Samara, Самара, from 1935 to 1991 Kuybyshev, is a major city situated on the Volga river in the southeastern part of European Russia, Privolzhsky District, capital of Samarskaya oblast'. It was founded in 1586 as a defense outpost, and later grew into a major grain-trading center for the Volga region. Important manufactures include motor vehicles, railroad equipment, chemicals, and machinery. The city also has an aerospace industry, producing the Soyuz space shuttle. Due to this industry the city was a closed city during the Cold War. It was the temporary capital of the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1943 when German troops threatened Moscow.
Population (1999): 1,170,800.