Zaporizhzhya

General Information

Russian ZAPOROZHYE, also spelled ZAPOROZHE, OR ZAPOROZJE, formerly (UNTIL 1921) OLEKSANDRIVSK, city and administrative center of Zaporizhzhya region. The city is located in southeastern Ukraine, on the Dnipro river just below its former rapids. The history of Zaporizhzhya began in 1770 when the fortress of Oleksandrivsk was built by Tsarist government to exercise control over the Kozaks whose headquarters were on nearby Khortitsya island. The fortress settlement was granted the town status in 1806. The fast growth of the city has started when with the construction of the Dnipro hydroelectric plant in 1927-32, which then was the largest of its kind in the world. The dam was destroyed during the World War II but was subsequently rebuilt.

Availability of cheap electric power resulted in fast development of heavy and chemical industries including a major iron and steel plant equipped with strip-rolling mills. Coke by-products serve as major input for neighboring chemical plants. The city also hosts a wide range of engineering and light industries including the largest in Ukraine automobile factory and electrical appliances plant. The city stretches for several miles along the Dnipro, with a belt of forest separating its industrial and residential sectors. There are several higher education institutions training teachers, doctors and engineers.