Chelyabinsk (chĭlyäˈbĭnsk) [key], city (1989 pop. 1,142,000), capital of Chelyabinsk region, W Siberian Russia, in the southern foothills of the Urals and on the Mias River. It also lies on the Trans-Siberian RR. One of the major metallurgical and industrial centers of Russia, Chelyabinsk produces steel, zinc, metal alloys, heavy chemicals, and agricultural machinery. The city has many industrial and scientific institutes, but severe pollution makes it one of the least attractive Russian cities. Founded in 1736 as a Russian frontier outpost, it was chartered in the 1740s and grew into an agricultural and coal-trading town. Its industrial growth began with the building of its first steel plant in 1930.