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Dnipropetrovsk

The third-largest city of Ukraine by population numbers, sometimes also spelled “Dnepropetrovsk” or addressed in the short form “Dnepr”, is the central point of a province (“oblast”) of the same name and a metropolitan area with a population of more than 1.8 million. It is a city with great economic and industrial significance. Because of its importance for the Soviet arms industry, it was a “closed city” until after Ukrainian independence, meaning that foreigners were only allowed in town by special permit. In the 19th century and until 1926, the city was called Yekaterinoslav. Today’s name Dnipropetrovsk is a combination of the name of the river Dnieper and the name of Ukrainian Soviet politician Grigory Petrovsky.

Dnipropetrovsk is mostly stretched out on the banks of the Dnieper river, the longest and most important river of the country which forms a loop here near the confluence with the Samara river. The town center is located on the right bank, also referred to as the “Upland”. The Dnieper’s water quality and also to a certain degree the air quality in the area, has suffered for a long time from pollution caused by the heavy industry in this region. The majestic river also has a certain impact on the climate in the area, where often very hot summer temperatures are recorded.   

Dnipropetrovsk 2

Quick facts Dnipropetrovsk

Location

South-central Ukraine

Dnipropetrovsk

Population

1.033 million

Founding year

1776

The river area was a disputed one from early on. Reports about feuds between the Tatars and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later the Cossacks date back to the 13th century and lasted for a long time. The first permanent settlement that had been founded in the 16th century, but it remained threatened by Cossack attacks throughout its existence. In 1776, the city called Yekaterinoslav was founded, after the Russians had defeated the Cossacks. For the first decades growth was rather slow despite ambitious plans. Around 1880, after iron production had begun in nearby places and a railway connection was built to connect them, Dnipropetrovsk began to blossom and crossed the 100.000 inhabitants mark in the early 1890s. From August 1941 to October 1943, the city came under Nazi occupation and lost almost half of its population. After the war, Dnipropetrovsk became a highly industrialized town, chosen to become the production location for military rockets and ballistic missiles in the Yuzmash factory. A manager of Yuzmash, Leonid Kuchma, became the second President of Ukraine after independence. Former Prime Ministers Pavlo Lazarenko and Yulia Tymoshenko are also from Dnipropetrovsk. During the anti-government protests of 2014, the city first seemed to be divided into political camps, but later united to mostly support the Kyiv Maidan movement.

The city’s economy is still largely based on industrial production and iron processing. Yet, Dnipropetrovsk also offers a number of attractions. Apart from quite a few examples of Stalinist architecture, for example along the central boulevard named Karla Marksa Prospect, some other buildings are notable for their architectural style, among them the Astoriya Building and the Grand Hotel, built in 1910. Most visitors make sure to pay a visit to the Transfiguration Cathedral , which was one of the first structures in the city when the foundation was laid in 1786. For the Dnipropetrovsk population, the area at the river banks is a favorite spot. There are a number of parks located at the river, providing for well-used excursion destinations. In some spots, even some rather popular beaches have been created along the Dnieper.

Dnipropetrovsk has an international airport at the outskirts of the city. It is served by a small number of airlines providing connections to Russia, Turkey, Israel, Austria and select other destinations. Also, the city is well connected by highways and railways. In town, traffic services include buses, trolley buses and trams. The metro has only one line, serving the central part of the city.

 

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