Sunday, October 18, 2009

Odessa, Ukraine

Founded in 1794 by Katherine the Second with the purpose of establishing a mighty seaport, fortifying southern borders of the Russian Empire, Odessa has surpassed Her Majesty expectations.

Soon Odessa has become one of the biggest and wealthiest cities of Russia. Attracted by Porto Franco business conditions and benevolent climate, migrants and merchants from European and Asian countries, made a beautiful and prosperous home in Odessa. Since then the city was doomed to flourish, thanks to good business sense, positive and optimistic vision and sharp wit of its inhabitants.

Neither bureaucrats, nor wars or famine, even Soviet regime, could not exterminate a special spirit of the city.

Nowadays it is one of the biggest cities and largest seaport of Ukraine. City population is 1027000 people. Odessa has well developed business, travel and entertainment infrastructure and is deservedly popular for travel and business alike.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Donetsk Ukraine

The principal street, from the railway station to the steelworks, is main Donetsk city attraction. It is 5.5 miles (9km) long, with the main shops, hotels, and administrative buildings.

There are a university, polytechnic, medical and trade institutes in Donetsk city, and more than 30 scientific research establishments, including a branch of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Cultural amenities of Donetsk include several theaters and a philharmonic hall.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Donetsk began as a small Cossack village late in the 17th century. Initially, farming and raising cattle were principal industries, with the settlement and adjacent lands being named Oleksandrovka in 1779. By 1820, small scale coal mining began, with annual output of about 7,000 metric tons by the mid-1850's. The local economy further diversified in 1869 when the New Russia Company was formed to mine coal, smelt iron, produce rails, and operate a railroad. Skilled workers and technicians were brought from Britain to expand the coal mines and build a steel mill. A new settlement, Yuzivka (from the company's owner, Welshman John Hughes), was built to house workers. In 1924, the town was renamed Stalino, and finally Donetsk, in 1961.

Blast furnaces and other equipment were imported from Britain and smelting started in 1872. Proximity to iron ore, high quality coal, water from the Kalimius River, and construction of local railroad lines all contributed to rapid industrial growth. By 1876, the plant produced more iron than any other in the Russian Empire. The company introduced Martin furnaces in 1879, and by 1899 annual output of pig iron reached 289,926 metric tons. While Yuzivka was a Hughes company town, there were other companies as well--several coal mines were owned and operated by individual proprietors, some by a French mining company, and a factory manufacturing mining equipment was established by foreign investors. [Belgians, British and French were the leading investors in the region, but no data are available on the nationality of foreign investors in the city.] Plants that produced food and other consumer goods were owned by native entrepreneurs.

In Yuzivka, living conditions were difficult. Working class families lived in cottages near places of work and single men frequently lived in barracks. Only the most affluent areas had any street lighting. The town was unsanitary, with unpaved streets and unclean drinking water causing outbreaks of cholera, abdominal typhoid and dysentery. Medical facilities were inadequate, with just a 12 bed clinic (opened in 1871) until a public hospital opened in 1911.

A skeletal education system was another problem. The first school opened in 1877 and 2 years later had eighty pupils. There was also a school for English workers. By 1904, there were only four elementary schools with 800 pupils, in a town of 210,000. The situation improved just before the war, with enrollment increasing to over 2,000 in eleven schools by 1913. Elementary education was supplemented by four secondary schools (three academic and one commercial).

Poor working conditions, low wages, and leftist agitation provoked labor unrest. Strikes occurred first among miners in 1874 (for higher wages), and in 1898, steel mill workers demanded a shorter workday (the agreement reduced the workday from 12 to 10.5 hours). Stoppages became more common during the 1900-03 recession, with nine strikes. Unrest peaked during the 1905 Revolution, as armed workers repeatedly battled troops and Don Cossacks. From 1906 to 1917, strikes and labor unrest abated.

The fall of the Tsarist regime in March 1917 plunged what is now Donetsk into prolonged chaos and civil war. Armed workers (Red Guards) seized control of the city in November 1917 by disarming police of the Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks organized a force of 3,000, aided by arms and ammunition from Russia; and with the help of other Red forces in the region captured the city. Their control of the region and the city were short-lived, as the Germans occupied Donetsk in April 1918. Prior to that, the Bolsheviks shipped coal, equipment from weapon factories, and other assets, and sent them by rail to Russia. After the Germans evacuated in November 1918, the city changed hands several times between the Reds and Whites until the Red Army finally prevailed in January 1920.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Donetsk, former (until 1924) Yuzovka, or (1924-1961) Stalino is a city and administrative center of Donetsk oblast, southeastern Ukraine, on the headwaters of Kalmius River. Donetsk city is a large railway and highway junction. Donetsk has an airport too.

Donetsk Ukraine city population - 988,000 (2008).
Donetsk Ukraine city land area - 996 sq. km.
Donetsk Ukraine city phone code - +380-62.
Donetsk Ukraine city postal codes - 83000-83497.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


The central streets of the city were renamed during the Soviet time in honor of the outstanding revolutionaries. (And it is interesting, the largest of them is in honor of German figures.) So the central street of the city has the name of Karl Marx. It is a very beautiful, wide and long parkway, which stretches east to west through the central part of the city. It was founded in the XVIII century and parts of its buildings are the actual decoration of the city. In the nucleus of the city is Zhovtneva square, on which is the majestic Cathedral that was founded by order of Katherine II (Russian empress) in 1787.

On the square, there are some remarkable buildings: the Museum of History, Diorama "Battle for the Dnieper River (Second World War)", and also the beautiful park in which you can rest in the hot summer. Walking down the hill to the Dnieper River, you will arrive in the large Taras Shevchenko Park (which is on the right bank of the river) and on Monastyrskiy Island. This island is one of the most interesting places in the city. In the IX century, the Byzantian monks based a monastery here. It was destroyed by Mongol-Tatars in the XIII century.

The compact "old town" does not exist in Dnipropetrovsk anymore. Many historic buildings and churches were destroyed in the Second World War and in Stalin's communist times in the 1930s. (You can see pictures of the old city of the 19th century Yekaterinoslav here).

However all of Central Avenue, some street-blocks on the main hill (the Nagornaya part) between Pushkina Prospekt and Embankment, and sections near Globy and Shevchenka parks have been untouched for 150 years. An evening walk through those parts of the city is very pleasurable...

The Dnieper River is a wonderful creation of nature that keeps the climate mild and the air fresh. You can see it from many points in Dnepropetrovsk. From any hill (there are 7 in the city) you will find a beautiful view of the river, islands, parks, outskirts, river banks and hills.
There was no need to build huge skyscrapers in the city in Soviet times. Powerful industries preferred to construct offices close to their main factories away from the centre of town. In the last ten years of independence the price of land in Ukraine has grown considerably. All the new office buildings are being built in the same architectural style as the old buildings....

Friday, October 2, 2009


the city of Dnipropetrovsk (Ukr.) or Dnepropetrovsk (Rus.) Ukraine, is situated on the Dnieper River (Dnepr or Dnipro) in East-Central Ukraine and has a population of 1.04 million (third city in the country by population).
Large and beautiful, it is the main city of East-Central Ukraine.

Dnipropetrovsk - simply Dnepr, as it is called by local inhabitants is a dynamic and lively city.
The city is surprising green along the wide and slow-moving Dnieper river (Dnepr in Russian, Dnipro in Ukrainian) and has remarkable embankments, long boulevards and spacious parks. It is also the major centre of high-technology industries, education, machine-building, metallurgy and trade. The city is not only famous for its commercial industry, but also its green hills and deep history.

The old fortress settlement has existed since the middle of the 16th century. The new town was founded in 1776 by the Russian Prince, Potemkin by order of Catherine II, Empress of the Russian Empire and was called Yekaterinoslav (Ekaterinoslav) from 1776 to 1926. During 1918 the town’s name was Sicheslav (The Glory for Sich’/Fortress of Cossacks).