Donets Basin

Donets Basin

[duh-nets; Russ. duh-nyets]
Donets Basin, abbreviated as Donbas, industrial region (c.10,000 sq mi/25,900 sq km), E Ukraine and SW European Russia, N of the Sea of Azov and W of the Donets River. It is located mainly in Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine and extends E into Rostov region. The Donets Basin forms one of the densest industrial concentrations in the world. Based on a formerly rich supply of coal, the Donbas was extensively developed in the 19th and 20th cent. because of its proximity to markets in European areas of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union and to large deposits of ferrous metals in Ukraine (Kryvyy Rih, Nikopol). Two types of coal predominate in the Donbas: anthracite, in the south and east (used mainly by thermal power stations), and bituminous, in the southwest and north (used mainly for coking). Major coal centers include Shakhty (Russia) and Shakhartsk, Horlivka, and Krasnyy Luch (Ukraine). Other minerals besides coal are produced in the region, and there are also heavy-machinery, chemical, and power plants. Major iron- and steel-producing centers are Donetsk, Yenakiyeve, Makiyivka, Kramatorsk, and Alchevsk. The development of the Donets Basin began c.1870, and by 1913 it was the source of virtually all the coal and more than half of the iron and steel produced in czarist Russia. Strikes in this region in the late 1980s, coupled with strikes in the Siberian Kuzbas region, brought Soviet industrial production to a standstill and caused a crisis for the Communist government.

Donets Basin, also known as Donbas or Donbass (Донецький басейн, usually abbreviated to Донбас; translit. Donetskyi basein or Donbas; Донецкий бассейн, likewise usually shortened to Донбасс; translit. Donetskiy bassein or Donbass), is a historical, economic and cultural region located on the territory of present-day Ukraine.

It combines two oblasts (provinces) in the east of the country: northern and central part of Donetsk Oblast (southern part belongs to Pryazovia) and southern part of Luhansk Oblast (northern part belongs to Slobozhanschyna). The city of Donetsk is considered the unofficial capital of Donbass.

The name of the region originates from the coal-field discovered in late 19th century which was named after the Donets river flowing across the region.

In 1676, the first town of the Donbass emerged: Solanoye (now Slavyansk) which was built for the high-profit business of extracting newly-discovered rock-salt reserves. In 1721, vast and rich coal fields were found, which started the "industrial boom" which led to the flourish of the region in 18th–first half of 20th century.

Donbas may sometimes be refer to a larger supranational region also consisting a part of neighbouring Rostov Oblast in Russia. This is explained by the fact that Donets' coal basin geographically extends to that area (also specializing in coal mining), which sometimes called a "Russian Donbass". But lesser economical and, most of all, sociopolitical significance of that Russian area (compared with the Ukrainian part) leads to gradual abandonment of such generic usage of the Donbas term.

Ukrainian scholar Grigory Nemiria said:

For the Donbas, the real economic and political centre was the Soviet one, in Moscow. Kiev was just the regional administrative centre, not of great importance. So when we became independent, there had to be a major and very difficult re-evaluation of which centre to look to. It was made even more complicated by the fact that for us here, regional identity was always more important than national identity. The fact that you came from the Donbas was more important than that you were Russian or Ukrainian; so of course the break-up of the Soviet Union also meant a raising of this regional identity and loyalty... In any case, most people here honestly couldn't say what they are ethnically, because most families, like mine, are mixed.


See also

  • Kryvbas, an important economic region in central Ukraine
  • 383rd Rifle Division (a Soviet division established in 1941, it was comprised completely of miners from Donbas)

External links

Search another word or see Donets Basinon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature