwu and Tai'an to the southwest, Linyi to the south, Weifang to the east, Dongying to the northeast, and Binzhou the north.Located in the middle part...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

External links