2009 SCO & BRIC Summits > Backgrounder

Russia's historical city of Yekaterinburg

Updated: 2009-06-15 10:19

BEIJING - Chinese President Hu Jintao will attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the first meeting of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) leaders in Russia's Ural city of Yekaterinburg scheduled for June 15-16.

Yekaterinburg is located 2,000 kilometers east of Russia's capital Moscow. It is situated on the eastern side of the Ural mountains, on the banks of the Iset River.

Yekaterinburg, the capital of Russia's Sverdlovskaya state, is 490 square kilometers with an estimated population of 1.32 million.

The Novgorod people began to explore the Ural region from the 11th century. In the 14th century, administration and control of the region belonged to Moscow. A large number of Russians migrated to the area in the 17th century. In 1723, Peter the Great, the Russian emperor, set up the country's first smeltery here and built the industrial city - Yekaterinburg.

During the period of the Russian Revolution, the city's industrial power achieved great progress. Some 700 enterprises and 46 universities settled in the Ural region, making the city one of the important centers of national scientific research.

Today, Yekaterinburg has become one of the most important industrial centers, containing a number of high-tech institutes, and supporting the heavy and national defense industries.

The city's products relate to energy, transportation, military equipment, high-quality steel, nonferrous metals, and chemicals. Most of the companies enjoy a good reputation worldwide.

Yekaterinburg has more than 600 historical and cultural sites. The city is also famous for its jewellery-making industry.

Theaters, concert halls, galleries and some 50 music and art schools have added colour to the cultural life of the city.

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