/ree'euh zahn", -zan"/; Russ. /rddyi zahn"/, n.
a city in the W Russian Federation in Europe, SE of Moscow. 515,000.

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also spelled  Riazan, or R'azan 

      ', city and administrative centre of Ryazan oblast (province), western Russia. It lies along the Oka River on the site of the ancient town of Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky, about 120 miles (193 km) southeast of Moscow. The original Ryazan, first recorded in 1095, lay downstream at the Pronya confluence. The seat of the early principality of Ryazan, it was destroyed in 1237 by the Mongols; only the ruins of its ramparts remain. Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky, thought to have been founded in 1095, was unimportant until the 13th century when the Ryazan bishopric was moved there. Sacked by Moscow in 1371 and by the Tatars in 1372 and 1378, it became the seat of the Ryazan princedom in the 15th century. In 1521 it passed to Moscow and was renamed Ryazan in 1778. The modern city has major engineering, petrochemical, and oil-refining industries; its population roughly doubled between 1959 and 1975. Pop. (1989 prelim.) 515,000.

▪ medieval Russian principality
      medieval Russian principality from the 12th to the early 16th century. Ryazan became an independent princedom early in the 12th century under Yaroslav, the son of the grand prince Svyatoslav of Kiev. Its capital city was Old Ryazan on the Oka River, about 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Moscow. For the next century it was often in conflict with the principality of Vladimir, which was subsequently absorbed by Moscow. In 1237 a Mongol army of the Golden Horde under Batu Khan attacked and razed Old Ryazan, after which the restored princedom's capital was established at Pereyaslavl-Ryazansky, about 30 miles (48 km) upstream on the Oka. The princes of Ryazan were able to resist Moscow and even temporarily extend their territory in the late 14th century through the support of the Golden Horde. By the early 15th century, however, Ryazan had become politically dependent on Moscow, which formally annexed it in 1521.

also spelled  Riazan, or R'azan 

      ', oblast (province), western Russia. It occupies an area of 15,300 square miles (39,600 square km) in the middle Oka River basin and extends southward across the northern end of the Central Russian Upland and Oka-Don Plain to the upper Don River basin. North of the Oka is the Meshchera Lowland, with extensive swamps of reed and grass marsh and mixed forest of oak, spruce, pine, and birch. Considerable swamp reclamation has taken place since the 1870s, but the area is still thinly populated. South of the Oka, nearly all the gray forest and leached soils of the forest-steppe have been plowed. Agriculture and the processing of farm produce in the small towns dominate the economy. Grains are the main crop, with flax and hemp in the north and sugar beets and tobacco in the south. Vegetables are important along the Oka. Industry is concentrated in Ryazan city, the oblast headquarters. Pop. (1990 est.) 1,348,000.

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Universalium. 2010.

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