|— Inhabited locality —|
A view of the city from the XBK region
Location of Rostov Oblast on the map of Russia
Location of Shakhty on the map of Rostov Oblast
Coat of arms
|Holiday||Third Sunday of September|
|Federal subject||Rostov Oblast|
|In administrative jurisdiction of||Rostov Oblast|
|Municipal Status||Urban okrug|
|Representative body||City Duma|
|Area||158.2 km2 (61.1 sq mi)|
|Population (2002 Census)||244,364 inhabitants|
|- Density||1,545 /km2 (4,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||MSK/MSD (UTC+3/+4)|
|Dialing code(s)||+7 +7 8636|
Shakhty (Russian: Ша́хты) is a city in Rostov Oblast, Russia. It is located on the southeastern spur of Donetsk mountain ridge, 75 km northeast from Rostov-on-Don. Its population was 222,592 as of the 2002 Census.
Founded on October 3, 1867 as Gornoye Grushevskoye (Горное Грушевское) settlement, from 1881 till 1921 it was called Alexandrovsk-Grushevsky (Александровск-Грушевский).
By 1914, the population had reached 54 thousand. The main source of income was coal mining, which had been carried out in that region since the 18th century. The population was poor, but the town had rail, telegraph and telephone networks, electricity and plumbing as well as libraries, hospitals and a post office. Most of the merchants and industrialists lived in Rostov and Novocherkassk.
1917 saw the city change hands three times, until it was taken on April 28, 1919, by the Don Army, under General Fitzkhelaurov. For 20 months it was independent of the Bolsheviks, but was ravaged by typhoid. On January 13, 1921 it was finally given its present name. The name "Shakhty" ("mine shafts" in English) was chosen, because of the city's association with coal mining. During the 1920s, many of the churches and the archives were destroyed. As with the rest of the Soviet Union, the street names were all changed.
In July, 1942, during the Great Patriotic
War the town was occupied by Nazi Germany; many coal pits and buildings
were blown up by the Nazis during their retreat in February,
29 of the townsmen were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
In 1948, production levels in the mines reached what they had been before the war. During the Brezhnev years, the city was at the height of its development, with a population of over 250 thousand, and about 10 million tons of coal being mined each year.
Perestroika proved devastating for the city, as mines were privatised and shut down, causing massive unemployment, which led to a severe rise in crime and drug abuse. Today Shakhty is the main industrial center of the Eastern Donbass. The city is also one of the main producers and exporters of tile in Eastern Europe, Shakhtinskaya Plitka (шахтинская плитка).
A view of the city from the XBK region, with one of the coal mines visible.
Shakhty is twinned with: