Ochakiv City Municipality
|• Mayor||Mykola Topchyi|
|• Total||12.49 km2 (4.82 sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Area code(s)||+380 5154|
Ochakiv also known as Ochakov (Ukrainian: Очаків, Russian: Очаков, Crimean Tatar: Özü, Turkish: Özi, Romanian: Oceacov), is a small city in Mykolaiv Oblast (province) of southern Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of the Ochakiv Raion (district), the city itself is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast, a city of regional importance. It is located on the Kinburn Peninsula in the Black Sea, at the entrance to the Dnieper Estuary.
For many years the city-fortress served as a capital of the Ottoman province (eyalet).
Establishment and name etymology
Ochakiv was founded in 1492 as Özü-Cale by the Crimean Tatars, which literally meant Dnieper (Özü) - fortress (Cale). It also referred to as Kara-Kerman (Black city). Compare it to Ak-Kerman (White city), today Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi. Özü-Cale was established in place of the destroyed Lithuanian fortress of Dashev, established earlier by Vitovt. Archaeological excavations also point to the fact that previously in the near proximity of the area existed the old Miletan (ancient Greek) colony of Pontic Olbia, and the Greek colony of Alektor.
The very next year, 1493, after its establishment the fortress was overtaken by the cossacks of Bohdan Gliński (Glinski family), a Ruthenian nobleman of Tatar descent from Siveria. In 1502 Özü-Cale fell to the Ottoman Turks and subsequently renamed as Özi-Cale (Ochi-Cale). Due to its strategic location the fortress for a long time was a site of contest between the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Zaporizhian Sich, and Ottoman Empire.
At a later date it became the centre of an Ottoman sanjak which included Khajidereh (Ovidiopol), Khadjibey (Odessa), and Dubossary, as well as some 150 villages, and Silistra Province to which it belonged was sometimes called Özi Province. Khadjibey later became a sanjak centre and left from Özi one.
Conquest by Russians
The Russian Empire besieged Ochakiv in 1737, regarding it as the main obstacle to the possession of the Black Sea littoral. It was captured by Marshal von Münnich, but in the following year was abandoned and in 1739 restored to Turkey. The 1737 siege became famous for one of the Baron Münchhausen tales.
During the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-92, a second siege by Russia, the Siege of Ochakov, began in 1788 and lasted six months, until the fortress was stormed in December, when the temperature was −23 °C (−9 °F), resulting in a terrible loss of life. This storm became the topic of a famous ode by Gavrila Derzhavin. The naval Battle of Ochakov took place alongside the city at the same time. The Treaty of Jassy of 1792 transferred Özi to the Russian Empire which renamed it into Ochakov.
During the Crimean War the Kinburn Fortress opposite Ochakiv was bombarded by the Anglo-French fleet and captured on October 17, 1855, in the course of the Battle of Kinburn. The fortress remained in Anglo-French hands for the remaining months of the war, while the Russians abandoned Ochakiv and destroyed the fort located there. After that war the coastal defences around Ochakiv were rebuilt and strengthened.
With the establishment of the Ukrainian statehood, Ukrainian People's Republic, the local (Ukrainian) name of the city became officially in use. Ochakiv was part of Ukrainian SSR and during World War II it was occupied by Romania between 1941-1944.
Today Ochakiv is a resort town and a fishing port. The current estimated population is around 16,900 (as of 2001).
The town's main sight is the building of the Suvorov Museum, which served as a mosque in the 15th century. It was converted into the church of St. Nicholas in 1804 and was reconstructed in the pseudo-Russian style in 1842.
Not far from the city is located the Historical-Archaeological Preserve "Olvia" and Berezan Island. On the Kinburn peninsula are located the National park "White Bank of Svyatoslav" and the "Volzhyn forest" of Black Sea Biosphere Preserve.
The city is located right at the mouth of Dnieper, on the banks of the Dnieper-Bug Estuary. Between the Cape of Ochakiv (northern bank) and the Kinburn spit (southern bank) there are only 3.6 km (2.2 mi). Both Ochakiv and Kinburn fortresses composed a controlled entrance to Dnieper.
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