[mel-uh-taw-puhl; Russ. myi-lyi-taw-puhl]
Melitopol, city (1989 pop. 174,000), S Ukraine, on the Molochnoy River. A manufacturing center, it produces heavy machinery and has flour mills and food-processing plants. It was founded in the early 19th cent. as the settlement Novo-Aleksandrovka but was renamed in 1841.
Melitopol (Мелітополь, translit. Melitopol’, Мелитополь, ) is a city in the Zaporizhia Oblast of the southeastern Ukraine. It is situated on the Molochna River that flows through the eastern edge of the city and into the Molochnyi Liman, which eventually joins the Sea of Azov. The city was formerly named Kyzyl-Yar until 1816, and Novoalexandrovka until 1842. Serving as the administrative center of the Melitopolskyi Raion, the city itself is directly subordinate to the oblast center. The estimated population as of 2007 is around 158,700. Generally, the Russian language is spoken in the city.


In ancient times, there was a small Noghai aul of Kyzyl-Yar where the modern Melitopol is settled. In July 1769, Russian military commanders built a redoubt there, and Zaporizhia Cossacks carried out their duty service there. On February 2, 1784, Ekaterina II issued the decree to create the Taurian Province on the lands that had been won back. The deputy of Novorossiya His Highness Prince Potemkin signed the relation to establish a town that very year - and Cossacks' families and those of retired soldiers of Suvorov settled on the right bank of the Molochna River. In 1816, the settlement got the name sloboda of Novoalexandrovka. Its population was increasing due to the importation of peasants from the northern provinces of the Ukraine and Russia. On January 7, 1842, the sloboda was recognized as a town and received the new name of Melitopol after a port city of Melita (from Greek Μέλι (meli) - "honey") which had been situated on the mouth of the Molochna River. At the end of the XIX century, the Honey-city had been developed as a trade center - there were some banks, credit organizations and wholesale stores. The largest enterprises in the city at the time were the iron foundry and the Brothers Klassen's machinery construction factory (1886), the railroad depot and the workshops.

Melitopol in World War II

In 1941, the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany. The city became strategically important due to its location. The Red Army was not ready for the war and had to retreat. The Nazis occupied Melitopol on October 6, 1941.

Occupation and nutrition issues

The Germans kept centralized supplement. The Soviet Mezhraybaza sel'khozsnaba i himsnaba (Межрайбаза сельхозснаба и химснаба) of Melitopol still ran. In fact, a variety of agriculture items were stored at the base, including fertilizers, pesticides, tools, spare parts for reaping machines and binders, etc. It supported the running enterprises of Melitopol and surrounding settlements with goods. Since the Soviet monetary system remained, the enterprises paid the Soviet rubles and kopecks, not the German marks. Also, no one of the enterprises was renamed, including the Kaganovich artel, the collective farm of the Red Cossacks, the artel of Lenin's Way. However, the Germans were not tolerant to the Soviet order. The amount of German language documents began to increase and interpreters became strongly required. Most of the people who were ready to collaborate with the Germans were not competent enough in their language. Taking account of this fact, the German commanders submitted bilingualism:

Selling, buying and killing the cattle and the poultry were strictly forbidden; they were severely controlled to be sent to Germany. The meat, milk and eggs were used to feed the soldiers. Notwithstanding the general prohibition, the population might kill animals by special permission.

Another way was to introduce a new holiday, to make people celebrate and eat together.

Celebrations, which were not introduced by the Nazi, were not welcome. Feasts, plays and especially dances were prohibited until the war would be over. The punishment for infringement of the prohibition was a fine and an arrest.


The Wotan Line Battle

Battles for the city


Melitopol has 38 monuments, memorials and statues registered.

One of them is the statue of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, the famous hetman of Ukraine. His images are printed on Ukrainian 5 hryvnia's banknotes. Images of his enemy, Ivan Mazepa, are printed on 10 hryvnias banknotes.

Special notes

The Stone Grave

There is the unique relic of the Stone Grave (Кам'яна могила, translit. Kamyana mohyla, Каменная могила) 12 kilometers north of Melitopol. It is a relic of sandstone from the Sarmatian epoch of the Tertiary period. Its exact coordinates are


On May 6, 2004, the munition depots of Novobogdanovka, a village in the Melitopolskyi Raion, caught fire. The depot had been storing various rockets, which began to explode, littering numerous houses with debris, blowing out their windows and destroying their walls. Some sources have reported that soldiers guarding the depot caused the explosion through accidental carelessness with their lit cigarette butts. The accident later occurred several more times because the arms had been already damaged by the very first fire and become untransportable. After the accidents officials stated that it was necessary to disarm the depots and that the only measure available to do so was to carry out controlled explosions on a regular basis. However, the controlled explosions took several lives too. As of April 2008, the depots have been almost completely disarmed,


A symbol of Melitopol is Chereshnya Melitopolskaya, a type of Wild Cherry for which the city is known.

Town twinning

Melitopol is currently twinned with:


In 1874, a technical school was founded in the city, which, after a series of reforms and transformations, became Taurian State Agrotechnological Academy. The city now has two universities − the Taurian State Agrotechnological Academy and the Melitopol State Pedagogical University.


  • Melitopol has a railroad station that serves as the transit point for passengers going from Moscow to the Crimea and back. The city is also called the "gateway to the Crimea".
  • The city's cantonment has an aerodrome, which is not used for passenger service. There is present a park of Il-76 (Іл-76, Ил-76) transport planes.
  • The city has two bus stations: the more new intercity station and the old station of local buses. Two highways lead through Melitopol: The M14 Odesa-Novoazovsk Highway and the M26 Kharkiv-Simferopol National Highway.
  • The marshrutkas are the sole kind of the city's public transport. They run 34 routes. They work from 5:00 a.m. till 12:30 a.m (from 05:30 till 00:30). Formerly, in the days of existing the USSR, there were buses of Ikarus, LiAZ, LAZ, PAZ running around 15 routes.
  • The common length of the roads of Melitopol is 333 km, 70% of them do not meet the basic requirements.


There is a well-developed, internationally important engine-constructing industry. There are also food, light, and construction materials industries.

External links


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