Baltic Military District
The Baltic Military District was a military district of the Soviet armed forces in the occupied Baltic states, formed before the German invasion during the World War II. After end of the war the Kaliningrad Oblast was added to the District's control in 1946, the territory of Estonia was transferred back to the Baltic Military District from the Leningrad Military District in 1956; the Baltic Military District was disbanded after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and reorganised into the North Western Group of Forces, which ended its existence after withdrawal of all Russian troops from Estonia and Lithuania on 1 September 1994. The Baltic Military District was first created by order of the USSR People's Commissar of Defence on 11 July 1940, under the command of Colonel General Alexander Loktionov, its headquarters was formed from the headquarters of the disbanded Kalinin Military District in Riga on 13 August. This was after the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States but before they were forcibly absorbed into the Soviet Union.
It controlled troops on the territory of the Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics as well as the western part of Kalinin Oblast. On 17 August 1940 it became the Baltic Special Military District, changing its boundaries to control troops on the territory of Estonian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics; the western part of Kalinin Oblast was transferred to control of the Moscow Military District. The district was created in order to strengthen the defense of the northwestern borders of the Soviet Union and to protect the approaches to Moscow and Leningrad from German-controlled East Prussia; the district troops cooperated with the Baltic Fleet. In August, the district included the 8th and 11th Armies, soon augmented in September by the transformation of the Estonian and Lithuanian armies into the Red Army's 22nd, 24th Territorial, 29th Territorial Rifle Corps respectively; however they were notoriously unreliable and defected in large numbers to the Germans after June 1941. In 1940 and 1941 the district formed new units, including two mechanized corps, as well as local and republic military commissariats.
Loktionov was replaced by Lieutenant General Fyodor Kuznetsov in December 1940. In May 1941, the headquarters of the 27th Army was formed by the district. At the same time, the district headquarters developed a plan for responding to a German invasion, ordered that troops be brought to combat readiness on 18 June. However, by 22 June, when Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the district's newly formed units were not manned; when the war broke out, it included six rifle corps in the 8th, 11th, 27th Armies, the 5th Airborne Corps, the 3rd and 12th Mechanized Corps, six fortified regions. According to the district's plan, the 8th, 11th, 27th Armies were to cooperate with the Baltic Fleet in defending the coast from Haapsalu to Palanga, focusing on the defense of the 300-kilometer border with East Prussia. On 22 June 1941 the District consisted of the: 8th Army 11th Army 27th Army 5th Airborne Corps and other smaller formations and units.3rd Mechanised Corps was located within the district at Vilnius.
On 22 June, after the outbreak of the war, the district headquarters was used to form the headquarters of the Northwestern Front. Parts of the former district headquarters remained in Riga, led by the deputy district commander, evacuating to Valga on 1 July and to Novgorod, where they were disbanded; the Baltic Military District was formed for a second time in accordance with a directive of the General Staff of the Red Army on 30 October 1943, although its assigned territory was at that time still under German occupation. Its headquarters was formed in Vyshny Volochyok from that of the 58th Army, under the command of Major General Nikolay Biyazi; the district was disbanded on 23 March 1944, was used to form the headquarters of the Odessa Military District. Postwar, the district was formed for a third time on 9 July 1945 at Riga on the basis of Samland Group of Forces formed from the former 1st Baltic Front, under the command of Army General Ivan Bagramyan, who would lead it until 1954, it included only the Latvian and Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republics.
Following the disbandment on 27 February 1946 of the Special Military District, administering Kaliningrad Oblast, the oblast was transferred to district control on 1 March. The Special Military District headquarters was reorganized into the 11th Guards Army headquarters. In January 1956 the territory of the Estonian SSR was transferred from the Leningrad Military District. Circa 1944 a headquarters for Internal Troops in the area was created, which became HQ Internal Troops NKVD-MVD-MGB Baltic MD; this headquarters supervised several Internal Troops divisions, including the 14th Railway Facilities Protection Division NKVD from 1944 to 1951. Other divisions deployed included the 4th, 5th, 63rd Rifle Divisions NKVD. On 30 April 1948 10th Guards Army became 4th Guards Rifle Corps; the main combat formation within the District was the 11th Guards Army in the Kaliningrad Oblast, following the disbandment of 10th Guards Army. In the 1950s it comprised the 1st TD and all the remaining Guards formations - 2nd Rifle Corps, 16th Koenigsberg Red Banner Rifle Corps and 36th Nemanskiy Red Banner Rifle Corps.
In 1955 the district's forces comprised the 11th Guards Army, the 2nd Guards Rifle Corps, the 4th Guards Rifle Corps, the 1st Guards Rifle Division, the 5th, the 16th
Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation
The Belgorod-Kharkov Strategic Offensive Operation, or Belgorod-Kharkov Offensive Operation, was a Soviet strategic summer offensive that aimed to recapture Belgorod and Kharkov a, destroy the German forces of the 4th Panzer Army and Army Detachment Kempf. The operation was codenamed Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev, after the 18th-century Field Marshal Peter Rumyantsev and was conducted by the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts in the southern sector of the Kursk Bulge; the battle was referred to as the Fourth Battle of Kharkov by the Germans. The operation began in the early hours of 3 August 1943, with the objective of following up the successful Soviet defensive effort against the German Operation Citadel; the offensive was directed against the German Army Group South's northern flank. By 23 August, the troops of the Voronezh and Steppe Fronts had seized Kharkov from German forces, it was the last time. The operation led to the retreat of the German forces in Ukraine behind the Dnieper River and set the stage for the Battle of Kiev in autumn 1943.
Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev had been planned by Stavka to be the major Soviet summer offensive in 1943. However, due to heavy losses sustained during the Battle of Kursk in July, time was needed for the Soviet formations to recover and regroup. Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev commenced on 3 August, with the aim of the defeating the 4th Panzer Army, Army Group Kempf, the southern wing of Army Group South, it was hoped that the German 1st Panzer Army and the newly reformed 6th Army would be trapped by an advance of the Red Army forces to the Azov Sea. The Soviet forces included the Voronezh Front and the Steppe Front, which deployed about 1,144,000 men with 2,418 tanks and 13,633 guns and rocket launchers for the attack. Against this the German army could field 237 tanks and assault guns. German Army Group South commander General Erich von Manstein had anticipated that the Soviets would launch an attack across the Dnieper and Mius Rivers in an attempt to reach the Black Sea, cutting off the German forces extended in the southern portion of Army Group South in a repeat of the Stalingrad disaster.
When the Soviet Southern Front and the Southwestern Front launched just such an attack on 17 July the Germans responded by moving the II SS Panzer Corps, XXIV Corps and XLVIII Panzer Corps southward to blunt the Soviet offensive. In fact these Soviet operations were intended to draw off German forces from the main thrust of the Soviet offensive, to dissipate the German reserve in anticipation for their main drive; the Soviet plan called for the 5th and 6th Guards Armies, the 53rd Army, to attack on a 30-kilometer wide sector, supported by a heavy artillery concentration, break through the five successive German defensive lines between Kursk and Kharkov. The former two armies had borne the brunt of the German attack in Operation Citadel. Supported by two additional mobile corps, the 1st Tank Army and the 5th Guards Tank Army, both reequipped after the end of Operation Citadel, would act as the front's mobile groups and develop the breakthrough by encircling Kharkov from the north and west. Mikhail Katukov's 1st Tank Army was to form the westward-facing outer encirclement line, while Pavel Rotmistrov's 5th Guards Tank Army would form the inner line, facing the city.
A secondary attack to the west of the main breakthrough was to be conducted by the 27th and 40th Armies with the support of four separate tank corps. Meanwhile, to the east and southeast, the 69th and 7th Guards Armies, followed by the Southwestern Front's 57th Army, were to join the attack. On 3 August the offensive was begun with a heavy artillery barrage directed against the German defensive positions. Though the German defenders fought tenaciously, the two tank armies committed to the battle could not be held back. By 5 August the Soviets had broken through the German defensive lines, moving into the rear areas and capturing Belgorod while advancing some 60 km. Delivering powerful sledgehammer blows from the north and east, the attackers overwhelmed the German defenders. German reserves were shifted from the Orel sector and north from the Donbas regions in an attempt to stem the tide and slow down the Soviet attacks. Success was limited to the "Grossdeutschland" division delaying the 40th Army by a day.
Seven panzer and motorized divisions making up the III Panzer Corps, along with four infantry divisions were assembled to counterattack into the flank of the advancing Soviet forces but were checked. After nine days the 2nd SS "Das Reich" and 3rd SS "Totenkopf" divisions arrived and initiated a counterattack against the two Soviet Armies near Bogodukhov, 30 km northwest of Kharkov. In the following armoured battles of firepower and maneuver the SS divisions destroyed a great many Soviet tanks. To assist the 6th Guards Army and the 1st Tank Army, the 5th Guards Tank Army joined the battles. All three Soviet armies suffered and the tank armies lost more than 800 of their initial 1,112 tanks; these Soviet reinforcements stopped the German counterattack, but their further offensive plans were blunted. With the Soviet advance around Bogodukhov stopped, the Germans now began to attempt to close the gap between Akhtyrka and Krasnokutsk; the counterattack started on 18 August, on 20 August "Totenkopf" and "Großdeutschland" met behind the Soviet units.
Parts of two Soviet armies and two tank corps were trapped, but the trapped units outnumbered the German units. Many Soviet units were able to break out. After this setback the Soviet troops focused on Kharkov and captured it after heavy fighting on 23 August; the battle is referred to as the Fourth Battle of Kharkov b
Yurga is a town in Kemerovo Oblast, located on the Tom River. Population: 81,533 , it was founded in 1886. Work settlement status was granted to it in 1942. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Yurga serves as the administrative center of Yurginsky District though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as Yurga Town Under Oblast Jurisdiction—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, Yurga Town Under Oblast Jurisdiction is incorporated as Yurginsky Urban Okrug; the 74th Motor Rifle Brigade of the Russian Ground Forces is based here. Совет народных депутатов Кемеровской области. Закон №215-ОЗ от 27 декабря 2007 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Кемеровской области», в ред. Закона №131-ОЗ от 22 декабря 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Кемеровской области "О статусе и границах муниципальных образований" и Закон Кемеровской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Кемеровской области"».
Вступил в силу в день, следующий за днём официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Кузбасс", №243, 28 декабря 2007 г.. Совет народных депутатов Кемеровской области. Закон №104-ОЗ от 17 декабря 2004 г. «О статусе и границах муниципальных образований», в ред. Закона №123-ОЗ от 22 декабря 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Кемеровской области "О статусе и границах муниципальных образований"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Кузбасс", №242, 24 декабря 2004 г
76th Guards Air Assault Division
The 76th Guards Air Assault Division is a division of the Russian Airborne Troops based in Pskov. The division traces its lineage back to the 76th Guards Rifle Division, formed in March 1943 from the 157th Rifle Division for that division's actions during the Battle of Stalingrad; the division fought in the Battle of Kursk, the Battle of the Dnieper, Operation Bagration, the East Pomeranian Offensive, the Berlin Offensive. Postwar, it was converted into an airborne division; the division moved to Pskov, its current base, in 1949. The division was involved in the January Events in Lithuania. After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the division became part of the Russian Airborne Troops; the division fought in Second Chechen War and the Russo-Georgian War. The division became an air assault division in 2006, it was involved in the War in Donbass. The 76th Air Assault Division was established in 1939 as the 157th Rifle Division. On 1 March 1943 it became the 76th Guards Rifle Division for its actions in the Battle of Stalingrad.
Major General Alexander Kirsanov commanded the division. The division fought in the Battle of Kursk; until 3 July the division was part of the Bryansk Front in the area of Belyov. On 12 July the division began the crossing of the Oka. By the end of the day the division had captured bridgeheads; the division received thanks from the Supreme Commander for this action. On 8 September, the division began to advance from the Oryol area to Chernigov. After three days the division had advanced 70 kilometers and reached the village of Tolstoles on 20 September, three kilometers northeast of Chernigov; the division helped capture the city and advanced to the west. By an order of the Supreme Commander on 21 September the division was thanked and awarded the honorific "Chernigov"; the division advanced into Belarus. It became part of the 1st Belorussian Front. On 17 July 1944 it began an attack northwest of Kovel. On 21 July the vanguard of the division moved north towards Brest in heavy fighting. On 26 July, troops advancing from the south linked up 20 to 25 kilometers west of Brest.
German troops in the area were surrounded. For its actions in the capture of Brest, the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. On 25 January 1945, the division, as part of the 2nd Belorussian Front, blocked the route out of Toruń, surrounding German forces. In late February, the division attempted to cut the road out of Konitz. German troops were able to escape in the fighting. On 23 March the division advanced to the Baltic Sea. By 25 March it was advancing towards Danzig; the division helped captured Danzig on 30 March. The division was moved from Danzig to Germany and on 24 April was concentrated near Kortenhaten, 20 kilometers south of Stettin. On 26 April the division broke through the German line. By the end of the day it had captured Pretslavu. On 2 May, the division captured Güstrow. On 3 May, after advancing 40 kilometers, it captured Butzow; the forward detachments of the 76th Guards Rifle Division reached the Baltic and on the outskirts of Wismar met with Allied airborne units of the 6th Airborne Division.
The division was part of the 114th Rifle Corps of the 70th Army of the 2nd Belorussian Front in May 1945. On 6 July 1946, it became the 76th Guards Airborne Division in Novgorod, directly subordinated to Airborne headquarters. In April 1947, it moved to Pskov. Future Soviet Airborne Troops commander Vasily Margelov became the division's commander in April 1948; the division became part of the 15th Guards Airborne Corps in October 1948. It was composed of the 234th Guards Air-Landing Regiment, the 237th Guards Airborne Regiment and the 154th Guards Artillery Regiment. On 18 February 1949 the 234th became an airborne regiment. On 30 April 1955, the 104th Guards Airborne Regiment moved to the division after the 21st Guards Airborne Division was disbanded. On 6 January 1959, the 242nd Separate Military-Transport Aviation Squadron was activated with the division, it included 10 An-2 Colt transports. On 15 August 1960, the 154th Guards Artillery Regiment became the 819th Separate Guards Artillery Battalion.
On 27 April 1962, the battalion was upgraded to the 1140th Guards Artillery Regiment. In 1967, the division participated in Exercise "Dnieper". In March 1970, the division participated in the combined arms exercise "Dvina". During the exercise, the division used the Antonov An-22 for the first time; the division participated in Exercise "Autumn-88". Between 1988 and 1992 the division participated in the suppression of interethnic conflicts in Armenia, Georgia, the Baltic region, North Ossetia, South Ossetia. In 1991, the 104th and 234th Guards Airborne Regiments were awarded the Ministry of Defense Pennant "For Courage and Valor". Earlier, the division and its artillery regiment had been awarded the pennant; the division took part in the August Coup of 1991, when it was sent to Estonia by the Coup's leaders to take over the Tallinn TV Tower. The division fought in the First Chechen War during 1994 and 1995. 120 military personnel of the division were killed during the war. For their actions, ten officers of the division received the title Hero of the Russian Federation, two of them posthumously.
The division fought in the Second Chechen War between 1999 and 2004. From 18 August 1999 elements of the division fought in the capture of Karamakhi, Gudermes and the blocking of the Vedeno gorge; the 6th Company of the 104th Guards Airborne Regiment blocked the Argun Gorge in March 2000. For their actions, 22 soldiers were awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation, all but one posthumously. 63 re
Operation Bagration was the codename for the Soviet 1944 Belorussian Strategic Offensive Operation, a military campaign fought between 23 June and 19 August 1944 in Soviet Byelorussia in the Eastern Front of World War II. The Soviet Union inflicted the biggest defeat in German military history by destroying 28 out of 34 divisions of Army Group Centre and shattered the German front line. On 23 June 1944, the Red Army attacked Army Group Centre in Byelorussia, with the objective of encircling and destroying its main component armies. By 28 June, the German Fourth Army had been destroyed, along with most of the Third Panzer and Ninth Armies; the Red Army exploited the collapse of the German front line to encircle German formations in the vicinity of Minsk in the Minsk Offensive and destroy them, with Minsk liberated on 4 July. With the end of effective German resistance in Byelorussia, the Soviet offensive continued further to Lithuania and Romania over the course of July and August; the Red Army used the Soviet deep battle and maskirovka strategies for the first time to a full extent, albeit with continuing heavy losses.
Operation Bagration diverted German mobile reserves to the central sectors, removing them from the Lublin-Brest and Lvov–Sandomierz areas, enabling the Soviets to undertake the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive and Lublin–Brest Offensive. This allowed the Red Army to reach the Vistula river and Warsaw, which in turn put Soviet forces within striking distance of Berlin, conforming to the concept of Soviet deep operations—striking deep into the enemy's strategic depths. Germany's Army Group Centre had proved tough to counter as the Soviet defeat in Operation Mars had shown, but by June 1944, despite shortening its front line, it had been exposed following the defeats of Army Group South in the battles that followed the Battle of Kursk, the Battle of Kiev, the Crimean Offensive in the late summer and winter of 1943–44. In the north, Army Group North was pushed back, leaving Army Group Center's lines protruding towards the east and at risk of losing contact with neighbouring army groups; the German High Command expected the next Soviet offensive to fall against Army Group North Ukraine, while it lacked intelligence capabilities to divine the Soviet intentions.
The Wehrmacht had redeployed one-third of Army Group Centre's artillery, half of its tank destroyers, 88 per cent of tanks to the south. The entire operational reserve on the Eastern front was deployed to Model's sector. Army Group Centre only had a total of 580 tanks, tank destroyers, assault guns, they were opposed by over self-propelled guns. German lines were thinly held. Operation Bagration, in combination with the neighbouring Lvov-Sandomierz Offensive, launched a few weeks in Ukraine, allowed the Soviet Union to recapture Belorussia and Ukraine within its 1941 borders, advance into German East Prussia, but more the Lvov-Sandomierz operation allowed the Red Army to reach the outskirts of Warsaw after gaining control of Poland east of the Vistula river; the campaign enabled the next operation, the Vistula–Oder Offensive, to come within sight of the German capital. The Soviets were surprised at the success of the Belorussian operation which had nearly reached Warsaw; the Soviet advance encouraged the Warsaw uprising against the German occupation forces.
The battle has been described as the triumph of the Soviet theory of the "operational art" because of the complete coordination of all the strategic front movements and signals traffic to fool the enemy about the target of the offensive. The military tactical operations of the Red Army avoided the mobile reserves of the Wehrmacht and continually "wrong-footed" the German forces. Despite the massive forces involved, Soviet front commanders left their adversaries confused about the main axis of attack until it was too late; the Russian word maskirovka is equivalent to the English word camouflage, but it has broader application in military use. During World War II the term was used by Soviet commanders to describe measures to create deception with the goal of inflicting surprise on the Wehrmacht forces; the Oberkommando des Heeres expected the Soviets to launch a major Eastern Front offensive in the summer of 1944. The Stavka considered a number of options; the timetable of operations between June and August had been decided on by 28 April 1944.
The Stavka rejected an offensive in either the L'vov sector or the Yassy-Kishinev sectors owing to the presence of powerful enemy mobile forces equal in strength to the Soviet strategic fronts. Instead they suggested four options: an offensive into Romania and through the Carpathian Mountains, an offensive into the western Ukrainian SSR aimed at the Baltic coast, an attack into the Baltic, an offensive in the Belorussian SSR; the first two options were rejected as being too open to flank attack. The third option was rejected on the grounds; the only safe option was an offensive into Belorussia which would enable subsequent offensives from Ukraine into Poland and Romania. The Soviet and German High Commands recognised western Ukraine as a staging area for an offensive into Poland; the Soviets, aware that the enemy would anticipate this, engaged in a maskirovka campaign to catch the German armoured forces off guard by creating a crisis in Belorussia that would force the
Bely, Tver Oblast
Bely is a town and the administrative center of Belsky District in Tver Oblast, located on the Obsha River. Population: 3,772 ; the name of the town means "white" in Russian, although it is unknown how or why this name originated. The fortress of Bely is first mentioned in a chronicle in 1350, since it was conquered by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it was located on the border between Lithuanian and Russian lands, intermittently changed affiliation between Lithuania and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. In the 15th century, it became the seat of the Belsky branch of the ruling House of Gediminas; the town was overrun by the Grand Duchy of Moscow in 1503. Three years Muscovites built a formidable castle, which the Lithuanians laid a siege to in 1508; the town was again subordinated to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1618 and 1654, after which it went under Moscow. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, Bely became the center of Belsky Uyezd of Smolensk Governorate and remained there until 1929, with the exception of the brief periods between 1713 and 1726, when it belonged to Riga Governorate, between 1775 and 1796, when Smolensk Governorate was transformed into Smolensk Viceroyalty.
On 12 July 1929, governorates and uyezds were abolished, Belsky District with the administrative center in the Bely was established. It belonged to Rzhev Okrug of Western Oblast. On August 1, 1930 the okrugs were abolished, the districts were subordinated directly to the oblast. On 29 January 1935 Kalinin Oblast was established, Belsky District was transferred to Kalinin Oblast. During World War II, in 1941—1943, the district was occupied by German troops, Bely was damaged. On August 22, 1944, the district was transferred to newly established Velikiye Luki Oblast. On October 2, 1957, Velikiye Luki Oblast was abolished, Belsky District was transferred back to Kalinin Oblast. On February 13, 1963 the district was merged into Nelidovsky District. In 1990, Kalinin Oblast was renamed Tver Oblast. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Bely serves as the administrative center of Belsky District; as an administrative division, it is incorporated within Belsky District as Bely Urban Settlement.
As a municipal division, this administrative unit has urban settlement status and is a part of Belsky Municipal District. There are enterprises of food industries located in Bely. A paved road connecting Nelidovo and Smolensk via Dukhovshchina passes Bely. There are local roads; the closest railway stations are in Nelidovo and Vladimirsky Tupik (the terminus of a railway which branches off in Safonovo from the line connecting Moscow and Smolensk. Bely contains five cultural heritage monuments of federal significance and additionally sixty-five objects classified as cultural and historical heritage of local significance; the federally protected monuments are archeological sites related to the old town of Bely. There is a local museum in Bely, founded in 1925. Законодательное Собрание Тверской области. Закон №34-ЗО от 17 апреля 2006 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тверской области», в ред. Закона №66-ЗО от 1 октября 2014 г. «О внесении изменения в статью 18 Закона Тверской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тверской области"».
Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тверские ведомости", №17, 19 апреля 2006 г.. Законодательное Собрание Тверской области. Закон №19-ЗО от 28 февраля 2005 г. «Об установлении границ муниципальных образований, входящих в состав территории муниципального образования Тверской области "Бельский район", и наделении их статусом городского, сельского поселения», в ред. Закона №56-ЗО от 13 июля 2009 г «О внесении изменений в Приложение №1к Закону Тверской области "Об установлении границ муниципальных образований, входящих в состав территории муниципального образования Тверской области "Бельский район", и наделении их статусом городского, сельского поселения"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тверские ведомости", №10, 11–17 марта 2005 г.. Законодательное Собрание Тверской области. Закон №4-ЗО от 18 января 2005 г. «Об установлении границ муниципальных образований Тверской области и наделении их статусом городских округов, муниципальных районов», в ред.
Закона №65-ЗО от 24 июля 2012 г. «О внесении изменения в статью 2 Закона Тверской области "Об установлении границ муниципальных образований Тверской области и наделении их статусом городских округов, муниципальных районов"». Вступил в силу через десять дней после официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тверские ведомости", №3, 21–27 января 2005 г. (Legislative Assembly of T
Yelnya, Yelninsky District, Smolensk Oblast
Yelnya is a town and the administrative center of Yelninsky District in Smolensk Oblast, located on the Desna River, 82 kilometers from Smolensk, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 10,095 . Yelnya's name is related to the Russian word "ель" or "елань", it was first mentioned in the historical documents in 1150 when according to the order of knyaz Rostislav of Smolensk it was to pay a tax of four grivnas and a fox skin. The settlement shared the history of the Smolensk lands—it paid duty to the Golden Horde was captured by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, it was returned to Russia with the rest of the Smolensk Voivodeship at the close of the Russo-Polish War of 1654–1667. In 1776, it became the seat of an uyezd. In 1812, during the French invasion of Russia, Yelnya became an important center of the partisan movement. During the counter-offensive campaign, Mikhail Kutuzov's headquarters were located here. In October 1928, Yelninsky Uyezd was abolished and split between Smolensky and Vyazemsky Uyezds.
On 12 July 1929, governorates and uyezds were abolished, Yelninsky District with the administrative center in Yelnya was established. The district belonged to Smolensk Okrug of Western Oblast. On August 1, 1930 the okrugs were abolished, the districts were subordinated directly to the oblast. On 27 September 1937 Western Oblast was split between Oryol and Smolensk Oblasts. Yelninsky District was transferred to Smolensk Oblast. During World War II, Yelnya was a place of several important battles. On 30 August 1941, it became the place of the Yelnya Offensive, the first successful offensive operation of Soviet troops in the Great Patriotic War. In 1942, Yelninsky District became a part of the so-called "Dorogobuzh Partisan Krai"; the German garrison in the town was not able to control the rural territories which were under the partisan control. In March 1942, partisans liberated the town, killing more than a thousand German troops, but in three days on March 18, 1942 they were forced to retreat back to the forests.
289 Jews used to live in Yelnya in 1939 but in March 1942, 230 Jews were shot by German units in a mass execution. In August 1943, Yelnya played the key part in the Battle of Smolensk. On August 30, Germans were forced sustaining heavy casualties; this started a full-scale German retreat from the area. By September 3, Soviet forces reached the eastern shore of the Dnieper. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Yelnya serves as the administrative center of Yelninsky District; as an administrative division, it is, together with ten rural localities, incorporated within Yelninsky District as Yelninskoye Urban Settlement. As a municipal division, this administrative unit has urban settlement status and is a part of Yelninsky Municipal District; the town has a cheese factory, a large bakery, a brick factory, a few sawmills. Yelnya railway station is on the railway connecting Sukhinichi via Spas-Demensk. There is infrequent passenger navigation. Yelnya is connected by roads with Safonovo, with Pochinok, with Roslavl.
There is a local museum in Yelnya. Администрация Смоленской области. Постановление №261 от 30 апреля 2008 г. «Об утверждении реестра административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области», в ред. Постановления №464 от 27 июня 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в реестр административно-территориальных единиц и территориальных единиц Смоленской области». Опубликован: База данных "Консультант-плюс".. Смоленская областная Дума. Закон №108-з от 20 декабря 2004 г. «О наделении статусом муниципального района муниципального образования "Ельнинский район" Смоленской области, об установлении границ муниципальных образований, территории которых входят в его состав, и наделении их соответствующим статусом», в ред. Закона №108-з от 23 ноября 2011 г. «О внесении изменений в областной Закон "О наделении статусом муниципального района муниципального образования "Ельнинский район" Смоленской области, об установлении границ муниципальных образований, территории которых входят в его состав, и наделении их соответствующим статусом"».
Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Вестник Смоленской областной Думы и Администрации Смоленской области", №13, часть II, стр. 144, 22 декабря 2004 г.. Official website of Smolensk Oblast. History of Yelnya Mojgorod.ru. Entry on Yelnya