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Blagoveshchensk

Blagoveshchensk (bləgəvyĕsh´chĬnsk), city (1989 pop. 206,000), capital of Amur region, Russian Far East, at the confluence of the Amur and Zeya rivers. A river port and railroad hub on the Trans-Siberian RR, Blagoveshchensk is also an agricultural center and a supply point for the Zeya gold-mining basin. Near Svobodny, 104 mi (167 km) to the north, is the Vostochny Cosmodrome, est. 1996 at a former strategic missile base; in 2007 the Russian government chose the cosmodrome as the site for development of a facility to replace Baikonur Cosmodrome. Russian pioneers settled Blagoveshchensk in 1644, but the area was returned to China in 1689. The city became a Russian army post in 1856.

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