Donetsk (UK: /dɒˈnjɛtsk/ don-YETSK,[1] US: /dəˈn(j)ɛtsk/ də-N(Y)ETSK;[2][3] Ukrainian: Донецьк [doˈnɛtsʲk] (listen); Russian: Донецк [dɐˈnʲetsk]), formerly known as Aleksandrovka, Yuzovka (or Hughesovka), Stalin and Stalino (see also: cities' alternative names), is an industrial city in eastern Ukraine located on the Kalmius River in the disputed Donetsk region. While internationally recognized as in Ukraine, the city is under the de facto administration of the unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic, which claims it as its capital city. The population was estimated at 905,364 (2021 est.)[4] in the city core, with over 2,000,000 in the metropolitan area (2011). According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census, Donetsk was the fifth-largest city in Ukraine.[5]

Russian: Донецк
Ukrainian transcription(s)
Top-down, left-right: Cathedral Transfiguration of Jesus (big image), Donbass Palace, Drama Theatre, Lenin Square, Opera Theatre, bridge on Ilicha Prospect
Coordinates: 48°00′10″N 37°48′19″E
Country (de jure) Ukraine
Country (de facto) Donetsk People's Republic
Oblast Donetsk Oblast
Municipality Donetsk City
City rights1917
Capital of Donetsk People's Republic2014
  Mayor (Holova)Aleksej Kulezmin[lower-alpha 1]
  City of regional significance358 km2 (138 sq mi)
169 m (554 ft)
  City of regional significance905,364
  Density2,500/km2 (6,500/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
83000 — 83497
Area code(s)+380 622, 623
Licence plateАН
Sister citiesBochum, Charleroi, Kutaisi, Pittsburgh, Sheffield, Taranto, Moscow, Vilnius
^ Donetsk was founded in 1869 as a workers' settlement Yuzovka around the metallurgical factory of the Welshman John Hughes. The settlement was established in lands of Yevdokim Shydlovsky, who received them upon destruction of the Zaporizhian Sich in 1775.
^ The population of the metropolitan area is from 2004.

Administratively, Donetsk has been the centre of Donetsk Oblast, while historically, it is the unofficial capital and largest city of the larger economic and cultural Donets Basin (Donbas) region. Donetsk is adjacent to another major city, Makiivka, and along with other surrounding cities forms a major urban sprawl and conurbation in the region. Donetsk has been a major economic, industrial and scientific centre of Ukraine with a high concentration of heavy industries and a skilled workforce. The density of heavy industries (predominantly steel production, chemical industry, and coal mining) determined the city's challenging ecological situation. In 2012 a UN report ranked Donetsk among the world's fastest depopulating cities.[6]

The original settlement in the south of the European part of the Russian Empire was first mentioned as Aleksandrovka in 1779, during the reign of the Empress Catherine the Great. In 1869 the Welsh businessman John Hughes founded a steel plant and several coal mines in the region, and the town was named Hughesovka or Yuzovka (Юзовка) in recognition of his role ("Yuz" being a Russian-language approximation of Hughes). During Soviet times, the city's steel industry expanded. In 1924 Yuzovka was renamed Stalin. In 1929 Stalin was renamed Stalino, and in 1932 the city became the centre of the Donetsk region. Renamed Donetsk (also Donetske, according to the Kharkiv orthography) in 1961, the city today remains a centre for coal mining and for the steel industry.

Since April 2014 Donetsk and its surrounding areas have been one of the major sites of fighting in the ongoing Donbas war, as pro-Russian separatist forces battle against Ukrainian military forces for control of the city and surrounding areas. Throughout the war, the city of Donetsk has been administered by the pro-Russian separatist forces as the center of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), with outlying territories of the Donetsk region divided between the two sides.[7] Donetsk International Airport became the epicenter of the war with almost a year-long battle leading to massive casualties among civilians and a total ruination of the northwestern neighborhoods of the city.

As of July 2021, the DPR has full control of the city, with Ukrainian and DPR forces still engaging in combat outside of the city.