Engels (ĕngˈgĭls) [key], city (1989 pop. 181,000), E European Russia, a port on the Volga River. It has a large chemical fiber complex. Founded by Ukrainian settlers, it was a major destination of German settlers during the reign of Catherine the Great. The city was called Pokrovsk until 1931. It was the capital (1924–41) of the German Volga Autonomous SSR.