Kursk (kŏrsk) [key], city (1989 pop. 424,000), capital of Kursk region, W European Russia, at the confluence of the Tuskor and Seim rivers. An important rail junction, it has machine, chemical, and synthetic fiber plants. A large iron deposit, the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly, is south of the city. First noted in 1095, Kursk was destroyed by the Mongols in 1240 and was rebuilt as a Muscovite fortress in 1586. During World War II the Soviets won a major battle near Kursk in 1943; involving some 1.5 million Soviet and German troops, it was the largest battle ever fought.