Bryansk (Russian: Брянск, IPA: [brʲansk]) is a city and the administrative center of Bryansk Oblast, Russia, located 379 kilometers (235 mi) southwest of Moscow. Bryansk is also closer to the border with Belarus. Population: 415,721 (2010 Census); 431,526 (2002 Census); 452,160 (1989 Census).
The first written mention of Bryansk , as Debryansk, dates to 1146 in the Hypatian Codex. The name appears variously as Дъбряньск, Дьбряньск, and in other spellings. Etymologically, it derives from "дъбръ", a Slavic word for "ditch", "lowland", or "dense woodland"; the area was known for its dense woods, of which very little remains today. Local authorities and archaeologists, however, believe that the town had existed as early as 985 as a fortified settlement on the right bank of the Desna River.
Bryansk remained poorly attested until the 1237-1242 Mongol invasion of Rus'. It was the northernmost of the Severian cities in the possession of the Chernigov Rurikids. After the Mongols murdered Prince Mikhail of Chernigov in 1246 and his capital was destroyed, his son Roman Mikhailovich moved his seat to Bryansk. In 1310, when the Mongols sacked the town again, it belonged to the Principality of Smolensk.
Grand Duke Algirdas of Lithuania acquired Bryansk through inheritance in 1356 and gave it to his son, Dmitry the Elder. Until the end of the century Grand Duke Jogaila of Lithuania, Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania, the future Grand Duke Švitrigaila of Lithuania, and Grand Duke Yury of Smolensk contested control of the town.
The Grand Duchy of Moscow conquered Bryansk following the Battle of Vedrosha in 1503. The town was turned into a fortress which played a major role during the Time of Troubles (1598-1613). During the Time of Troubles the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth occupied the town in 1610, and it remained in Polish hands as part of Smolensk Voivodeship until the Truce of Deulino in 1634. In 1709 Tsar Peter the Great incorporated Bryansk into the Kiev Governorate, but Empress Catherine the Great deemed it wise to transfer the town to the newly-formed Oryol Governorate in 1779. She also promulgated the town's coat of arms (August 1781).
In the 17th and 18th centuries the economy of Bryansk, which had become a regional trading center, was based on the Svenskaya fair (Russian: Свенская ярмарка), the largest in European Russia. The fair took place annually under the auspices of the nearby Svensky Monastery. After the town started to manufacture cannon and ammunition for the Imperial Russian Navy in 1783, Bryansk evolved from a regional market town into an important industrial center for metallurgy and textiles. The city's population exceeded 30,000 by 1917. In 1812 Napoleon's Grande Armée fought the Russians in Bryansk and in Orel during the French invasion of Russia.
In 1918 the Belarusian People's Republic claimed Bryansk, but Bolshevik forces took the town in 1919. During World War II the German Wehrmacht captured Bryansk and encircled the Soviet 3rd,13th and 50th armies. The town remained under Axis occupation (from October 6, 1941 to September 17, 1943), with the city left heavily damaged by fighting. About 60,000 Soviet partisans were active in and around Bryansk, inflicting heavy losses on the German army. In 1944, soon after its liberation, Bryansk became the administrative center of Bryansk Oblast.
In 2016 the city council approved a new general city plan, which called among others for laying of a new route from Burov Street along the Bolva River to Vokzalnaya Street with the intersection of the railway and Bolva. In the southern direction, it is proposed to extend the road along the Desna to the Fokinsky District to Moskovsky Prospekt, construction of a road from the Black Bridge along the Karachizh ravine with the intersection of Stanke Dimitrova Avenue to Sakharova Street, reconstruction of Sakharova Street to the bypass road and the A141 highway, as well as development of the area of the old airport (area of Gorbatova, Stepnaya streets).
Administrative and municipal status
Bryansk is the administrative center of the oblast. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with three work settlements (Belye Berega, Bolshoye Polpino, and Raditsa-Krylovka), incorporated separately as Bryansky Urban Administrative Okrug—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Bryansky Urban Administrative Okrug is incorporated as Bryansk Urban Okrug.
Today's Bryansk is an important center for steel and machinery manufacturing, and is home to many large factories. The main industries are machine building, metalworking, chemical, electrical equipment, electronics, wood, textile and food industries, locomotives, diesel engines, freight cars, motor graders, pavers and other road equipment, agricultural equipment, construction materials, and garments.
Since 1868, there is a railway connection between Bryansk and Moscow. The city has railway stations: Bryansk Orlovsky and Bryansk-Lgovskiy (Bryansk Bryansk -I and -II, respectively), Ordzhonikidzegrad; Street Bus Station and Peresvet Bezhitsa bus station. fourteen kilometres (9 miles) west of the city lies the Bryansk International Airport.
Passenger traffic carried by bus (more than 1,400 cars on 54 permanent urban routes), trolley on 10 regular routes, uses (36 routes), as well as commuter trains and railcars. The cost of public transport (trolley buses) is 16 rubles, and buses, 20 rubles (as of May 2018).
Russian cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev, shot put athlete Svetlana Krivelyova, sculptor and architect Naum Gabo, classical pianist Valentina Igoshina, and MMA fighter Vitaly Minakov were born in Bryansk. Bulgarian communist leader Stanke Dimitrov (Marek) died in an aviation accident near the city. The writer Leonid Dobychin spent most of his adult years there. Swimmer Victoria Kaminskaya was born in Bryansk.
Bryansk has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb).
Culture and education
Bryansk has two universities, three theaters, and a technical academy.