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Mariupol Ukraine Information

Mariupol or, sometimes, Mariupolis (Ukrainian: Маріуполь, pronounced [mariˈupʌlʲ]; Russian: Мариу́поль; Greek: Μαριούπολη), formerly known as Zhdanov (Ukrainian and Russian: Жда́нов), is a port city in southeastern Ukraine. It is located on the coast of the Azov Sea, at the mouth of the Kalmius River. Mariupol is the largest city in Priazovye - a geographical region around Azov Sea, divided by Russia and Ukraine - and is also a popular sea resort. Administratively, the city is located in the Donetsk oblast and historically formed a part of the broader Donbas region. As of June 1, 2010, the city population stood at 490,063 people.

Mariupol is an important industrial centre and seaport. Two of its steel mills - Ilyich Iron and Steel Works and Azovstal - are among the largest in the country and make up a significant part of Ukraine's total exports.[citation needed] «Azovmash», a machine-building concern, located in Mariupol, is the largest company of its kind in Ukraine. Overall, Mariupol industry accounts for 37.5% of Donetsk oblast's total exports and about 7.0% of all Ukraine's exports.

From 1948 to 1989 the city was named Zhdanov in honor of Andrei Zhdanov and has historically had a relatively large Greek minority

Ethnic Structure - Ukrainians make less than half of the population of the city; the second greatest ethnicity of Mariupol is Russian. Other peoples include Greeks, Jews, Armenians, and Belarusians etc. The city home to the largest Greek population in Ukraine ("Greeks of Priazovye"): 21,900, with 31,400 more in the 6 nearby rural areas, totaling to about 70% of the Greek population of the area and 60% for the country.


The territory on which Mariupol is situated started being settled down from the earliest times. The following archaeological monuments give evidences to it: Neolithic burial ground, burial mounds of the copper-bronze epoch tribes and the Scythian and the Sarmatians times. In the middle of XVIII century Zaporozhean Cossacks raised a sentry post in the mouth of the Kalmius. After the Azov region had been joined to Russia Pavlovsk was founded here in 1778. In two years the city was settled by Greeks – the migrants from the Crimea. Since that time it has been called Mariupol.

Before the revolution Mariupol had been the main town of the Mariupol County in the Novorossiysk district, Mariupol Greek county of Taganrog district, Mariupol county of Jekaterinoslavskaya district.

The citizens pursued a trade, but the main profit was produced by the income from commercial grain trading. In 1882 a railway branch was lead up to Mariupol; in 1889 a new commercial seaport was built. Consular posts of Italy, France, Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Spain and others were opened.

At the end of XIX century two metallurgical plants - of Nokopol-Mariupol community and «Russian Providence» were built near Mariupol on Russian-Belgium and Russian-French ownership capital. The city turned into important industrial and transport centre of the South of Russia. If at the end of XVIII century the population was about 3 thousand people, in 1917 there were already 97 thousand 300 citizens.

Mariupol was the religious centre of the region. In its orthodox cathedrals the relics brought by Greeks from the Crimea were kept, among them the Byzantian icon of XI c. "Saint George with hagiology" (now it is kept at the National Museum of Ukrainian Art in Kyiv). Several synagogues, Catholic and Lutheran churches acted in the city. The gymnasiums – a men's gymnasium a three women's ones – brought up the local brainpower. Since 1878 the Mariupol theatre has been acting. The natives of Mariupol are a great landscapist A.I. Kuindzhi, the founder of the first Institute of psychology in Russia a philosopher G.I. Chelpanov, a fine art expert D.V. Ainalov, ophthalmologist M.I. Averbach, a geneticist and breeder M.I. Khadzhinov and others.

The shocks at the beginning of XX century - industrial recession, sharp social stratification - lead to a movement of workers in the city. On the 30th of December the Soviet regime was established in Mariupol by armed forces. The aftermath of the Civil War lay on the economy of the region as a heavy burden. The most of plants and establishment were inactive. The difficult situation in the region was worsened by the famine, waves of typhoid epidemic, cholera, and malaria.

In the 1930s the old industrial plants in Mariupol were not only reconstructed but also a more powerful metallurgical plant - «Azovstal» was built.

Since 1932 Mariupol is the city of regional sub ordinance of the Donetsk region. The citizens of Mariupol faced hardship during 1941–1943. 700 days of occupation, famine, arrests and executions by a firing squad, deportation to slave labor to Germany... Five days continued the fights for liberation of the city. The sad result of war troubled years was ruin and depopulation – there were no more than 85 thousand people left in the city. For forty years (1948–1989) the city was called after A.A. Zhdanov – a representative of Stalin's epoch.

After the war the citizens of Mariupol raised their city from ruins and ashes. Already by the end of 1950s all the 48 plants of the city were active. In 1950–1980s Mariupol continued its developing as a big industrial centre and a seaport town. In 1958 a heavy engineering plant, nowadays JSC "Azovmash" was created out of mechanical-engineering workshops of Illyich plant. Due to the extension of building the trusts "Azovstalbuilding", "Zhdanovmetalbuilding", "Zhdanovhausbuilding", "Donbassmetalmounting" were established.

With the development of Mariupol economy increased the number of its citizens: in 1958 – 280, 3 thousand people, in 1970 – 436 thousand people, in 1989 – 540, 3 thousand people. By the middle of 1980s there was a metallurgical institute, an affiliated institution of the Odessa institute of sea fleet engineers, 66 secondary schools, and other educational establishments in the city. The centre of the city was decorated by the building of the Donetsk region Russian drama theatre, A.I. Kuindzhi exhibition hall was opened, and V.G. Korolenko city library received new premises.

In the years of independent Ukraine Mariupol preserved its industrial potential. Nowadays he city occupies the leading position in the region in the volume of industrial output, it keeps the leading positions in Ukraine in metal production and metalworking, machinery-producing industry. Nowadays there are more than 60 active industrial plants of different status in the city. The city owns a developed transport system, and as before keeps the status of Donbass sea gates. There is LLC "Donbass Shipping" - the successor of Azov Shipping Company based in Mariupol.

Mariupol has gained a certain authority in the international field. Since 1996 there is a consulate of Greece, since 2006 - an Honorable consulate of the Republic of Cyprus. Mariupol is still a cultural centre of the region; it has a developed network of educational establishments. In 1993 it became a university town.

The modern architectural look of Mariupol combines the features of the past and the modernity. Theatre square ensemble with the building of the Donetsk region Russian drama theatre in the centre is illustrative. From the North the square is sphered by two buildings with spires, which create a peculiar focus in the city. There are antique mansions in the South side of the square. A slender building of water tower adjoins the ensemble from the West - this is an example of industrial architecture of the beginning of the XX century. Built of red bricks, decorated by ornamental arcs, pilasters, it adds a particular coloring to the centre of Mariupol. The decoration of historical part of Mariupol is the City Garden that was planted in 1863.

There are about 200 monuments and memorial plates in Mariupol, 5 buildings are the monuments of history and architecture. Some monuments of nature are preserved near the city. They are the locations of Ukrainian steppe reserve "Khomutovskaya Steppe" and "Kamyana Mohyla"


Mariupol is to the south of the Donetsk area, on the coast of the Azov Sea, in a mouth of the river Kalmius. The city occupies an area of 166.0 km (103.1 mi) ? (64 mi?) (with suburbs, i.e. the territories subordinated to the Mariupol city council – 244.0 km (151.6 mi) ? (94.2 mi?)). The down-town area is 106.0 km (65.9 mi) ? (40.9 mi?), the area of parks and gardens is 80.6 km (50.1 mi) ? (31.1 mi?). The city is mainly built on land that is made of Solonetzic chernozems, with a significant amount of underground subsoil waters that frequently leads to landslides.


There is a moderate-continental climate with recurring droughts and dry winds in the summer and thawing weather, fogs - in the winter. Annual precipitation is 400 mm (15.75 in) a year. Agro climatic conditions allow the cultivation in suburbs of Mariupol thermophilic agricultural crops with long vegetative periods (sunflower, melons, grapes etc.). However water resources in the region are insufficient, and consequently ponds and water basins are used for the needs of the population and industry.

Direction of a wind in the winter mainly east, in the summer - northern. Average temperature of air in January 22.6 °F (−5.2 °C), in July 72.9 °F (22.7 °C). Quantity of deposits – 450 mm annually. Absolute maximum of temperature of air in the summer is 104 °F (40 °C); a minimum in the winter is −25.6 °F (−32 °C).


In city there are buses, trolley buses, trams, fixed-route taxi. Mariupol is connected by the railway, sea transport and the airport with many cities, ports and the countries of the world.

Urban electric transport ("MTTU", Mariupol Tram-trolleybus management):
A trams, street-cars (since 1933) - 12 routes (machines of type КТМ-5 and КТМ-8 work),
Trolley buses (since 1970) - 14 routes (machines of type: Skoda 14Тr, ZIU-10, ZIU-9, YuMZ T-1, and YuMZ T-2).

Buses - mainly the private minibuses which are carrying out transportation in city, on suburban and long-distance routs.

Road service station (which includes transportations to Taganrog, Rostov-upon-Don, Krasnodar, Kiev, Odessa, Yalta, Dnipropetrovsk are carried out etc.) and a suburban auto station (with routes mainly to Pershotravnevy, Volodarsky and areas of Donetsk oblast).

Railway station "Mariupol ". The city is connected by the railway to Donbass (the Direction of trains being: Moscow, Kiev, Lviv, Saint Petersburg, Mensk, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kharkiv, Poltava, Slavyansk-na-Kubani).A marina in the aria of sea trading port. International airport Mariupol (the property Ilyich Mariupol steel and iron works).

Cultural Institutions

Donetsk regional Russian drama theatre - Donetsk Regional Russian Theatre of Drama (Ukrainian: Донецький обласний російський драматичний театр, Russian: Донецкий областной русский драматический театр) is a theatre in Mariupol in southern Ukraine. The modern theatre was been constructed in 1960. In 2003 the oldest theater of region has celebrated the 125-anniversary. The talented collective of actors among which 2 folk and the 2 honored artists of Ukraine work in a theater. For contribution to spiritual education of theatre in 2000 became the laureate of the competition «Gold Scythian».

Mariupol Local History Museum - The Mariupol Local History Museum is the oldest museum of Donetsk region, it was founded on the 6th of February, 1920.Nowadays The Mariupol Local History Museum has nine exhibition halls, and there are more than 50 thousand showpieces in its funds. The exposition of the nature department of the museum gives opportunity to see all the diversity of flora and fauna of the North of Azov.

The exposition of the presoviet period historical department shows the process of settlement and economical development of the region from the ancient times up to the beginning of the XX century, and the process of soil development in Azov region.

There are many rarities and interesting archaeological finds of Azov region. Among them the deed of Ekaterina II to Christian Greeks, who were made go out the Crimean khanate and who were settled in the North of Azov, the shroud of 1760, the Gospel of 1811, the materials of the world famous memorial of the Mariupol Neolithic burial ground and some others are of the greatest importance.

The exposition of the soviet period historical department shows the process of development of Mariupol as a large industrial centre of Ukraine, at a difficult period of our history.

(The soviet period historical department presents the events, which took place in Mariupol from 1917 till 1991 – from the Soviet power establishment up to the USSR dissolution. The events that took place at the given period left a scar on the history of the region: the Civil and the Great Patriotic Wars, Famine-Genocide, repressions, postwar reconstruction. The development of Mariupol as a large industrial centre of the South of Ukraine, a centre of science development, education, healthcare, culture and sport is shown by means of household items, photos, documents, unique showpieces.

In 2001 a new permanent exposition «The City of Mariupol in the Years of Independent Ukraine» was opened. It reflects the whole powerful potential of Mariupol in the sphere of industry as well as the spheres of education, culture, sport.


Old Mariupol (an area limited to the south coast of the Sea of Azov, in the east - Kalmius River, in the north - Shevchenko Blvd., in the West – Metalurhiv Av.) is built up mainly of few-story houses and has kept its pre-revolutionary architecture. Only Artem Street and Lenin Avenue were built after the Great Patriotic War and are considered modern buildings.

The central area of Mariupol (from the Metalurhiv Avenue up to Budivelnykiv Avenue) is almost entirely administrative and commercial buildings, including a city council building, post office, the Lukov cinema, Mariupol Humanitarian University, Priazov State Technical University, the Korolenko central city library, and many large shops.

Architecture of other residential areas ("Zakhidny", "Skhidny", "Kirov", "Cheremushky", 5-th, 17-th catchment area etc.) are not especially different or original and are typically 5 and 9-storied houses. Cheremushki carries a special meaning in Russian culture and now entwined with Ukrainian. It usually refers to the newly settled parts of a city in Russia.

The accommodation of the city is 9.82 million meters square the common area. Security of the inhabited parts of the city is 19.3 meters square per 1 inhabitant. Densities of privatized habitation in 2003 were 76.3 %.

Important streets in Mariupol

Avenues ("Prospects"): Lenin (the central highway), Metalurhiv ("Metallurgists", one connects 3 right-bank areas of city), Budivelnykiv ("Builders"), Ilyich (after Vladimir Ilyich Lenin), Nakhimov, Peremohy ("Victory"), Lunin (after admiral Lunin), Leningradsky (in Ordzhonikidzivsky Raion)

Streets ("Vulitsi"): Artem, Torhova ("Trading"), Apatov, Kuprin, Uritsky, Bakhchivandzhi, Gagarin, Karpinsky, Mamin-Sibiryak, Taganrog, Olympic, Azovstal, Makar Mazay, Karl Libknekht.

Boulevards: Shevchenko, Komsomol, Prymore (Sea), Khmelnytsky etc.
Squares ("Ploscha"): Administrative ("Administrative"), Nezalezhnosti ("Independence"), Peremohy ("Victory"), Mashinobudivnykiv ("Mechanical engineers"), Lenin's Komsomol, Vyzvolennia ("Liberation").

In December, 1991 by the decision of city council of Mariupol the following Soviet names of some streets have been renamed to their pre-revolutionary names in an old part of city:

First of May Street - Heorhiyevska Street,
Third International Street - Torhova Street,
Apatov Street (a part - to the east from the Metalurhiv Avenue) - Italian Street,
Donbass Street - Mykolaivska Street,
Ivan Franko Street - Fontanna Street,
Karl Libknekht Street (a part - to the east from the Metalurhiv Avenue) - Mitropolit Street,
Karl Marks Street - Greek Street,
Komsomol Street – Yevpatoriya Street,
Krasnoarmeyskaya Street - Gotfeyska Street,
Kuindzhi Street - Karasivska Street,
Proletarian Street - Kaffayska Street,
Rose Luxembourg Street - Zemska Street,
Soviet Street - Harlampiy Street.

From 1990–2000 the following streets and areas have been renamed:

Sergo Street - Jacob Gugel' Street (in Ordzhonikidzivsky Raion) - in honor of the head of construction and the first director of "Azovstal",
Republic Lane - University Street (in city centre),
Constitution Square - Mashinobudivnykiv ("Mechanical engineers") Square,
Square near to "Neptune" swimming pool - Nezalezhnosti ("Independence") Square.


City Square (« the Theatrical Square »),
Extreme Park (new attractions near to the biggest in city of the Palace of Culture of Metallurgists),
Gurov's Meadow-park (former Meadow-park a name of the 200-anniversary of Mariupol),
City Garden (Russian: Горсад, «Children's Central Public Garden»),
Veselka Park (Ordzhonikidzivsky Raion), named as the rainbow
Azovstal Park (Ordzhonikidzivsky Raion),
Petrovsky Park (near modern stadium "Illyichivets" and constructions of "Azovmash" basketball club, Illyichivsky Raion),
Primorsky Park (Prymorsky Raion).

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