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Znamensk ( Russian Знаменск ; formerly Kapustin Jar-1 , Russian Капустин Яр-1 ) is a city in the north of the Russian Oblast Astrakhan . It has 29,401 inhabitants (as of October 14, 2010). and is located about 320 km northwest of the regional capital Astrakhan and 90 km east of Volgograd on the left bank of the Akhtuba . While the swampy Volga and Akhtuba meadows stretch to the south and west , the almost uninhabited semi-desert and the Kazakh border are located in the northeast .
The emergence and development of the city is inextricably linked with the development of the first Soviet missiles. In 1946 the army command entrusted Major General Vasily Ivanovich Vosnjuk (Василий Иванович Вознюк) with the construction of a test area for ballistic missiles on the Kapustin Yar area . With the construction of the first launch base, a barracks was built and a little later the first log cabins for the families of the scientists and other civilians were added. So on October 18, 1947, the first rocket took off successfully from here. This was an A4 missile assembled under the victorious Soviet Union in the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany . The R-1 , a replica of the German A4 , took off on September 17, 1948 . For the space conquest race between the Soviet Union and the USA , the rocket launch site was expanded to become a spaceport . In 1954 the military administration opened the first kindergarten and the first school building in the village, followed by further residential and office buildings. The infrastructure was expanded so that the material and technical basis for space travel was finally created here. On January 11, 1962, the housing estate was given city status with the official name Kapustin Yar by a decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR . From then on, the city developed rapidly: more permanent houses were built, a hospital, a library and a children's music school were opened. The roads were paved. In 1966 Kapustin Yar already owned three schools and a cinema .
In addition to the civilian use of the launch pads, Kapustin Yar also launched numerous missiles of the Russian military for test purposes . In addition, launchers with satellites and sounding rockets took off here. When rockets with nuclear warheads were launched from here on a test basis from 1956, the government declared Kapustin Jar-1 - as the official name - to be a closed city . This status was only revoked in 1992.
On January 27, 1993 Kapustin Yar was renamed Znamensk . As a concession to the times and customs, a church building could also be built in the city , the Alexander Nevsky Church . The city administration has erected a memorial obelisk on the launch site of the first rocket.
On June 19, 2008 at 8:36 a.m. CEST , a Russian Kosmos-3M launch vehicle from the Kosmodrome in Kapustin Yar took off for the first time since 1999 and successfully carried two commercial satellites into an orbit around 800 km high.
According to a report by the Trump administration , a missile battalion has been stationed there that has four mobile launchers, each with half a dozen nuclear-armed SS-C-8 cruise missiles. This is said to be a violation of the INF Treaty , which has been in force since 1988 .
The following overview shows the development of the population of Znamensk.
Sources: census data
Znamensk is located on the side road from Volgograd via Akhtubinsk to Astrakhan and on the Volgograd – Astrakhan railway line.
sons and daughters of the town
- Official City Website (Russian)
- Znamensk on mojgorod.ru (Russian)
- Kapustin Yar in the Encyclopedia Astronautica (English)
- Itogi Vserossijskoj perepisi naselenija 2010 goda. Tom 1. Čislennostʹ i razmeščenie naselenija (Results of the All-Russian Census 2010. Volume 1. Number and distribution of the population). Tables 5 , pp. 12-209; 11 , pp. 312–979 (download from the website of the Federal Service for State Statistics of the Russian Federation)
- Kurt Magnus : Rocket Slaves - German researchers behind red barbed wire . Elbe-Dnjepr-Verlag, 2002, ISBN 3-933395-67-4 , p. 116-138 .
- 'History' on the official city website ( Memento from March 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ); Retrieved January 25, 2014
- zeit.de March 1, 2017: Euro rockets (based on a report by the New York Times )