Azovstal steel plant

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The plant in more productive time, on October 6, 2014.
Plant workers marching out to surrender to Russian occupiers, on May 18, 2022

The Azovstal steel plant, in Mariupol, Ukraine, at 4 square miles (1000 hectares), is one of the largest industrial sites in Europe.[1]

The old Soviet Union had never shipped steel to the United States of America, but in 1993, not long after the dissolution of the Soviet Union into individual republice, Ukraine, facing new ecomonic uncertainty, looked forward to selling the US steel.[2] the New York Times noted that the USA had recently applied economic sanctions to many of its traditional steel partners, after accusing them of "dumping". The Azovstal plant could produce high quality more cheaply than a US plant, but Michael Ratzker, a London based steel broker asserted that Ukraine should be able to ship steel to the US in a way that did not trigger sanctions against dumping.

In 2014 Russian backed separatists tried to seize control of Mariupol, to make it part of a new Donets Republic.[3] Chaos ensued, and plant workers took it upon themselves to organize street patrols, to keep citizens safe.

The plant was the last strongpoint to continue to resist Russian occupation of the city during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Vips, like Daria Dugina, toured the plant, after its capture.[4] The New York Times reported that, after Dugina toured the captured plant, she said she found it "was filled with 'Satanist,' 'black energy'."


  1. Mariupol: Key moments in the siege of the city, BBC News, 2022-05-17. Retrieved on 2022-08-12.
  2. Jane Perlez. Ukrainian Steel Mill Seeks Growth in U.S. Market, New York Times, 1993-08-03, p. D1. Retrieved on 2022-08-12. “'Azov produces good quality plate, they are competitive price-wise and they don't have these anti-dumping measures and if carefully handled can avoid them,' Mr. Ratzker said, whose company is also shipping Ukrainian steel to the Far East. Two or three other Ukrainian mills and two mills in Russia were exporting to the United States, Mr. Ratzker said.”
  3. Andrew E. Kramer. Workers Seize City in Eastern Ukraine From Separatists, New York Times, 2014-05-16, p. A1. Retrieved on 2022-08-12. “The chief executive of Ilyich Steel Works, Yuri Zinchenko, is leading the steelworker patrols in the city. He said the company had remained on the sidelines as long as possible, while tacitly supporting unity with Ukraine by conveying to workers that a separatist victory would close export markets in Europe, devastating the factory and the town.”
  4. Anton Troianovski. Daria Dugina was a Russian hawk who railed against the West’s ‘global hegemony', New York Times, 2022-08-21. Retrieved on 2022-08-21. “In June, she traveled to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol after Russian forces captured it in a brutal campaign. She told a state-run Russian radio station that the Azovstal steel plant, where the city’s defenders made their last stand, was filled with 'Satanist,' 'black energy.'