Saransk (Сара́нск; Mordvin: Саран ош, in Latinized form Saran Osh) is a city in central European Russia and the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. It is located in the Volga basin at the confluence of the Saranka and Insar rivers, about 630 km east of Moscow, at . Population: 304,866 (2002 Census). It is served by Saransk Airport and hosts the air base Lyambir. The population of Saransk formed 33.9 per cent of the total population of the Republic. Over 85 per cent of the inhabitants are ethnic Russians, which have moved to Saransk to form the work force to the giant size factories built to satisfy All Soviet Union demands. The common language is Russian, the Mordvian languages are rarely heard on the streets. According to the published figures the population sunk from 314.800 on January 1, 2000 to 304.866 on January 1, 2003. And have decreased ever since, a typical trend for smaller size provincial capitals when the importance of the in Soviet era created large industrial factories have lost their importance in internal consumption markets due competition of imported goods, like electric lamps, from abroad.
Saransk municipal public transport is based on Trolley Buss lines in addition to diesel buss lines.
Up to October Revolution in 1917 Saransk was served by two daily Penza - Nizhny Novgorod pair of passenger trains, carrying passengers from nearby villages mainly to either Ruzayevka junction station and Penza or to Arzamas and Nizhny Novgorod.
West of the City Center is also large Dacha settlement named Oktyaberskiy (Octoberer). Similar one have been grown also in eastern direction out of the town center along the main road to Atemar. Saransk have three Orthodox Churches and also a small Lutherian Church provided by the Finland`s Lutherian Church and opened in 2005. Main steeets are named; Polezhayeva Ulitsa (Polezhayev Street), Kommunistinschkaya Ulitsa (Street of Communists), Volgogradskiy Ulitsa (Volgatown Street), Kozarevaya Ulitsa (Kozarev Street), Prospekt 70 Let Oktyaberya (View of the 70th Year of Octoberer), Titova Ulitsa (Titov Street), Aleksandra Nevsgogo Ulitsa (Street of Alexander Nevariverer), Moskovskaya Ulitsa (Moscower Street), Krasnaya Ulitsa (Redish Street), Rabochaya Ulitsa (Workers Street), and Osipenko Ulitsa (Josipenko Street). The town is full of Soviet era blocks, dating mainly from 1960´s, similar than in other provincial towns which expanded rapidly due fast industrialisation. The industrial enterprises are mainly located to the north of town center. The town needs in near future being to repaired as the average age of Soviet ere built blocks nears to the end without comprehensive repairing program and large investiments to improve the towns infrastructure. When arriving along the highway R 158 from north the appearance of Saransk is quite spectacle, it appears just like that from surrouding countryside imago with small villages from the middle of nowhere to scene of the first time visiter´s eyes. The eastern part of Saransk, located east of Sura River, is named Posop. One interesting small detail is the bases (Kasarma) of the armed troops of Ministry of Internal Affairs located along the railway lines, even nearby Saransk as a reminiscences of the Soviet era when Saransk was a practically closed town.
Saransk have four hotels worth of mentioning. Hotel Saransk, located on the Street of Kommunists Nr. 35, (armed security guards in lobby and Reception), Hotel Pravitelstvennaya, Prospekt Lenina (View of Lenin) Nr. 2, (Hotel used as Government visitor´s gottage). Tsentralnaya (Central), Ulitsa Sovetskaya (Counsil´s Street) Nr. 49, and Hotel Sura, Ulitsa Polesayeva (Polesayev Street) Nr. 49.
The Saransk University carries name Mordovskiy Gosudarstvennyi Universitet imeni N.L.Ogareva.
The main factories are; AO Lisma, an old fashioned electric lamp factory, with nearly 12.000 employers, AO Biohimik, an medicine factory making antibiotes, AO Rezinotehnika, manufacturing rubber products, and AO Saranskkabel manufacturing cables of different kind. There is in addition also AO Elekrtovypryamitel fanufacturing electronic componets, this factory manufacturing also televion sets, but have only less than 300 employers, the western competitors have eaten it nearly out of the internal electronic markets. AO Himzavod, an chemical factory, the pollution level is totally different than permitted in Western Europe.
Saransk has several theaters: a drama theater (founded in 1961), a State Puppet Theater of the Republic of Mordovia, and a comedy theater. It also has a regional history museum and a museum of painting. The Mordovian State University (founded in 1957) is located in Saransk as well as several technical schools.
A remarkable structure of Saransk is Saransk TV Tower, a 180 metres tall guyed tubular steel mast built in 1961, which has 8 crossbars with gangways running in 2 levels from the mast structure to the guys.