The Dnieper is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk and flowing through Russia and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the fourth-longest river in Europe; the total length is 2,200 km with a drainage basin of 504,000 square kilometres. The river is noted for hydroelectric stations; the Dnieper is an important navigable waterway for the economy of Ukraine and is connected via the Dnieper–Bug Canal to other waterways in Europe. In antiquity, the river was part of the Amber Road; the name Dnieper may be derived either from Sarmatian Dānu apara "the river on the far side" or from Scythian Dānu apr "deep river." By way of contrast, the name Dniester either derives from "the close river" or from a combination of Scythian Dānu and Ister, the Thracian name for the Dniester. In the three countries through which it flows it has the same name, albeit pronounced differently: Russian: Днепр older Russian: Днѣпръ; the late Greek and Roman authors called it Δάναπρις - Danapris and Danaper Old East Slavic name used at the time of Kievan Rus' was Slavuta or Slavutych The Huns called it Var, Bulgars - Buri-Chai.
The name in Crimean Tatar: Özü, hence Ochakiv The river is mentioned both by the Ancient Greek historian Herodotus in the 5th century BC as Borysthenes. The total length of the river is variously given as 2,145 kilometres or 2,201 km, of which 485 km are within Russia, 700 km are within Belarus, 1,095 km are within Ukraine, its basin covers 504,000 square kilometres, of which 289,000 km2 are within Ukraine, 118,360 km2 are within Belarus. The source of the Dnieper is the sedge bogs of the Valdai Hills in central Russia, at an elevation of 220 m. For 115 km of its length, it serves as the border between Ukraine, its estuary, or liman, used to be defended by the strong fortress of Ochakiv. On the Dnieper to the south of Komarin urban-type settlement, Braghin District, Gomel Region the southern extreme point of Belarus is situated; the Dnieper has many tributaries with 89 being rivers of 100+ km. The main ones are, from its source to its mouth: Many small direct tributaries exist, such as, in the Kiev area, the Syrets in the north of the city, the significant Lybid passing west of the centre, the Borshahivka to the south.
The water resources of the Dnieper basin compose around 80% out of all Ukraine. Dnieper Rapids were part of trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks, first mentioned in the Kiev Chronicle; the route was established in the late eighth and early ninth centuries and gained significant importance from the tenth until the first third of the eleventh century. On the Dnieper the Varangians had to portage their ships round seven rapids, where they had to be on guard for Pecheneg nomads. Along this middle flow of the Dnieper, there were nine major rapids, obstructing the whole width of the river, about 30–40 smaller rapids, obstructing only part of the river, about 60 islands and islets. After Dnieper Hydroelectric Station was built in 1932, they were inundated by Dnieper Reservoir. There are a number of canals connected to the Dnieper: The Dnieper–Donbas Canal; the river is part of the Quagga mussel's native range. The mussel has been accidentally introduced around the world where it has become an invasive species.
From the mouth of the Prypiat River to the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Station, there are six sets of dams and hydroelectric stations, which produce 10% of Ukraine's electricity. The first constructed was the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station near Zaporizhia, built in 1927–1932 with an output of 558 MW, it was destroyed during World War II, but was rebuilt in 1948 with an output of 750 MW. The Dnieper River in different regions Major cities, over 100,000 in population, are in bold script. Cities and towns located on the Dnieper are listed in order from the river's source to its mouth: Arheimar, a capital of the Goths, was located on the Dnieper, according to the Hervarar saga. 2,000 km of the river is navigational. The Dnieper is important for the transport and economy of Ukraine: its reservoirs have large ship locks, allowing vessels of up to 270 by 18 metres to access as far as the port of Kiev and thus create an important transport corridor; the river is used by passenger vessels as well. Inland cruises on the rivers Danube and Dnieper have been a growing market in recent decades.
Upstream from Kiev, the Dnieper receives the water of the Pripyat River. This navigable river connects to the link with the Bug River. A connection with the Western European waterways was possible, but a weir without a
Operation Winter Storm
Operation Winter Storm was a German offensive in World War II in which the German 4th Panzer Army unsuccessfully attempted to break the Soviet encirclement of the German 6th Army during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November 1942, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, encircling some 300,000 Axis personnel in and around the city of Stalingrad. German forces within the Stalingrad pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. Meanwhile, the Red Army continued to allocate as many resources as possible to the eventual launch of the planned Operation Saturn, which aimed to isolate Army Group A from the rest of the German Army. To remedy the situation, the Luftwaffe attempted to supply German forces in Stalingrad through an air bridge; when the Luftwaffe proved incapable of carrying out its mission and it became obvious that a successful breakout could occur only if launched as early as possible, Manstein decided on a relief effort.
Manstein was promised four panzer divisions. Due to German reluctance to weaken certain sectors by redeploying German units, the task of opening a corridor to the German 6th Army fell to the 4th Panzer Army; the German force was pitted against several Soviet armies tasked with the destruction of the encircled German forces and their offensive around the lower Chir River. The German offensive made large gains on the first day; the spearhead forces were able to defeat counterattacks by Soviet troops. By 13 December, Soviet resistance slowed the German advance considerably. Although German forces took the area surrounding Verkhne-Kumskiy, the Red Army launched Operation Little Saturn on 16 December. Operation Little Saturn crushed the Italian 8th Army on Army Group Don's left flank, threatening the survival of Manstein's entire group of forces; as resistance and casualties increased, Manstein appealed to Hitler and to the commander of the German 6th Army, General Friedrich Paulus, to allow the 6th Army to break out of Stalingrad.
The 4th Panzer Army continued its attempt to open a corridor to the 6th Army on 18–19 December, but was unable to do so without the aid of forces inside the Stalingrad pocket. Manstein called off the assault on 23 December and by Christmas Eve the 4th Panzer Army began to withdraw to its starting position. Due to the failure of the 6th Army to break out from the Soviet encirclement, the Red Army was able to continue the strangulation of German forces in Stalingrad. On 23 November 1942, the Red Army closed its encirclement of Axis forces in Stalingrad. Nearly 300,000 German and Romanian soldiers, as well as Russian volunteers for the Wehrmacht, were trapped in and around the city of Stalingrad by 1.1 million Soviet personnel. Amidst the impending disaster, German chancellor Adolf Hitler appointed Field Marshal Erich von Manstein as commander of the newly created Army Group Don. Composed of the German 4th Panzer and 6th Armies, as well as the Third and Fourth Romanian Armies, Manstein's new army group was situated between German Army Groups A and B.
Instead of attempting an immediate breakout, German high command decided that the trapped forces would remain in Stalingrad in a bid to hold out. The encircled German forces were to be resupplied by air, requiring 680 t of supplies per day. However, the assembled fleet of 500 transport aircraft were insufficient for the task. Many of the aircraft were hardly serviceable in the rough Soviet winter; the German 6th Army, for example, was getting less than 20% of its daily needs. Furthermore, the Germans were still threatened by Soviet forces which still held portions of the Volga River's west bank in Stalingrad. Given the unexpected size of German forces closed off in Stalingrad, on 23 November Stavka decided to strengthen the outer encirclement preparing to destroy Axis forces in and around the city. On 24 November, several Soviet formations began to entrench themselves to defend against possible German incursions originating from the West; the Soviets reinforced the encircling forces in order to prevent a successful breakout operation by the German 6th Army and other Axis units.
However, this tied down over ½ of the Red Army's strength in the area. Planning for Operation Saturn began on 25 November, aiming for the destruction of the Italian 8th Army and the severing of communications between German forces west of the Don River and those operating in the Caucasus. Meanwhile, planning began for Operation Koltso, which aimed at reducing German forces in the Stalingrad pocket; as Operation Uranus concluded, German forces inside the encirclement were too weak to attempt a breakout on their own. Half of their remaining armor, for example, had been lost during the defensive fighting, there was a severe lack of fuel and ammunition for the surviving vehicles, given that the Luftwaffe was not able to provide adequate aerial resupply. Manstein proposed a counterstrike to break the Soviet encirclement of Stalingrad, codenamed Operation Winter Storm. Manstein believed that—due to the inability of the Luftwaffe to supply the Stalingrad pocket—it was becoming more important to relieve them "at the earliest possible date".
On 28 November, Manstein sent Hitler a detailed report on Army Group Don's situation, including the strength of the German 6th Army and an assessment on the available ammunition for German artillery inside the city. The dire strategic situation made Manstein doubtful on whether or not the relief operation could afford to wait to receive all units earmarked for the offensive. Stavka
The Lusatian Neisse, or Western Neisse, is a 252-kilometre long river in Central Europe. Its drainage basin area is 4,403 km2, it rises in the Jizera Mountains near Nová Ves nad Nisou, Czech Republic, reaching the tripoint with Poland and Germany at Zittau after 54 kilometres, forming the Polish-German border for a length of 197 kilometres. The Lusatian Neisse is a left-bank tributary of the river Oder, into which it flows between Neißemünde-Ratzdorf and Kosarzyn north of the towns of Guben and Gubin. According to the 1945 Potsdam Agreement in the aftermath of World War II, the river became part of the Polish western border with Germany. Being the longest and most notable of the three rivers named Neisse or Nysa, it is referred to as the Neisse. Since the river runs through the historic region of Lusatia, the adjective "Lusatian" or "Western" before the name of the river Neisse is used whenever differentiating this border river from the Eastern Neisse and the smaller Raging Neisse, both in Poland.
At Bad Muskau the Neisse flows through a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cities and towns on the river from source to mouth include: Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic Vratislavice, Czech Republic Liberec, Czech Republic Chrastava, Czech Republic Hrádek nad Nisou, Czech Republic Zittau, Germany Bogatynia, Poland Görlitz, Germany.
203rd Rifle Division
The 203rd Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Soviet Union's Red Army. The division was formed in the Kuban near Labinsk and Mikhailovka from February to 20 May 1942. During the second half of May the division left the Kuban. At the end of the month at Frolovo, the division received missing vehicles, it continued training at a faster pace. The division moved to the front and until August built defensive positions on the Don northwest of Vyoshenskaya. On 18 August, the division received orders to cross the Don near Elanskaya village. Three days were spent on preparations for the assault; the attack began on the night of 22 August. The crossing was so fast that opposing Italian troops were unable to put up much resistance. On 26 August, the 610th and 619th Rifle Regiments went on the attack from the bridgehead and advanced 10 kilometers, capturing the Bahmutkin and Shirtikov farms. Three hours the enemy counterattacked and the regiments retreated in disarray; the division and regimental commanders were relieved of command.
On 31 August, the 592nd Rifle Regiment transferred to the division from the 197th Rifle Division. Two battalions of the regiment took up defensive positions on the right flank; the 197th was on the 14th Guards Rifle Division on its left. On 6 October, the division was transferred to the 21st Army. On 18 October, advanced units of the division carried out a reconnaissance in force of Hill 226.7. In early November, the division was subordinated to the 1st Guards Army, with which it would fight in Operation Uranus; the 592nd, 610th and 619th Rifle Regiments received the mission to reach the Don. The regiments would advance to the Chir River and hold positions there, protecting the Southwestern Front's right flank against counterattacks from the west. On 19 November, Operation Uranus began. By 0700 on the morning of 22 November, the division overcame fierce resistance and captured the enemy second line positions. Pursuing retreating forces by noon, the division advanced 10-12 kilometers to the southwest.
By the morning of 23 November, the 592nd and 610th Rifle Regiments had resumed the attack and advanced another 2-3 kilometers. However, heavy enemy fire halted the advance. At dawn on 24 November, the German troops began a counterattack. During 25–26 November, the 592nd and 619th Rifle Regiments were forced by the counterattacks to retreat 500 to 800 meters. On 13 December, the division moved to positions east of Krasnokutskaya and was relieved by the 159th Rifle Division; the division fought in Operation Little Saturn with the 3rd Guards Army. The 1243rd Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment and two battalions were ordered to capture Krasnokutskaya, Novaya Kultura and Golensky. By the first day of the attack the division was to advance to the Sovkhoz Krasnaya Talova. On the right the 159th Rifle Division attacked and on the left the 50th Guards Rifle Division attacked; the Chir River, which needed to be crossed, was 20–30 meters at this point, but was covered with thin ice. The banks were steep. On the other bank of the river, there were enemy firing points.
On 14 December, the division moved to its starting positions. Sappers dug paths to the river, prepared ladders and fascines. On the morning of 16 December, the division began the attack after a 75-minute artillery barrage; the 610th Rifle Regiments captured a kurgan one and a half kilometers from the farm and captured Ilyavinov, as well as ten anti-tank guns with ammunition. Until 20 December, the division attacked the enemy multiple times a day, despite severe ammunition shortages. However, they were unable to capture Krasnokutskaya; the 619th Rifle Regiment was transferred from the division's right to its left to reinforce that flank. On 23 December, the 592nd Rifle Regiment captured Krasnokutskaya and the next the division began the pursuit. On 25 December, the division was ordered to reach the area of the village and assist the Tatsinskaya Raid; the division made a 120 kilometer march south and by the end of 27 December concentrated at the village of Skosyrskaya. On 29 December, the division, after repulsing several German counterattacks, went on the offensive.
The neighboring 266th Rifle Division's 1006th Rifle Regiment was attacked by German tanks approaching Skosyrskaya and withdrew into the 203rd's positions. Zdanovich ordered the regiment to defend the western edge of Grinyova. By the evening, the 1006th's commander found the headquarters of the 266th, the regiment returned to subordination of the 266th; the 203rd began a withdrawal. The 592nd crossed to the right bank quickly. Advance units of the 610th and 619th moved positions. On 31 December, the division was relieved by the 1st Mechanized Corps and moved to the area of the Petrovsky farm for rest and resupply. Two hours before New Year 1943, the division was ordered to retake their old positions on the river north of Bystraya. At 0700, the division attacked after Katyusha salvo; the division captured Nizhny Nikolayev in the next half-hour. The German troops retreated to their defenses at Skosyrskoy; until 8 January, the division fought to hold Skosyrskaya. The division captured Zahara Oblivsakya and Kryukov.
On 16 January and the Mikhailovskaya farm were captured. The division was supported by the 25th Tank Corps. On 17 January, the division captured Pogorelov on the next day; the division moved to the Varguny areas soon after. On 12 August 1944, the division reached the Prut in the second echelon of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, it fought at Stalingrad and Budapest. With 53rd Army of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in May 1945; the division was r
Operation Little Saturn
Operation Saturn, revised as Operation Little Saturn, was a Red Army operation on the Eastern Front of World War II that led to battles in the North Caucasus and Donets Basin regions of the Soviet Union from December 1942 to February 1943. The success of Operation Uranus, launched on 19 November 1942, had trapped 250,000–300,000 troops of General Friedrich Paulus' German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a winter campaign of continuous and ambitious offensive operations, codenamed "Saturn". Joseph Stalin reduced his ambitious plans to a small campaign codenamed "Operation Little Saturn"; the offensive succeeded in smashing Germany's Italian and Hungarian allies, applied pressure on the over stretched German forces in Eastern Ukraine and prevented further German advances to the relief of the entrapped forces at Stalingrad. Despite these victories, the Soviets themselves became over extended, setting up the stages for the German offensives of the Third Battle of Kharkov and the Battle of Kursk.
On 17 May 1942, German Army Groups A and B launched a counteroffensive against advancing Soviet armies around the city of Kharkov, resulting in the Second Battle of Kharkov. By 6 July, General Hermann Hoth's Fourth Panzer Army had taken the city of Voronezh, threatening to collapse the Red Army's resistance. By early August, General Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist's First Panzer Army had reached the oil center of Maykop, 500 kilometres south of the city of Rostov, taken by the Fourth Panzer Army on 23 July; the rapid German advance threatened to cut the Soviet Union off from its southern territories, while threatening to cut the lend-lease supply lines from Persia. However, the offensive began to peter out, as the offensive's supply train struggled to keep up with the advance and spearhead units began to run low on fuel and manpower. Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet strategic operation in World War II which led to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army and Fourth Romanian armies, portions of the German Fourth Panzer Army.
The operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced as early as September 1942, was developed with plans to envelop and destroy German Army Group Center and German forces in the Caucasus; the Red Army took advantage of the fact that German forces in the southern Soviet Union were overstretched around Stalingrad, using weaker Romanian armies to guard their flanks. These Axis armies were deployed in open positions on the steppe and lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor. Operation Winter Storm, undertaken between 12–23 December 1942, was the German Fourth Panzer Army's attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, which resulted in the encirclement of Axis personnel in and around the city of Stalingrad. German forces within the Stalingrad Pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein.
As the Red Army continued to build strength, in an effort to allocate as many resources as possible to the eventual launch of the planned Operation Saturn, which aimed to isolate Army Group A from the rest of the German Army, the Luftwaffe had begun an attempt to supply German forces in Stalingrad through an air bridge. However, as the Luftwaffe proved incapable of carrying out its mission and it became more obvious that a successful breakout could only occur if it was launched as early as possible, Manstein decided to plan and launch a dedicated relief effort. After the defeat of the Romanian Army around Stalingrad and the successful encirclement of the German Sixth Army, Stalin started a counter-offensive nicknamed "Operation Little Saturn" in order to enlarge the area controlled by the Soviet Army in eastern Ukraine until Kharkov and Rostov. Zhukov states the South-Western Front was assigned a mission in which the 1st and 3rd Guard armies and the 5th Tank Army "were to strike out in the general direction of Morozovsk and destroy the enemy grouping in that sector."
They would be supported by the 6th Army of the Voronezh Front. The first stage — an attempt to cut off the German Army Group A in the Caucasus — had to be revised when General Erich von Manstein launched Operation Winter Storm on 12 December in an attempt to relieve the trapped armies at Stalingrad. While General Rodion Malinovsky's Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad, the modified plan Operation Little Saturn was launched on 16 December; this operation consisted of a pincer movement. General Fyodor Isidorovich Kuznetsov's 1st Guards Army and General Dmitri Danilovich Lelyushenko's 3rd Guards Army attacked from the north, encircling 130,000 soldiers of the Italian 8th Army on the Don and advancing to Millerovo; the Italians resisted the Soviet attack for nearly two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians' aid: of the 130,000 encircled troops, only 45,000 survived after bloody fighting to join the Panzers at Chertkovo on 17 January.
To the south the advance of General Gerasimenko's 28th Army threatened to encircle the 1st Panzer Army and General Trufanov's 51st Army attacked the relief column directly. In a dar
3rd Ukrainian Front
3rd Ukrainian Front was a Front of the Red Army during World War II. It was founded on 20 October 1943, on the basis of a Stavka order of October 16, 1943, by renaming the Southwestern Front, it included 1st Guards Army, 8th Guards Army, 6th, 12th, 46th Armies and 17th Air Army. It included 5th Shock, 4th and 9th Guards Army, 26th, 27th, 28th, 37th, 57th Army, 6th Guards Tank Army, the Bulgarian First and Fourth Armies; the Danube Flotilla was assigned to the Front's operational control. This included the 83rd Naval Infantry Brigade. In the first half of October 1943, Southwestern Front commanded by Army General Rodion Malinovsky was tasked with attacking the German Panther-Wotan line, securing the bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Dnieper on the Izyum - Dnipropetrovsk axis during the Battle of the Lower Dnieper, but the first attempt to establish bridgeheads failed. Three infantry armies: 8th Guards, 3rd Guards and the 12th Army, two corps, 1st Guards Mechanized and 23rd Tank with 17th Air Army providing air support were assembled for the new assault.
On 10 October 1943 Chuikov's 8th Guards launched the attack, with the tank corps being inserted on the 13 October. Germans retreated from Zaporizhia. On 23 October Malinovsky, who wanted to take Dnipropetrovsk, trap the First Panzer Army in the eastern reaches of the Dnieper bend, inserted the newly arrived 46th Army into combat. Together with 8th Guards it was trying to trap German forces against the western bank of Dnieper between Dnipropetrovsk and Dniprodzerzhynsk, the site of the huge Dnieper Hydroelectric Station; the 46th Army units tried to get to the station in time to prevent the destruction of the dam by retreating German troops. On 25 October Dnipropetrovsk was taken, but the installations and the Dam were destroyed. At the same time the Koniev's 2nd Ukrainian Front was attacking towards the Kryvyi Rih from the north with the 7th Guards Army, but the 1st Panzer Army was saved for the moment as Koniev's assault on Kryvyi Rih stalled at Ingulets river north of Kherson. However, Vatutin commanding the 1st Ukrainian Front located north of Poltava sent the 5th Guards Tank Army which penetrated north of Kryvyi Rih, was only halted by the stubborn German defence and length of its own logistic tail.
On conclusion, both operations allowed the two Fronts to create a single Krementchug-Dnipropetrovsk bridgehead expanded to Zaporizhia due to the breaching of the Wotan Line by the Southern Front. Units of the 6th Army seized bridgeheads south of Zaporizhia, by the end of December, along with 2nd Ukrainian Front held on the Dnieper major strategic stronghold. After the liberation of right-bank Ukraine by troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, in collaboration with 4th Ukrainian Front by making Nikopol-Krivoy Rog Operation 1944, the took to the district Ingulets, where in March–April launched an offensive at the Nikolayev-Odessa area. After carrying out the Bereznegovato-Snigirevskaya operation, the front readied itself for an attack on Odessa. Before the Odessa Offensive 3rd Ukrainian received substantial reinforcements, it now fielded seven Armies: 5th Shock Army, 6th Army, 8th Guards Army, 28th Army, 37th Army, 46th Army and 57th Army. Malinowsky formed a cavalry-mechanized group consisting of 4th Guards Cavalry Corps and 4th Mechanized Corps under Lt. Gen. Pliev.
The target was large Black Sea port Odessa. The attack opened on 6 March 1944 when Soviet troops forced the Ingulets, the Visun and the Ingul rivers, they assisted the Black Sea Fleet completing the liberation of southern Ukraine, liberated a large part of the Moldavian SSR and moved to Dniester and, seizing bridgeheads on its right bank, including Kitskansky bridgehead. In August 1944 the 3rd Ukrainian Front engaged in the Iassy-Kishinev Offensive, which resulted in the release of all the Moldavian SSR, Romania declaring war on Germany. On 8 September Soviet troops entered the territory of Bulgaria and by the end of the month occupied the country. From 28 September - 20 October 1944 3rd Ukrainian Front in collaboration with the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia with the participation of troops of the Fatherland Front in Bulgaria carried out the Belgrade Offensive, which resulted in the liberation of the capital of Yugoslavia and most of Serbia. In October 1944 - February 1945, the 3rd Ukrainian Front had forces involved in the Siege of Budapest, including 46th Army.
Its troops seized a bridgehead on its right bank. In January 1945, they repelled the enemy counter-attacks, trying to relieve the forces surrounded in Budapest, in March, during the German Operation Frühlingserwachen, a counter-offensive broke the German troops in the area of Lake Balaton; the successful completion of this battle made possible the beginning of the Vienna Offensive on 16 March, in conjunction with the left wing 2nd Ukrainian Front. Thereafter the front's forces completed the liberation of Hungary, expelled the enemy from the eastern part of Austria and took its capital, Vienna; the Front included 57th Army from October to December 1944. On 15 June 1945, the on the basis of a Stavka directive on May 29, 1945, the front was disbanded, reorganised as the Southern Group of Forces. 26th Army was grouped with 37th Army into the SGF. Front Commander: General of Army Rodion Malinovsky 1st Guards Army 6th Guards Rifle Corps 20th Guards Rifle Division 152nd Rifle Division 34th Rifle Corps 6th Rifle Division 24th Rifle Division 228th Rifle Division 195th Rifle Division3rd Guards Army: 34th Guards Rifle Corps 59th Guards Rifle Division 61st Guards Rifle Divis
Luhansk or Lugansk known as Voroshilovgrad is the capital and administrative center of Luhansk People's Republic, an unrecognized nation, established in 2014. Ukraine and the vast majority of the international community consider Luhansk to be a part of the Ukrainian territory; until the establishment of LPR, Luhansk was the administrative center of the Luhansk Oblast. The city traces its history to 1795 when the British industrialist Charles Gascoigne founded a metal factory near the Zaporizhian Cossacks settlement Kamianyi Brid; the settlement around the factory was known as Luganskiy Zavod. In 1882 the factory settlement Luganskiy Zavod was merged with the town of Kamianyi Brid into the city of Luhansk. Located in the Donets Basin, Luhansk developed into an important industrial center of Eastern Europe as a home to the major locomotive-building company Luhanskteplovoz; the city was occupied by Nazi Germany between 14 July 1942 and 14 February 1943. On 5 November 1935, the city was renamed Voroshilovgrad in honour of Soviet military commander and politician Kliment Voroshilov.
On 5 March 1958, with the call of Khrushchev not to give names of living people to cities, the old name was reinstated. On 5 January 1970, after the death of Voroshilov on 2 December 1969, the name changed again to Voroshilovgrad. On 4 May 1990, a decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR gave the city back its original name. In 1994 a referendum took place in the Donetsk Oblast and the Luhansk Oblast, with around 90% supporting the Russian language gaining status of an official language alongside Ukrainian, for the Russian language to be an official language on a regional level. During the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine, separatists seized governmental buildings in the region, proclaiming the Luhansk People's Republic. An unconstitutional independence referendum was held on 11 May 2014; the legitimacy of the referendums was not recognized by most governments. However, the Luhansk People's Republic was recognized by South Ossetia. Ukraine does not recognize the referendum, while the US said the polls were illegal.
On 25 June 2014, Luhansk was pronounced as the capital of the Luhansk People's Republic by the government of the separatist republic. In August 2014, Ukrainian government forces surrounded rebel-held Luhansk. Heavy shelling caused civilian casualties in the city. On 17 August, Ukrainian soldiers entered the rebel-controlled Luhansk and for a time had control over a police station. After the Ilovaisk counteroffensive, LPR forces regained other Luhansk suburbs. Ukrainian forces withdrew from the Luhansk International Airport on 1 September after heavy fighting. Luhansk became the capital and the administrative center of the rebel state of Luhansk People's Republic; the administration of the Luhansk Oblast was moved to Sievierodonetsk by the government of Ukraine. Some of the more prestigious universities in Ukraine have their home in Luhansk. Luhansk is the location of the main campus of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Luhansk, East Ukrainian Volodymyr Dahl National University and of Luhansk State Medical University.
In the Ukrainian Census of 2001, 49.6% of the inhabitants declared themselves as ethnically Ukrainians and 47% declared themselves as ethnically Russian. The most widespread native language was Russian, at 85.3% of the population. Ukrainian was the native language for 13.7% of the population, there was smaller numbers of speakers of Armenian and Belarusian. Luhansk is home to Zorya Luhansk which now plays in the Ukrainian Premier League annual football championship and plays at the Avanhard Stadium; the club won the 1972 Soviet Top League. The other football team was Dynamo Luhansk. On 7 September 2006, archaeologists in Ukraine announced that an ancient structure had been discovered near Luhansk, which the press reported as a pyramid antedating those in Egypt by at least 300 years; the stone foundations of the structure were said to resemble Aztec and Mayan pyramids in Mesoamerica. It was concluded that the site in question was not a pyramid but was still of great interest. During 2014 and 2015, Luhansk has been the scene of intense fighting and most of these buildings are damaged to some extent.
Some may be destroyed. Nikolay Shmatko, sculptor and painter. Sergey Bubka and Ukrainian pole vaulter, former World Record holder, Olympic Champion Vasiliy Bubka and Ukrainian pole vaulter Vladimir Dal, Russian lexicographer Fedor Emelianenko, a mixed martial arts champion Andriy Serdinov, Ukrainian swimmer Kliment Voroshilov, Soviet military commander Mikhail Matusovsky, Soviet poet, songwriter Oleksandr Zavarov and Ukrainian football player and coach Valeriy Brumel, Soviet olympic champion Sergei Semak, Russian football player Viktor Onopko, Russian football player Yelyzaveta Bryzhina, Bronze Medal 4 × 100 m Relay London 2012 T-DJ Milana, Ukrainian DJ, composer and model Luhansk features hot summer humid continental climate, it has both the highest and lowest temperature recorded in Ukraine. Climate of the city is similar to. Luhansk is twinned with: Cardiff, United Kingdom Lublin, Po