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For other uses, see Slavyansk (disambiguation).
Former city bank building
Former city bank building
Flag of Sloviansk
Official seal of Sloviansk
Sloviansk is located in Ukraine
Sloviansk is located in Donetsk Oblast
Coordinates: 48°51′12″N 37°37′30″E / 48.85333°N 37.62500°E / 48.85333; 37.62500Coordinates: 48°51′12″N 37°37′30″E / 48.85333°N 37.62500°E / 48.85333; 37.62500
Country Ukraine
Oblast Donetsk Oblast
Founded 1645
 • Total 58.9 km2 (22.7 sq mi)
Population (2013)
 • Total 117,445

Sloviansk (Ukrainian: Слов'янськ, transliterated Slov”yans’k[1]; Russian: Славянск, translit. Slavyansk[2]) is a city of oblast significance in Donetsk Oblast, eastern Ukraine. It also serves as the administrative center of the Sloviansk Raion (district), though it does not belong to the raion. It was founded in 1676. The city was one of the focal points in the early stages of the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine, but was evacuated by rebels and along with around a third of the population it was later retaken by Ukrainian forces in July 2014. Population: 117,445 (2013 est.)[3].


Train station, 1917 postcard.

The city of Sloviansk was founded by Russian tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich in 1645 as a border fortress against the Crimean attacks and slave raids on the southern suburbs of the Russian State.[4] In 1676, a fortress named Tor was built at the confluence of the Kazenyy Torets and Sukhyy Torets Rivers where they form the Torets River, a tributary of Donets River.[5] Shortly thereafter, the town of Tor grew up next to the fortress.[4]

As several salt lakes were located close by, the town became a producer of salt. During the sixteenth century, salt production was the principal local industry, but during the eighteenth century, it became unprofitable and ceased on December 21, 1782.

In 1784, the city was renamed Sloviansk, and it became a part of the Kharkov Governorate of the Russian Empire in 1797. A resort was established on the shores of Lake Ropne in 1832.

The city was occupied by the Germans on October 28, 1941. In December 1941, SS Einsatzkommando 4b executed more than a thousand Jews who lived in the city. The Red Army expelled the Nazi occupiers on February 17, 1944.

2014 clashes[edit]

Pro-Russian civilians in Sloviansk, April 13, 2014

On April 12, 2014, during the ongoing crisis following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, masked men in army fatigues and bulletproof vests armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles captured the executive committee building, the police department, and SBU office in Sloviansk.[6] Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov described the gunmen as "terrorists" and vowed to use the Ukrainian special forces to retake the building.[7][8]

On April 13, 2014, there were reports of fighting between the gunmen and Ukrainian troops, with casualties on both sides.[9][10] The BBC's David Stern described the pro-Russian forces as carrying Russian weapons and resembling the soldiers that took over Crimean installations at the start of the 2014 Crimean crisis.[9]

On May 29, 2014, a helicopter carrying fourteen army soldiers, including General Serhiy Kulchytskiy - the head of combat and special training for the country's National Guard, crashed after being shot down by militants near Sloviansk in East Ukraine. Ukraine's outgoing President Olexander Turchynov described the downing as a "terrorist attack," and blamed pro-Russian militants.[11]

The city was held by separatist forces until July 5, 2014, when pressed by the Ukrainian army they had to retreat from Sloviansk and pull back to Donetsk city.[12] After they have retreated and the city was taken by the Ukrainan army, a mass grave of local people apparently executed by the pro-Russian militants was discovered.[13] Some of them were killed just because those people were of Protestants church Transfiguration of God.[13][citation needed]


The climate in Sloviansk is a mild to warm summer subtype (Köppen: Dfb) of the humid continental climate.

Climate data for Sloviansk
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °C (°F) −5.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 45


Sloviansk Balneological Institute

The principal industry of the city concerns machine building:

  • The Slavtyazhmash heavy-machinery production plant which produces chemical equipment for coke production and use for the businesses in Lipetsk, Kemerovo and Cherepovets. Companies in Mariupol, Kryvyi Rih, Donetsk, and Dniprodzerzhynsk use their products.
  • The Betonmash machine-building factory which produces concrete mixing plants, spare parts for mining equipment and metal works, parts for coke ovens. The factory provides foundry services for companies across Donetsk Oblast, Kharkov Oblast, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.
  • The Sloviansk mechanical plant which employs approximately four hundred people. It produces chemical equipment for coke production as well as overhead cranes and other machinery.
  • The Artem Armature-insulator factory.
  • A factory producing high-voltage insulators for hydroelectric power stations and thermal power-stations.

Currently the city is an important health resort providing spa treatments and mud baths using mud from the bottom of salt lakes located nearby.


Sloviansk Railway Station

The city is a nexus of a number of railways and roads. There are three railway stations currently in use, one defunct. Three railway lines leave the city in directions of Lozovaya, Krasnyi Lyman and Kramatorsk. Ukrainian international highway M03 goes by the edge of the city and the national highway N-20 leaves from the city toward Mariupol. Local population is served by trolleybus network consisting of two permanent routes and one summer route. Marshrutkas are widely used.

Religious organizations[edit]

Resurrection Church

Christian churches:

  • Cathedral of Novomuchenikov of Confessors (Russian Orthodox)
  • Svyatovoskresenskiy Church
  • Church of the Apostle Andrey Pervozvanny
  • Church of Oleksandr Nevsky
  • Church of Seraphim Sarovsky
  • The "Kind New" Christian Center Church
  • Church of Jesus Christ of the Protestant Church of Ukraine

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Slov"yans’k: Ukraine". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Slavyansk: Ukraine". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Города и области Украины. Справочник по Украине". Ukrainian.SU. Archived from the original on 2011-08-23. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Slov'yansk (Ukraine) - Encyclopedia Britannica". Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  6. ^ Rachkevych, Mark (12 April 2014). "Armed pro-Russian extremists launch coordinated attacks in Donetsk Oblast, seize buildings and set up checkpoints". Kyiv Post. 
  7. ^ "Armed men seize police department in east Ukraine: minister". Reuters. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  8. ^ "Gunmen seize Ukraine police station in Sloviansk". BBC News. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  9. ^ a b "Ukraine crisis: Casualties in Sloviansk gun battles". BBC News. 13 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Ukraine Army Launches 'Anti-Terror' Operation". Sky News via Yahoo! News. 13 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "General, 13 soldiers killed as militants down military helicopter". Russia Herald. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ukraine President Poroshenko hails 'turning point'". BBC. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Missing Civilian Bodies found in Mass Graves: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 63). VICE NEWS.
  14. ^ "Climate: Sloviansk". Retrieved 2 May 2014. 

External links[edit]