City (1989 pop. 366,000), capital of Chita region, South Eastern Siberian Russia, at the confluence of the Chita and Ingoda rivers and on the Trans-Siberian Railway. The city was founded in 1653.
Chita's place in Russian history was made in 1825, when 82 of the Decembrists who had tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Tsar in St. Petersburg were exiled to the area.
Mainly due to the influence of the early revolutionary exiles, Chita was a centre for worker unrest in the early years of the 20th century, which led to armed revolutionaries taking control of the city and declaring the Chita Republic. Troops sent by the Tsar quickly crushed the new government and its leaders were severely punished.
In Soviet times Chita was closed to foreigners for a while because of its proximity to the Chinese border and its military industry.