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Salekhard

Salekhard is a town and the administrative center of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia. It is the closest town to the Polar circle, the main parts being about 1km south and suburbs stretching to the north of the circle. Population:HistoryThe settlement of Obdorsk was founded in 1595, in the place of a Khanty settlement called Polnovat-Vozh, by Russian settlers after the conquest of Siberia. It was situated on the Ob River, and its name supposedly derives from that. The land around Obdorsk was referred to as Obdorsky krai, or Obdoriya.The town was often used as a place of exile during the Tsarist and Soviet periods. Among notable people who spent time here was the Doukhobor spiritual leader Pyotr Verigin. The town and nearby area contained three Soviet camps where approximately 6,500 prisoners were held, arrested for their belief in God. At the port of Salekhard, approximately 1,500 prisoners loaded and unloaded goods at the dock, or mined metal ores. About 5,000 prisoners in two camps near Salekhard were assigned to polish diamonds mined from Mirny.On December 10, 1930, Obdorsk became the administrative center of the new Yamal (Nenets) National Okrug. It was renamed Salekhard in 1933, and granted town status in 1938.
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