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Rostov-on-Don (Russian: Росто́в-на-Дону́) is a city and the administrative center of Rostov Oblast and the Southern Federal District of Russia. It is located on the Don River, just 46 kilometers or 29 miles from the Sea of Azov. The city of Rostov-on-Don is located approximately 1076 kilometers southeast of Moscow to the southeast from the East European Plain, mostly on the right bank of the Don River, 46 kilometers from its confluence with the Sea of Azov. The south-western suburbs of the city sit along the delta of the Don River.
Rostov has rich cultural traditions. The names of dozens of well-known figures of art, literature and science are connected with the city who either lived or worked in Rostov or nearby. They are the poets and writers A.P. Chekhov, M.A. Sholokhov, Zakrutkin, Fadeev, Safronov, Kalinin, A.S. Pushkin, Maxim Gorky, S.A. Yesenin, and Tolstoy, The scientists D.I. Mendeleyev, A.S. Popov, L.P. Pavlov, Solzhenitsyn and Zhdanov. The actress Maretskaya, the composers Zaslavsky, Nazaretov and the architect E. Vuchetich. The great Russian commander A.V. Suvorov and many others. It was in Rostov-on-Don that Moussorgsky gave his concerts and Maxim Gorky, being a youth, laborered as a dockworker. The great Russian actor Mikhail Shchepkin performed in the theatre and the celebrated explorer of the Arctic Sea George Sedov dreamt about his expeditions. After visiting Rostov in 1831, A.S. Pushkin published his poem The Don. The monument to A.S. Pushkin on Pushkin Boulevard is dedicated to remind visitors and locals as well of the unique history of the city.
Rostov-on-Don has experienced considerable economic growth in recent years, as the Russian economy recovers nationwide. Numerous start-up companies have established headquarters in the city and the median income is rising. The city is being transformed from a place thrown back in time by the collapse of the former USSR into a modern, industrial and technology-rich center. Rostov's favorable geographical position at trading crossroads promotes economic development. The Don River is a major shipping lane connecting southwestern Russia with the north. Rostov-on-Don is a trading port for Russian, Italian, Greek and Turkish merchants selling items such as wool, wheat and oil. It is also an important river port for passengers. The Rostov on Don agricultural region produces one-third of Russia's vegetable oil from sunflowers. With the construction of the Volga-Don Shipping Canal in 1952, Rostov-on-Don became a port of five seas: the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Caspian Sea, the White Sea, and the Baltic Sea.
Rostov-on-Don Airport has domestic flights, as well as flights to and from former C.I.S., Europe, Africa and Asia. Donavia Airlines - formerly Aeroflot Don has its head office in Rostov-on-Don and German airline Lufthansa flies to Rostov on Don. The international river port specializes in processing freights of mineral, construction, packing, timber and metal. There is also the main railway station of Rostov-Glavny and the suburban railway station of Rostov-Prigorodny, as well as the main and the suburban bus stations always available. The railway line “St.Petersburg-Rostov-Caucasus” crosses the territory of Rostov-on-Don. One can also find the navigable way, which goes from the center of Russia towards the Black Sea region as well as the Mediterranean Sea and the airline St.Petersburg-Moscow-Caucasus. The administration of one of the North Caucasus Railways is based in Rostov.
Beginning in 2011 the construction of the Southern Hub airport is planned. It will be the biggest airport in the south of Russia. The airport will be constructed on the location of the former military aerodrome of Bataysk which is located 5 miles or 8 kilometers north west of the city center. Several highways of federal and regional significance cross Rostov. The M-4 Don route passes Rostov right on the eastern side of the city, crossing the Don River in the Aksay city area. There is another route, called “Rostov-Novoshakhtinsk”, which starts from the Northern housing block area of the city and goes further northwards, connecting with the M-4 Don route between Shakhty and Novoshakhtinsk. As of January 2007 there were 72 bus routes, 9 trolleybus routes and 54 taxi routes in Rostov-on-Don.
Rostov Oblast is one of Russia's most populous regions and is the economic and cultural center of Southern Russia. The region is especially notable for being the center of the Don Cossack culture and contains the world's most important Cossack cultural monuments and museums, primarily in Novocherkassk and Starocherkassk. The region was also a major center of anti-Soviet resistance during the Russian Civil War in 1918–21. The major sites in the region are:
Rostov-on-the-Don — one of Russia's largest cities and the capital of both Rostov Oblast and all of Southern Russia
Azov — great destination on the Sea of Azov for history buffs as it was a center of the centuries long Russo-Turkish conflict and also for archaeological research at nearby Tanais, an ancient Bosporan Greek city
Aksay — an important Cossack town with a fun fortress and several military museums
Novocherkessk — the world capital of Cossack culture, this relatively large city is full of Cossack-related sites for the visitor
Shakhty — a large industrial coal-mining city
Starocherkessk — near Novocherkessk is the old capital of the Don Cossacks; this is perhaps Rostov Oblast's most precious site, full of Cossack cultural monuments
Taganrog — Anton Chekhov's hometown is a well preserved monument to his childhood and youth containing several museums and palaces; Rostov Oblast's second largest city
Vyoshenskaya Stanitsa — this small riverside Cossack stanitsa is the hometown of Nobel Prize winning novelist Mikhail Sholokhov