Population: 975,959 – Established: 19th Century AD - Area: 358.00 km2
A BRIEF HISTORY
The most-Easterly Euro 2012 host city of Donetsk (Донецьк) was originally established in 1869 by a Welsh businessman by the name of John Hughes. Then called “Hughezovka”, the town was centred on several coal mines and a steelworks. Due to the British origins of the city, much of the original architecture had a very British feel about it.
In 1924, the Soviet government decided to rename the city “Stalin” and later “Stalino”, and over the next ten years the city was linked to drinking water, gas and a sewer system.
At the beginning of World War Two the city’s population peaked at around 507,000, but after the fighting had ceased in 1945 just 175,000 remained. The Nazi invasion of the area resulted in the majority of the town being demolished, only to be rebuilt when the Soviets regained power.
During the war, the area was known for one of many Jewish Ghettos, where 3,000 Jews were killed; as well as a Concentration Camp which oversaw the deaths of approximately 92,000.
In order to distance the city from Jozef Stalin’s reign, Nikita Khrushchev ordered the city to be renamed as “Donetsk” in 1961, after a nearby river.
Serhiy Bubka: Repeatedly voted as the World’s Best Sportsman, the Ukrainian Pole Vaulter picked up an Olympic Gold in 1988, as well as 6 World Championship medals.
Nikita Khrushchev: Former First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev was also responsible for the “Destalinisation” of the USSR.
Lilia Podkopayeva: Widely regarded as one of the best gymnasts in history, Podkopayeva won All-Round Olympic gold in 1996. She also is the originator of two skills included in the “Code of Points” gymnastics scoring system.
Oleksiy Pecherov: A 7-foot tall Basketball player who, in between spells at Paris Basket Racing and Olimpia Milano, played in the NBA with Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves.
FIVE THINGS TO DO IN DONETSK
Bulvar Pushkina (бульвар Пушкина)
The 1.7km green strip of land known as Pushkin Boulevard lies right in the heart of Donetsk, giving the locals (Donechyani) a chance to escape the day-to-day industrial and commercial life in the city. Fountains, monuments and al-fresco café’s line the beautiful walkway.
Located towards the southern end of the massive Artyoma Street (Артема вул.), the relatively small Lenin Square is dominated by a 42-metre statue of the former Russian Marxist Revolutionary. During late Spring and Summer, there is a regular light and music show on the square’s fountain.
Artyoma Street (Артема вул.)
Widely recognised at the cultural heart of Donetsk, Artyoma Street runs from the Vokzal’na Square (Вокзальна площа) in the north for nine kilometres down the spine of the city. Most of Donetsk’s sights- as well as many bars, restaurants and shopping areas - are located on or around Artyoma Street, making it the place to be in the city.
Donetsk Digital Planetarium
Although only voiced in Russian, don’t let this put you off an amazing visit to the city’s planetarium. One of only twenty similar exhibits around the globe, the facility’s amazing 3D renderings of speeding meteors and the Big Bang will make for an unforgettable experience.
Park Kovanych Figur (Forged Figures Park)
Paying homage to the city’s humble beginnings as a mining centre, the park features over 90 figures forged from iron. Depicting people and animals, both serious and humorous; the area is popular with newlyweds posing for their first photographs.
Donetsk is the Easternmost Euro 2012 host city, and it lies just 60km from the Russian border.
Donetsk International Airport sits just over 7km to the north-west of Donetsk city centre, and the two are linked by bus, trolleybus and marshrutka (fixed-route taxi).
Although there are currently no direct flights from the UK to Donetsk, it is possible to transfer at Warsaw, Kyiv, Munich, Barcelona, Vienna and Prague. AeroSvit Airlines and Ukraine International Airlines are the most well-known operators at the airport.
Flights to Kyiv via Ukraine International, AeroSvit (to Boryspil) and KhorsAir (to Zhuliany) will allow for air links to Kharkiv and Lviv, whilst the LOT-operated route to Warsaw is ideal for travelling to Poland.
ARRIVING IN DONETSK
From outside the main terminal, Marshrutka No. 5 will take you to the main railway station in the north of the city, whilst trolleybus numbers 9 and 10 travel down Universytets’ka Street (Университетская улица) towards the centre.
Taxis may be the quickest way to the centre of the city, and as well as being fairly cheap, can usually be found in abundance. The average cost of a taxi to cross the city is approximately 30UAH (£2.50), but can vary depending on the company. Try to use official taxis (with the company name/number on the roof light) where possible; and if you must use another, agree a price before the journey.
Donetsk’s recently-refubished main train station is located in the North-Western part of the city, at the top end of Artyoma Street. Services to Kharkiv (5-6 hours) and Kyiv (11-12 hours are available, although high-speed rail links will likely be in place by the time Euro 2012 rolls around.
Donetsk has two main bus stations allowing for transport all over the country. The Yuzhniy Bus station located at the junction between Komunariv Square (пл. Комунарів) and Univerytets’ka Street (ул. Университетская), serves destinations mainly to the south of Donbass; whilst the new Zakhidny Station, just south of the airport on Krasnoarmeijs’kiy Highway, serves destinations including Kharkiv (6 hours), and Kyiv (12 hours).
IN THE CITY
Like most big Ukrainian cities, Donetsk has a network of buses, trams, trolleybuses and marshrutkas. But unlike some cities, Donetsk does not currently have a metro system; partly due to the number of coal mines underneath the city. There is however one underground line being built, although finance issues mean that it has been delayed.
Single rides on the bus, trolleybus or tram will cost 1UAH (12p), whilst a marshrutka ride will cost 1.5UAH. Due to the low public transport prices, there are currently no multi-trip tickets available.
Due to the large volume of people and the city’s traffic issues, Donetsk’s bus service may be unappealing to many. If this is the case, many taxis are on hand to transport fans across the city. These are relatively cheap; but if you are going to take a taxi ride, try to make sure that it is an officially licensed cab.
Similar to the humble Chicken Kyiv, the eastern-Ukrainian version of the “Kotleta Po-Kyivsky” is instead made with pork and veal. However, unlike the popular chicken dish, the meat inside is usually minced.
Like much of Eastern and Central Europe, Donetsk has a fondness for dumplings. This local variety contains minced meat, fish or mushrooms, mixed with spices, black pepper or onions.
A local take on the popular Hungarian “Goulash” dish, Huliash is a type of stew usually made with red meat and vegetables. It is then spiced and served with a buckwheat kasha.
Originally invented in Moscow, the Olivye Salad is popular through many Eastern Bloc countries. The popular version of the salad contains boiled potatoes, dill pickles, peas, eggs, carrots, and either boiled beef or chicken. It is then dressed with mayonnaise.
Although the exact recipe can slightly differ by region, this type of potato pancake is popular throughout Eastern Europe. Once fried, the fritter is served with sour cream.
Possibly the most popular local-brand in the city, Sarmat is available in a wide range of varieties. Now owned by SABMiller, the brand is spreading beyond the Ukrainian borders.
The company’s current range stretches from the 1.2% “Bezalkogolnoe”, to the 7.5% “Mitsne”.
Also brewed in the Sarmat Brewery, Dnipro (taking its name from the river) have a range of four pale lagers. The unfortunately-titled “Bile” is a 4.8% Belgian-style lager, whilst the 7% “Mitsne” and 4% “Svitle” versions are also available.
DONBASS ARENA, DONETSK
The impressive 50,000 capacity Donbass Arena (Донбас Арена) is home to Ukraine’s second biggest club Shaktar Donetsk.
At a total cost of around £250 million, the stadium was finished in ahead of schedule, and was officially opened on 29th August 2009 to coincide with the Ukrainian national holiday of Miners Day, as well as “Donetsk Day”.
American singer Beyonce helped to open the stadium with a show from her 2009 “I Am…” tour, her first show in Ukraine.
Resembling a flying saucer, the stadium was designed by the same company responsible for the City of Manchester Stadium, Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena and Beijing’s “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium.
Shaktar’s first game in the new stadium was on 27th September 2009, just less than a month after its opening. Obolon Kyiv were the inaugural visitors for the Ukrainian Premier League game.
Brazilian midfielder Jádson became the Donbass Arena’s first goalscorer with an 18th minute penalty,and his fellow countryman Ilsinho followed with a second 17 minutes later. Vasiliy Kobin extended Shaktar’s lead in the 84th minute; and with 2 minutes remaining, the third Brazilian – Willian – made it 4-0.
GAMES DURING THE TOURNAMENT
Warsaw will host five games during the European Championships, including the opening game, a quarter-final and a semi-final (all times local).
France v England – 11th June 2012 (19:00)
Ukraine v France – 15th June 2012 (21:45)
England v Ukraine – 19th June 2012 (21:45)
Quarter-Final 3: Winner C v Runner-up D – 23rd June 2012 (21:45)
Semi-Final 1: Winner Match 25 v Winner Match 27 – 27th June 2012 (21:45)
GETTING TO THE STADIUM
The Donbass Arena is located in the central Voroshilovskiy district of Donetsk, close to the corner of Mira Avenue (просп. Миру) and Chelyuskintsev Street (вул. Челюскінців).
The ground is served by public transport routes 13, 14, 16, 46a, 46b, 73b and 77; whilst tram number 1, trolleybus number 2 and marshrutka numbers 100 and 46b link the stadium with the train station.
Donetsk’s 96,000 square metre Fan Park will be situated close to the old Shaktar Stadium, in Shcherbakov Park (парк Щербакова) in the east of the city. 5 huge screens will show all 31 games, whilst many other entertainment facilities will be on hand to welcome the thousands of football fans to the city for the duration of Euro 2012.
SHAKTAR DONETSK (Шахтар Донецьк)
Nickname: Himyky (Miners)
League Champions: 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 (all Ukrainian).
National Cup: 1961, 1962, 1980, 1983 (USSR); 1995, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2011 (Ukraine).
Super Cup: 1983 (USSR); 2005, 2008, 2010 (Ukraine)
UEFA Cup: 2009.
Coach: Mircea Lucescu
Captain: Darijo Srna
Originally formed by local coal-miners in 1936, as “Stakhanovets” (participant of the hard-working Stakhanovite Movement); the club is by far the most successful club in the Donbass region.
Although the club lifted their first major piece of silverware – the Soviet Cup - in 1961, and then went on to repeat the feat just a year later; Shaktar had to wait until the late seventies and early eighties to represent the Soviet Union in European competition.
Their 1983/84 Cup Winners’ Cup run to the quarter-finals would represent Shaktar’s final European appearance before the dissolution of the USSR.
As a part of the Ukraine, Shaktar have now become one of Europe’s most well-known clubs thanks to regular Champions League appearances, and the club’s finest hour – the 2009 UEFA Cup win.
The club’s biggest rivals are Dynamo Kyiv, with the two clubs exchanging places in the top two for the last 15 league seasons. The game between the two is known as the “Ukraine Derby”.
METALURH DONETSK (Металург Донецьк)
Ukrainian First League Champions: 1997.
Coach: Volodymyr Pyatenko
Captain: Vyacheslav Checher
Taking their roots from former amateur club Antratsyt Kirovske, the club was reorganised and renamed to Metalurh Donetsk in June 1996.
After making their Premier League debut in 1997/98, four successive top-four finishes at the turn of the century gave Metalurh a regular European berth. However hammerings by Werder Bremen, Parma and Lazio; and an away goals loss to PAOK mean that the Ukrainians have never progressed past the first round.
Another fourth-place finish in 2009 put Metalurh back into Europe the following season, however a Europa League Play-Off Round loss to Austria Vienna meant that the club were unable to reach the group stage.
The club’s home is the 5,000 capacity Metalurh Stadium, however they are currently building a new 17,500-seater ground outside of the city, in Makiivka.
Famous names who have played for the club include former Manchester United and Barcelona midfielder Jordi Cruyff, and current Manchester City man Yaya Toure.
Camping Park 2012
Distance to Stadium: 11.2km
Distance to Airport: 13.2km
Distance to Train Station: 16.0km
Distance to Fan Park: 7.9km
131v Artyoma Street
Distance to Stadium: 1.0km
Distance to Airport: 7.6km
Distance to Train Station: 5.5km
Distance to Fan Park: 2.3km
29 Shyorsa Street
Distance to Stadium: 1.6km
Distance to Airport: 7.6km
Distance to Train Station: 5.3km
Distance to Fan Park: 1.7km
Boutique Hotel ”Azania”
Distance to Stadium: 3.7km
Distance to Airport: 9.6km
Distance to Train Station: 6.9km
Distance to Fan Park: 0.8km
145 Ivana Tkachenko Street
Distance to Stadium: 5.3km
Distance to Airport: 11.6km
Distance to Train Station: 9.0km
Distance to Fan Park: 2.9km
20 Shevchenko Blvd.
Distance to Stadium: 1.3km
Distance to Airport: 8.5km
Distance to Train Station: 6.5km
Distance to Fan Park: 2.9km
101 Doubravnaya Street
Distance to Stadium: 2.4km
Distance to Airport: 7.1km
Distance to Train Station: 4.6km
Distance to Fan Park: 1.6km
80 Artyoma Street
Distance to Stadium: 1.9km
Distance to Airport: 8.5km
Distance to Train Station: 6.2km
Distance to Fan Park: 1.6km