Vladivostok, Russia, founded on July 2, 1860, is the home port of the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai. The city is in Russian Far East, on the coast of the Sea of Japan and near both the Chinese border and the Japanese island of Honshu. The city's name means "controlling the East" in the Russian language.
The city's current population is approximately 700,000. Its main industries are shipping, commercial fishing, and the naval base.
From 1958 to 1991, only Soviet citizens were allowed to live in, or even visit, Vladivostok. (Soviet citizens had to obtain an official permission in order to enter the city.) Before this closure, the city had large Japanese and Chinese populations.
The Trans-Siberian Railway was built to connect Vladivostok, Russia's first Pacific Ocean port, with European Russia. Finished in 1905, the rail line ran from Vladivostok to Moscow. Part of the railroad, known as the Chinese Eastern Line, crossed over into China and passed through Harbin, China. Later, a northern line was built, which was contained within the Russian borders.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many businesses have opened offices in Vladivostok, taking advantage of its location. Unfortunately, the crime rate and cost of living have also increased, and the city is believed to be a hotbed of organized crime activity and abuse of power by regional and municipal authorities.