An important seaport and administrative centre of the Primorsky region, Vladivostok is in southeastern Russia, on the Pacific Ocean. For much of the twentieth century it was the home of the Pacific Fleet.
Vladivostok was founded in 1860 as a Russian military outpost, the name meaning ‘Rule the East’. In 1872 the main Russian naval base on the Pacific was transferred to Vladivostok, prompting rapid expansion. Growth was further boosted when the Chinese Eastern Railway provided an improved rail connection to the rest of the Empire at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Vladivostok was a vital Pacific entry port for military supplies from the US during World War I. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Vladivostok was occupied by foreign troops until 1922.
The Pacific Fleet continued to be based in Vladivostok and was expanded after World War II. Considered to be militarily sensitive, Vladivostok was a closed city from the 1950s until 1990. Following the collapse of the Soviet regime it re-established itself as a commercial port, with imports from around the world but notably from the Far East.
In addition to its port and related industries, other important industries include engineering, chemicals, fisheries and food processing. There is an airport and the city marks the eastern extremity of the Trans-Siberian Railway.
There are several academic institutions including the Far Eastern Scientific Centre and the Far Eastern State University.
Places of Interest
The city has several theatres and orchestras. There is a museum devoted to the Pacific Fleet and another to local history.