What you need to know about Dnipropetrovsk
Map of Dnipropetrovsk- Ukraine
Dnipropetrovsk or Dnepropetrovsk, is Ukraine’s fourth largest city, with about one million inhabitants. It is 391 kilometres (243 mi) southeast of the capital Kiev on the Dnieper River, in the south-central part of Ukraine. Dnipropetrovsk is the administrative centre of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Administratively, it is incorporated as a city of oblast significance, the centre of Dnipropetrovsk municipality and extraterritorial administrative centre of Dnipropetrovsk Raion. Population: 997,754 (2013 est.).
Known as Ekaterinoslav until 1925, the city was formally inaugurated by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great in 1787 as the administrative centre of the newly acquired vast territories of imperial New Russia, including those ceded to Russia by the Ottoman Empire under the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774). The city was originally envisioned as the Russian Empire’s third capital city, after Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A vital industrial centre of Soviet Ukraine, Dnipropetrovsk was one of the key centres of the nuclear, arms, and space industries of the Soviet Union. In particular, it is home to the Yuzhmash, a major space and ballistic missile design bureau and manufacturer. Because of its military industry, Dnipropetrovsk was a closed city until the 1990s. On 19 May 2016 the official name of the city was changed to Dnipro.
Dnipropetrovsk is a powerhouse of Ukraine’s business and politics as the native city for many of the country’s most important figures. Ukraine’s politics are still defined by the legacies of Leonid Kuchma, Pavlo Lazarenko and Yuliya Tymoshenko whose intermingled careers started in Dnipropetrovsk.
Dnipropetrovsk has a population of 1,032,822 making it the biggest city in Dnipropetrovsk.
Language: Ukrainian Russian
The city is built mainly upon both banks of the Dnieper, at its confluence with the Samara River. In the loop of a major meander, the Dnieper changes its course from the north west to continue southerly and later south-westerly through Ukraine, ultimately passing Kherson, where it finally flows into the Black Sea.
Nowadays both the north and south banks play home to a range of industrial enterprises and manufacturing plants. The airport is located about 15 km (9.32 mi) south-east of the city.
The centre of the city is constructed on the right bank which is part of the Dnieper Upland, while the left bank is part of the Dnieper Lowland. The old town is situated atop a hill that is formed as a result of the river’s change of course to the south. The change of river’s direction is caused by its proximity to the Azov Upland located southeast of the city.
One of the city’s streets, Akademik Yavornitskyi Prospekt, links the two major architectural ensembles of the city and constitutes an important thoroughfare through the centre, which along with various suburban radial road systems, provides some of the area’s most vital transport links for both suburban and inter-urban travel.
Under the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system, Dnipropetrovsk, like most of South-Eastern Ukraine, is within the steppe climate (Köppen: BSk) due to its hight evapotranspiration. During the summer, Dnipropetrovsk is very warm (average day temperature in July is 24 to 28 °C (75 to 82 °F), even hot sometimes 32 to 36 °C (90 to 97 °F). Temperatures as high as 36 °C (97 °F) have been recorded in May. Winter is not so cold (average day temperature in January is −4 to 0 °C (25 to 32 °F), but when there is no snow and the wind blows hard, it feels extremely cold. A mix of snow and rain happens usually in December.
The best time for visiting the city is in late spring — late April and May, and early in autumn: September, October, when the city’s trees turn yellow. Other times are mainly dry with a few showers.
“However, the city is characterized with significant pollution of air with industrial emissions.” The “severely polluted air and water” and allegedly “vast areas of decimated landscape” of Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk are considered by some to be an environmental crisis. Though exactly where in Dnipropetrovsk these areas might be found is not stated.
The main forms of public transport used in Dnipropetrovsk are trams, buses, electric trolley buses and marshrutkas—private minibuses. In addition to this there are a large number of taxi firms operating in the city, and many residents have private cars.
The city’s municipal roads also suffer from the same funding problems as the trams, with many of them in a very poor technical state. It is not uncommon to find very large potholes and crumbling surfaces on many of Dnipropetrovsk’s smaller roads. Major roads and highways are of better quality. In recent years the situation has, however, been improving, with a number of new used trams bought from the German cities of Dresden and Magdeburg, and a number of roads, including Schmidt Street and Moskovsky Street being reconstructed with modern road-building techniques.
Dnipropetrovsk also has a metro system, opened in 1995, which consists of one line and 6 stations. Work on other stations was abandoned when the city ran out of money for this project; two of these abandoned building works are in the central portion of Akademik Yavornitskyi Prospekt. Completion of the next two stations is necessary to make the municipal subway system profitable. At the present time the completion date is unknown. As of 2011 the central portion of the city’s metro line has seen renewed construction efforts and the metro has been transferred to municipal ownership in the hope that this will help it secure a loan from the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction. Current plans envision the three station section from Teatralna, through Tsentralna, to Muzeina completed by 2015.
Dnipropetrovsk has some highways crossing through the city. The most popular routes are from Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Zaporizhia. Transit through the city is also available. As of 2011 the city is also seeing construction of a southern urban bypass, which will allow automobile traffic to proceed around the city centre. This is expected to both improve air quality and reduce transport issues from heavy freight lorries that pass through the city centre.
The largest bus station in eastern Ukraine is located in Dnipropetrovsk, from where bus routes are available to all over the country, including some international routes to Russia, Poland, Germany, Moldova and Turkey. It is located near the city’s central railway station.
In the summertime, there are some routes available by hydrofoils on the Dnieper River, whilst various tourist ships on their way down the river, (Kiev–Kherson–Odessa) tend to make a stop in the city. Dnipropetrovsk’s river port is located close to the area surrounding the central railway station, on the banks of the river. It is a good example of constructivist architecture from the late period of the Soviet Union.
The city is a large railway junction, with many daily trains running to and from Eastern Europe and on domestic routes within Ukraine.
There are two railway terminals, Dnipropetrovsk Glavny (main station) and “Dnipropetrovsk Yuzhnyi” (south station).
Two express passenger services run each day between Kiev and Dnipropetrovsk under the name ‘Capital Express’. Other daytime services include suburban trains to towns and villages in the surrounding Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Most long-distance trains tend to run at night to reduce the amount of daytime hours spent travelling by each passenger.
Domestic connections exist between Dnipropetrovsk and Kiev, Lviv, Simferopol, Odessa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Truskavets, Donetsk, Kharkiv and many other smaller Ukrainian cities, whilst international destinations include, amongst others, Minsk in Belarus, Moscow’s Kursky Station and Saint Petersburg’s Vitebsky Station in Russia, Baku – the capital of Azerbaijan, and the Bulgarian seaside resort of Varna.
The city is served by an Dnipropetrovsk International Airport (IATA: DNK) and is connected to European and Middle Eastern cities with daily flights. It is located 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) southeast from the city center.