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In 2002, it had a population of 430,003 people. This was more than in 1989, when the last census was done. At that time, the city only had a population of 401,280. About 78% of the people there are Russians, 8% Belarusians, and 7.3% Ukrainians.
It was named Königsberg originally. It was the capital city of the German province of East Prussia, the earlier Duchy of Prussia, and before that of the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights. The city had that name from 1254 to 1945.