city, Vitebsk oblast (province), Belarus. It is situated on the Western Dvina River at its confluence with the Polota. Polotsk, first mentioned in 862, has always been a major trading centre and an important fortress with a remarkably stormy history. Modern Polotsk and its satellite town, Novopolotsk, are railway junctions and industrial centres, with oil-refining, petrochemical, glass-fibre, wood-working, and food-processing industries, as well as a teacher-training institute. Pop. (1991 est.) 78,700.
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