Sloviansk (Ukrainian: Слов'я́нськ, romanizedSlov"jans'k[3] [slou̯ˈjɑnʲsʲk]; Russian: Славя́нск, romanizedSlavjansk[4] [slɐˈvʲansk]); prior to 1784 - Tor[5]) is a city of oblast significance in Donetsk Oblast, eastern part of 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 as it was the first city to be seized by Russia-backed military troops.[6][7] It was retaken by Ukrainian forces in July 2014. Population: 108,363 (2020 est.)[8].


Former city bank building
Former city bank building
Flag of Sloviansk
Coat of arms of Sloviansk
Coat of arms
Sloviansk is located in Donetsk Oblast
Sloviansk is located in Ukraine
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
OblastDonetsk Oblast
 • MayorVadym Liakh Mikhailovich [uk; ru][1] (Opposition Bloc[2])
 • Total58.9 km2 (22.7 sq mi)
 • Total108,363


Train station, 1917 postcard.

The history of Sloviansk dates back to the beginning of the 16th century when the first settlements formed by Ukrainian peasants appeared on its territory. Later on in 1645 was founded a border fortress against the Crimean attacks and slave raids on the southern suburbs of modern Ukraine and Russia.[9] In 1664 the first salt plant for the extraction of salt was built that caused the appearance of housing for workers.[10] 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.[11] Shortly thereafter, the town of Tor grew up next to the fortress.[9]

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.

In April 1918 troops loyal to the Ukrainian People's Republic took control of Sloviansk.[12]

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.[13] The Red Army temporarily expelled the Nazi occupiers on February 17, 1943. Germans retook it on 1 March 1943. Finally the Red Army retook it on 6 September 1943.

2014 clashesEdit

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.[14] Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov described the gunmen as "terrorists" and vowed to use the Ukrainian special forces to retake the building.[15][16]

On April 13, 2014, there were reports of fighting between the gunmen and Ukrainian troops, with casualties on both sides.[17][18] 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.[17]

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. Ukraine's outgoing President Olexander Turchynov described the downing as a "terrorist attack," and blamed pro-Russian militants.[19]

The city was held by Russia-backed separatists[20] until July 5, 2014; when pressed by the Ukrainian army they had to retreat from Sloviansk and pull back to Donetsk city.[21]

In 2015 a plaque to the memory of Volodymyr Rybak was placed in the town center.[22]


According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census:[23]

Ukrainians 104,423 73.1%
Russians 33,649 23.6%
Turks 829 0.6%
Belarusians 766 0.5%
Armenians 592 0.4%
Greeks 320 0.2%
Roma people 279 0.2%
Azerbaijanis 208 0.1%

Total population: 141,066


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 Slovvazhmash 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 Kamianske 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, Kharkiv 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 Lozova, Lyman and Kramatorsk. Ukrainian international highway   M 03 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 organizationsEdit

Church of the Resurrection of Christ

Christian churches:

  • Cathedral of New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Orthodox Church
  • Church of the Resurrection of Christ
  • Church of the Andrew the Apostle
  • Church of Oleksandr Nevskyi
  • Church of Seraphim Sarovsky
  • The "Kind New" Christian Center Church
  • Church of Jesus Christ of the Protestant Church of Ukraine

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ CEC names winners of mayoral elections in Uzhgorod, Berdiansk, Sloviansk, Interfax-Ukraine (23 November 2020)
  2. ^ CEC names winners of mayoral elections in Uzhgorod, Berdiansk, Sloviansk, Interfax-Ukraine (23 November 2020)
  3. ^ "Slov"yans'k: Ukraine". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  4. ^ "Slavyansk: Ukraine". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  5. ^ "СЛОВ`ЯНСЬК , МІСТО ДОНЕЦЬКОЇ ОБЛ". Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  6. ^ "'Casualties' in Ukraine gun battles". BBC News. 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  7. ^ "WebCite query result". Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  8. ^ "Чисельність наявного населення України (Actual population of Ukraine)" (PDF) (in Ukrainian). State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Города и области Украины. Справочник по Украине". Ukrainian.SU. Archived from the original on 2011-08-23. Retrieved 12 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Славянск - город Тор, курорт и воин". Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  11. ^ "Slov'yansk (Ukraine) - Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved 2014-08-21.
  12. ^ (in Ukrainian) 100 years ago Bakhmut and the rest of Donbass liberated, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 April 2018)
  13. ^
  14. ^ Rachkevych, Mark (12 April 2014). "Armed pro-Russian extremists launch coordinated attacks in Donetsk Oblast, seize buildings and set up checkpoints". Kyiv Post.
  15. ^ "Armed men seize police department in east Ukraine: minister". Reuters. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  16. ^ "Gunmen seize Ukraine police station in Sloviansk". BBC News. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  17. ^ a b "Ukraine crisis: Casualties in Sloviansk gun battles". BBC News. 13 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Ukraine Army Launches 'Anti-Terror' Operation". Sky News via Yahoo! News. 13 April 2014.
  19. ^ "General, 13 soldiers killed as militants down military helicopter". Russia Herald. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Obama: Ukraine 'Vulnerable' To Russian 'Military Domination'". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  21. ^ "Ukraine President Poroshenko hails 'turning point'". BBC. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  22. ^ "Remembering Volodymyr Rybak: a year since the murder". EMPR: Russia - Ukraine war news, latest Ukraine updates. 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  23. ^ Національний склад та рідна мова населення Донецької області [Ethnic and linguistic composition of Donetsk Oblast] (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 27 November 2012.
  24. ^ "Climate: Sloviansk". Retrieved 2 May 2014.

External linksEdit