Bratsk is a city in Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Angara River near the vast Bratsk Reservoir. Population: 246,319 (2010 Census); 259,335 (2002 Census); 255,705 (1989 Census). Although the name sounds like the Russian word for "brother" ("брат", brat), it actually comes from 'bratskiye lyudi', an old name for the Buryats.
The first Europeans in the area arrived in 1623, intending to collect taxes from the local Buryat population. Permanent settlement began with the construction of an ostrog (fortress) in 1636 at the junction of the Oka and Angara rivers. Several wooden towers from the 17th-century fort are now exhibited in Kolomenskoye Estate of Moscow.
During World War II, there was an increase in industrial activity in Siberia, as Soviet industry was moved to the lands east of the Ural Mountains. After the war's end, development slowed as resources were required in the rebuilding of European Russia.