Founded in 1174 as Khlynov by Novgorod colonists, it was fortified against Votyak (Udmurt) and Cheremiss (Mari) attacks. It soon became the capital of an independent republic which was annexed to Moscow by Ivan III in 1489. Its location made for favorable trade conditions with Ustyug, the Volga region, and Arkhangelsk. In the 17th cent. it grew in importance because it was on the road from Moscow to Siberia. The city was renamed Vyatka in 1780, and Kirov (for S. M. Kirov) in 1934. In the 19th cent. it was used as a place of political exile.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: CIS and Baltic Political Geography