The Kalmius River links the city with the Sea of Azov, which is 95 km (59 mi) to the south, and a popular recreational area for those living in Donetsk. The city stretches 28 km (17 mi) from north to south and 55 km (34 mi) from east to west.There are 2 nearby reservoirs: Nyzhnekalmius (60 ha), and the "Donetsk Sea" (206 ha).The Republic was disbanded at the 2nd All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets on 20 March 1918 when the independence of the Soviet Ukraine was announced.It failed to achieve recognition, either internationally or by the Russian SFSR, and, in accordance with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, was abolished.At the beginning of World War II, the population of Stalino consisted of 507,000, and after the war, only 175,000.The German invasion during World War II almost completely destroyed the city, which was mostly rebuilt on a large scale at the war's end.
After experiencing a tough time in the 1990s, when it was the center of gang wars for control over industrial enterprises, Donetsk has modernised quickly in recent years, largely under the influence of big companies.
Donetsk is adjacent to another major city of Makiivka and along with other surrounding cities forms a major urban sprawl and conurbation in the region.
Donetsk has been a major economic, industrial and scientific centre of Ukraine with a high concentration of companies and a skilled workforce.
The city was founded in 1869 when the Welsh businessman John Hughes built a steel plant and several coal mines at Aleksandrovka, in the south of European part of Russia.
It was initially named Hughesovka (Russian: When the Russian Civil War broke out, on 12 February 1918 Yuzovka was part of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Soviet Republic.