Donetsk Oblast (Ukrainian: Донецька область; Donets'ka oblast') is an oblast (a kind of province) in eastern Ukraine. The capital and center of the oblast is the city of the same name Donetsk. Known for its urban sprawl of Donetsk-Makijivka and Horlivka-Yenakijeve, the oblast is often associated with the coal mining industry. However, since the Russo-Ukrainian War, that city is no longer under the control of the Ukrainian government, and the parts of the oblast that are still under the control of the Ukrainian government are de facto ruled from the city of Kramatorsk. Many government agencies are also located in the city of Mariupol. On May 12, 2014, with Russian military aid, the Donetsk Oblast was declared the Donetsk People's Republic. Since then, fierce fighting has taken place between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. More than half of the total population of Donetsk Oblast lives in the self-proclaimed People's Republic. Although the rebels control less than half (8902 km2) of Donetsk Oblast, they control major cities such as the capital Donetsk, Makijivka and Horlivka. On February 21, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the Donetsk People's Republic. This so-called "recognition" by Russia mainly served to legitimize the presence of Russian troops during the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24, 2022. Most countries consider declaring and recognizing Ukraine's secessions as a violation of international law, a country's territorial integrity, and the Minsk Accords.
Donetsk Oblast is located in the Donetsk Basin, in southeastern Ukraine and is bordered to the southwest and west by Dnipropetrovsk Oblast and Zaporizhia Oblast, to the northwest by Kharkiv Oblast, to the northeast by Luhansk Oblast (containing the Luhansk People's Republic) , in the southeast by Rostov Oblast in Russia, and in the south by the Sea of Azov. The relief of the area is a hilly plain intersected by river valleys. The average height above sea level is 140 m. The climate is a continental climate. Winters are mild and short; summers are hot and long. The average temperature in January is -4 °C, in July +21 °C. Absolute minimum -36 °C, maximum +42 °C. Average annual precipitation ranges from 380 to 550 mm. The territory contains 4.4% of the entire area of Ukraine. The area has a favorable climate and the location is relatively flat, which offers good economic opportunities.
The religion within Donetsk Oblast is predominantly Russian Orthodox. Jehovah's Witnesses are widely discriminated against.
Historically, Donetsk Oblast is an important part of the Donbas region. Until November 1961, it was called Stalinoblast, as the city of Donetsk was then called "Stalino" in honor of Joseph Stalin. As part of the de-Stalinization process, it was renamed Severski Donets, after eastern Ukraine's main river.
Russian-backed separatists occupy a regional government building on April 7, 2014 in the capital Donetsk. In the following days, this also happened in other cities in Donetsk Oblast, including Sloyansk. The Donetskaya Respublika organization founded at the end of 2005 proclaimed the Donetsk People's Republic on 14 April. On April 16, a referendum was prepared and a Central Election Commission was established. On May 11, there was a referendum on the secession of the Donetsk Oblast from Ukraine. Independent observations were impossible during the referendum. The result of the referendum would have been 89% in favor of secession, according to the pro-Russian separatists. The next day, the Donetsk People's Republic declared its independence.
Over the village of Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast collapsed on Tuesday 1