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city, Orenburg oblast (province), western Russia. It lies about 150 miles (240 km) south of Magnitogorsk at the confluence of the Ural and Or rivers. It was founded in 1735 as the fortress of Orenburg (q.v.), which was moved downriver in 1743. Orsk is now a major industrial centre, with a large oil refinery using petroleum piped from fields on the Caspian Sea. Other products include nickel and cobalt, heavy-metallurgical and mining machinery, electrical equipment, and synthetic alcohol. Pop. (1994 est.) 278,200