Chernihiv chĭrnyē´hĭf [key], Rus. Chernigovchĭrnyē´gəf [key], city (1990 est. pop. 296,000), capital of Chernihiv region, in N Ukraine, on the Desna River. It is a rail junction, a river port, and an air and highway transport hub. Industries include tire-making, woodworking, food and wool processing, and the manufacture of metal goods and machinery. First mentioned in 907, Chernihiv is one of the oldest cities of Kievan Rus. From the 11th to 13th cent., Chernihiv was the capital of a principality of the same name, but the city declined after the Mongol invasion of 1239. It passed to Lithuania in the 14th cent. and to Russia in the 16th cent. It was under Polish control during part of the 17th cent. Chernihiv's architectural monuments include the 11th-century Spaskyy Cathedral, the Church of the Assumption in the Yelets Monastery (11th cent.), and Ivan Mazeppa's baroque army building (17th–18th cent.).
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