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Donetsk is adjacent to another major city of Makiivka and along with other surrounding cities forms a major urban sprawl and conurbation in the region.
Donetsk has been a major economic, industrial and scientific centre of Ukraine with a high concentration of companies and a skilled workforce.
In July 1933, the city became the administrative center of the Donetsk Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR.
state that the city was briefly called Trotsk—after Leon Trotsky—for a few months in 1923.
Since April 2014, the city has been controlled by pro-Russian separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
Administratively, it has been the centre of Donetsk Oblast, while historically, it is the unofficial capital and largest city of the larger economic and cultural Donets Basin (Donbass) region.
Ukraine has had a series of mining accidents since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and one reason being given is the linking of miners' pay to production, which serves as an incentive to ignore safety procedures that would slow production.
The German invasion during World War II almost completely destroyed the city, which was mostly rebuilt on a large scale at the war's end.The conditions were so poor that many died from disease and malnutrition.