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Barnaul

Barnaul is a city and the administrative center of Altai Krai, Russia, located along the Ob River in the West Siberian Plain. At the end of 2014, the city had a population of around 700,000 people. The population of the Barnaul metropolitan area is estimated to be over 1.14 million.GeographyBarnaul is the closest major city to the Altai Mountains to the south. The city is also situated relatively close to the border with the countries of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China.HistoryRussian EmpireBarnaul was founded in 1730. Originally chosen for its proximity to the mineral-rich Altai Mountains and its location on a major river, the site was founded by the wealthy Demidov family in the 1730s. In addition to the copper which had originally attracted the Demidovs, substantial deposits of silver were soon found as well. In 1747, the Demidovs' factories were taken over by the Crown, and soon became the center of silver production in the Russian Empire.By the 1900s, Barnaul had grown into a major center of trade and culture of the region, especially after the construction of the Turkestan-Siberia Railway.In 1914, Barnaul was the site of a draft riot, Russia's largest during World War I, which resulted in over a hundred casualties.
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