Donetsk ) is an industrial city in Ukraine on the Kalmius River. The population was estimated at in the city, and over 2,000,000 in the metropolitan area. According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census, Donetsk was the fifth-largest city in Ukraine. Since April 2014, the city is controlled by pro-Russian separatists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk Peoples Republic. Administratively, it has been the centre of Donetsk Oblast, while historically, it is the unofficial capital and largest city of the larger economic and cultural Donets Basin region. Donetsk is adjacent to another major city of Makiivka and along with other surrounding cities forms a major urban sprawl and conurbation in the region. Donetsk has been a major economic, industrial and scientific centre of Ukraine with a high concentration of companies and a skilled workforce. The original settlement in the south of the European part of the Russian Empire was first mentioned as Aleksandrovka in 1779, under the Russian Empress Catherine the Great. In 1869, Welsh businessman, John Hughes, built a steel plant and several coal mines in the region; the town was named Yuzovka in recognition of his role. During Soviet times, the citys steel industry was expanded. 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. Since April 2014, Donetsk and its surrounding areas have been one of the major sites of fighting in the War in Donbass.