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city, Lipetsk oblast (province), western Russia, on the Sosna River. First mentioned in 1146 and the seat of a minor princedom in the 13th century, Yelets long served as a southern frontier fortress. It was captured by Timur in 1395 and by the Mongols in 1414; in 1483 it passed to Moscow. Although long noted for its handmade lace, Yelets today is an industrial city, with flour milling and engineering, and is also a railway junction. Pop. (1993 est.) 119,900