About Mazyr

Mazyr, also Mozyr is a city in the Homiel Province of Belarus on the Pripyat River about 210 km east of Pinsk and 100 km northwest of Chernobyl and is located at approximately 5203?N 2915?E. The population is 111,770 (2004 estimate). The total urban area including Kalinkavi?y across the river has a population of 150,000. Mazyr is known as a center of oil refining, machine building, and food processing in Belarus. It is home to one of the largest oil refineries in Belarus, pumping out 18 million metric tons per year. The Druzhba pipeline carries crude oil from Russia splitting in two at Mazyr. One pipeline branch is directed into Poland and the other one to Ukraine.

The right bank of the Pripyat River, where the city is located, is elevated above the left bank at substantial heights (up to 80 m). The overfall of surface of that scale is assumed to be a consequence of a glaciation: the Pripyat River is running right along the edge where an ancient glacier was located. Since both banks of the river are sandy, the right bank is cut through by a number of great ravines (more than 2.5 km length, up to 200 m width). The city is also located on the ravines, so its streets look much like streets of a mountain town. One of the ravines is proclaimed a reserve. Some of the nearby ravines are currently also equipped with ski lifts and transformed into skiing winter resorts.

Mazyr once had a sizable Jewish population. During World War II, many Jews were executed by the Nazis in Mazyr. There are several memorials devoted to this in the modern city. As with other Soviet cities, during approximately the last 15 years of the Communist control, a large proportion of the remaining Jews have relocated abroad, mostly to Israel and USA.

In 1986, the city suffered from heavy radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident