|- City -|
Night in Blagoveshchensk, with the lights of Heihe glowing in the background
|Administrative status (as of December 2008)|
|Federal subject||Amur Oblast|
|Administratively subordinated to||Blagoveshchensk Urban Okrug|
|Administrative center of||Amur Oblast, Blagoveshchensk Urban Okrug, Blagoveshchensky District|
|Municipal status (as of March 2005)|
|Urban okrug||Blagoveshchensk Urban Okrug|
|Administrative center of||Blagoveshchensk Urban Okrug, Blagoveshchensky Municipal District|
|Head||Vladimir Kobelev|
|Population (2010 Census)||214,390 inhabitants|
|- Rank in 2010||87th|
|Time zone||YAKT (UTC+10:00)|
|Postal code(s)||675000–675029|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 4162|
Blagoveshchensk (Russian: Благовещенск; IPA: [bləgɐˈvʲɛɕːɪnsk]) is a city and the administrative center of Amur Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Amur and Zeya Rivers, opposite to the Chinese city of Heihe. Population: 214,390 (2010 Census); 219,221 (2002 Census); 205,553 (1989 Census).
Early history of the region 
The early residents of both sides of the Amur in the region of today's Blagoveshchensk were the Daurs and Duchers. An early settlement in the area of today's Blagoveshchensk was the Ducher town whose name was reported by the Russian explorer Yerofey Khabarov as Aytyun in 1652; it has been identified with what is currently known to the archaeologists as the Grodekovo site, after the nearby village of Grodekovo (which is located on the left bank of the Amur at , some 25–30 km (16–19 mi) south of Blagoveshchensk). The Grodekovo site is thought by archaeologists to have been populated since ca. 1000 CE.
As the Russians tried to assert their control over the region, the Ducher town was probably vacated when the Duchers were evacuated by the Qing to the Sungari or Hurka in the mid-1650s. Since 1673, the Manchus re-used the site for their fort ("Old Aigun", in modern literature), which served in 1683-1685 as a base for the Manchus' campaign against the Russian fort of Albazin further north.
After the capture of Albazin in 1685 or 1686, the Manchus relocated their town, to a new site on the right (southwestern, i.e. presently Chinese) bank of the Amur, about 3 miles (4.8 km) downstream from the original site; it later became known as Aigun.
The Russian settlement 
As the balance of power in the region has changed by the mid-19th century, the Russian Empire was able to take over the left (generally northern, but around Blagoveshchensk, eastern) shore of the Amur from China. Since the 1858 Aigun Treaty and the 1860 Treaty of Peking, the river has remained the border between the two countries, although the Qing subjects were allowed to continue to live in the so-called Sixty-Four Villages east of the Amur and the Zeya (i.e., within today's Blagoveshchensk's eastern suburbs).
Although Russian settlers had lived in the area as early as 1644 as "Hailanpao", the present-day city began in 1856 as the military outpost of Ust-Zeysky; its name meaning settlement at the mouth of the Zeya River in Russian. Tsar Alexander II gave approval for the founding of the city in 1858, with the city to be named Blagoveshchensk, after the parish Church of the Annunciation and declared to be seat of government for the Amur region.
According to the city authorities, by 1877 the city had some 8,000 residents, with merely fifteen foreigners (presumably, Chinese) among them.
The city was an important river port and trade center during the late 19th century, with growth further fueled by a gold rush early in the 20th century and by its position on the Chinese border, just hundreds of meters across from the city of Heihe.
Local historian note the preeminence of Blagoveshchensk in the economy of the late 19th century Russian Far East, which was reflected by a "small detail": when the heir to Russian throne, HRH Nicholas Alexandrovich (future Tsar Nicholas II) visited the city in 1891 during his grand tour of Asia, the locals presented him with bread and salt on a gold tray, rather than on a silver one, as it was done in other cities of the region.
The Boxer Rebellion 
In the course of the Boxer Rebellion, the Qing Imperial army (made out of Manchus and Chinese) and Boxer insurgents shelled the city in July 1900. Chinese Honghuzi forces joined the attack against Blagoveshchensk. According to the Orthodox belief, the city was allegedly saved by a miraculous icon of Our Lady of Albazin, which was prayed to continuously during the shelling which lasted almost two weeks.
On July 3 (Old Style), a decision was made by the city's Police Chief Batarevich and the Military Governor Gribsky to deport the city's entire ethnic Chinese community (which, according to the official statistics, numbered 4,008 in 1898), viewed as potential "fifth columnists". As the cross-river shipping was interrupted by the rebellion, a question arose how to get them from the Russian side of the Amur to the Chinese side. Batarevich suggested that the deportees could be first taken east of the Zeya, where they could try to obtain boats from the local Chinese villagers. The plan, however, was vetoed by the governor, and the decision was made instead to take the deportees to the stanitsa of Verkhneblagoveshchenskaya—the place where the Amur is at its narrowest—and made them leave the Russian shore. As the local ataman refused to provide the deportees with boats to take them across the river (despite the orders of his superior), few of them made it to the Chinese side. The rest drowned in the Amur, or were shot or axed by the police, Cossacks and local volunteers, when refusing to leave the dry land. According to Chinese sources, about 5,000 people reportedly died during these events of July 4–8, 1900.
The expulsion of local Chinese caused some hardships for Blagoveshchensk consumers. Historians note that during the second half of 1900, it became almost impossible to buy any green vegetables in town; ten eggs would cost 30-50 kopecks (and in winter, as much as a ruble), while before it had been possible to buy ten eggs for 10-15 kopecks.
The massacre angered the Chinese, and had ramifications for the future: the Chinese Honghuzi fought a guerilla war against Russian occupation and assisted the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese war against the Russians in revenge. Louis Livingston Seaman mentioned the massacre as being the reason for the Chinese Honghuzi hatred towards the Russians.: "The Chinaman, be he Hung-hutze or peasant, in his relation to the Russians in this conflict with Japan has not forgotten the terrible treatment accorded him since the Muscovite occupation of Manchuria. He still remembers the massacre at Blagovestchensk when nearly 8,000 unarmed men, women, and children were driven at the point of the bayonet into the raging Amur, until—as one of the Russian officers who participated in that brutal murder told me at Chin-Wang-Tao in 1900—" the execution of my orders made me almost sick, for it seemed as though I could have walked across the river on the bodies of the floating dead." Not a Chinaman escaped, except forty who were employed by a leading foreign merchant who ransomed their lives at a thousand roubles each. These, and many even worse, atrocities are remembered and now is their moment for revenge. So it was easy for Japan to enlist the sympathy of these men, especially when emphasized by liberal pay, as is now the case. It is believed that more than 10,000 of these bandits, divided into companies of from 200 to 300 each and led by Japanese officers, are now in the pay of Japan."
Civil war and the Soviet era 
The city was also the site of conflict during the Russian Civil War, with Japanese troops occupying the city in support of the White Army. From 1920 until 1922, the city was declared part of the Far Eastern Republic, an area which was nominally independent, but in reality a buffer zone under control of the Russian SFSR.
The city became the administrative center of Amur Oblast in 1932.
Modern era 
On August 1, 2011 Blagoveshchensk was hit by an F2 tornado. The tornado claimed one life and injured twenty-eight people. Damage costs are estimated at 80 million rubles.
Administrative and municipal status 
Blagoveshchensk is the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it also serves as the administrative center of Blagoveshchensky District, even though it is not a part of it. As an administrative division, it is, together with six rural localities, incorporated separately as Blagoveshchensk Urban Okrug—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, this administrative unit also has urban okrug status.
Blagoveschensk experiences a monsoon influenced humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwb, though verging on Dwa as the July temperature is only a fraction below 22 °C (72 °F)) with very cold, dry winters and warm, wet summers. On August 1, 2011, it became the first Russian city ever to be hit by a tornado.
|Climate data for Blagoveshchensk|
|Record high °C (°F)||0.2
|Average high °C (°F)||−16.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−22.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−27.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−44.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||6
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm)||0.09||0.03||0.5||8||13||15||15||16||14||7||0.3||0||89|
|Avg. snowy days||11||7||8||6||1||0||0||0||0||5||10||12||60|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||139.5||194.9||226.3||222.0||251.1||255.0||226.3||226.3||168.0||189.1||156.0||124.0||2,378.5|
|Source #1: Погода и Климат|
|Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sunshine only)|
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the city's economic focus has turned to border trade with China. The town is now home to a large Chinese expatriate community. Blagoveshchensk is part of a free trade zone which includes the Chinese city of Heihe, located on the other side of the Amur River.
The city is served by a branch highway and railway connecting it to Belogorsk on the Trans-Siberian Railway and Trans-Siberian Highway. It is also served by a river port. On the other side of the Amur River is Heihe, Heilongjiang Province, China, which is the starting point of China National Highway 202 that goes south to Harbin and Dalian. Ignatyevo Airport, located 20 kilometers (12 mi) northwest of the city center, serves domestic destinations.
- Amur State University
- Amur State Medical Academy
- Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University
- Far Eastern State Agricultural University
- Moscow Academy of Business in Association with the Government of Moscow, Blagoveschensk Branch
- Modern University for the Humanities, Blagoveschensk Branch
- Finance University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Blagoveschensk Branch
- Maritime State University named after admiral Gennady Nevelskoy, Blagoveschensk Branch
- Far Eastern Higher Military Commanding Academy
Sister city 
- Law #127-OZ
- Law #51-OZ
- Law #447-OZ
- "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- Правительство Российской Федерации. Постановление №725 от 31 августа 2011 г. «О составе территорий, образующих каждую часовую зону, и порядке исчисления времени в часовых зонах, а также о признании утратившими силу отдельных Постановлений Правительства Российской Федерации». Вступил в силу по истечении 7 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Российская Газета", №197, 6 сентября 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Resolution #725 of August 31, 2011 On the Composition of the Territories Included into Each Time Zone and on the Procedures of Timekeeping in the Time Zones, as Well as on Abrogation of Several Resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. Effective as of after 7 days following the day of the official publication.).
- Энциклопедия Города России. Moscow: Большая Российская Энциклопедия. 2003. p. 48. ISBN 5-7107-7399-9.
- "Численность населения России, субъектов Российской Федерации в составе федеральных округов, районов, городских поселений, сельских населённых пунктов – районных центров и сельских населённых пунктов с населением 3 тысячи и более человек" [Population of Russia, its federal districts, federal subjects, districts, urban localities, rural localities—administrative centers, and rural localities with population of over 3,000]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года (All-Russia Population Census of 2002) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров." [All Union Population Census of 1989. Present population of union and autonomous republics, autonomous oblasts and okrugs, krais, oblasts, districts, urban settlements, and villages serving as district administrative centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года (All-Union Population Census of 1989) (in Russian). Institute of Demographics of the State University—Higher School of Economics. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Амурская область: История. Народы Амурской земли (Amur Oblast - the History. The peoples of the Amur Land) (Russian)
- Олег Анатольевич Тимофеев (Oleg Anatolyevich Timofeyev). "Российско-китайские отношения в Приамурье (сер. XIX – нач. XX вв.)" (Russian-Chinese relations in the Amur region, mid-19th - early 20th centuries). Part 1. Blagoveshchensk, 2003.
- Bruce Mancall, Russia and China:Their Diplomatic Relations to 1728. 1971, pages 115-127
- E. G. Ravenstein, The Russians on the Amur. London, 1861. P. 48.
- Note that the distance between modern Grodekovo and the historic Aigun on the Chinese side of the river is about 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) on modern maps, rather than 3 miles (4.8 km), as Ravenstein states. However, the location of the Grodekovo archaeological site (i.e., the "Old Aigun") may be quite a distance from the eponymous village; and Ravenstein may be somewhat imprecise in the number.
- Валентина Кобзарь (Valentina Kobzar). Сколько «Царских ворот» на Дальнем Востоке? Память о путешествии Николая II (How many "Royal Gates" are there in the Far East?)
- Joana Breidenbach (2005). Pál Nyíri, Joana Breidenbach, ed. China inside out: contemporary Chinese nationalism and transnationalism (illustrated ed.). Central European University Press. p. 90. ISBN 963-7326-14-6. Retrieved March 18, 2012. "The political component of Chinese banditism emerged only in the year 1900. For the first time, Khunkhuzy attacked the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. It ended in the drowning of about 3,000 Chinese near Blagoveshchensk (called Hailanbao in Chinese). When during the Boxer Uprising Boxers and khunkhuzy assaulted Russian positions nearby, Cossacks stationed there decided to drive the Chinese from the Russian bank of the river back onto the Chinese bank. People were simply pushed into the river, and many of them drowned. Even Vladimir Lenin personally criticized the Russian tsarist government for its brutality."
- Олег Анатольевич Тимофеев (Oleg Anatolyevich Timofeyev). "Российско-китайские отношения в Приамурье (сер. XIX – нач. XX вв.)" (Russian-Chinese relations in the Amur region, mid-19th - early 20th centuries). Part 2. Blagoveshchensk, 2003. Quote: "3 июля благовещенский полицмейстер Батаревич предложил военному губернатору Амурской области К.Н. Грибскому депортировать китайцев на правый берег... Сразу же возник вопрос о транспортных средствах для перевозки нескольких тысяч человек... Батаревич в конечном итоге принял решение о переправе всех китайцев в районе ст. Верхнеблаговещенской – месте, где Амур наиболее узок... По прибытии в ст. Верхнеблаговещенскую события приняли еще более драматический оборот. Местный атаман Писарев, несмотря на приказ председателя амурского войскового правления полковника Волковинского, наотрез отказался предоставить китайцам имевшиеся у него шаланду и лодки, опасаясь их захвата противником. Китайцам было предложено переправляться самим, хотя среди них имелись старики и дети. К этому времени к берегу подошли озлобленные продолжающимся обстрелом местные жители. Совершенно естественное нежелание депортируемых самим идти на смерть окружившими их русскими было воспринято почти как вооруженное восстание. Во время последующего следствия Шабанов и Писарев пытались обвинить друг друга в попустительстве началу расправы. Начальник конвоя указывал в рапорте, что стрелял один из местных казаков, неизвестно по чьему приказу. При опросе атамана и казаков станицы ими было заявлено, что переправа (то есть истребление – О.Т.) началась лишь после того, как помощник пристава «принял более строгие меры». На деле эти меры свелись к уничтожению безоружных китайцев как на берегу, так и уже в воде. Как гласят цинские источники, депортируемых связывали косами по пять-шесть человек и штыками загоняли в воду. Отказавшихся переправляться Шабанов приказал, по свидетельству очевидцев, зарубить топорами. По некоторым данным, огонь был открыт и с цинской стороны. Из всей партии до противоположного берега доплыли лишь 80-100 человек".
- Louis Livingston Seaman (1904). From Tokio through Manchuria with the Japanese. PRINTED AT THE APPLETON PRESS, NEW YORK, U.S.A.: S. Appleton. p. 170. Retrieved 18 March 2012. "ant, in his relation to the Russians in this conflict with Japan has not forgotten the terrible treatment accorded him since the Muscovite occupation of Manchuria. He still remembers the massacre at Blagovestchensk when nearly 8,000 unarmed men, women, and children were driven at the point of the bayonet into the raging Amur, until—as one of the Russian officers who participated in that brutal murder told me at Chin-Wang-Tao in 1900—" the execution of my orders made me almost sick, for it seemed as though I could have walked across the river on the bodies of the floating dead." Not a Chinaman escaped, except forty who were employed by a leading foreign merchant who ransomed their lives at a thousand roubles each. These, and many even worse, atrocities are remembered and now is their moment for revenge. So it was easy for Japan to enlist the sympathy of these men, especially when emphasized by liberal pay, as is now the case. It is believed that more than 10,000 of these bandits, divided into companies of from 200 to 300 each and led by Japanese officers, are now in the pay of Japan."LONDON SIDNEY APPLETON COPYRIGHT, 1904, BY D. APPLETON AND COMPANY Original from the University of California Digitized Nov 21, 2007
- "Russia’s Far East region declares emergency in the wake of deadly tornado". Retrieved 3 August 2011.[dead link]
- "Климат Благовещенска". Погода и Климат. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- "Climatological Information for Blagovescensk, Russia". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
- "Blagoveshchensk: Russia's anchor on the Amur River". Russia Beyond the Headlines. 2011-05-16.
- Blagoveshchensk and Heihe partner cities
- Амурский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №127-ОЗ от 23 декабря 2005 г. «О порядке решения вопросов административно-территориального устройства Амурской области», в ред. Закона №164-ОЗ от 29 декабря 2008 г «О внесении изменений в закон Амурской области "О порядке решения вопросов административно-территориального устройства Амурской области"». Вступил в силу со дня первого официального опубликования, за исключением подпункта "б" пункта 2 статьи 7, вступающего в силу с 1 января 2006 г. Опубликован: "Амурская правда", №11, 24 января 2006 г. (Amur Oblast Council of People's Deputies. Law #127-OZ of December 23, 2005 On the Procedures of Handling the Issues of the Administrative and Territorial Structure of Amur Oblast, as amended by the Law #164-OZ of December 29, 2008 On Amending the Law of Amur Oblast "On the Procedures of Handling the Issues of the Administrative and Territorial Structure of Amur Oblast". Effective as of the day of the first official publication, with the exception of subitem "b" of item 2 of Article 7, which is effective January 1, 2006.).
- Амурский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №447-ОЗ от 14 марта 2005 г «О наделении муниципального образования города Благовещенск статусом городского округа и об установлении его границ». Вступил в силу в соответствии со статьёй 3. Опубликован: "Амурская правда", №61, 25 марта 2005 г. (Amur Oblast Council of People's Deputies. Law #447-OZ of March 14, 2005 On Granting the Municipal Formation of the Town of Blagoveshchensk the Urban Okrug Status and on Establishing Its Borders. Effective as of the date set forth in accordance with the provisions of Article 3.).
- Амурский областной Совет народных депутатов. Закон №51-ОЗ от 21 сентября 2005 г. «Об установлении границ и наделении соответствующим статусом муниципального образования Благовещенского района и муниципальных образований в его составе». Вступил в силу со дня первого опубликования, за исключением статьи 3, вступившей в силу с 1 января 2006 г. Опубликован: "Амурская правда", №190, 27 сентября 2005 г. (Amur Oblast Council of People's Deputies. Law #51-OZ of September 21, 2005 On Establishing the Borders of and Granting a Corresponding Municipal Formation Status to Blagoveshchensky District and to the Municipal Formations It Comprises. Effective as of the day of the first publication, with the exception of Article 3 which took effect on January 1, 2006.).
- Official website of Blagoveshchensk (Russian)
- Video: Tornado in Blagoveshchensk, July 31, 2011
- Video: Tornado aftermath, Blagoveshchensk, July 31, 2011