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The Kalmius River links the city with the Sea of Azov, which is 95 km (59 mi) to the south, and a popular recreational area for those living in Donetsk. The city stretches 28 km (17 mi) from north to south and 55 km (34 mi) from east to west.
There are 2 nearby reservoirs: Nyzhnekalmius (60 ha), and the "Donetsk Sea" (206 ha).
In 1924, under the Soviet rule, the city's name was changed to Stalin.
In that year, the city's population totaled 63,708, and in the next year, 80,085. The city did not have a drinking water system until 1931, when a 55.3 km (34.4 mi) system was laid underground.
In 1924, it was renamed Stalino, and in 1932 the city became the centre of the Donetsk region.
Renamed Donetsk in 1961, the city today remains the centre for coal mining and steel industry.
Ukraine does not recognize the referendum, while the EU and US said the polls were illegal.
During Soviet times, the city's steel industry was expanded.It was occupied by German forces as part of the Reichskommissariat Ukraine between 16 October 1941 and 5 September 1943.The Italians actually took Stalino In 1945, young men and women aged 17 to 35, from the Danube Swabian (Schwowe) communities of Yugoslavia, Hungary and Romania (the Batschka and Banat), were forcibly sent to Russia as Allied "war reparations", being put to work as slave labour to rebuild Stalino and to work in its mines.Since April 2014, Donetsk and its surrounding areas have been one of the major sites of fighting in the ongoing Donbass War, as pro-Russian separatist forces have battled against Ukrainian military forces for control of the city and surrounding areas.Through the majority of the course of this war, the city of Donetsk has been administered by the pro-Russian separatist forces, with outlying territories of the Donetsk region being divided between the two sides.