Blagoveshchensk (bləgəvyĕshˈchĭnsk) [key], city (1989 pop. 206,000), capital of Amur region, Russian Far East, at the confluence of the Amur and Zeya rivers. A river port and railroad hub on the Trans-Siberian RR, Blagoveshchensk is also an agricultural center and a supply point for the Zeya gold-mining basin. Near Svobodny, 104 mi (167 km) to the north, is a Russian cosmodrome (est. 1996). Russian pioneers settled Blagoveshchensk in 1644, but the area was returned to China in 1689. The city became a Russian army post in 1856.