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a city in Odessa Oblast, Ukrainian SSR; the administrative center of Izmail Oblast from 1940 to 1954. The city is situated amid orchards and vineyards on the picturesque left bank of the Kiliia branch of the Danube, 80 km from the Black Sea. Izmail is a port for oceangoing ships and has a railroad station. Population, 70,000 (1971). The date of the city’s founding has not been established. There was a Genoese fortress on the site of Izmail in the 12th century that subsequently belonged to the principality of Moldavia. From the early 16th century it was referred to as a Turkish fortress, and in 1569 the Turkish sultan settled the Nogai in the area.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74, Izmail was captured by General N.V. Repnin’s corps on July 26, 1770, and in 1771 it became a base of the Russian Danubian flotilla. The Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji (1774) returned Izmail to Turkey. In November 1790, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–91, the Russian troops besieged Izmail, which was considered impregnable, with a wall 6–8 m high, earthwork and stone bastions, and a moat 12 m wide and 6–10 m deep. Izmail’s garrison with 35,000 men and 265 guns was commanded by Aidos Mehmet Pasha. A.V. Suvorov, commander of the Russian forces, consisting of 31,000 men and more than 500 guns, including the flotilla of Major General I. de Ribas, arrived at Izmail on Dec. 2 (13), 1790. After the Turkish command refused to surrender, an assault by nine columns was begun on December 11 (22) with the support of the flotilla. After a fierce battle during which Major General M.I. Kutuzov’s column distinguished itself, the Russian troops broke the enemy’s resistance and occupied the fortress. The Russian losses were 4,000 killed and 6,000 wounded; the Turkish losses were 26,000 killed and 9,000 taken prisoner, including wounded. Careful and secret preparations, a sudden and simultaneous attack by all columns, and clearly and precisely defined objectives assured the Russian forces of success. The capture of Izmail contributed to the rapid and successful conclusion of the war with Turkey in 1791. By the Peace of Iasi of 1791, Izmail was returned to Turkey. Captured for a third time by Russian troops on Sept. 14, 1809, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1806–12, Izmail was retained by Russia in accordance with the Treaty of Bucharest of 1812. As a result of the Crimean War (1853–56) and in accordance with the Treaty of Paris of 1856, Izmail and southern Bessarabia passed to Turkey. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, Izmail was occupied for a fourth time by Russian troops on Apr. 13, 1877, and subsequently transferred to Russia by the Treaty of San Stefano (1878). Izmail was occupied by boyar Rumania in January 1918. As a result of the peaceful resolution of the Rumanian-Soviet disputes, Izmail was returned to the Soviet Union in 1940. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Izmail was occupied by German and Rumanian forces from July 1941 until its liberation by the Soviet Army on Aug. 26, 1944.

In present-day Izmail the major industry is food-processing, including a vegetable cannery, a meat combine, a fish-processing plant, a dairy, and a winery. The city also has a pulp and cardboard combine, shipyards, a plant manufacturing reinforced-concrete products, a repair shop, and brickyards. Educational institutions include a pedagogical institute, the general technological department of the Odessa Institute of Technology, a correspondence division of the Odessa Higher School for Maritime Engineering, and a technicum training students in the mechanization and electrification of the rural economy. The A.V. Suvorov Museum is located in the city.

The city has a regular layout. A 15th-century mosque has been preserved on the site of the destroyed Turkish fortress. Architectural monuments of the 19th century include the Pokrovskii Cathedral (1831; architect, A.I. Mel’nikov) and the Rozhdest-venskaia (1823) and St. Nicholas churches (1833). In the Soviet period the city has been extensively built up. A monument to A.V. Suvorov by the architect B.V. Eduards was erected in 1945.


Grigor’ev, E.I. , and L.A. KovaP. Izmail: Putevoditel’. Odessa, 1967.
Orlov, N. Shturm Izmaila Suvorovym v 1790 g. St. Petersburg, 1890.