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View of the city, January 2020
View of the city, January 2020
Flag of Orsk
Coat of arms of Orsk
Location of Orsk
Orsk is located in Orenburg Oblast
Location in Orenburg Oblast
Orsk is located in European Russia
Location in Russia
Orsk is located in Europe
Location in Europe
Coordinates: 51°12′N 58°34′E / 51.200°N 58.567°E / 51.200; 58.567Coordinates: 51°12′N 58°34′E / 51.200°N 58.567°E / 51.200; 58.567
Federal subjectOrenburg Oblast[1]
City status since1865
 • BodyCity Duma
 • MayorAndrei Odintsov[2]
200 m (700 ft)
 • Total239,800
 • Estimate 
229,255 (−4.4%)
 • Rank80th in 2010
 • Subordinated toCity of Orsk[1]
 • Capital ofCity of Orsk[1]
 • Urban okrugOrsk Urban Okrug[5]
 • Capital ofOrsk Urban Okrug[5]
Time zoneUTC+5 (MSK+2 Edit this on Wikidata[6])
Postal code(s)[7]
Dialing code(s)+7 3537
OKTMO ID53723000001

Orsk (Russian: Орск) is the second largest city in Orenburg Oblast, Russia, located on the steppe about 100 kilometers (62 mi) southeast of the southern tip of the Ural Mountains. The city straddles the Ural River. Population: 239,800 (2010 Census);[3] 250,963 (2002 Census);[8] 270,711 (1989 Census).[9] It lies adjacent to the Kazakhstan–Russia border.


The city is located where the Ural River turns from south to west and where the Or River comes in from the southeast (hence the name). It was part of the Orenburg Line of forts.


Orsk was founded (as Orenburg) in 1735 in the process of the Russian colonization of Bashkiria and the Southern Ural region.[10] The first settlement was founded by an expedition headed by Ivan Kirilov as a military fortification at the Mount Preobrazhenskaya on the left bank of the Yaik River (presently Ural River). Originally called Orenburg, its name was changed to Orsk in 1739. In 1743, the name of Orenburg was transferred to the town which is now known under this name; it is located 250 kilometers (160 mi) west of Orsk. At its foundation it marked a southeastern projection of European Russia toward the steppes of Central Asia. It housed an exchange post and Russian customs that dealt with traders from Kazakhstan and Asia.

From June 22, 1847 to May 11, 1848, the fortress of Orsk was home of the exiled Ukrainian poet and painter Taras Shevchenko. In 1861, the fortress was decommissioned and became a station of the Orenburg Cossack army. In 1865, Orsk was granted the city status and became the uyezd center in Orenburg Governorate.[citation needed]

The city grew dramatically starting from the 1870s. The population was mainly occupied with trade in cattle and grain, reprocessing of agricultural products, and various arts and crafts. Many women were involved in the business of weaving famous Orenburg shawls. By 1913, the population of Orsk was over 21,000, and by 1917 there were eleven churches and minarets, and sixteen educational facilities of various types and levels. During the Russian Civil War, from 1918 to 1919, Orsk withstood a three-month-long blockade and then four times changed hands between warring sides.

In the 1930s, the construction of large industrial enterprises, which drew their resources from the mineral rich soils of the region, started. One of the most notable stones excavated within the Orsk city line in the Mount Polkovnik is jasper. Orsk jasper is revered for its variety of natural designs and colors. All colors except for blue are represented in this stone.

Administrative and municipal status[edit]

Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with eight rural localities, incorporated as the City of Orsk—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the City of Orsk is incorporated as Orsk Urban Okrug.[5]


Orsk is the most important industrial center of Orenburg Oblast. The main industries are metallurgy, machine building, petroleum chemistry, food and light industries. Most important enterprises are Yuzhuralnikel, Orsknefteorgsintez, and Yuzhuralmashzavod. During post USSR time chronic under-investment, sanctions and lack of reforms lead to loss of 50,000 jobs and 30 plants, Forbes.com reported.


Orsk railway station

The city is served by Orsk Airport.

Education and culture[edit]

A branch of Orenburg State Institute of Management (OSIM) operates in the city. Other than that, there is one major institute in Orsk: Orsk' humanitary-technological institute. There are also a number of different schools and colleges, State Drama Theater, Museum of Local History, Laboratory of Archeological Studies, Children's Art Gallery, Children's Folk Theater "Blue Bird" and a municipal brass band.

Some of the peculiar landmarks of industrial Orsk are forty archeological monuments including ancient settlements, mass and single grave sites. Those that have been excavated became famous in the scientific world. For instance, grave sites in Kumak, that date back to the Bronze Age provide convincing evidence to the hypothesis of Eastern European roots of Indo-European peoples.

In the grave sites that date back to the early Iron Age (7th–6th centuries BCE) left by "savromatian" or "sormatian" tribes scientists found many ancient items including a clay vessel bearing the name of the Persian ruler Artaxerxes I, the sixth such vessel found in the world.[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b c d Law #1370/276-IV-OZ
  2. ^ Official website of the Orsk Electoral Commission. Election results Archived December 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  3. ^ a b Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). 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.
  4. ^ "26. Численность постоянного населения Российской Федерации по муниципальным образованиям на 1 января 2018 года". Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Law #2367/495-IV-OZ
  6. ^ "Об исчислении времени". Официальный интернет-портал правовой информации (in Russian). June 3, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (in Russian)
  8. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (May 21, 2004). 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] (XLS). Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года [All-Russia Population Census of 2002] (in Russian).
  9. ^ 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). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. 1989 – via Demoscope Weekly.
  10. ^ С.М.Стрельников. Географические названия Оренбургской области. — Изд. 2-е, доп. и испр. — Кувандык, 2002. — 176 с.


  • Законодательное Собрание Оренбургской области. Закон №1370/276-IV-ОЗ от 11 июля 2007 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Оренбургской области», в ред. Закона №2826/783-V-ОЗ от 15 декабря 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Оренбургской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Оренбургской области"». Вступил в силу после официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Южный Урал", №№134–135 (спецвыпуск №40 с документами Законодательного Собрания Оренбургской области), 21 июля 2007 г. (Legislative Assembly of Orenburg Oblast. Law #1370/276-IV-OZ of July 11, 2007 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Orenburg Oblast, as amended by the Law #2826/783-V-OZ of December 15, 2014 On Amending the Law of Orenburg Oblast "On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Orenburg Oblast". Effective as of after the official publication date.).
  • Законодательное Собрание Оренбургской области. Закон №2367/495-IV-ОЗ от 15 сентября 2008 г. «Об утверждении перечня муниципальных образований Оренбургской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав», в ред. Закона №3322/917-V-ОЗ от 24 августа 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Оренбургской области "Об утверждении перечня муниципальных образований Оренбургской области и населённых пунктов, входящих в их состав"». Вступил в силу через 10 дней после официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Бюллетень Законодательного Собрания Оренбургской области", 22 заседание, I часть, 29 августа 2008 г. (Legislative Assembly of Orenburg Oblast. Law #2367/495-IV-OZ of September 15, 2008 On Adopting the Registry of the Municipal Formations of Orenburg Oblast and the Inhabited Localities They Comprise, as amended by the Law #3322/917-V-OZ of August 24, 2015 On Amending the Law of Orenburg Oblast "On Adopting the Registry of the Municipal Formations of Orenburg Oblast and the Inhabited Localities They Comprise". Effective as of after 10 days following the official publication.).

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Orsk at Wikimedia Commons