/vol"geuh grad', vohl"-/; Russ. /veuhl gu grddaht"/, n.
a city in the SW Russian Federation in Europe, on the Volga River: battles in World War II, September 1942-February 1943. 999,000. Formerly, Stalingrad, Tsaritsyn.

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formerly (until 1925) Tsaritsyn (1925–61) Stalingrad

City (pop., 2001 est.: 982,900), southwestern Russia.

Located on the Volga River, it was founded as the fortress of Tsaritsyn in 1589. During the Russian Civil War (1918–20), Joseph Stalin organized the city's defense against the White Russian armies, and it was later renamed in his honour. During World War II it was reduced to rubble in the Battle of Stalingrad; it was rebuilt in the postwar era. Its manufactures include steel and aluminum, engineering products, timber goods, building materials, and foodstuffs. A major railroad junction and river port, it is the eastern terminus of the Volga-Don Ship Canal.

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formerly (until 1925)  Tsaritsyn  and (1925–61)  Stalingrad 

      city and administrative centre of Volgograd oblast (province), southwestern Russia, on the Volga River. It was founded as the fortress of Tsaritsyn in 1589 to protect newly acquired Russian territory along the Volga. During the Russian Civil War (1918–20), Joseph Stalin organized the defense of the city in a major battle against the White Russian armies, and the city was later renamed in his honour. One of the decisive battles of World War II took place there, from August 1942 to February 1943. The German armies at the limit of their advance attempted to capture Stalingrad (Stalingrad, Battle of); after bitter fighting during which the city was reduced to rubble, the German salient was cut off, and an army group of some 300,000 men was annihilated. (See Stalingrad, Battle of.)

      The city was totally rebuilt after the war, and new apartment buildings and factories extend for more than 40 miles (65 km) along the river. Steel and aluminum, engineering products, timber goods, building materials, and foodstuffs head a long list of manufactures, joined in the 1960s by chemicals associated with an oil refinery built in 1957. Other postwar developments include the Volga-Don Ship Canal, opened in 1952, and a hydroelectric station immediately north of the city. There are medical, civil engineering, teacher-training, mechanical, and municipal-economics institutes. The University of Volgograd was opened in 1980. Pop. (1991 est.) 1,007,300.

formerly  (until 1961) Stalingrad,  

      oblast (province), southwestern Russia, lying athwart the lower Volga and Don rivers. The Volga is flanked on the west by the Volga Upland, which is continued south of Volgograd as the Yergeni Upland. West of the Khoper and Don are additional low uplands. Between the uplands and also east of the Volga are level plains. Most of the oblast lies in a dry steppe zone of grass and some sage on fertile soils, but almost all has been plowed, causing severe soil erosion and gullying, especially on the uplands. Saline soils are common, particularly in the Trans-Volga and the south.

      Once an area inhabited by successive nomadic peoples (Bulgars, Khazars, and Tatars), the region was settled by Russians from the mid-16th century. Much of the far northern part of the oblast along the Volga River was once part of the Volga-German A.S.S.R. until it was dissolved in 1941 and the Germans deported to other areas of the Soviet Union. The bulk of the population today lives along the rivers and in the northern lowland. Industry is concentrated largely in Volgograd, the administrative centre; the other cities are concerned chiefly with processing agricultural products. Petroleum is extracted in the north around Zhirnovsk and natural gas near Kotovo and Frolovo. Agriculture is of great importance, but it suffers severely from droughts and soil erosion; irrigation is increasing steadily in many areas. The main crops are wheat, millet, corn (maize), sunflowers, and mustard. Along the Volga Upland, market gardening and dairying are well developed. In the south and in the Trans-Volga, cattle and sheep raising is important. Area 43,980 square miles (113,900 square km). Pop. (1991 est.) 2,632,500.

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Universalium. 2010.

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