City (1989 pop. 452,000), capital of Bryansk region, central European Russia, on the Desna River.
Bryansk is a rail transportation hub, and it forms an important industrial district with nearby Bezhitsa, with which it was incorporated in 1956. There are ironworks and locomotive, machine, and cement plants.
Bryansk is also a major distribution centre for natural gas.
Originally called Brinyu and later Debryansk, the city was first known in 1146. For a time it was the capital of a principality. Bryansk later passed to Lithuania and in the 16th century was annexed by Moscow. It served as a fortress until the 19ty century.