Province: Donetsk Oblast
Population: 1,100,700 inhabitants
Altitude: 225m above sea level
Heart of the Donets Basin, Donetsk is also considered the centre of Ukraine’s coal mining region. The city is situated southeast of Kyiv on the Kalmius River and considered the third largest urban centre in the country.
Donetsk was founded in 1869 by Welsh businessman John Hughes, who established a steel mill and several coal mines in the area. A century and a half later and the city's patrons are still built on foundations of steel and coal, the industries leaving an indelible mark on the cityscape.
Despite images of soot-caked faces and hob-nailed industry, the capital of the Donbas has actually been recognised by UNESCO as the world's cleanest industrial city and the centre is benefitting from a financial injection. Five rivers meander through it, with the Kalmius attracting all manner of sailors even if the Sea of Azov, the world's shallowest sea, is just an hour away.
Motto: Possibility proved by work
Land development in the region of Donetsk was initiated by Zaporizhia and Don Cossacks in the XVII century. In 1869 Welshman John Hughes begins construction of steel plant with a working village Yuzivka. The date of construction of the village considered to be the time of founding of the city of Donetsk. In 1917 the village Yuzivka was granted city status. In 1924 Yuzivka got the name of Stalin in honor of Stalin, it was one of the first renamed in his honor in the USSR (the three years before renaming Tsaritsyn in Stalingrad in 1927). With the advent of a clean water supply and sewage system the population grew tenfold before World War II - by 1945, after Nazi occupation, it was down to 175,000. In 1932 the city became a center of Donetsk region. In 1961, when after the XXII Congress of the CPSU all objects that had carried the name of Stalin were renamed.
The current name of Donetsk received under Nikita Khrushchev, taking it’s current moniker from the Siverskyi Donets river, a tributary of the Don. In April 1978, the population of Donetsk more than a million inhabitants, but in 2006, due to the demographic crisis, has slightly decreased.
Donetsk has always been powered by coal and other industry - led by steel - has built around it. Even now there are 17 coal mines and five steel mills yet in recent years, following the economic downturn that followed the fall of the Soviet Union, the city has diversified into engineering and food production.
Donetsk took second place in the volume of industrial production (after Mariupol) and first place in terms of growth. Within the city has one of the largest in Ukraine by volume of investments of free economic zones. Together with the city Makeevka - was the largest in the USSR industrial hub. A characteristic feature of the economic complex of Donetsk is a diversified specialty industry, combined with the development of transport and financial management of the city. In industry, practically all sectors of the economy, however, the proportion of metals (both ferrous and nonferrous), coal, chemical (including coke) industry and heavy industry are particularly high. Along with the traditional sectors of heavy industry in recent years are also developing light industry, food processing, wood industry, mechanical engineering.
There are 5 state universities, 11 institutes, 3 Academy (including Prokofiev musical Academy), 20 colleges and 5 private universities. Of these, the oldest and largest educational institutions - Donetsk National Technical University (1921), Donetsk National Medical University (1930), Donetsk National University (1937), Donetsk National University of Economics and Trade.
THINGS TO SEE
Once divided into two distinct parts – the industrial south and residential north - Donetsk is now set out in easy-to-navigate Soviet grid style, with the 10km Artyoma street dividing east and west. A wander along it is a good place to start exploring, starting with the Lenin Komsomol Park with its socialist sculptures and excellent views of the strangely attractive terykony (slagheaps).
The area is also home to municipal stadium RSC Olimpiyskyi, fronted by a statue of six-time world pole vault champion Sergiy Bubka in familiar, start-of-run-up pose. FC Shakhtar Donetsk away games are often screened live further down vulytsya Artyoma by the Lenin statue, the supporters gathering in their hundreds to create a sea of orange, many wearing miners' hats. Indeed, there are constant references to Donetsk's carbon roots, be it a bas relief or statue of a miner offering a piece of coal to the heavens.
One of the main sightseeing of Donetsk city is Donetsk park of forged figures that situated near the building of City Mayor Office. It is unique creation of Donetsk smiths, which got recognition of wide audience not only in our country but far abroad. Thus Donetsk was officially among best blacksmith cities of the continent. Almost all the newlyweds of the city visited this Park in their wedding day. Also close to the Donetsk City Mayor Office is a Tsar Cannon which is a copy of Guns of the XVI century king, established in Moscow.
Other nice place for taking a walk is Sheffield Park and Kalmius riverside (Naberezhnaya). Beautiful view of the river matches the modern landscaping style of the park. There is a big playground for children. You can see a sunrise in the morning. It is also a popular place for fishing. It continues on the right side of Illicha Prospect and heads into Shevchenko Boulevard then goes till the Mira Prospect.
In the heart of the city located biggest and most popular place to rest - a Sherbakova Amusement Park. It has two entrances: one through the walking bridge heading from Universitetskaya St., the second entrance is through the main gate located on the south behind Amstore shopping mall and Circus on Leninskiy Prospect.
From the Regional Council starts long green Pushkin Boulevard which goes down along 6 long blocks. Each part has different style and pattern. First block is represented by the nice fountain with Mertsalov's Palm - the symbol of Donetsk. Then you can see various modern statues made by local designers. The boulevard is full of trees, flowers, bushes of different forms, lots of benches will comfort your walking breaks.
You don't have to travel long and far to look for treasures. Often they are very close and right before your eyes. Donbass Arena has treasures for all comers. You will need the smallest efforts to get them, but the result will exceed all your dare expectations. Arena Park will certainly have numerous "cult" places, as the capacities of the stadium are really breathtaking. Now the landscaping design is being finished. If you go a bit down the park to Victoria Hotel (high white building with glass facade), you will see a very nice park with fountains, fish, small decorative bridges, children playing ground, green lawns with benches. It is a very quiet place in the heart of Donetsk.
Distances to other UEFA EURO 2012™ venues:
Kharkiv – 315km
Kyiv – 700km
Lviv – 1,175km
Warsaw – 1,465km
Poznan – 1,785km
Wroclaw – 1,750km
Gdansk – 1,810km
In and around
Donetsk is served by trams, trolleybuses, buses and – by 2012 – a six-station metro system. The main routes run from 6.00 to 23.00, thereafter night services run once an hour though for major events the usual schedule is extended. Single journeys cost 1 UAH, and tickets can be bought after boarding. There are also fixed-route minibuses, throughout the city.
Anatoliy Solovyanenko, opera singer (1932-1999) – Ukraine's "Silver Voice", a tenor who lends his name to Donetsk Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
Vasyl Stus, dissident poet (1938-1985) – human rights activist, he spent 23 years in detention for his democratic political convictions and his work was banned by the Soviet regime.
Oleg Tverdovsky, ice hockey player (b1976) - 1996/97 NHL All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils (2003) and Carolina Hurricanes (2006).
Lilia Podkopayeva, gymnast (b1978) - European, World and Olympic all-round champion in 1996, 'Lily Pod' is the only woman to execute an Arabian double front brani.
Sergey Prokofiev (1891-1953) – great composer, musician, kapellmeister.
Arhip Kuindzhi (1841-1910) – famous landscape-painter, who kept his love to steppe during all his life and devoted his numerous canvases to the beauty of Donetsk steppe.
Vadim Pisarev (1965) – ballet soloist, leading stage master, owner of UNESCO award “The best world dancer - 95”, Ukrainian National Artist, Art director of Donetsk State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet.
Since he was 15 Donetsk has been home to Sergiy Bubka, the six-time world pole vault champion who broke the world record no fewer than 35 times during his glittering career. Bubka's powerful frame is captured on a stature near RSC Olimpiyskyi, and every year Donetsk hosts the Pole Vault Stars tournament. Matches in tennis's Davis Cup also frequently take place in the city, as did the 2009 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, and with men's and women's teams in the national leagues for basketball, handball and volleyball there is no shortage of options. MFC Shakhtar are five-times Ukraine futsal champions.
UEFA Cup winners in 2009, FC Shakhtar Donetsk are the city's main footballing force. The Pitmen have won four league titles since Ukrainian independence, achievements leaving FC Metalurh Donetsk – the city's other top-flight team, founded only in 1995, very much in the shade. FC Olimpik is in the third division.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Nickname: Pomaranchevo-chorni (Orange and blacks), Hirnyky (The Pitmen)
Honours: UEFA Cup (1) 2009; Ukrainian League (4) 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008; Ukrainian Cup (6) 1995, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008; USSR Cup (4) 1961, 1962, 1980, 1983;
Legendary player: Vitaliy Starukhin (1973-81)
Did you know?
Shakhtar were the last winners of the UEFA Cup in 2008/09, defeating Werder Bremen 2-1 in the final in Istanbul through an extra-time goal by the Brazilian Jadson.
Football arose in Donbass in the ХIХth century. The first football players in Donetsk steppe were English engineers who took part in foundation of Yuzovskyi metallurgical plant. At first humble workers were prohibited to be engaged in overseas game, but to the beginning of the ХХth century football had changed into universal entrainment. That’s why one of the mandatory requirements, which was made in demand by the owner of the plant John Hughes to an English engineer who was sent to Yuzovka was skill of playing football not to disgrace the honour of Great Britain before local admirers of this game.
UEFA EURO 2012™ capacity: 40,000
Opened in August 2009, this ultra-modern stadium, funded by Shakhtar's wealthy owner Rinat Akhmetov, features an illuminated exterior and infrared heating system. Situated in central Donetsk, at night it lights up the huge fountain built beside it, complete with 30-ton football, and the surrounding parkland.
City Central Train Station +38 (062) 305 40 59 Donetsk, Artema st. 148
City Transportation Service informationhttp://www.eway.in.ua/ua/cities/donetsk
Usefull City Navigation Link http://www.62.ua/
Donetsk during the tournament.
Are you planning to stay in Donetsk for a bit longer?