At the borders of old and neweras the lands adjacent to the flow of the Danube River became an arena of the Sarmatian counteracting with Roman Empire expansion. Romans who appeared at the Danube banks during the II Century A.D. founded Smornis, a fortified outpost which replaced Antiphyla. At the beginning of the IVth Century A.D. it was replaced with Slavs settlement named Smyl. It was the time when, as stated by Castorius, Roman geograhist the Slavs captured the Danube area. At that time a very complicated ethnical situation formed due to the unprecedent mixture of various tribes. Only during the Great Migration winds of History brought here the tribes of Hunns, Bulgarians, Avars, Pechenegians, Kumanians, who are mostly described as nomading hordes with prevailing conquering factor in their life style.
In X A.D. the lands of theDanube region were included into Kiev Principality. The troops of Kiev Ruler Svyatoslav marched through the lands of today Izmail to take part in the wars between Bulgarian Monarchy and Visantian Empire in 968, after which a number of settlements at the Danue were captured by Slavs.
The period of flourishing forthe setlement of Smyl lies within the end of XIIth beginning of the XIIIth century A.D. when it was included into Galician-Volynian Principality. The close vicinity of major trading routes was the most favourable factor. Craftsmanships developed (pottery, weaving, metalwoks), wheat of various grades, barley, millet and beans have been being grown at the adjacent fields at the outskirts of the settlement. The settlers breeded live-stock, horses, planted orchards.
Slavs were not the solecolonizers in these lands. Since the VIth Century A.D. from South and West Gets and Dacians (ancient ancestors of East Romans) have been penetrating here and assimilating with the Slavs. Smyl population becomes more and more polyethnical.
In the first half of the VIIIth Century A.D. the rate of Slavs colonizationsuspended gradually and finally ceased with the Mongol invasion. The unprecedent calamity came to these lands when the Mongol hordes returned from Hungary and Croatia. The settlers abandoned these lands seeking shelter from the ruthless intruders.
ISHMASL (IZMAIL) FORTRESS
In mid-XIVth Century A.D.these lands were integrated within the Moldavian Principality, which admitted Turkish protectorship in 1486. Smyl settlement was within the confrontation arisen between the Moldavian Dominator Stephan the Great with Hungarian, Turks and Polish. In 1538Turks finally captured Smyl and re-named it into Synil.On the ruins of the captured settlement they built Ishmasl (Hear, oh, God!)
In July 1770 Russian army under the command of P.A. Rumyantzev defeated 150.000 Turkish army and on August 16 of the same year the corps under the command of General M.V. Repnin gained control over the Ishmasl Fortress. However, upon the war completion under the terms of Kuchuk-Kainargie Peace Pact Izmail remained under Turkish control. Izmail became a mainstay of Turkish military presence on the way to Dobruja via the Danube River.
In 1787 Turkey, supported byEngland and France commenced a new war against Russia. In December 22, 1790 the troops of General-Anchef A.V. Suvorov took the fortress. "Such a storm could be attempted only once in the life", as Suvorov himself wrote long time after it. However, under the provisions of Yassy Peace Treaty in 1791 Izmail remained as a part of Turkish territory. Only in 16 years after the storm of Izmail Russian warriors again appeared at the Izmail walls.
In August 1808 , when General P. I. Bagration was appointed as Commander-in-Chief at this combat theatre, the fortress surrendered to the troops headed by General Zass. Under the terms of Bucharest Treaty Izmail became a Russian territory.
In August 1809General-Mayor S.A. Tuchkov was appointed as a fortress commandant. On September 19, 1812 Russian Senate issued and Ordnance by which IzmailFortress was renamed into Tuchkov town.
In 1813 the town becomes an administrative centre. 1813 - the establishment of Izmail Port. In 1826 the Port of Izmail wasattended by the vessels flying the flags of Russia, England, Austria, Sardinia,
Turkey. Main items of export were agricultural products.
In 1831 the building of theDanube Prospect was completed together with building the Pokrov Cathedral on a central square under the design of Architect Melnikov. The city was formed by four blocks and 45 streets. It counted 1686 buildings. The city had Mayor's Office, Building Committee, Commercial Court, Quarantine Administration Office, Customs Office, Municipal Council, Police Office, Magistrate. It had 14 active
churches, including 8 Orthodox, 1 Catholic, 1 Armenian, 4 "Limerian". The population of the city counted 12.227 people, mainly Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovians, Bulgarians, Armenians, Jews.
Apart from the ClericalSeminary there were male and female Gimnasiums which were reorganized into Classic at the beginning of XXth Century. The vicarage primary schools were active. In 1915 their number increased to 14, all of them were single-class with four-years tuition term. The tuition was delivered in Russian, books and newspapers were issued exclusively in Russian.
According to the 1897Registration Records in Izmail District percentage of native languages specified by the inhabitants amounted to 39,1 % - Moldavian; 19,6 % - Ukrainian; 12,4 % - Russian; 12 % - Bulgarian; 7,5 % Gagausian Branch of Turkish; 4,8 % - Jewish. 90% illiteracy rate negatively impacted the development of the town. Language and culture of the non-Russian ethnic groups suspended at the moment of their transfer to the town. The representatives of these nationalities appeared to be outside the cultural processes which were inherent for the border of the Ages.
At the end of 1918 RomaniansRoyal Government commenced occupation processes in Bessarabia which was completed by the mid-January. On January 22, 1918 the intervents occupied Izmail. On April 9, 1918 under the support of Entente Powers Bessarabia was officially declared as a part of Romania. The period of Romanian domination in Bessarabia commenced which lasted for 22 years.
Roman currency - the Lei was introduced, the education in the first threeschool classes was changed for Romanian language. Such subjects as Russian Language, Russian Literature, History, Geography were deleted from tutorial schedules.
On June 28, 1940 Soviet Armycleared the Izmail territory from Romanians. After that Fish-processing plant, dairy and meat-processing plant were built in Izmail. New health institutions established, such as: pediathric clinics and hospital, municipal clinics and maternity home.
The process of peacefulconstruction in the region were interrupted with the Great Patriotic War outbreak. On July 22, 1941 the Soviet Army left Izmail and took the defence positions along the Dnester River. The Romanian occupation of the Danube Region commenced. During the occupation period the invaders disassembled and removed the equipment from industrious enterprises, 150 local citizens were driven to Romania.
The losses caused by the occupation amounted to 239 million roubles. On August 26, 1944 during the Yassy-Kishinev operation the troops of the Third Ukrainian Front under the command of Marchal of the Soviet Union F. M. Tolbukhin and naval squads of the Danube Flotilla liberated Izmail. As a memory of the heroic deeds of Danube flotilla naval troops the monument was installed in Izmail with armoured craft No 134 of the Red Banner Danube Flotilla.
In 1950-s the construction offood-processing plant commenced, wine-processing plant was put into operation. At the early 60-s the firstling of chemical industry in the region - the Cellulose-Cardboard Plant commenced, new production building of the Tin ware Plant was completed.
The appearance of the city experienced changes, too. The wild landsovergrown with sedge were replaced with parks and gardens, tourist complex was built at the former fortress territory.
Population of Izmail
By the end of the Second Millenium Izmail population achieved 91.500 people.
51 % of Izmail inhabitants are Russians;
3l,7 % Ukrainians;
9,1 % Bulgarians;
4,2 % Moldavians;
0,92 % Belorussians;
0,9 % Jews;
0,07 % Gagauzis;
0,7 % other nationalities.
Two highereducational institutions located in Izmail - Izmail State Pedagogical Institute (established in 1952) and Water Transport Institute (established in 1997), Agricultural College for Mechanization & Electrification, Economics and Legacy College and Medical School are training experts. Recently they were joined by Extramural Department of Odessa State Maritime Academy.
Workingprofessions may be mastered by the local youth in three technical schools SPTS #38, SPTS #7, Izmail Higher Professional School # 9.
16 municipal secondary school provide education for about 14.000 pupils employing about 1.000 teachers.
In the town Polytechnical and Comprehensive Lyceums are working.
More 700 children attend Musical Schools # 1and # 2, about 100 - in Izmail School of Arts. Tremendous work is being carried on by the Izmail Extra-School Work Centre named after A. Gaidar.
The cultural life of the town is focused in the Shevchenko House of Culture and Seamen' Club. Here 12 groups of amateur performance are acting, assigned as folclore collectives.
Historical centres of the town are the Suvorov Museum, Branch Odessa Museum of Local Lore, Branch of Odessa Arts Gallery with TV Centre, cinema halls "Victory" (150 spectators) and "Ukraine" (580
Arts Club unites the creative resources of the local artists. Their works are known beyond Ukraine.
There are 8 active Orthodox Churches - Pokrov Cathedral, Chrism-Carrying Women' Church, Sacral Ascension Church, St. Constantine and Elain Church, St. Nicolas Church, Old-Believers Church. Other religious confessions are legalised and active: Roman Catholic, Buddhists, Jewish, the Union "Life Water Source", Evangelistic Christians Church "Emmanuel"; Community of Evangelistic Christians of Charismatic Christian Church "Sun of Truth", Community of Evangelistic Apostolic Christians, Society of Evangelistic Christians Baptists, 7th Day Adventistic Community, Charity Mission "Ray of Hope", Jegoa Witnesses.
12 health institution providetheir services to the town population with capability of 1.380 stationery patients, there are 496 medicians, 1227 nursing personnel. 19 industrial, 10 constructional, 7 transport enterprices are
within the municipal area. More than 12.000 people are employed with them. The economic base for the city and entire region represent OJSC "UDP" and the Port of Izmail.
The municipal industrial enterprises are specialized in agricultural raw products processing (food-processing plant, meat processing plant, provisions plant, dairy, bakery). 1.292 private enterprises are registered in Izmail, 229 of them is active, total personnel employed with them amounts to 2.689 persons.
7 political parties areregistered in the town, among them are: Izmail Communist Party of Ukraine Organization; Izmail Organization of Ukrainian Beer Fans Party; United Labour Front, Southern Bessarabia Regional Organization of Liberal Party of Ukraine, Izmail Municipal Organization of Communists Union of Odessa Region; Izmail Regional Primary Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists Congress, Izmail Organization of the People Democratic Party.
Apart from political parties there are 77 public organizations registered in Izmail: Ukrainian Branch of the Cyril &Methodius Society; Veterans' Council, German Society "Bayern"; Izmail Organization of Officers' Union, Council of Afghanistan War Veterans, etc.
Historicaltraditions of the town, its geographical position, analysis of economic and cultural condition and demographic processes allow to affirm that the town will transform in future into the economic and cultural centre of multi-national Danube Region and will play an important part as the South Western Ukraine transport centre.