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Before foundation of the city
Donetsk area was largely uninhabited in the first millennium and a half of the new history and bore a telling name The Wild Fields. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the region was gradually settled by Cossacks and runaway peasants. Following the war between Russia and Turkey in 1768-1774, this land was distributed among military officers and wealthy entrepreneurs.
In 1869, Welsh businessman John Hughes paid £24,000 to buy the permission to build a steel plant in the southern part of Russia at Aleksandrovka village. This marked the beginning of the modern history of Donetsk. As the construction started, a small village appeared around the site. It merged with Aleksandrovka to form a settlement called Yuzovka.
In 1918-1919 the area was temporarily occupied by German troops. The Soviet rule established the Ukrainian SSR and Yuzovka became its part in 1919. In 1924, Yuzovka was renamed into Stalino. In 1932, the city became the administrative centre of the Donetsk Oblast.
World War II
The Nazi troops invaded Stalino in October 1941. Because of its importance and rich resources, the city was controlled directly by the German army and not by local administration as in other places. Many plants and factories were moved far away from the front line.Many former workers joined clandestine groups to fight Nazis.
The city came back to life after the World War II quickly. By 1950, the output in main economy sectors achieved the pre-war level Academic life was bustling and new factories and plants were established to back the rapid revival of the industrial heart of Donetsk coal basin. In November 1961, the city was renamed for the third time.
Today Donetsk ranks the fifth largest city in Ukraine with over 1,566,000 citizens in the metropolitan area. Donetsk remains vital for the economy of independent Ukraine. Its industry, science and sport make a big contribution to the overall performance of the country and global recognition of Ukraine.
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