Donetsk, former Yuzovka (until 1924) and Stalino (1924-1961) is a city and administrative center of Donetsk region, southeastern Ukraine, on the headwaters of Kalmius River. Donetsk city is a large railway and highway junction. There is an international airport in the city.
In 1869 an ironworks was founded there by a Welshman, John Hughes (from whom the town’s pre-revolutionary name Yuzovka was derived), to produce iron rails for the growing Russian rail network. Later steel rails were made in Donetsk city. The plant used coal from the immediate vicinity, and both coal mining and steel making developed rapidly in Donetsk.
By 1914 there were 4 metallurgical plants, 10 coal-pits, and a population of about 50 000. After the October Revolution (1917), Yuzovka was renamed Stalino and, in 1961, Donetsk. Heavy destruction in World War II led to postwar modernization and an increase in the scale of industry. Subsequent growth of Donetsk city was rapid and sustained.
In April 1978 the population of Donetsk outnumbered 1 million.