Khabarovsk, a city of more than 600,000, is second only to Vladivostok in size in the Russian Far East.
Khabarovsk is close to the border with China and is almost directly east of Harbin. It is the last major stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway before Vladivostok.
Although Khabarovsk has long been the headquarters of the Far Eastern Military Command, it was never closed to foreign visitors, unlike Vladivostok. Khabarovsk is the largest Russian city east of Lake Baikal, and it is the capital of the Khabarovsk Territory. It is located at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers.
Nearly three-quarters of Khabarovsk's inhabitants work in some type of industrial job, and entire sections of the city consist of factories surrounded by boxy Soviet-style apartment blocks. With its steady flow of tourists from Japan, South Korea and China, the city has a bustling, international feel to it.
The city itself is built on three long geographical ridges, which gave rise to the ancient legend that the area rested on the backs of three great whales.