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Top-down, left-to-right: View of Zolotoy Bridge and the Golden Horn Bay at night, with the Russky Bridge in the distance; GUM Department Store; Vladimir K. Arseniev Museum of Far East History; the campus of Far Eastern Federal University; Vladivostok Railway Station; and Central Square
Flag of Vladivostok
Coat of arms of Vladivostok
Location of Vladivostok
Vladivostok is located in Primorsky Krai
Location of Vladivostok
Vladivostok is located in Russia
Vladivostok (Russia)
Coordinates: 43°08′N 131°54′E / 43.133°N 131.900°E / 43.133; 131.900
Federal subjectPrimorsky Krai[1]
Founded2 July 1860[2]
City status since22 April 1880
 • BodyCity Duma
 • HeadOleg Gumenyuk[3]
 • Total331.16 km2 (127.86 sq mi)
8 m (26 ft)
 • Estimate 
 • Rank22nd in 2010
 • Subordinated toVladivostok City Under Krai Jurisdiction[1]
 • Capital ofPrimorsky Krai[6], Vladivostok City Under Krai Jurisdiction[1]
 • Urban okrugVladivostoksky Urban Okrug[7]
 • Capital ofVladivostoksky Urban Okrug[7]
Time zoneUTC+10 (MSK+7 Edit this on Wikidata[8])
Postal code(s)[9]
Dialing code(s)+7 423[10]
OKTMO ID05701000001
City DayFirst Sunday of July

Vladivostok (Russian: Владивосто́к, IPA: [vlədʲɪvɐˈstok] (About this soundlisten), lit. 'Ruler of the East') is the largest city and the administrative centre of Primorsky Krai, Russia. The city is located around the Golden Horn Bay on the Sea of Japan, covering an area of 331.16 square kilometres (127.86 square miles), with a population of 606,561 residents,[11] up to 812,319 residents in the urban agglomeration. Vladivostok is the second-largest city in the Far Eastern Federal District, as well as the Russian Far East, after Khabarovsk.

The city was founded in 1860 as a Russian military outpost. In 1872, the main Russian naval base on the Pacific Ocean was transferred to the city, and thereafter Vladivostok began to grow. After the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917, Vladivostok was occupied in 1918 by foreign troops, the last of whom were not withdrawn until 1922, by that time the anti-revolutionary White Army forces in Vladivostok promptly collapsed, and Soviet power was established in the city. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Vladivostok became the administrative centre of Primorsky Krai.

Vladivostok is the largest Russian port on the Pacific Ocean, and the chief economic, scientific and cultural centre of the Russian Far East, as well as an important tourism centre in Russia. As the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the city was visited by over three million tourists in 2017.[12] The city is the administrative centre of the Far Eastern Federal District, and is the home to the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. For its unique geographical location, and its Russian culture, the city is called "Europe in the Orient".[13][14] Many foreign consulates and businesses have offices in Vladivostok. With an annual mean temperature of around 5 °C (41 °F) Vladivostok has a cold climate for its mid-latitude coastal setting. This is due to winds from the vast Eurasian landmass in winter, also cooling the ocean temperatures.

Names and etymology

Vladivostok means 'Lord of the East' or 'Ruler of the East'. The name derives from Slavic владь (vlad, 'to rule') and Russian восток (vostok, 'east'); see the etymology of Vladimir (name).

It was first named in 1859 along with other features in the Peter the Great Gulf area by Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky. The name initially applied to the bay but, following an expedition by Alexey Karlovich Shefner [ru] in 1860, was later applied to the new settlement.[15] The form of the name appears analogous to that of the city of Vladikavkaz ("Ruler of the Caucasus" or "Rule the Caucasus") in Northern Ossetia, founded and named by Russians in 1784.

Colloquial Russian speech may use a short form: Vladik (Russian: Владик) to refer to the city.[16]

Chinese maps from the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368) label Vladivostok as Yongmingcheng (永明城; Yǒngmíngchéng).[citation needed] Since the Qing dynasty, the city is known as Haishenwai (海參崴; Hǎishēnwǎi) in Chinese, from the Manchu Haišenwai (Manchu: ᡥᠠᡳᡧᡝᠨᠸᡝᡳ; Möllendorff: Haišenwai; Abkai: Haixenwai) or 'small seaside village'.[17]

In China, Vladivostok is now officially known by the transliteration 符拉迪沃斯托克 (Fúlādíwòsītuōkè), although the historical Chinese name 海参崴 (Hǎishēnwǎi) is still often used in common parlance and outside Mainland China to refer to the city.[18][19] According to the provisions of the Chinese government, all maps published in China have to bracket the city's Chinese name.[20]

The modern-day Japanese name of the city is transliterated as Urajiosutoku (ウラジオストク). Historically, the city's name was  transliterated with Kanji as 浦塩斯徳 and shortened to Urajio (ウラジオ, 浦塩).[21]



Steamship-corvette "America" on the Golden Horn Bay
Steamship-corvette "America" on the Golden Horn Bay

For a long time, the Russian government was looking for a stronghold in the Far East; this role was played in turn by the settlements of Okhotsk, Ayan, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. By the middle of the 19th century, the search for the outpost had reached a dead end: none of the ports met the necessary requirement: to have a convenient and protected harbour, next to trade routes.[22] The Aigun Treaty was concluded by the forces of the Governor-General of Eastern Siberia Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky, active exploration of the Amur region began, and later, as a result of the signing of the Treaty of Tientsin and the Convention of Peking, the territory of modern Vladivostok were annexed to Russia. The very name Vladivostok appeared in the middle of 1859, was used in newspaper articles and denoted a bay.[22] On 20 June, (2 July) 1860 the transport of the Siberian Military Flotilla "Mandzhur" under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Alexei Karlovich Shefner delivered a military unit to the Golden Horn Bay to establish a military post, which has now officially received the name of Vladivostok.[23]

 The port can be considered the best of all. He reminds many of Olga, but only less of her, more comfortable, but warmer and more fun. However, the same oaks all around, the same picturesque mountains. In the lowlands, rivers murmur; there are many springs on the banks. Our post, set up the other day, with its white tents, looks good in a group of oak trees that have not yet been cut down and have just cleared.

 — The first days of the port in the description of the ethnographer Sergei Maksimov.[24]

19th century – early 20th century

On 31 October 1861, the first civilian settler, a merchant, Yakov Lazarevich Semyonov, arrived in Vladivostok with his family. On 15 March 1862, the first act of his purchase of land was registered, and in 1870 Semyonov was elected the first head of the post, and a local self-government emerged.[22] By this time, a special commission decided to designate Vladivostok as the main port of the Russian Empire in the Far East.[25] In 1871, the main naval base of the Siberian Military Flotilla, the headquarters of the military governor and other naval departments were transferred from Nikolaevsk-on-Amur to Vladivostok.[26]

General view of Vladivostok, 1880
General view of Vladivostok, 1880

In the 1870s, the government encouraged resettlement to the South Ussuri region, which contributed to an increase in the population of the post: according to the first census of 1878, there were 4,163 inhabitants. The city status was adopted and the city Duma was established, the post of the city head, the coat of arms was adopted, although Vladivostok was not officially recognized as a city.[26]

Due to the constant threat of attack from the Royal Navy, Vladivostok also actively developed as a naval base.

Intersection of Svetlanskaya and Aleutskaya streets in the 1910s
Intersection of Svetlanskaya and Aleutskaya streets in the 1910s

In 1880, the post officially received the status of a city. The 1890s saw a demographic and economic boom associated with the completion of the construction of the Ussuriyskaya branch of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Chinese-Eastern Railway.[26] According to the first census of the population of Russia on 9 February 1897, roughly 29,000 inhabitants lived in Vladivostok, and ten years later the city's population tripled.[26]

The first decade of the 20th century was characterized by a protracted crisis caused by the political situation: the government's attention was shifted to Port Arthur and the Port of Dalny. As well as the Boxer uprising in North China in 1900–1901, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, and finally the first Russian revolution led to stagnation in the economic activity of Vladivostok.[27]

Since 1907, a new stage in the development of the city began: the loss of Port Arthur and Dalny again made Vladivostok the main port of Russia on the Pacific Ocean. A free port regime was introduced, and until 1914 the city experienced rapid growth, becoming an important economic centre in the Asia-Pacific, as well as an ethnically diverse city with a population exceeding over 100,000 inhabitants: during the time ethnic Russians made up less than half of the population,[27] and large Asian communities developed in the city. The public life of the city flourished; many public associations were created, from charities to hobby groups.[28]

World War I, Revolution and Occupation

Map of Vladivostok, 1911
Map of Vladivostok, 1911

During World War I, no active hostilities took place in the city.[29] However, Vladivostok was an important staging post for the import of military-technical equipment for troops from allied and neutral countries, as well as raw materials and equipment for industry.[30]

Immediately after the October Revolution in 1917, during which the Bolsheviks came to power, the Decree on Peace was announced, and as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk concluded between the Bolshevik government of Russia and the Central Powers, led to the end of Soviet Russia's participation in World War I. On October 30, the sailors of the Siberian Military Flotilla decided to "rally around the united power of the Soviets", and the power of Vladivostok, as well as all of the Trans-Siberian Railway passed to the Bolsheviks.[29] During the Russian Civil War, from May 1918,[31] they lost control of the city to the White Army-allied Czechoslovak Legion, who declared the city to be an Allied protectorate. Vladivostok became the staging point for the Allies' Siberian intervention, a multi-national force including Japan, the United States and China; China sent forces to protect the local Chinese community after appeals from Chinese merchants.[32] The intervention ended in the wake of the collapse of the White Army and regime in 1919; all Allied forces except the Japanese withdrew by the end of 1920.[29]

American troops marching on Vladivostok following the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918
American troops marching on Vladivostok following the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918

Throughout 1919 the region was engulfed in a partisan war.[29] To avoid a war with Japan, with the filing of the Soviet leadership, the Far Eastern Republic, a Soviet-backed buffer state between Soviet Russia and Japan, was proclaimed on 6 April 1920. The Soviet government officially recognized the new republic in May, but in Primorye a riot occurred, where significant forces of the White Movement were located, leading to the creation of the Provisional Priamurye Government, with Vladivostok as its capital.[33]

In October 1922, the troops of the Red Army of the Far Eastern Republic under the command of Ieronim Uborevich occupied Vladivostok, displacing the White Army formations from it. In November, the Far Eastern Republic liquidated and became a part of Soviet Russia.[26]

Soviet period

By the time of the establishment of Soviet power, Vladivostok was in decline. The retreating forces of the Japanese army removed items of material value from the city. Life was paralyzed; there was no money in the banks, and the equipment of enterprise was plundered. Due to mass migration and repression, the city's population decreased to 106,000 inhabitants.[34] Between 1923 and 1925, the government adopted a "three-year restoration" plan, during which operations at the commercial port were resumed, and it became the most profitable in the country (from 1924 to 1925).[34][35] The "restoration" period was distinguished by a number of peculiarities: the Russian Far East did not adopt 'war communism', but was, immediately, inducted to the New Economic Policy.[35]

In 1925, the government decided to accelerate the industrialization of the country. A number of subsequent "five-year plans" changed the face of Primorye, making it an industrial region, partly as a result of the creation of numerous concentration camps in the region.[35] In the 1930s and 1940s, Vladivostok served as a transit point on the route used to deliver prisoners and cargo for the Sevvostlag of the Soviet super-trust Dalstroy. The notorious Vladivostok transit camp was located in the city. In addition, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Vladivostok forced labour camp (Vladlag) was located in the area of the Vtoraya Rechka railway station.[36]

Vladivostok was not a place of hostilities during the Great Patriotic War, although there was a constant threat of attack from Japan. In the city, a "Defense Fund" was created (the first in the country), to which the residents of Vladivostok contributed personal wealth.[37] During the war years Vladivostok handled imported cargo (lend-lease) of a volume almost four times more than Murmansk and almost five times more than Arkhangelsk.[38]

The city centre of Vladivostok in 1982
The city centre of Vladivostok in 1982

By the decree of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union "Issues of the Fifth Navy" dated 11 August 1951, a special regime was introduced in Vladivostok (it began to operate on 1 January 1952); the city was closed to foreigners.[39] It was planned to remove from Vladivostok not only foreign consulates, but also the merchant and fish fleet and transfer all regional authorities to Voroshilov (now Ussuriysk). However, these plans were not implemented.[39]

During the years of the Khrushchev Thaw, Vladivostok received special attention from state authorities. For the first time, Nikita Khrushchev visited the city in 1954 to finally decide whether to secure the status of a closed naval base for him.[40] It was noted that at that time the urban infrastructure was in a deplorable state.[40] In 1959, Khrushchev visited the city again. The result is a decision on the accelerated development of the city, which was formalized by the decree of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union on 18 January 1960.[40] During the 1960s, a new tram line was built, a trolleybus was launched, the city became a huge construction site: residential neighborhoods were being erected on the outskirts, and new buildings for public and civil purposes were erected in the center.[40]

In 1974, Gerald Ford paid an official visit to Vladivostok, to meet with Leonid Brezhnev, becoming the first President of the United States to visit the Soviet Union. Both sides signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which helped to contain the nuclear arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War.[41]

On 20 September 1991, Boris Yeltsin signed decree No. 123 "On the opening of Vladivostok for visiting by foreign citizens", which entered into force on 1 January 1992, ending Vladivostok's status as a closed city.[42]

Modern period

In 2012, Vladivostok hosted the 24th APEC summit. Leaders from the APEC member countries met at Russky Island, off the coast of Vladivostok.[43] With the summit on Russky Island, the government and private businesses inaugurated resorts, dinner and entertainment facilities, in addition to the renovation and upgrading of Vladivostok International Airport.[44] Two giant cable-stayed bridges were built in preparation for the summit, the Zolotoy Rog bridge over the Zolotoy Rog Bay in the center of the city, and the Russky Island Bridge from the mainland to Russky Island (the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world). The new campus of Far Eastern Federal University was completed on Russky Island in 2012.[45]


Vladivostok (1955)
Vladivostok (1955)
Aerial view of Vladivostok and the Golden Horn Bay in 2014
Aerial view of Vladivostok and the Golden Horn Bay in 2014
Valdivostok and surrounding region (DMA, 1988)
Valdivostok and surrounding region (DMA, 1988)

The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 kilometres (19 mi) long and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) wide.

The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, 257 metres (843 ft). Eagle's Nest Hill is often called the highest point of the city; but, with a height of only 199 metres (653 ft), or 214 metres (702 ft) according to other sources, it is the highest point of the centre, but not of the whole city.

Located in the extreme southeast of the Russian Far East, in the extreme southeast of North Asia. Vladivostok is geographically closer to Anchorage, Alaska, US and even Darwin, Australia than it is to the nation's capital of Moscow. Vladivostok is also closer to Honolulu, Hawaii, US than to the city of Sochi in Southern Russia. It also is further east than any area south of it in China and the entire Korean peninsula.


Vladivostok has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwb) with warm, humid and rainy summers and cold, dry winters. Owing to the influence of the Siberian High, winters are far colder than a latitude of 43 °N should warrant given its low elevation and coastal location, with a January average of −12.3 °C (9.9 °F). Since the maritime influence is strong in summer, Vladivostok has a relatively cold annual climate for its latitude.

In winter, temperatures can drop below −20 °C (−4 °F) while mild spells of weather can raise daytime temperatures above freezing. The average monthly precipitation, mainly in the form of snow, is around 18.5 millimetres (0.73 in) from December to March. Snow is common during winter, but individual snowfalls are light, with a maximum snow depth of only 5 centimeters (2.0 in) in January. During winter, clear sunny days are common.

Summers are warm, humid and rainy, due to the East Asian monsoon. The warmest month is August, with an average temperature of +19.8 °C (67.6 °F). Vladivostok receives most of its precipitation during the summer months, and most summer days see some rainfall. Cloudy days are fairly common and because of the frequent rainfall, humidity is high, on average about 90% from June to August.

On average, Vladivostok receives 840 millimetres (33 in) per year, but the driest year was 1943, when 418 millimetres (16.5 in) of precipitation fell, and the wettest was 1974, with 1,272 millimetres (50.1 in) of precipitation. The winter months from December to March are dry, and in some years they have seen no measurable precipitation at all. Extremes range from −31.4 °C (−24.5 °F) in January 1931 to +33.6 °C (92.5 °F) in July 1939.[46]

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 5.0
Average high °C (°F) −8.1
Daily mean °C (°F) −12.3
Average low °C (°F) −15.4
Record low °C (°F) −31.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 14
Average rainy days 0.3 0.3 4 13 20 22 22 19 14 12 5 1 133
Average snowy days 7 8 11 4 0.3 0 0 0 0 1 7 9 47
Average relative humidity (%) 58 57 60 67 76 87 92 87 77 65 60 60 71
Mean monthly sunshine hours 178 184 216 192 199 130 122 149 197 205 168 156 2,096
Source 1: Погода и Климат[47]
Source 2: NOAA (sun, 1961–1990)[48]
Sea temperature data for Vladivostok
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) -1.2
Source: [49]


Vladivostok City department of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations
Vladivostok City department of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations

The structure of the city administration has the City Council at the top.

The responsibilities of the administration of Vladivostok are:

  • Exercise of the powers to address local issues of Vladivostok in accordance with federal laws, normative legal acts of the Duma of Vladivostok, decrees and orders of the head of the city of Vladivostok;
  • The development and organization of the concepts, plans and programs for the development of the city, approved by the Duma of Vladivostok;
  • Development of the draft budget of the city;
  • Ensuring implementation of the budget;
  • The use of territory and infrastructure of the city;
  • Possession, use and disposal of municipal property in the manner specified by decision of the Duma of Vladivostok

Legislative authority is vested in the City Council. The new City Council began operations in 2001 and in June that year, deputies of the Duma of the first convocation of Vladivostok began their work. On 17 December 2007, the Duma of the third convocation began. The deputies consist of 35 elected members, including 18 members chosen by a single constituency, and 17 deputies from single-seat constituencies.

Administrative and municipal status

Vladivostok is the administrative centre of the krai. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with five rural localities, incorporated as Vladivostok City Under Krai Jurisdiction; an administrative unit equal to that of the districts in status.[1] As a municipal division, Vladivostok City Under Krai Jurisdiction is incorporated as Vladivostoksky Urban Okrug.[7]

Administrative divisions

Administrative divisions of the city of Vladivostok
Administrative divisions of the city of Vladivostok

Vladivostok is divided into five administrative districts:

  1. Leninsky
  2. Pervomaisky
  3. Pervorechensky
  4. Sovietsky
  5. Frunzensky

Local government

Vladivostok City Hall
Vladivostok City Hall

The city charter approved the following structure of local government bodies:[50]

  • City Duma is a representative body
  • The head of the city is its highest official
  • Administration is the executive and administrative body
  • Chamber of Control and Accounts – controls the body

Vladivostok City Duma's history dates from November 21, 1875, when 30 "vowels" were elected. Great changes took place after the 1917 Revolution, when the first general elections were held and women were allowed to vote. The last meeting of the Vladivostok City Duma took place on October 19, 1922, and on October 27 it was officially abolished. In Soviet times, its functions were performed by the City Council. In 1993, by a presidential decree, the Soviets were dissolved and, until 2001, all attempts to elect a new Duma were unsuccessful. The Duma of the city of Vladivostok of the fifth (current) convocation began work in the fall of 2017, consisting of 35 deputies.[51]

The head of Vladivostok, on the principles of one-man management, manages the city's administration, which he forms in accordance with federal laws, laws of the Primorsky Territory and the city charter. The city's administrative structure is approved by the City Duma on the proposal of the head, and may include sectoral (functional) and territorial bodies of the administration of Vladivostok.[52]

Igor Pushkaryov was the city's mayor from May 2008 to June 2016; previously he was a Federation Council member of Primorsky Krai. On June 27, 2016, Konstantin Loboda, the first deputy mayor, was appointed as the Vladivostok's new acting mayor.[53] On December 21, 2017, Vitaly Vasilyevich Verkeenko was appointed the head of the city.


Population, dynamics, age and gender structure

Russians walking by the Pacific Ocean in Vladivostok
Russians walking by the Pacific Ocean in Vladivostok

According to the Russian Census of 2010, Vladivostok had a population of over 592,000, with over 616,800 residents in the greater urban area.[54] The Primorsky State Statistics Service reported that for 2016, the total permanent population of the city's urban agglomeration was over 633,167.[55] Since the city's founding its population has actively grown, save for the periods of the Russian Civil War and the demographic crisis after dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s. In the 1970s, the population exceeded over 500,000, and in 1992 reached a historical high of over 648,000. The average population density is about 1,832 people/km2.

In recent years, the population gradually has grown through migration and a rise in the birth rate. In the past five years, the population has risen by 30,000. Since 2013, natural growth dynamics added 727 individuals to this figure by 2015's end.[56] By 2020, Vladivostok's population reached over 600,000, as reported by the Russian Federal Statistics Bureau.[57]

The city's age distribution includes a large segment of older adults. Overall, the population includes 12.7% who are younger than able-bodied; 66.3% who are able-bodied; and 21% who are older than able-bodied.[54] Vladivostok's population, like that of Russia as a whole, includes a significantly greater number of women over men.[54]

Ethnic composition

According to the Russian Census of 2010, Vladivostok's residents include representatives of over seventy nationalities and ethnic groups. Among them, the largest ethnic groups (over 1,000 people) are: 475,200 ethnic Russians; 10,474 Ukrainians; 7,109 Uzbeks; 4,192 Koreans; 2,446 Chinese; 2,446 Tatars; 1,642 Belarusians; 1,635 Armenians; and 1,252 Azerbaijanis.[58]

Ethnicity Population Percentage
Russians 475,170 92.4%
Ukrainians 10,474 2.0%
Uzbeks 7,109 1.4%
Koreans 4,192 0.8%
Chinese 2,446 0.5%
Others 14,850 2.9%

Studies indicate that since 2002 the city's ethnic composition has changed through migration: the share of Uzbeks increased by 14.4 times; the share of Chinese and Tajiks by 5.4 times, the share of Kyrgyz by 8.5 times, and the share of by Koreans by 1.6 times. Over half of the Primorsky Territory's Koreans live compactly in two cities, Vladivostok and Ussuriysk. Over 80% of Primorye Uzbeks live in Vladivostok. As noted, the proportion of Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians, Tatars in the city has declined.[59]

Vladivostok is regarded as an ethnically diverse city,[60] despite its ethnic Russian majority. It remains among few Russian cities with a large East Asian population. However, today Vladivostok lacks the same multinational diversity it had from the 19th century to the Great Patriotic War, when entire national quarters existed in it, including the Chinese Millionka, the Korean Slobodka, and the Japanese quarter of Nihonzin Mati. Historical German, French, Estonian, American, and Central Asian diasporas at the start of the 21st century have been studied little.[60]


The city's main industries are shipping, commercial fishing, and the naval base. Fishing accounts for almost four-fifths of Vladivostok's commercial production. Other food production totals 11%.

A very important employer and a major source of revenue for the city's inhabitants is the import of Japanese cars.[61] Besides salesmen, the industry employs repairmen, fitters, import clerks as well as shipping and railway companies.[62] The Vladivostok dealers sell 250,000 cars a year, with 200,000 going to other parts of Russia.[62] Every third worker in the Primorsky Krai has some relation to the automobile import business. In recent years, the Russian government has made attempts to improve the country's own car industry. This has included raising tariffs for imported cars, which has put the car import business in Vladivostok in difficulties. To compensate, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered the car manufacturing company Sollers to move one of its factories from Moscow to Vladivostok. The move was completed in 2009, and the factory now employs about 700 locals. It is planned to produce 13,200 cars in Vladivostok in 2010.[61]


Vladivostok is a link between the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Pacific Sea routes, making it an important cargo and passenger port. It processes both cabotage and export-import general cargo of a wide range. 20 stevedoring companies operate in the port.[63] The cargo turnover of the Vladivostok port, including the total turnover of all stevedoring companies, at the end of 2018 amounted to 21.2 million tons.[64]

In 2015, the total volume of external trade seaport amounted to more than 11.8 billion dollars.[65] Foreign economic activity was carried out with 104 countries.[65]


A sanatorium on the shores of the Ussuri Bay
A sanatorium on the shores of the Ussuri Bay

Vladivostok is located in the extreme southeast of the Russian Far East, and is the closest city to the countries of the Asia-Pacific with an exotic European culture, which makes it attractive to tourists.[66] The city is included in the project for the development of the Far East tourism "Eastern Ring". Within the framework of the project, the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre was opened, and there are plans to open branches of the Hermitage Museum, the Russian Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery and the State Museum of Oriental Art.[67] Vladivostok entered the top ten Russian cities for recreation and tourism according to Forbes, and also took the fourteenth place in the National Tourism Rating.[68]

In addition to being the cultural centre, the city also is the centre of tourism in the Peter the Great Gulf. The city's resort area is located on the coast of Amur Bay, which includes over 11 sanatoriums.[69] Vladivostok also has a bustling gambling zone,[70] which has over 11 casinos planned to open by 2023.[71] Tigre de Cristal, the city's first casino, was visited by over 80,000 tourists, in less than a year of its opening.[72]

In 2017, the city was visited by around 3,000,000 tourists, including 640,000 foreigners, of which over 90% are tourists from Asia, specifically China, South Korea and Japan.[12] Domestic tourism is based on business tourism (business trips to exhibitions, conferences), which accounts for up to 70% of the inbound flow. In Vladivostok, diplomatic tourism is also developed, as there are 18 foreign consulates in the city.[73] There are 46 hotels in the city, with a total fund of 2561 rooms.[73] The vast majority of the travel companies of Primorsky Krai (86%) are concentrated in Vladivostok, and their number was around 233 companies in 2011.[74]


Zolotoy Bridge across bay in the city
Zolotoy Bridge across bay in the city

The Trans-Siberian Railway was built to connect European Russia with Vladivostok, Russia's most important Pacific Ocean port. Finished in 1905, the rail line ran from Moscow to Vladivostok via several of Russia's main cities. Part of the railway, known as the Chinese Eastern Line, crossed over into China, passing through Harbin, a major city in Manchuria. Today, Vladivostok serves as the main starting point for the Trans-Siberian portion of the Eurasian Land Bridge.

Vladivostok is the main air hub in the Russian Far East. Vladivostok International Airport (VVO) is the home base of Aurora, a subsidiary of Aeroflot. The airline was formed by Aeroflot in 2013 by amalgamating SAT Airlines and Vladivostok Avia. The Vladivostok International Airport was significantly upgraded in 2013 with a new 3,500-metre runway capable of accommodating all aircraft types without any restrictions. The Terminal A was built in 2012 with a capacity of 3.5 million passengers per year.

International flights connect Vladivostok with Japan, China, Philippines, North Korea, South Korea and Vietnam.

It is possible to get to Vladivostok from several of the larger cities in Russia. Regular flights to Seattle, Washington, were available in the 1990s but have been cancelled since. Vladivostok Air was flying to Anchorage, Alaska, from July 2008 to 2013, before its transformation into Aurora airline.

Svetlanskaya Street in the central part of Vladivostok (August 2005)
Svetlanskaya Street in the central part of Vladivostok (August 2005)

Vladivostok is the starting point of Ussuri Highway (M60) to Khabarovsk, the easternmost part of Trans-Siberian Highway that goes all the way to Moscow and Saint Petersburg via Novosibirsk. The other main highways go east to Nakhodka and south to Khasan.

Urban transportation

On 28 June 1908, Vladivostok's first tram line was started along Svetlanskaya Street, running from the railway station on Lugovaya Street.[citation needed] On 9 October 1912, the first wooden carriages manufactured in Belgium entered service. Today, Vladivostok's means of public transportation include trolleybus, bus, tram, train, funicular and ferryboat. The main urban traffic lines are City Centre—Vtoraya Rechka, City Centre—Pervaya Rechka—3ya Rabochaya—Balyayeva, and City Centre—Lugovaya Street.

In 2012, Vladivostok hosted the 24th Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. In preparation for the event, the infrastructure of the city was renovated and improved. Two giant cable-stayed bridges were constructed in Vladivostok, namely the Zolotoy Rog Bridge over the Golden Horn Bay in the centre of the city, and the Russky Bridge from the mainland to Russky Island, where the summit took place. The latter bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world.


Videoconferencing in Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service
Videoconferencing in Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service

There are 114 general education institutions in Vladivostok, with a total number of students of 50,700 people (in 2015). The municipal education system of the city consists of preschool organizations, primary, basic, secondary general education schools, lyceums, gymnasiums, schools with an in-depth study of individual subjects, and centers of additional education.

The municipal educational network includes 2 gymnasiums, 2 lyceums, 13 schools with advanced study of individual subjects, one primary school, 2 basic schools, 58 secondary schools, four evening schools, one boarding school, one boarding school. Three Vladivostok schools are included in the Top-500 schools of the Russian Federation.[75] At the municipal level, there is a city system of school olympiads, a city scholarship has been established for outstanding achievements of students.

In 2016, branches of the Academy of Russian Ballet and the Nakhimov Naval School were opened.[76][77]

Dozens of colleges, schools and universities provide vocational education in Vladivostok. The beginning of higher education was laid in the city with the founding of the Oriental Institute.[78] At the moment, the largest university in Vladivostok is the Far Eastern Federal University. More than 41,000 students study in it, 5,000 employees work, including 1,598 teachers. It accounts for a large share (64%) of scientific publications among Far Eastern universities.[78]

Students in Vladivostok celebrating St Tatyana's Day, or Russian Students Day
Students in Vladivostok celebrating St Tatyana's Day, or Russian Students Day

Also, higher education in the city is represented by such local universities:


Over fifty newspapers and regional editions to Moscow publications are issued in Vladivostok. The largest newspaper of the Primorsky Krai and the whole Russian Far East is Vladivostok News with a circulation of 124,000 copies at the beginning of 1996. Its founder, joint-stock company Vladivostok-News, also issues a weekly English-language newspaper Vladivostok News. The subjects of the publications issued in these newspapers vary from information about Vladivostok and Primorye to major international events. Newspaper Zolotoy Rog (Golden Horn) gives every detail of economic news. Entertainment materials and cultural news constitute a larger part of Novosti (News) newspaper which is the most popular among Primorye's young people. Also, new online mass media about the Russian Far East for foreigners is the Far East Times. This source invites readers to take part in the informational support of R.F.E. for visitors, travellers and businessmen. Vladivostok operates many online news agencies, such as, Primamedia, Primorye24 and Vesti-Primorye. From 2012 to 2017 there operates youth online magazine Vladivostok-3000.

As of 2020, there operate nineteen radio stations, including three 24-hour local stations. Radio VBC (FM 101,7 MHz, since 1993) broadcasts classic and modern rock music, oldies and music of the 1980s–1990s. Radio Lemma (FM 102,7 MHz, since 1996) broadcasts news, radio shows and various Russian and European-American songs. Vladivostok FM (FM 106,4 MHz, was launched in 2008) broadcasts local news and popular music (Top 40). The State broadcasting company "Vladivostok" broadcasts local news and music programs from 7 to 9, from 12 to 14 and from 18 to 19 on weekdays on the frequency of Radio Rossii (Radio of Russia).



Maxim Gorky Theatre
Maxim Gorky Theatre

Maxim Gorky Academic Theatre, named after the Russian author Maxim Gorky, was founded in 1931 and is used for drama, musical and children's theatre performances.

There are five professional theatres in the city. In 2014, they were visited by 369,800 spectators. The Primorsky Regional Academic Drama Theatre named after Maxim Gorky is the oldest state theater in Vladivostok, opened on 3 November 1932. The theater employs 202 people: 41 actors (of them, three folk and nine honoured artists of Russia).[79]

Manor of Julius Bryner, in front of which stands the statue of his grandson Juli (the actor Yul Brynner), Aleutskaya St.
Manor of Julius Bryner, in front of which stands the statue of his grandson Juli (the actor Yul Brynner), Aleutskaya St.

The Primorsky Pushkin Theatre was built in 1907–1908, and is currently one of the main cultural centers of the city. In the 1930s–40s, the following still operating ones were successively opened: the Drama Theatre of the Pacific Fleet, the Primorsky Regional Puppet Theatre, and the Primorsky Regional Drama Theatre of Youth.[80] The regional puppet theatre gave 484 performances in 2015, which were attended by more than 52,000 spectators. There are 500 puppets in the theatre, where 15 artists work. The troupe regularly goes on tour to Europe and Asia.[81]

In September 2012, a granite statue of the actor Yul Brynner (1920–1985) was inaugurated in Yul Brynner Park, directly in front of the house where he was born at 15 Aleutskaya St.

Music, opera and ballet

The city is home to the Vladivostok Pops Orchestra.

Russian rock band Mumiy Troll hails from Vladivostok and frequently puts on shows there. In addition, the city hosted the "VladiROCKstok" International Music Festival in September 1996. Hosted by the mayor and governor, and organized by two young American expatriates, the festival drew nearly 10,000 people and top-tier musical acts from St. Petersburg (Akvarium and DDT) and Seattle (Supersuckers, Goodness), as well as several leading local bands.[citation needed]

Nowadays there is another annual music festival in Vladivostok, Vladivostok Rocks International Music Festival and Conference (V-ROX). Vladivostok Rocks is a three-day open-air city festival and international conference for the music industry and contemporary cultural management. It offers the opportunity for aspiring artists and producers to gain exposure to new audiences and leading international professionals.[82]

The musical theater in Vladivostok is represented by the Primorsky Regional Philharmonic Society, the largest concert organization in Primorsky Krai. The Philharmonic has organized the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and the Governor's Brass Orchestra. In 2013, the Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theater was opened.[83] On January 1, 2016, it was transformed into a branch of the Mariinsky Theatre.[84] The Russian Opera House houses the State Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theater.[85]


The Vladimir K. Arseniev Museum of Far East History, opened in 1890, is the main museum of Primorsky Krai. Besides the main facility, it has three branches in Vladivostok itself (including Arsenyev's Memorial House), and five branches elsewhere in the state.[86] Among the items in the museum's collection are the famous 15th-century Yongning Temple Steles from the lower Amur.

Galleries and showrooms

"Recovering" (1889) by Cyril Lemokh – Primorsky State Art Gallery
"Recovering" (1889) by Cyril Lemokh – Primorsky State Art Gallery

The active development of art museums in Vladivostok began in the 1950s. In 1960, the House of Artists was built, in which there were exhibition halls. In 1965, the Primorsky State Art Gallery was separated into a separate institution, and later, on the basis of its collection, the Children's Art Gallery was created. In Soviet times, one of the largest areas for exhibitions in Vladivostok was the exhibition hall of the Primorsky branch of the Union of Artists of Soviet Russia. In 1989 the gallery of contemporary art "Artetage" was opened.[87]

In 1995, the Arka gallery of contemporary art was opened, the first exposition of which consisted of 100 paintings donated by the collector Alexander Glezer.[88] The gallery participates in international exhibitions and fairs. In 2005, a non-commercial private gallery "Roytau" appeared.[87] In recent years, the centers of contemporary art "Salt" (created on the basis of the FEFU art museum) and "Zarya",[89][90] have been active.


In 2014, 21 cinemas operated in Vladivostok, and the total number of film screenings was 1,501,000.

Most of the city's cinemas – Ocean, Galaktika, Moscow (formerly called New Wave Cinema), Neptune 3D (formerly called Neptune and Borodino), Illusion, Vladivostok – are renovated cinemas built in the Soviet years. Among them stands out "Ocean" with the largest (22 by 10 metres) screen in the Far East of the country, located in the centre of the city in the area of Sports Harbour.[91] Together with the cinema "Ussuri", it is the venue for the annual international film festival "Pacific Meridians" (since 2002).[92] Since December 2014 the IMAX 3D hall has been operating in the Ocean cinema.[93]

Parks and squares

Admirala Fokina Street (September 2014)
Admirala Fokina Street (September 2014)
Practicing yoga at Yoga Day in Vladivostok, 2016
Practicing yoga at Yoga Day in Vladivostok, 2016

Parks and squares in Vladivostok include Pokrovskiy Park, Minnyy Gorodok, Detskiy Razvlekatelnyy Park, Park of Sergeya Lazo, Admiralskiy Skver, Skver im. Neveskogo, Nagornyy Park, Skver im. Sukhanova, Fantaziya Park, Skver Rybatskoy Slavy, Skver im. A.I.Shchetininoy.

Pokrovskiy Park

Pokrovskiy Park was once a cemetery. Converted into a park in 1934 but was closed in 1990. Since 1990 the land the park sits on belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church. During the rebuilding of the Orthodox Church, graves were found.

Minny Gorodok

Minny Gorodok is a 91-acre (37 ha) public park. Minny Gorodok means "Mine Borough Park" in English. The park is a former military base that was founded in 1880. The military base was used for storing mines in underground storage. Converted into a park in 1985, Minny Gorodok contains several lakes, ponds, and an ice-skating rink.

Detsky Razvlekatelny Park

Detsky Razvlekatelny Park is a children's amusement park located near the centre of the city. The park contains a carousel, gaming machines, a Ferris wheel, cafés, an aquarium, cinema and a stadium.

Admiralsky Skver

Admiralsky Skver is a landmark located near the city's centre. The Square is an open space, dominated by the Triumfalnaya Arka. South of the square sits a museum of Soviet submarine S-56.


Fetisov Arena in Vladivostok in December 2017
Fetisov Arena in Vladivostok in December 2017

Vladivostok is home to the football club FC Luch-Energiya Vladivostok, who plays in the Russian First Division, ice hockey club Admiral Vladivostok from the Kontinental Hockey League's Chernyshev Division, and basketball club Spartak Primorye, who plays in the Russian Basketball Super League. It is also home to the Vostok Vladivostok motorcycle speedway club.


Local ecologists from the Ecocenter organization have claimed that much of Vladivostok's suburbs are polluted and that living in them can be classified as a health hazard.[citation needed] The pollution has a number of causes, according to Ecocenter geo-chemical expert Sergey Shlykov. Vladivostok has about eighty industrial sites, which may not be many compared to Russia's most industrialized areas, but those around the city are particularly environmentally unfriendly, such as shipbuilding and repairing, power stations, printing, fur farming, and mining.

In addition, Vladivostok has particularly vulnerable geography which compounds the effect of pollution. Winds cannot clear pollution from some of the most densely populated areas around the Pervaya and Vtoraya Rechka as they sit in basins which the winds blow over. In addition, there is little snow in winter and no leaves or grass to catch the dust to make it settle down.[94]

Twin towns – sister cities

Vladivostok is twinned with:[95]

In 2010, arches with the names of each of Vladivostok's twin towns were placed in a park within the city.[97]

From Vladivostok ferry port next to the train station, a ferry of the DBS Cruise Ferry travels regularly to Donghae, South Korea and from there to Sakaiminato on the Japanese main island of Honshu.

Notable people

See also



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  • Законодательное Собрание Приморского края. Закон №161-КЗ от 14 ноября 2001 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Приморского края», в ред. Закона №673-КЗ от 6 октября 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Приморского края "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Приморского края"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Красное знамя Приморья", №69 (119), 29 ноября 2001 г. (Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Krai. Law #161-KZ of November 14, 2001 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Primorsky Krai, as amended by the Law #673-KZ of October 6, 2015 On Amending the Law of Primorsky Krai "On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Primorsky Krai". Effective as of the official publication date.).
  • Законодательное Собрание Приморского края. Закон №179-КЗ от 6 декабря 2004 г. «О Владивостокском городском округе», в ред. Закона №48-КЗ от 7 июня 2012 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Приморского края "О Владивостокском городском округе"». Вступил в силу 1 января 2005 г.. Опубликован: "Ведомости Законодательного Собрания Приморского края", №76, 7 декабря 2004 г. (Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Krai. Law #179-KZ of December 6, 2004 On Vladivostoksky Urban Okrug, as amended by the Law #48-KZ of June 7, 2012 On Amending the Law of Primorsky Krai "On Vladivostoksky Urban Okrug". Effective as of January 1, 2005.).
  • Faulstich, Edith. M. "The Siberian Sojourn" Yonkers, N.Y. (1972–1977)
  • Narangoa, Li (2014). Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590–2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231160704.
  • Poznyak, Tatyana Z. 2004. Foreign Citizens in the Cities of the Russian Far East (the second half of the 19th and 20th centuries). Vladivostok: Dalnauka, 2004. 316 p. (ISBN 5-8044-0461-X).
  • Stephan, John. 1994. The Far East a History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994. 481 p.
  • Trofimov, Vladimir et al., 1992, Old Vladivostok. Utro Rossii Vladivostok, ISBN 5-87080-004-8

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