Rostov-on-Don (Ростов-на-Дону) is the biggest city and the centre of Southern Russia, and tenth most populous city in Russia.
This area where the East European Plain touches the Black Sea has seen habitation by civilizations stretching back to Scythian, Roman, Greek, and Ottoman times. In the 18th century, the Russian Empire started to lay a foothold by establishing outposts on this frontier, but then eventually with expansion of the empire it became more of a commerce center due to its premier trade location where the Black Sea meets the Don River. And it saw industrialization, too, causing it to draw people and become one of the largest Russian cities for a time. But it was not without adversity that it passed through the ages, as it saw incursions from the Russian Civil War, cholera epidemics, and occupation by the Germans during the Great World Wars. One of its darker moments was the execution of 30,000 Russian Jews by occupying Nazi forces at Zmievskaya Balka.
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