Petropavl pyĕ˝trəpä´vəl [key] or Petropavlovsk pyĕ˝trəpäv´ləfsk [key], city (1993 est. pop. 248,000), N Kazakhstan, on the Ishim (Esil) River and at the junction of the Trans-Kazakhstan and Trans-Siberian RR. Small motors, agricultural machinery, leather, felt, and foodstuffs are produced in the city. On the caravan route between Turkistan and W China, Petropavl was founded as a fort in 1752 and became a center for trade between Russia and the central Asian kingdoms. Its industrial development began in the late 19th cent. and intensified during and following World War II. The city is predominantly ethnically Russian.
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