|City of regional significance|
|Raion||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), and as Vozia (in Romanian) 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.
For many years the city-fortress served as a capital of the Ottoman province (eyalet).
Establishment and name etymology
The land were the Oceacov or Vozia was settled was inhabited by Thracians and Schytians in the ancient times. It was known as a part of Great (European) Schytia. In the 7th and 6th centuries BC, Greek colonists had founded an commercial colony near the Thracian coast city and the town was named Alektor. 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 it's supposed that the same Greek expeditions settled Alektor.
In the 1st century BC, Alektor become Roman colony and part of Roman empire. It was a part of the Romanians ethnogenesis space and a place of passage for many migratory people and tribes. As a result of the migrations, the city will fall and the inhabitants will live in small settlements digged in the shores of Bug and Niper rivers.
In the Middle Age the place was named Vozia by Romanians. The name it is supposed to come from a plant known in Romanian as bozii/bozia (Sambucus ebulus), a medicinal herb very often found in that places. The territory was a part of the Romanian Berladnici rulership. It fall under Tatar domination in the time of the Mongol invasion of Europe.
Alexandru cel Bun, the Moldavia's ruler and his ally Vitovt or Vytautas, Lithuania's leader, had free the Vozia territory and a fortress was built again close to Alektor's ruins. Later the stronghold will be mentioned in Russian chronics as Dashev.
In the 14th century AD the Senarega brothers, Genovese merchants and warriors, had settled a castle at the place called Lerici, very close to Vozia city. Was a good point for commercial trades with Romanians and Tatars, but the Senarega family interference in Moldavia's internal affaires make the Moldavians from Cetatea Albă (White City) take the castle from them in 1455.
In 1492 Crimean Tatars take for a while Vozia from Moldavians and named it Özü-Cale, which literally meant Dnieper (Özü) - fortress (Cale). The name was also very similar to Romanian Vozia. It also referred to the city as Kara-Kerman (Black city) as an opposite to Cetatea Albă (White City), also take it by the Tatars and Turkish army from Moldavians. That city was also renamed as Ak-Kerman (White city), today Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi.
The very next year, 1493, the fortress was overtaken by the Moldavian's cossacks of Bohdan Gliński. Due to its strategic location the fortress for a long time was a site of contest between the Moldavia, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Moldavia's ally 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.
Giovanni Battista Malbi noted in 1620 that the town and the land of Vozia, even ruled by the Tatars, were inhabited by Romanians (describing them as having the Orthodox religion and a corrupt Latin-Italian language, with Slavic influences / in that time the Old Slav language was the church language in all Romanian countries). The same ethnic note was made by Niccolo Barsi from Luca in the same century. Daniel Krmann, monk from Poltava, write that outside the Turks and Tatars, the conquereres of the Vozia, the city was inhabited by Moldavians (Romanians) and that there were a number of Greek merchants. Lawrin Piaczeczynski, secretary of the Polish king Sigismund III Vasa, traveling with a diplomatic mission to Gazi Ghirai Khan, meet in Cetatea Albă (Ak-Kerman) territory and in Vozia or Oceakov territory only „sate moldoveneşti pe care le ţine hanul tătărăsc şi pe care le guvernează în numele lui sluga lui Nazyl aga" ("moldavians villages under tatar khans domination, ruled in here name by Nazyl Aga") Similar notes were made by Giovanni Botero (1540-1617) in „Relazioni universali”, (Venice, 1591); Gian Lorenzo d'Anania in „L'Universale fabbrica del Mondo, ovvero Cosmografia ” (Napoli-1573, Venice-1596 etc.) and Giovanni Antonio Magini (1555-1617), from Padova, în „Geographie universae” (Venice - 1596).
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 Munchausen 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 attack 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.
Initially, the Russian Empire planned to make there a "New Moldavia" as an attraction point for the Romanian from Moldavia, Valachia and other Romanian countries. Later, even the Romanians, called Moldavians by the Russians, were the majority of the territory, they receive no rights and were forced assimilated. To achieve this goal the Russian Empire gave land to Slavic colonists and moved many Romanian families in Kuban and Caucasus.
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. Was the first time when the ethnological and sociological research of Ochakiv's Romanians survivors were made.Anton Golopenția The whole research raport could be read here: Anton_Golopentia-Romanii_De_La_Est_De_Bug
Today Ochakiv is a resort town and a fishing port. The current estimated population is around 16,900 (as of 2001). The few Romanians still living here have no rights from Kiev's government, despite the promises and commitments made by Ukraine.
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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