Voronezh (Rus. vərôˈnyĭsh) [key], city (1989 pop. 887,000), capital of Voronezh region, central European Russia, on the Voronezh River. A river port and a major industrial center in a black-earth agricultural region, it has industries producing machinery, synthetic rubber, oil, and food products. A nuclear power station operates at Voronezh. Founded in 1586 as a frontier fortress against Crimean and Nogai Tatar attacks from the southern steppe, it became a shipbuilding center in the Azov campaign (1695–96) of Peter I. It has been important as a commercial and cultural center since the 1830s. During World War II it was largely destroyed (1942–43) when a German advance was stopped there; it was rebuilt completely after the war. The architectural monuments, the Nikolsk church (early 18th cent.), and the Potemkin palace (18th cent.) were restored. The Univ. of Voronezh, originally the Univ. of Tartu, was transferred there in 1918. The poet Koltsov was born at Voronezh. There are Scythian burial mounds outside the city.
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