Smolensk

Smolensk

Smolensk[a] is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow. First mentioned in 863, it is one of the oldest cities in Russia. It has a population of 316,570 (2021 Census).[13]The name of the city is derived from the name of the Smolnya River. Smolnya river flows through Karelian and Murmansk areas of north-western Russia.[14] The origin of the river's name is less clear. One possibility is the old Slavic word смоль (smol') for black soil, which might have colored the waters of the Smolnya. An alternative origin could be the Russian word смола (smola), which means resin, tar, or pitch. Pine trees grow in the area, and the city was once a center of resin processing and trade. The Byzantine emperor Constantine VII (r. 913–959) recorded its name as Μιλινισκα (Miliniska).[15]