Kotovsk is one of the towns that were originally meant to work for the defense of Russia, although, as years passed, its economy changed to meet the needs of peace time. Military influence on the town development is noticeable at a glance. The accurate architectural layout, the streets meeting each other at a right angle, appeared instead of forest glades, defined the look of Kotovsk that continued developing in this manner.
Kotovsk was founded under the decree of Emperor Nicholas II ordering to build the largest government defense enterprise. And this is how Kotovsk gunpowder factory forming a company town appeared. In 1918, the work settlement became the center of the country district and was named Udarny but in 1927 it changed its name into Krasny Boevik. The town received its modern name in 1940 when it was renamed as Kotovsk in honor of Grigory Kotovsky who participated in the suppression of the peasant rebellion in Tambov.
Being in the front-line area during the years of World War II, Kotovsk gunpowder factory had to work at a stepped-up tempo.
As years were passing by, Kotovsk kept changing. Its central streets, parallel to each other, - Naberezhanaya, Oktyabrskaya, Kotovsky, Kirov, Sovetskaya Streets and perpendicular Svoboda and Kolkhoznaya Streets are all built up with brick buildings erected during the first five-year plans.
The symbol of the town is musical tilting dolls produced at the local factory and known all over Russia and far beyond its borders. The tilting doll is children’s favorite toy.