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Ivanovo is the administrative center of Ivanovo Oblast, Russia. Population: 431,721 (2002 Census).
Ivanovo has traditionally been called the textile capital of Russia. Since most textile workers are women, it has also been known as the "City of Brides". Probably the most famous of the city's female natives was the postmodern French writer Nathalie Sarraute. Ivanovo was created by merging the old flax-processing village Ivanovo (first documented in 1561) with the industrial Voznesensky Posad in 1871. Until 1932, its official name was Ivanovo-Voznesensk.
By the early 20th century, Ivanovo competed with Łódź (also a part of the Russian Empire at that time) for a title of the main textile production centre in Europe. As the workers' living conditions were appalling, the strikes were frequent. One of these strikes led to the first Russian revolution. According to the Soviet historiography, e.g., Great Soviet Encyclopedia, article "Soviets of Workers' Deputies", the Ivanovo Soviet (created in May 1905) was one of the first Soviets in the history.
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