Zheleznogorsk-Ilimskii

The city of Zheleznogorsk-Ilimskii is the administrative center of the Nizhniilimsk District of the Irkutsk Region. It is situated on the north-eastern Angaro-Lenskii pateau, sixteen kilometers from the Ilim River. According to the 1996 census, the city.has 33,400 residents.The postal index is 665652. The regional media sources are the newspaper Preilimiya, , and television stations and Center.

The city began as a small, outpost called Korshunikha, which sprang up in 1948 when a deposit of iron ore was discovered in the mountains that lie along the Korshunikha River. Later, in 1965, it received the new name of Zheleznogorsk-Ilimskii and city status.

The railway station Korshunikha-Angarskaya is on the Moscow-Lena and Irkutsk-Ust-Ilimsk lines. A modem airpot flies direct flights to Bratsk and Irkutsk, and travels to all destinations reachable by air in the country.

The main industrial enterprise is a factory to process the iron ore mined in the nearby mountains, the GOK. The founder of this industrial giant was V.V. Belomoin (1918-1983). His initiative also led to the building of many cultural and sport complexes in the area.

M.I. Test (1910-1975) is credited with the building of the city as it stands now. Head of the Korshunovstroy building project, he was an honourable citizen of the city and hailed with the honor of distinguished builder of Russia.

In Zheleznogorsk-Ilimskii there are 5 public school, a technical institute of mining and metallurgy, a technical lycee, an art school for children, and special schools for athletics, music, and arts. The city is proud of such landmarks as the movie theatre Ilim (the first wide-formattheatre in the district) and the swimming pool Dolphin wich 50 meter-long lanes (the largest swimming pool in Eastern Siberia).

The region's center guards the cultural and historical heritage of Preilimiye. There is an immortal monument to A.N. Radishev, the writer, philosopher, and enlightenment thinker who was exiled to the Ilimsk region. The central library, school Jsfe 5, and the main street all carry his name. M.K. Yangel (1911-1971), an academic and winner of a national award for the construction of a strategic rocket, is also a native son of the area. In the center of the city stands a bronze bust made in his image (by sculptor G.Kalchenko).

The names of the citizen of the region who died in the Great Patriotic War are immortalized on the walls of a large memorial complex (by sculptor U. Kuznetsov).

Zheleznogorsk-Ilimskii is situated on the scenic western slope of the mountains, sheltered by a desciduous forest, with an ampitheatre descending to the Rassokha River, and Kyznetskii stream. Cutting into the slope of the mountain is the city's main avenue with dead-end streets flowing out of it on a horizontal like the limbs of a native pine tree.

Above the city is an amazing expanse of primitive, untouched taiga which gives the city of Zheleznogorsk-Ilimskii an especial fascination. A part of the taiga is preserved in the character of the city, as can be seen in its public squares.

Within this beauty the city landscape has done irreparable damage. The forest is constantly being cut down. The slope of the mountain is chaotically being reformed. However, the city continues to maintain its northern exotica, brought here by its first residents, who were true romantics. They were able to achieve a balance between the city and nature, protesting the ecological norm, while greatening the esthetic beauty of the city, which citizens call "the city running out of the mountains".

Translated by E. Moore

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