Located at the confluence of the Oka and the Volga rivers, Nizhni Novgorod has been an economical and cultural center of the vast Volgo-Vyatsky region. The total area of N.Novgorod exceeds 200 sq.mi. With its 1,5 million population the city is the 3rd biggest city in Russia. Of special industrial importance are the suburbs of Nizhni Novgorod: Dzerzhinsk, Bor and Kstovo. N.Novgorod, which was known as Gorki from 1932 to 1990 has gone back to its pre-revolutionary name. It was a closed city for the past 45 years; it was also known to Westerners as the city to which Andrei Sakharov was exiled.