City Administration; photo by Koro Bumi
As the administrative center of Russia's Zabaykalsky Krai, Chita is located at the confluence of the Chitinka and Ingoda Rivers in the Baikal area where the river Chita flows into Ingoda (the Amur basin). The city is about 900 kilometers (560 mi) east of Irkutsk with a 2010 population count of around 316,000 persons.
Railroad station; photo by Naoto Kurihara
Krai means "edge" or frontier and as such the city is the headquarters of the Siberian Military District and served by Chita Kadala Airport and the Chita Northwest air base. An important railway stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Chita is 6,200 km from Moscow.
Reginal Railroad Administration; photo by Alexander V. Solomin
Chita is sometimes called as the "city of exiles" although frankly many Siberian cities could claim the same title. It was to Chita that many of the The Decembrist revolt members were exiled from royal Saint Petersburg. The Decembrist uprising (Восстание декабристов
) took place in December of 1825 when prominent Russians along with army officers led a protest against Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession. These rebels were called the Decembrists (Декабристы
Now a museum, the Decembrists church built 1776.
Photo by Alexander V. Solomin
After being sentenced and transported to Siberia, these exiles and their families being well educated members of high aristocracy, changed the makeup of Chita, eventually making it a city famous for business and educational opportunities.
Originally inhabited by Mongolic and Turkic tribes, the Russian settlement of Chita was founded in 1653 by Pyotr Beketov's Cossacks and incorporated as a town in 1851. Chita was occupied by the Japanese between 1918 and 1920. Back in Russian hands the city was the capital of the Far Eastern Republic during 1920-1922. Each year the annual "City Day" is celebrated on the 2nd of June.
During World War II, a significant number of Japanese soldiers were taken by the Ukrainians as prisoners of war and put to work in the construction industry and thus in the centre of Chita there are buildings of Japanese styling. In 1945 at the close of World War II, Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China, and some of his court were held prisoner in the city.
In the 1930s Chita was made a closed city due to it's proximity to China and Russia's military operations to guard against Chinese invasion. It remained closed until the end of Soviet rule.
The phone code of the city is +7 3022; the postal codes are 672000-672049.