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Бобруйск (Bobruysk)
Babrujsk Montage.jpg
Flag of Babruysk
Coat of arms of Babruysk
Coat of arms
Babruysk is located in Belarus
Coordinates: 53°09′N 29°14′E / 53.150°N 29.233°E / 53.150; 29.233
Country Belarus
OblastMogilev Region
 • MayorAleksandr Studnev
 • Total83.86 km2 (32.38 sq mi)
157 m (515 ft)
 (2009 census)
 • Total215,092
 • Density2,600/km2 (6,600/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (MSK)
Postal code
Area code(s)+375 0225(1)
Vehicle registration6

Babruysk, Babrujsk or Bobruisk (Belarusian: Бабру́йск [bäˈbruɪ̯s̪k], Łacinka: Babrujsk, Russian: Бобру́йск, tr. Bobrujsk, IPA: [bɐˈbruɪ̯s̪k], Yiddish: באברויסקBabroysk) is a city in the Mogilev Region of eastern Belarus on the Berezina river. It is a large city in Belarus. As of 2009, its population was 215,092.[1] The name Babruysk (as well as that of the Babruyka River) probably originates from the Belarusian word babyor (бабёр; beaver), many of which used to inhabit the Berezina. However, beavers in the area had been almost eliminated by the end of the 19th century due to hunting and pollution.

Babruysk occupies an area of 66 square kilometres (25 sq mi), and comprises over 450 streets whose combined length stretches for over 430 km (267 mi).

Babruysk is located at the intersection of railroads to Asipovichy, Zhlobin, Kastrychnitski and roads to Minsk, Gomel, Mogilev, Kalinkavichy, Slutsk, and Rahachow. It has the biggest timber mill in Belarus, and is also known for its chemical, machine building and metal-working industries.

In 2003, there were 34 public schools in Babruysk, with over 34,000 students. There are also three schools specializing in music, dance and visual arts. Additionally, there is a medical school and numerous professional technical schools.


Babruysk is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. It was first mentioned in writing in the middle of the 14th century. Investigations by archaeologists revealed that in the 5th and 6th centuries there existed Slavic settlements up the river Biarezina from where Babruysk is currently located; findings of stone tools and weapons suggest that people have lived in the area since the Stone Age.

During the reign of Vladimir I, Prince of Kiev, in place of modern-day Babruysk there was a village whose inhabitants were occupied with fishing and beaver trapping. This is where the name Babruysk originated. For many centuries Babruysk was part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and was an important militarily fortified border post. In the 14th century a castle was built on one of the hills near the Berezina River.

Babruysk was not only a major military base, but also a prominent trade center. There is evidence of a market containing nearly one hundred stalls, which implies significant financial activity. In the first half of the 17th century Babruysk became a big trade outpost thanks to its strategic position at the intersection of major trade routes and the Berezina river. There was a flowering of skilled tradesmen, including carpenters, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, and bakers. The population in the first half of the 17th century was between 2,000 and 5,000 people.

The town was surrounded by fortifications made from wood and earth, whose length stretched for over 3 km (2 mi). These included a protective earth barrier, wooden walls, and almost a dozen two-story watchtowers. In the walls there were openings designed for the placement of firearms. After the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 it came into the hands of Imperial Russia. In 1810, the construction of a fortress began to mark the border between Russia and Austria and Prussia; in 1812 it was almost completed and was successful in repelling Napoleon's attack for four months. After the war the building was renewed on a large scale, and it was completed in 1820. That was one of the western Russian fortresses. The Babruysk fortress has served its purpose for many decades and today it is a major tourist attraction.

The 1861 census showed a population of 15,766. The ethnic groups living in Babruysk included Belarusians, Ukrainians, Poles, and Jews. As in other cities of Belarus, most of the buildings were constructed from wood. In 1866 there were 1498 houses, only 29 of which were made from brick.

There was a steady increase in the Jewish population of Babruysk following the Napoleonic wars. By 1897, in the population of 34,336 citizens, 60%, or 20,760 were Jews.[2] Most of them were employed in crafts, industry, and trade.

During the 1890s, the citizens of Babruysk witnessed pogroms after the assassination of the Russian emperor Alexander II. Many of the attacks were repelled by armed Jewish self-defense.[citation needed]

Lenin Square

In 1902, the Great Fire of Babruysk left 2,500 families homeless and destroyed over 250 business, 15 schools and the market. There were more than 7 million rubles in property damage, however the city was quickly rebuilt, this time with brick and stone.

Between February 2 and March 11, 1918 was a Battle of Bobrujsk, between units of the Polish I Corps in Russia, commanded by General Jozef Dowbor-Musnicki, fought with the Red Army over the control of the city and region of Babruysk. In 1918–1920, town was captured by Polish liberation forces.

The old library building of Babruysk.
The recently (2006–2009) rebuilt orthodox St. Nicholas cathedral in Babruysk.
Babruysk city hall and Lenin.
Old T-34 tank lifted on a podium in Babruysk downtown.
Babruysk railway station.
Bobruisk Drama and comedy

On 28 June 1941, troops of the German Army Group Centre captured Babruysk. Believing that German troops would not target civilians, many Jews stayed behind. Consequently, 20,000 Babruysk Jews were shot and buried in mass graves. Ghetto and labor camps were established in the southwest part of town. The conditions inside the camps were horrible and involved lack of food, lack of sanitation and perpetual abuse by the Nazi guards. Soon the Nazis began executing the Jews in the ghetto in groups of about 30. By 1943 all labor camps had been liquidated and the remaining Jews killed. The few Jews who escaped joined partisan forces in the surrounding forest and went about attacking enemy railroad lines. There is a small memorial dedicated to the memory of Babruysk Jews killed in the Holocaust, located in the Nahalat Yitzhak cemetery, Giv'atayim, Israel, as part of the Babi Yar memorial.[3]

On June 29, 1944, the Red Army liberated Babruysk. The city lay in ruins; while the population had been 84,107 in 1939, it was down to 28,352 following the war. The difficult process of rebuilding was conducted by thousands of workers and war prisoners who labored to clear factories and streets of rubble and filled in craters made by the bombardment. The machine building plant had been almost completely destroyed, but was restored to working order by the end of 1944. Many other factories and facilities were also rebuilt.

Between 1944 and 1954, Babruysk served as an administrative center of Babruysk Voblast.

The population recovered swiftly as well. In 1959 it was 96,000, in 1965 – 116,000, in 1968 – 122,500, in 1970 – 136,000 and by 1989, 232,000 people were living in Babruysk. This was mostly due to urbanization, where people moved into the city from the surrounding rural areas.


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Babruysk has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[4]

Climate data for Babruysk
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 9.9
Average high °C (°F) −2.2
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.7
Average low °C (°F) −7.4
Record low °C (°F) −37.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 36
Average rainy days 7 6 9 12 14 15 15 12 14 13 13 10 140
Average snowy days 18 17 12 3 0.2 0 0 0 0 2 10 18 80
Average relative humidity (%) 86 83 78 69 68 73 74 75 80 83 88 88 79

Notable people[edit]

  • Gary Vaynerchuk, serial entrepreneur, CEO, investor, author, public speaker, internet personality and self-proclaimed owner of the American football team New York Jets.[6]
  • Efraim Sevela, was a Soviet writer, screenwriter, director, producer, who after his emigration from the Soviet Union lived in Israel, USA and Russia.
  • Andrei Arlovski, mixed martial arts champion.
  • Maxim Neafit Bujnicki [ru] (born in 1981), Ukrainian film director and screenwriter.
  • Celia Dropkin, American Yiddish poet.
  • Arkadi Duchin (born in 1963), Israeli singer-songwriter and musical producer.
  • Berl Katznelson (1887–1944), chief figure in Labor Zionism, instrumental to the establishment of the modern state of Israel.
  • Ruslan Kogan Australian entrepreneur and self-made millionaire.
  • Kadish Luz, Israeli Minister of Agriculture (1955–1959) and Speaker of the Knesset (1959–1969), acting President for one month in 1963.
  • Grigory Nemtsov (1948–2010), Latvian journalist and politician.
  • Dovid Raskin (1927–2011), rabbi associated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement.
  • Yelena Piskun, two-time world champion in artistic gymnastics
  • Yitzhak Tabenkin (1888–1971), Zionist activist and politician, one of the founders of the Kibbutz Movement.
  • Avraam Zak (1829-1893), Russian-Jewish banker and philanthropist.
  • Echiel Michel ha-Levi Epstein (Hebrew: יחיאל מיכל הלוי אפשטיין‎) (24 January 1829 – 24 February 1908), often called "the Aruch haShulchan" (after his main work, Aruch HaShulchan), was a Rabbi and posek (authority in Jewish law) in Lithuania.
  • Baruch Epstein or Baruch ha-Levi Epstein (1860–1941) (Hebrew: ברוך הלוי אפשטיין‬) was a Lithuanian rabbi, best known for his Torah Temimah commentary on the Torah. He was the son of Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein, rabbi of Novarodok and author of the work Arukh HaShulkhan.
  • Both founders of the Russian band Bi-2 were from Babruysk.
  • David Shimoni (August 25, 1891 – December 10, 1956) was an Israeli poet, writer and translator.
  • Yosef Tunkel (1881–August 9, 1949) was a Jewish–Belarusian–American writer of poetry and humorous prose in Yiddish commonly
  • Abba Ahimeir (Hebrew: אב"א אחימאיר, Russian: Аба Шойл Гайсинович; 2 November 1897 – 6 June 1962) was a Russian-born Jewish journalist, historian and political activist. One of the ideologues of Revisionist Zionism, he was the founder of the Revisionist Maximalist faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM) and of the clandestine Brit HaBirionim.[1][2]
  • Eliyahu Dobkin (Hebrew: אליהו דובקין, 31 December 1898 – 26 October 1976) was a leading figure of the Labor Zionism movement, a signatory of the Israeli declaration of independence and a founder of the Israel Museum. He was also active in the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organisation.
  • Rachel Katznelson-Shazar (Hebrew: רחל כצנלסון-שזר), also known as Rachel Shazar, (born 24 October 1885, died 11 August 1975) was an active figure in the Zionist movement. Her husband was Zalman Shazar, the third President of the State of Israel.
  • Joshua Louis Goldberg (January 6, 1896 – December 24, 1994) was a Belarusian-born American rabbi, who was the first rabbi to be commissioned as a U.S. Navy chaplain in World War II (and only the third to serve in the Navy in its history), the first to reach the rank of Navy Captain (the equivalent of Army Colonel), and the first to retire after a full active-duty career.[1][2]
  • Avraham Katznelson (Hebrew: אברהם קצנלסון, also known as Avraham Nissan, born 1888, died 18 May 1956) was a Zionist political figure in Mandate Palestine and a signatory of the Israeli declaration of independence.
  • Alexander Mikhailovich Orlov (Russian: Александр Михайлович Орлов) (born Leiba Lazarevich Feldbin; 21 August 1895 – 25 March 1973), was a Colonel in the Soviet secret police and NKVD Rezident in the Second Spanish Republic. In 1938, Orlov refused to return to the Soviet Union because he realized that he would be executed, and instead fled with his family to the United States.

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Babruysk is twinned with:[7]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Численность населения областей и районов: Могилевская (PDF) (in Russian). Национальный статистический комитет Республики Беларусь. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 18, 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
  2. ^ Joshua D. Zimmerman, Poles, Jews, and the politics of nationality, Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004, ISBN 0-299-19464-7, Google Print, p.16
  3. ^ "Jewish Heritage Research Group in Belarus".
  4. ^ "Babruysk, Belarus Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)".
  5. ^ "Weather and Climate-The Climate of Babruysk" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Gary Vaynerchuk (December 19, 2014). "The Most Important Word Ever – Gary Vaynerchuk" – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "Внешнеэкономическое сотрудничество". (in Russian). Babruysk. Retrieved January 14, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°09′N 29°14′E / 53.150°N 29.233°E / 53.150; 29.233