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Samara (Russian: Ñàìà́ðà) (from 1935 to 1991—Kuybyshev (Êó́éáûøåâ)) is the sixth-largest city in Russia. It is situated in the southeastern part of European Russia, the Volga Federal District, the administrative center of Samara Oblast. Population: 1,157,880 (2002 Census); 1,254,460 (1989 Census).
It was founded in 1586 as a defense outpost, a fortress, and later grew into a major grain-trading center for the Volga region. It was renamed after the Soviet politician Valerian Kuybyshev under Soviet rule, but returned to its historical name after the fall of Communism.
Now it is a large social, economic, industrial and cultural center of European Russia. The metropolitan area of Samara-Togliatti-Syzran within Samara Region with a population of more than 3.0 million people is known for its automobile (AvtoVAZ), aluminium (Alcoa), railroad equipment, chemicals, oil and gas, machinery, and confectionery (Nestlé) industries. The city also has an aerospace industry, namely TsSKB-Progress, producing the Soyuz and Molniya launch vehicles. Due to this industry Samara was a closed city during the Cold War.
taken from wikipedia