Donetsk (Ukrainian: Донецьк Ukrainian pronunciation: [doˈnɛt͡sʲk], translit. Donets’k; Russian: Доне́цк, tr. Donetsk, IPA: [dɐˈnʲet͡sk]; former names: Yuzovka, Stalino, see also: cities’ alternative names), is an industrial city officially in eastern Ukraine on the Kalmius River. Administratively, it is a centre of Donetsk Oblast, while historically, it is the unofficial capital and largest city of the larger economic and cultural Donets Basin (Donbas) region. The city of Donetsk is adjacent to another major city of Makiivka and along with other surrounding cities forms a major urban sprawl and conurbation in the region. Donetsk is a major economic, industrial and scientific centre of Ukraine with a high concentration of companies and a skilled workforce.
The city was founded in 1869 by a Welsh businessman, John Hughes, who constructed a steel plant and several coal mines in the region; the town was thus named Yuzovka (Юзовка) in recognition of his role in its founding (“Yuz” being a Russian or Ukrainian approximation of Hughes). During Soviet times, the city’s steel industry was expanded. In 1924 it was renamed Stalino (Сталино), and in 1932 the city became the centre of the Donetsk region. Renamed Donetsk in 1961, the city today remains the centre for Ukraine’s coal mining and notable steel industry centre.
Donetsk currently has a population of over 982,000 inhabitants (2010) and has a metropolitan area of over 2,000,000 inhabitants (2011). According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census, Donetsk is the fifth-largest city in Ukraine. Donetsk is nicknamed “The City of a Million Roses”
Donetsk lies in the steppe landscape of Ukraine, surrounded by scattered woodland, hills (spoil tips), rivers and lakes. The northern outskirts are mainly used for agriculture. The Kalmius River links the city with the Sea of Azov, which is 95 km (59 mi) to the south, and a popular recreational area for those living in Donetsk. A wide belt of farmlands surrounds the city.
Donetsk’s climate is moderate continental (Köppen: Dfb). The average temperatures are−4.1 °C (25 °F) in January and 21.6 °C (71 °F) in July. The average number of rainfall per year totals 162 days and up to 556 millimetres per year.
Donetsk and the surrounding territories are heavily urbanised and agglomerated into conurbation. The workforce is heavily involved with heavy industry, especially coal mining. The city is an important center of heavy industry and coal mines in the Donets Basin (Donbass) and Ukraine. Directly under the city lie coal mines, which have recently seen an increase in mining accidents, the most recent accident being at the Zasyadko mine, which killed over 100 workers.
Donetsk’s economy consists of about 200 industrial organizations that have a total production output of more than 50 billion hryvnias per year and more than 20,000 medium-small sized organizations. The city’s coal mining industry comprises 17 coal mines and two concentrating mills; the metallurgy industry comprises 5 large metallurgical plants located throughout the city; the engineering market comprises 67 organizations, and the food industry — 32 organization.
Donetsk is a large sports center, has a developed infrastructure, and has repeatedly held international competitions – Davis Cup, UEFA Champions League. Representatives of the city are state leaders sports such as football, hockey, basketball, boxing, tennis, athletics and others.
The most popular sport in Donetsk is football. Donetsk is the home to three major professional football clubs: Shakhtar Donetsk, which plays at the Donbass Arena (previously at the Shakhtar Stadium and the RSC Olimpiyskiy), Metalurh Donetsk, which plays at the Metalurh Stadium, and FC Olimpik Donetsk. Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalurh Donetsk play in the Ukraine Premier League, while FC Olimpik Donetsk plays in the Ukrainian First League. Shakhtar Donetsk won the Ukrainian Championship and Ukrainian Cup multiple times, and in 2009 they became the second team from Ukraine (after FC Dynamo Kyiv) to win a European competition, the UEFA Cup. Donetsk is also home to the women’s football club WFC Donchanka, one of the most successful clubs in the history of the Ukrainian Women’s League.