city, Vitebsk oblast (province), east-central Belarus. It lies about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Smolensk on the Dnieper River. First mentioned in 1067, it has always been a major focus of trade routes and has frequently been attacked and destroyed. During World War II the city came under German occupation and suffered extensive damage. Today Orsha is an important railway junction on the Moscow-Warsaw and St. Petersburg-Odessa lines, with other lines to Lepel and Krichov. The city has linen, clothing, machine-building, and food-processing industries. Pop. (1991 est.) 125,300
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