The formation of this region was due to the discovery of deposits of coal in 1721. The special close relationship of historical development, economic interests, natural resources and economy of the two regions of Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk), led to an informal network of a single historical, cultural and economic area, namely the Donbas.
The area for the automotive industry and ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy in Ukraine consists of the central part of Donetsk and the south of Luhansk regions of Ukraine, as well as part of the Rostov region of the Russian Federation.
Donetsk coal basin represents approximately 60,000 km². The total coal reserves, which goes to a depth of 1,800 m, is 140.8 billion tons.
Economy and industry of Donbas
The Donetsk region has the highest degree of economic development in the country. The main inter-industrial complexes are energy, metallurgy, machine building and chemical industries. In Donbas prevails in local areas agriculture economics (what is grown, is sold in local areas). There is also high developed transportation and recreational facilities.
Coal mining. On the Donbas' area there are 24 state coal-holding companies and 20 independent mines and mine administrations.
In the Donetsk region they are extracting coke and in Luhansk energy coal, so the electricity sector is dominated by thermal power plants. The Donetsk basin has the main fuel and energy base for the central and southern regions of Ukraine, as well as the Rostov region in the neighboring country.
The development of the steel industry contributes substantially to the coke industry. Non-ferrous metallurgy is represented by the production of zinc, mercury, copper and rolled brass.
Chemical industry in Donbas includes companies for the production of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizers, soda, chemicals for organic synthesis.
Center for machine building in the Donbas is the city of Mariupol. The region has also significantly developed heavy industry, production equipment and production of locomotives, railway carriages and agricultural machinery.
Local ingredients have long been used for the production of building materials. Of international importance is the production of cement and glass.
Light industry is represented by companies for the production of furniture, wood products, household utensils, cleaning products, perfumes, fabrics, sewing and knitted products and footwear.
80% of agricultural land in the region is arable. Within animal husbandry dominates respectively dairy and meat products; crop cultivation is specialized in grain and sunflower.
The food industry is represented by flour and cereals, meat, dairy, brewing, wine, bakery and confectionery industries. 75% of the total production of salt in Ukraine comes from Donbas' salt industry.
In Donbas, the transport sector is dominated by rail and road transport. Significant development of marine, Pipeline and air transport.
Donbas exports coal, coal coke, electric energy, portable lifting machines, locomotives, wagons, mineral fertilizer, soda, salt, and other products. Imports consist of iron and manganese ore, crude oil, natural gas, equipment, finished products of wood and from light and food industries.
The area's history
Active settlement in the Donbas of fleeing peasants from Right Bank Ukraine started in 1648-1654. New settlers in modern Slovyansk area began producing salt, and later private salt factories emerged.
In 1676, along Siversky Donets River, Ukrainians, who escaped the influence of the Polish landed gentry, settled. Metal, mining and forging production was established in Cossack settlements.
Since the opening of the Donetsk coal basin in the 1720s there went half a century before an industrial development began.
During the many wars in the 18th century Donbas was gradually populated by peasants from central Russia and Ukraine, people from the Balkans and from the Christian population of the Crimea.
By the end of 1940s, the informal capital of Donbas was Kharkiv, which currently is not included in the basin. In the town there was also training (until 1962) of specialists of the mines of the Donetsk Basin.
The world's first hydraulic fracturing of coal seams were made in 1954 in Donbas.
In the spring of 2014 during the political crisis and conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine, some areas of Donbas proclaimed the so-called "Donetsk" and "Luhansk People's Republic", in violation of the rules of national and international law. During the fighting in the following spring and summer of 2014, the industry has been hard hit. More than half a million people have left the region.
The nature of Donbas
Of great importance in the region is the recreation complex where the main base is the town Slovyansk.
On the Donbas' area there are two nature reserves, of which the oldest ”Striletska Step" was established in 1931. It now has an area of 5.22 km².
In 1997, in the Donbas there was created a national park – ”Svyati Gory” (The Holy Hill) with a total area of 405.89 km².
Translation by Joergen Deleuran