Azovstal Iron and Steelworks (Ukrainian Металургійний комбінат Азовсталь) in Mariupol is one of the largest metallurgical complexes in Ukraine. By 2021, they produced about 4 million tons of steel per year. According to Azovstal, even over 6 million tons. During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Azovstal complex became the target of extensive bombing by the Russian army and Mariupol after the siege and expulsion from the city center by the troops of the Russian Federation and the rebel Donetsk People's Republic.
Construction began in the era of heavy industry building by the Soviet Union in 1930, operation began in 1933. The advantage was the location of the complex in the Donetsk coal basin with extensive reserves of minerals and access to the Sea of Azov.
In 1941, as a result of the German attack on the USSR, production was interrupted and in 1943 there was significant damage by the retreating German army. Group.
In addition to its economic importance (iron and steel account for more than 15% of Ukrainian exports), Azovstal is a major employer. The development of heavy industry also meant the rapid development of Mariupol, whose population quadrupled between 1913 and 1939 to about 220,000, and in the 1980s even exceeded 500,000.
The dark side of Azovstal is the impact on the environment. The plants are located just a few miles from the city center and the east and northeast winds most of the emissions from the smelters in the most densely populated parts of the city. Mariupol is one of the most polluted cities in Ukraine. The measured values of fine particles PM2.5 exceed the WHO recommended limits up to fifty times, due to which the city experienced a series of protests.
Pictures, sounds or videos on Azovstal Ironworks and Steelworks on Wikimedia Commons
Металлургический комбинат «Азовсталь» - official website (Russian)