city, Nizhegorod oblast (province), western Russia. Dzerzhinsk lies along the Oka River upstream from its confluence with the Volga River at Nizhny Novgorod. Part of the Nizhny Novgorod metropolitan area, Dzerzhinsk and its satellite towns stretch for 15 miles (24 km) along the Oka. The city is 32 miles (51 km) west of Nizhny Novgorod and 240 miles (390 km) east of Moscow. It was renamed in 1929 in honour of Feliks E. Dzerzhinsky, the first head of the Soviet secret police.
Learn more about Dzerzhinsk with a free trial on Britannica.com.