Semey

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Semey
Семей
Skyline of Semey
Official seal of Semey
Seal
Semey is located in Kazakhstan
Semey
Semey
Location in Kazakhstan
Coordinates: 50°26′0″N 80°16′0″E / 50.43333°N 80.26667°E / 50.43333; 80.26667
Country Kazakhstan
Province East Kazakhstan Province
Founded 1718
Incorporated (city) 1782
Government
 • Akim (mayor) Aybek Karimov
Area
 • Total 210 km2 (80 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 299,264
Time zone BTT (UTC+6)
Postal code 071400
Area code(s) +7 7222
New bridge in Semey.[1]
NASA satellite photo of Semey.

Semey (Kazakh and Russian Семей / Semey / سەمەي), formerly known as Semipalatinsk (Russian: Семипала́тинск, until 2007) and Alash-kala (Kazakh: Алаш-қала / Alaş-qala / الاش-قالا, 1917–1920), is a city in Kazakhstan, in the northeastern province of East Kazakhstan, and in the Kazakhstan part of Siberia, near the border with Russian Federation, around 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) north of Almaty, and 700 kilometres (430 mi) southeast of the Russian city of Omsk, along the Irtysh River. Population: 299,264 (2009 Census results);[2]269,574 (1999 Census results).[2]

History[edit]

The first settlement was in 1718, when the Russians built a fort beside the river Irtysh, near a ruined Buddhist monastery. The monastery's seven buildings lent the fort (and later the city) the name Semipalatinsk (Russian for Seven-Chambered City).[clarification needed] The fort suffered frequently from flooding caused by the snowmelt swelling the Irtysh, and in 1778 the fort was relocated 18 km upstream to less flood-prone ground. The small city grew around the fort, largely servicing the river trade between the nomadic peoples of Central Asia and the growing Russian Empire. The construction of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway added to the city's importance, making it a major point of transit between Central Asia and Siberia. In 19 May 1854, it was became capital of Semipalatinsk Guberniya.

Between 1917 and 1920, it was the capital of the largely unrecognized Alash Autonomy, a state formed during the Russian Civil War. The city was called Alash-qala during the Alash Autonomy years. It was recaptured by Red Army forces loyal to Petrograd in 1920. It was center of Semipalatinsk Guberniya till 17 January 1928, then Eastern Kazakhstan Oblast between 17 January 1928 and 14 October 1939 and finally Semipalatinsk Oblast between 1939 and 1997.

In 1949, a site on the steppe 150 km (93 mi) west of the city was chosen by the Soviet atomic bomb programme to be the location for its weapons testing. For decades, Kurchatov (the secret city at the heart of the test range named for Igor Kurchatov, father of the soviet atomic bomb) was home to many of the brightest stars of Soviet weapons science. The Soviet Union operated the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS) from the first explosion in 1949 until 1989; 456 nuclear tests, including 340 underground and 116 atmospheric tests, were conducted there.

Semey has suffered serious environmental and health effects from the time of its atomic prosperity: nuclear fallout from the atmospheric tests and uncontrolled exposure of the workers, most of whom lived in the city, have given Semey and neighboring villages high rates of cancer, childhood leukemia, impotence and birth defects.[3]

Modern Semey is a bustling university town with a population exceeding 300,000. Its proximity to the border, and the large expatriate scientific community attached to the university and the STS labs, gives Semey a more Russian character than other Kazakh cities.

The oblast of Semipalatinsk has been merged with the bigger East Kazakhstan Province, whose capital city is Oskemen in 23 May 1997.

The Semipalatinsk Bridge, a suspension bridge across the Irtish River, connects two major parts of Semey. It has a main span of 750 metres (2,460 ft) and a total length of 1,086 metres (3,563 ft).[4] It was built between 1998 and 2002 and is currently in use by road traffic.[citation needed]

Climate[edit]

Semey has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk) with warm summers and very cold winters. Precipitation is low for the whole year, except for July which has an average of 50 millimetres (2.0 in) compared to less than 30 millimetres (1.2 in) in other months. Snow is common, though light, in winter. The lowest temperature on record is −48.6 °C (−55.5 °F), recorded in November 1938, and the highest temperature is 42.5 °C (108.5 °F), recorded in August 2002.[5]

Climate data for Semey
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 5.3
(41.5)
6.8
(44.2)
24.4
(75.9)
33.0
(91.4)
37.6
(99.7)
39.5
(103.1)
42.1
(107.8)
42.5
(108.5)
38.2
(100.8)
29.5
(85.1)
19.5
(67.1)
7.6
(45.7)
42.5
(108.5)
Average high °C (°F) −9.4
(15.1)
−7.6
(18.3)
−0.3
(31.5)
13.4
(56.1)
22.1
(71.8)
27.1
(80.8)
28.6
(83.5)
27.0
(80.6)
20.6
(69.1)
12.0
(53.6)
0.6
(33.1)
−6.7
(19.9)
10.62
(51.12)
Daily mean °C (°F) −14.2
(6.4)
−13.3
(8.1)
−5.8
(21.6)
6.6
(43.9)
14.8
(58.6)
20.1
(68.2)
21.7
(71.1)
19.5
(67.1)
12.7
(54.9)
5.2
(41.4)
−4.3
(24.3)
−11.1
(12)
4.33
(39.8)
Average low °C (°F) −19.2
(−2.6)
−18.8
(−1.8)
−10.9
(12.4)
0.3
(32.5)
7.2
(45)
12.6
(54.7)
14.9
(58.8)
12.0
(53.6)
5.3
(41.5)
−0.3
(31.5)
−8.5
(16.7)
−15.7
(3.7)
−1.76
(28.83)
Record low °C (°F) −46.8
(−52.2)
−45.3
(−49.5)
−39.1
(−38.4)
−26.1
(−15)
−9.9
(14.2)
−1.0
(30.2)
4.3
(39.7)
−0.7
(30.7)
−8.2
(17.2)
−20.8
(−5.4)
−48.6
(−55.5)
−45.8
(−50.4)
−48.6
(−55.5)
Precipitation mm (inches) 15
(0.59)
15
(0.59)
16
(0.63)
16
(0.63)
28
(1.1)
29
(1.14)
50
(1.97)
22
(0.87)
15
(0.59)
21
(0.83)
26
(1.02)
22
(0.87)
275
(10.83)
Avg. rainy days 0.5 1 4 9 12 12 15 12 10 12 6 1 94.5
Avg. snowy days 17 16 12 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 2 11 18 78.2
 % humidity 75 75 76 59 53 53 60 59 60 67 74 75 65.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 108 139 199 243 303 335 342 307 242 144 111 94 2,567
Source #1: pogoda.ru.net[5]
Source #2: NOAA (sun only, 1961-1990)[6]

Famous residents[edit]

  • Abay Qunanbayuli, father of modern Kazakh poetry, received his Russian schooling at Semey.
  • Writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, whose exile included five years military service as a corporal in the Seventh Line Battalion at the Semipalatinsk garrison, beginning in 1854. Residents claim the details of particular descriptive passages in Dostoyevsky's subsequent books, including his highly acclaimed The Brothers Karamazov, are recognizable as taken from his time in Semey.
  • Stanislav Kurilov (1936-1998) grew up in Semipalatinsk. An oceanographer and a good swimmer, he defected from the USSR in 1974 by means of jumping off a cruise liner in the open ocean and swimming to the Philippines.
  • The Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko, who was born there in 1976.
  • The Russian saxophonist Sergey Letov was born there.

The city has a museum to commemorate Abay Qunanbayuli, and has both a museum of and a street named after Dostoyevsky.

Population[edit]

Year Population
1881 17,820
1897 26,353
1910 34,400
1926 56,100
1939 109,700
1959 149,800
1979 270,400
1989 317,100
1999 269,600

Higher education[edit]

Semey is famous for its intellectual medical community with leading Semey State Medical University which provides region and country with highly professional health specialists.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Semey is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New bridge in Semey on Wikimapia
  2. ^ a b "Население Республики Казахстан" (in Russian). Департамент социальной и демографической статистики. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Inside the nuclear underworld: Deformity and fear", CNN, retrieved 2007-08-31
  4. ^ "Semipatalinsk Irtysh River Bridge (2002)". en.structurae.de. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "pogoda.ru.net Погода и Климат". Retrieved January 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Semipalatinsk Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 10, 2012. 

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 50°26′N 80°16′E / 50.433°N 80.267°E / 50.433; 80.267