May 17, 2022

Mariupol (Ukrainian: Маріуполь; Russian: Мариуполь; Greek: Μαριούπολη, Marioupoli) is a port city in southeastern Ukraine, located on the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov, at the mouth of the Kalmius River. Administratively, the city is located in the Donetsk Oblast and historically in the Donetsk Basin. Mariupol has 431,859 inhabitants (2021). A relatively large number of Pontic Greeks live in Mariupol. It is also a holiday resort. The city is currently under siege (2022) by the Russian army and has been badly damaged as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.


Mariupol was known in the early sixteenth century as a fortress of the Cossacks, called Kalmius. The settlement became a town in 1778. After the migration of Greeks from Crimea, the city was renamed Mariupol at the request of these Greek migrants. In July 1941 Mariupol was taken by the SS division Wiking, which consisted partly of Dutchmen, after which 13,000 Jewish inhabitants were murdered in a few days. Between 1948 and 1989 the city was called Zhdanov (Russian: Жданов), in tribute to Andrei Zhdanov. During the Russo-Ukrainian War, the city was briefly taken by pro-Russian rebels. They were expelled from the city on June 13, 2014 by the Ukrainian army, in collaboration with armed nationalist militias. At the beginning of 2015, the city was shelled several times with rockets. In February 2015, the Ukrainian government said it feared an attack by pro-Russian separatists. These are said to be building a force near the strategically located city. During the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the heavily defended Mariupol was a strategic target for Russian and pro-Russian forces. From February 25, the city was besieged and shelled. On May 17, the last Ukrainian military personnel present were evacuated from Mariupol, bringing the city completely under Russian control.


On January 1, 2022, shortly before the [[Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022]|Russian invasion of Ukraine]], Mariupol had a population of 431,859. This was 26,674 people (-5.8%) less than 458,533 inhabitants at an estimate of 1 January 2014. The average annual growth in that period is -0.85%. Although the population of Mariupol increased sixteenfold between 1897 and 1989 from 31,000 to about 520,000 people, the city has been struggling with a continuous decline in population since 1991, because after the fall of communism a downward spiral started of population migration, vacancy and therefore impoverishment, decline. in facilities, as a result of which the quality of life is jeopardized and more and more people leave the city. Mariupol is made up of 48.7% Ukrainians, 44.4% Russians and 4.3% Greeks. Despite the number of Ukrainians, 89.6% speak Russian as a first language and only 9.9% Ukrainian. The population composition by ethnicity of Mariupol, 2001 census: Ukrainians 248,683 (48.7%); in 1959 still 45.9% Russians 226,848 (44.4%); in 1959 still 42.3% Greeks 21,923 (4.3%); in 1959 still 7.5 % Belarusians 3,858 (0.8%); in 1959 still 1.1% Armenians 1,205 (0.2%) Jews 1,176 (0.2%); in 1959 still 1.1% Bulgarians 1,082 (0.2%) others: 6,060 (1.2%)


The city is an important industrial center and Eastern European seaport. Mariupol has two important steel plants, Ilyich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol and Azovstal, which are an important part of Ukrainian exports. The industrial area of ​​Mariupol produces 37.5% of the exports of Donetsk Oblast and 7% of all of Ukraine's exports.


FK Mariupol is the professional football club of Mariupol and usually plays at the highest Ukrainian level, the Premjer Liha. The club plays in the Volodymyr Boiko Stadium.

Born in Mariupol

(1841-1910) Archip Kuindzhic (1896-1948) Andrei Zhdanov (1960-2022) Aleksandr Sidorenko (1980 Olympic