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Image:Izmail city coa.gif
Historical Izmail coat of arms (introduced in 1826)

Izmail (Ukrainian: Ізмаїл, translit. Izmayil, Russian: Измаил, translit. Izmail, Romanian: Ismail, Turkish: İşmasıl or Hacidar; also referred to as Ismail) is a historic town near the Danube river in the Odessa Oblast (province) of south-western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of the Izmailsky Raion (district), the city itself is also designated as a separate raion within the oblast, and is located at 45°21′N 28°50′E.

Izmail is the largest Ukrainian port on the Danube Delta. As such, it is a center of the food processing industry and a popular regional tourist destination. It is also a base of the Ukrainian Navy and the Ukrainian Sea Guard units operating in Danube. The World Wildlife Fund's Isles of Izmail Regional Landscape Park is located nearby.

The current estimated population is around 85,000, with ethnic Russians forming about 43.7% of that total, 38% being Ukrainians, 10% being Bessarabian Bulgarians, and 4.3% being Moldovans.

[edit] History

The fortress of Izmail was built by Genoese merchants in the 12th century. It belonged for a short period of time to Wallachia (14th century) - as the territory north of the Danube was one of the possessions of the Basarabs (later the land being named after them, Bessarabia). The town was first mentioned with the name Şmil, derived from name of an Ottoman Empire Grand Vizier, the adding of initial i being a feature of Ottoman Turkish.

From the middle of the 14th century, Izmail was under the rule of Moldavia. In 1484, the Ottoman state conquered the territory, which became from that moment an Ottoman protectorate (under direct rule from 1538). Since the early 16th century it was the main Ottoman fortress in the Budjak region. In 1569 Sultan Selim II settled Izmail with his Nogai subjects, originally from the North Caucasus.

After Russian general Nicholas Repnin took the fortress of Izmail in 1770, it was heavily refortified, so as never to be captured again. The Sultan boasted that the fortress was impregnable, but during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792 the Russian military commander Alexander Suvorov successfully stormed it on December 22, 1790. Ottoman forces inside the fortress had the orders to stand their ground to the end, haughtily declining the Russian ultimatum. The defeat was seen as a catastrophe in the Ottoman Empire, while in Russia it was glorified in the country's first national anthem, Let the thunder of victory sound!.

At the end of the war, Izmail was returned to the Ottoman Empire, but Russian forces took it for the third time on September 14, 1809. After it was ceded to Russia with the rest of Bessarabia by the 1812 Treaty of Bucharest, the town was rebuilt thoroughly. The Intercession Cathedral (1822-36), the churches of Nativity (1823), St. Nicholas (1833) and several others date back to that time. Izmail's oldest building is the small Turkish mosque, erected either in the 15th or 16th centuries, converted into a church in 1810 and currently housing a museum dedicated to the 1790 storm of Izmail.

After Russia lost the Crimean War, the town was returned to Moldavia and soon after passed to the United Principalities. Russia reconquered it in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. Between 1918 and 1940, and Izmail was, with the rest of Bessarabia, part of the Kingdom of Romania.

In 1940, and again after World War II, it was occupied by the Soviet Red Army and included (August 1940) in the Ukrainian SSR; the region was occupied in 1940-1944 by the Romanian Army participating in Operation Barbarossa. During the Soviet period many Russians and Ukrainians migrated to the town, gradually changing its ethnic composition. The Izmail Oblast was formed in 1940 and the town remained its administrative centre until the oblast was merged to the Odessa Oblast in 1954. Since August 24, 1991, Izmail has been part of independent Ukraine.

[edit] Natives

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Image:Odessa-oblast-COA.PNG Subdivisions of Odessa Oblast, Ukraine Image:Flag of Ukraine.svg

Raions: Ananyivskyi | Artsyzkyi | Baltskyi | Berezivskyi | Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi | Biliayivskyi | Bolhradskyi | Frunzivskyi | Ivanivskyi | Izmailskyi | Kiliyskyi | Kodymskyi | Kominternivskyi | Kotovskyi | Krasnooknianskyi | Liubashivskyi | Mykolaivskyi | Ovidiopolskyi | Reniyskyi | Rozdilniaskyi | Saratskyi | Savranskyi | Shyriayivskyi | Tarutynskyi | Tatarbunarskyi | Velykomykhailivskyi

Cities: Ananiv | Artsyz | Balta | Berezivka | Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi | Biliaivka | Bolhrad | Illichivsk | Izmail | Kilia | Kodyma | Kotovsk | Odessa | Reni | Rozdilna | Tatarbunary | Teplodar | Vylkove | Yuzhne

Urban-type settlements: Frunzivka | Ivanivka | Kominternivske | Krasni Okny | Liubashivka | Mykolaivka | Ovidiopol | Sarata | Savran | Shyriaieve | Tarutyne | Velyka Mykhailivka | more...

Villages: Kotlovyna | more...


fr:Izmail mo:Измаил pl:Izmaił ro:Ismail (oraş) ru:Измаил tr:İsmail uk:Ізмаїл (місто)


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