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Balashikha is a city in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located on the Pekhorka River 1km east of Moscow. Population: 92,400 (1970).EtymologyBalashikha is an unusual name in Russian and several legends exist as to why it was chosen as the name of this conurbation. The word balash is Turkic and can be translated as an inn, i.e., a place of temporary respite for travelers. Another account tells of a wealthy Tatar, named Balash, a descendant of Genghis Khan of the Golden Horde who had his residence on this site. Most usual explanation is that it derived from word balakh, which means caltha palustris plant. Another version: in finno-ugric languages Bala-shika means land of celebrations, land of laughter and fun. Before Slavs in this area lived Finno-Ugric peoples.GeographyThe city is known for its unique river and waterway system. The Pekhorka River system covers an area of 40km from north to south and 20km from east to west, and many small lakes and ponds were created by damming to provide water power for the cotton mills in the 19th century.
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