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Rybinsk is one of the oldest Slavic settlements on the Volga River. The place was first recorded by chroniclers in 1071 as Ust-Sheksna, i.e. “the mouth of the Sheksna”.[citation needed] During this period the settlement was a regional center for craft and metal based produce and for trade. In the mid-11th century, Ust-Sheksna was laid waste by invading Mongols. For the next few centuries, the settlement was referred to alternatively as Ust-Sheksna or Rybansk. From 1504, it was identified in documents as Rybnaya Sloboda (literally: “the fishing village”). The name is explained by the fact that the settlement supplied the Muscovite court with choice sturgeons and sterlets.

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