Ufa (Russian: Уфа, Bashkir: Өфө, Öfö, pronunciation (help·info)) is the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia, and the industrial, economic, scientific and cultural center of the republic. Population: 1,062,319 (2010 Census); 1,042,437 (2002 Census); 1,082,052 (1989 Census).
The city began as a fortress built on the orders of Ivan the Terrible in 1574, and originally bore the name of the hill it stood on, Tura-Tau. After the outbreak of the Pugachev’s Rebellion, it went through the most brutal events in its early history, the fortress and the city were in the middle of the military actions. For several months during the winter of 1773–1774, Ufa was under siege by Cossack and Bashkir insurgents until they were fought off by the arrived government forces.
Before becoming the seat of a separate Ufa Governorate in 1781, the city, along with the rest of the Bashkir lands, was under the jurisdiction of the Orenburg governors. And even though the 1796 reform reunited Orenburg and Ufa again, in 1802 the city of Ufa became a new center of the entire Orenburg Governorate that included large territories of modern-day Republic of Bashkortostan, Orenburg Oblast, and Chelyabinsk Oblast. During the 1800-1810s, Scottish Russian architect William Heste developed a general city plan for Ufa as a regional capital shaping the modern outline of its historical center.
The Belaya River Waterway (1870) and the Samara-Zlatoust Railroad (1890) connected the city to the European part of the Russian Empire and stimulated development of the city’s light industry. As a result, in 1913 the population of Ufa grew to 100,000.
On July 5, 1918, several months after the establishment of the Soviet power, Ufa was captured by the anti-Bolshevik forces supported by the Czechoslovak Legion. Ufa was chosen to host the September 1918 State Conference of the anti-Bolshevik forces from all across the former empire. After the end of the Conference on September 23, Ufa became the capital of the Provisional All-Russian Government headed by Nikolai Avksentiev, better known as the Ufa Directory.
On June 14, 1922, after the enlargement of the Bashkir ASSR, Ufa became its new capital. During the 1920-1930s, the city went through the rise of heavy industry. The discovery of oil in Bashkiria made Ufa one of the Soviet oil extracting and oil refining centers. Ufa Oil Refinery was opened in 1937. Population grew up to 500,000 inhabitants in the 1950s and to 1,000,000 in 1980.
During World War II, following eastward Soviet retreat in 1941, a number of industrial enterprises of the western parts of the Soviet Union were evacuated to Ufa. The city also became the wartime seat of the Soviet Ukrainian government.