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city, western Armenia. It is believed to have been founded by the Greeks in 401 BC, but it did not have a continuous existence. A fortress was constructed on the site by the Russians in 1837, and in 1840 the town of Alexandropol was founded nearby. Alexandropol was a trading and administrative centre but subsequently underwent industrial development and was renamed Leninakan for the Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in 1924. Leninakan was severely damaged by an earthquake that devastated northwestern Armenia on Dec. 7, 1988. Almost all of the city's multistory buildings collapsed, killing thousands and leaving many others homeless.