Monday, 19 June 2017

Donetsk – the city of a million roses in eastern Ukraine

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Donetsk center until 2014. Donetsk center until 2014. Photo: Aleksandr Velichko.

Donetsk – an industrial city in eastern Ukraine. The administrative center of the Donetsk region on the river Kalmius.

Donetsk – a major industrial, commercial and cultural center, is 800 km from the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

The city is the capital of the Donetsk region and Donbas, and prior to the war in Donbas in 2014 it was the fifth most populous city in Ukraine.

The city's economic potential was 193 industrial companies, 357 companies dealing with foreign trade, 383 construction companies, 1,550 service business, more than 13,000 small and medium enterprises.

Ukraine Donetsk Kalmius river 22 photo Aleksandr Velichko

Kalmius the evening. Donetsk 2012-2013.

Touristic Donetsk

The only thing that many people know of Donetsk, is that it has the football team «Shakhtar».

Despite the image of Donetsk as an industrial city, it had many interesting things for tourists. The park of´´with forged figures with gazebo for people in love, with the carousel, the UEFA Cup and other creations by masters of hammer and anvil. And the 28-ton ball fountain of stone, where the ball is spinning on the water jet. And Ukraine's largest rose garden in Shcherbakov Park.

Ukraine Donetsk Park of Forged Figures 7 photo Aleksandr Velichko

One of the works in the park with forged figures. 2012-2013.

Interesting for tourists were Sculpture Park «Ukrainian steppe» on Pushkin Boulevard with works by Ukrainian and German artists and the theme of old Slavic legends.

Ukraine Donetsk 7 photo Aleksandr Velichko

Donetsk 2012-2013.

Donetsk got the only railway museum in Ukraine. It is also worth seeing The Church of Nativity.

The city's tourist street is called Artema, and in addition to shopping malls, expensive hotels and restaurants, there are also a number of impressive historical monuments such as Lenin Square and the Opera House, which includes performances in absolute world class. The city's attraction Donbass Arena with capacity for 55,000 spectators. And you are lucky if you come here, when there is a football match.

Ukraine Donetsk Euro 2012 2 photo Aleksandr Velichko

Donbass Arena during Euro-2012.

The cultural part of Donetsk

In Donetsk, there were 140 museums and museum rooms. Among them, two large state-owned regional museums: Donetsk Regional Museum of Art and Donetsk Regional Local History Museum.

Visitors could visit the Drama Theatre, The Planetarium, circus, concert hall, as well as the largest library in Donetsk and the region.

Ukraine Donetsk Drama Theatre photo Aleksandr Velichko

Drama Theatre. 2012-2013.

Sports life in the city

Donetsk was a large sports center. It took the USSR championships in tennis, athletics, boxing. In Donetsk were also held major international competitions, matches in Davis Cup. Later there were in Donetsk football matches in the UEFA Champions League.

Ukraine Donetsk Euro 2012 9 photo Aleksandr Velichko


The story of the creation of Donetsk and its factories

Building development in the Donetsk region was launched by Zaporozhye and Don kossaks in the 17th century. According to different sources, the first small mines appeared in the area of modern Donetsk in 1820 or in 1859. The population density rose due to farmers who ran away from landowners.

In 1869 the Welsh John James Hughes (in Donbas, Hughes was called «Yuz»), began the construction of metal works and the workers settlement Yuzovka (named after the founder). This year is the year of construction of Donetsk.

In 1889, in southern Yuzovka, machinery and iron casting factories and repair shops for mining equipment were built. Now it is Rutchenkovsky Plant.

Ukraine Donetsk Coke Chemical Plant photo Aleksandr Velichko

Donetsk Coke Plant. 2012-2013.

In 1916 two coke plants were built, and in 1917 – the first nitrogen factory in the Russian Empire. Now it is Donetsk Chemical Factory.

In 1917, the village Yuzovka got the status of city. In 1924, Yuzovka was renamed Stalino. It was the center of the Stalino region. Later it was divided into Stalino and Luhansk regions.

The city during the Second World War

Stalin's factories began from the beginning of the war to produce bombs, mines, anti-tank «hedgehogs» and so on. In October 1941, the evacuation of companies started. During the evacuation, companies involved in the production of military equipment were included.

On October 20, 1941, the Italian and German troops came into Stalino. On October 21, the towns of Stalino and Makiivka were completely occupied.

It was attempted to rebuild the coal industry. Jews were ordered to pay compensation. A Jewish ghetto was established with 5,000 people. On April 30, 1942 the ghetto was emptied and its inhabitants killed in the mining area «4-4 bis».

A concentration camp for Soviet prisoners of war, which contained more than 25,000 people, was established in the Metallurgian Cultural Palace and the surrounding areas. The dead were buried in a park near the Metallurgian Cultural Palace. Now this place is a monument to the «victims of the fascism».

In the town, the Germans performed punishment. The mine shaft at «4-4 bis» became a place of executions and mass graves. From a 365 m deep mine shaft, 310 m was filled with the bodies of tens of thousands of people. During withdrawal, the Germans flooded the mine shaft. On the spot there is a memorial complex now.

All companies that were not evacuated organized underground activity. From eesistance groups there was created a partisan unit.

The city was liberated on September 8, 1943. The occupation of Stalino lasted for about 700 days. The city's population fell from 507,000 to 175,000 people. The date is celebrated as Donbas's Liberation Day.

Ukraine Donetsk monument for byens befriere photo Aleksandr Velichko

The monument for liberators in Donbas in Donetsk is dedicated to all those who liberated Donbas in World War II.

In the post-war period the city began reconstruction of the infrastructure. In 1961, Stalino was renamed Donetsk, and the Stalino region became the Donetsk region.

Donetsk's industrial potential

The industrial potential of Donetsk took 2nd place in the region in terms of industrial production (after Mariupol). In the city there is one of the largest free economic zones in Ukraine for investment «Donetsk». Together with the city of Makiivka, Donetsk was the largest industrial hub of the USSR.

Ukraine Donetsk Donetsksteel DMZ photo Aleksandr Velichko

Donetsk metalworks. 2012-2013.

In Donetsk, the industry consists of metal industry (iron and other metals), coal, chemical (including coke) and heavy industry. In recent years light-, food- and wood industries as well as mechanical engineering have evolved.

Donetsk today

Until 2014, modern Donetsk could rightly be called one of Ukraine's most significant cultural, scientific and business centers.

Education is conducted at 180 colleges, 38 higher education institutions, 24 vocational schools.

Donetsk, famous for a million red roses, always spent a lot of money on landscaping its territory. Donetsk participated in the nationwide competition «The best city beautification» and won the second place after Kyiv.

Ukraine Donetsk 5 photo Aleksandr Velichko

City center. 2012-2013.

In April 1978, the population of Donetsk has exceeded one million inhabitants, but in 2012, as a result of the demographic crisis, population numbers fell sharply.

Donetsk is de jure the administrative center in the Donetsk region, which in April 2014 is de facto partly (from 21 January 2015 – full) controlled by the unrecognized «Donetsk People's Republic» (DPR), which sees the city as its capital.

The city's transport

Ukraine Donetsk Central Railway station 2 photo Aleksandr Velichko

The railway station in Donetsk. 2012-2013.

The main types of city transport: trams, trolley buses, buses and marshrutkas.

The city has a main train station. Before the war (2014) Donetsk had 5 local stations, 2 bus terminals, 8 bus stations. Metro construction was started, but at the moment the construction is quiet due to lack of funding from the state.

Ukraine Donetsk 9 photo Aleksandr Velichko

Night in Donetsk. 2012-2013.

On May 14, 2012, a new terminal opened at the international airport, but during the 2014 fightings the terrorists destroyed it almost completely. The fighting for the airport cost many Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers their lives.

Ukraine Donetsk International Airport 11 photo Aleksandr Velichko

Donetsk International Airport Sergiy Prokofiev. 2012-2013.

Through Donetsk, the European Route E 50, the international highway M-04 and the national highways H-15, H-20, H-21 pass.

Translation by Joergen Deleuran

Read 2443 times Last modified on Monday, 21 August 2017

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