Ulyanovsk, formerly Simbirsk, is a city and the administrative center of Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Volga River 893 kilometers (555 mi) east from Moscow. Population: 613,793 (2010 Census preliminary results); 635,947 (2002 Census); 625,155 (1989 Census). The city is the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin (originally named Ulyanov), for whom it is named. Simbirsk was founded in 1648 by the boyar Bogdan Khitrovo. The fort of 'Simbirsk' (alternatively 'Sinbirsk') was strategically placed on a hill on the Western bank of the Volga River. The fort was meant to protect the eastern frontier of the Russian Empire from the nomadic tribes and to establish a permanent Imperial presence in the area. In 1668, Simbirsk withstood a month-long siege by a 20,000-strong army led by rebel Cossack commander Stenka Razin. Also in Simbirsk another country rebel, Yemelyan Pugachev, was imprisoned before execution.
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