Vitebsk (vēˈtĕpsk, vēˈtyĭpsk) [key], city (1989 pop. 350,000), Belarusian Vitsyebsk, capital of Vitebsk region, N Belarus, on the Western Dvina River. It is a river port and large railroad junction in an agricultural district. Manufactures include machine tools, electrical instruments, processed food, textiles, and building materials. Vitebsk dates from the 11th cent. and was the capital of a Russian principality that came under (14th cent.) Lithuanian rule. It passed to Russia again in 1772.