Vladivostok (Russian: 'Rule the East') is a port city and naval base in the far east of Russia (Siberia), on the Sea of Japan close to the borders of China and North Korea. It has strategic significance to Russia as it is that nation's only ice-free naval port on its Pacific coast. Vladivostok was founded in 1859, a year after the territory in which it lies had been acquired from China, and in 1903 it became the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway. During the Russian Civil War it was a base for foreign intervention in that conflict, until captured by Soviet forces in 1922. It was closed to foreigners until the end of the Cold War. Trans-Siberian passengers seeking to reach Japan by boat had to sail from the nearby port of Nakhodka.
Vladivostock has a population of 600,000 and remains the main base for Russia's Pacific Fleet.