27 May 2003, 00:51
Rayon (sector) centre in Kabardino-Balkariya, 24 km north-west of Nalchik. Located on the left bank of the Baksan River (in the Terek Basin), at its exit from mountains to the plain. Traffic centre (the Rostov-on-Don - Baku highway, motorways of Prokhladny - Mozdok and to the Elbrus area). Population (1992 est.) 30.2 thousand, (1979 est.) 21.4 thousand.
In 1822, a Russian fortification (surviving only in ruins) in the Caucasian military line was built on the site of present Baksan. In the second half of the 1860s, there was the Kabardian village of Kuchmazukino (referred to as Staraya Krepost since 1920) to the east of the fortification. In 1891, emigrants from central areas of Russia and the Ukraine founded the settlement of Baksan to the west of the fortification. In 1960, the settlement of Staraya Krepost and Baksan merged to form the village of Baksan. Baksan was an industrial community since 1965, and a town since 1967.
Modern Baksan is an industrial centre. The town has the Avtozapchast works (production of automobile silencers) and the Limb plant (articles of radio electronic industry), a cannery, a fur factory, a textile and knitting mill, production of wall materials, etc. The Baksan hydroelectric station is in the environs of Baksan higher up the river. Baksan is an agricultural centre (large maize-growing facilities).
Baksan was the birthplace of the founder of modern Kabardian literature A.A. Shogentsukov and the writer and poet A.O. Shogentsukov.