Pinsk (pĭnsk, Rus. pēnsk) [key], city (1989 pop. 118,636), S Belarus, in the Pripyat Marshes and at the confluence of the Pina and Pripyat rivers. A port on the Pina River (part of the Dnieper-Buh waterway), it has long been a noted water transport junction; timber is now the chief export. Pinsk is also a rail terminus. Industries include the manufacture of metal products, building materials, and clothing. A national university is in the city.
Mentioned in the chronicles in 1097 as part of the Kievan state, the city became the capital of Pinsk duchy in the 13th cent. It passed to Lithuania in 1320 and to Poland in 1569. Pinsk was transferred to Russia in 1793 with the second partition of Poland; it reverted to Poland in 1921 but was ceded to the USSR in 1945. During the German occupation of World War II, the city's Jews (who had formed a majority of the population) were mostly exterminated.