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Tomsk (1995 pop. 1,100,000), a city in W Siberia, Russia, seat of the Tomsk Oblast.

In 1604 the Russian tsar Boris Godunov ordered Cossack leader Gavril Pisemsky[?] and boyar son Tyrkov to found a fort on the River Tom[?], on Tatar land, to protect the river crossing. It became important as a military center for pacifying the native people and evolved into a regional administrative center. Beginning in the late 1830s, its population grew quickly thanks to the intensifying gold-mining activity in the region.

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