Following the victory of the Russian forces in the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74), the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca eliminated the endemic threat from the Crimea and thereby terminated the historical justification of the Ukraine as a borderland (okraina).
After construction of the railway line from Yuzovka in 1882, much of the wheat grown in the Yekaterinoslav Governorate and coal from the Donets Basin were exported via the port of Mariupol (the second largest after Odessa in the South Russian Empire), which served as a key funding source for opening a hospital, public library, electric power station and urban water supply system.
After the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774), the governor of the Azov Governorate, Vasily A.
Chertkov, reported to Grigory Potemkin on 23 February 1776 that at this location existed the ruins of ancient domakha (homes), and in 1788 he planned the new town of Pavlovsk.) of Kalmius County was founded on the site.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and capture of Donetsk city by pro-Russian insurgents associated with the Donetsk People's Republic in 2014, Mariupol was made the provisional administrative centre of the Donetsk Oblast.
The city was secured on June 13, 2014 by Ukrainian troops and pro-Ukrainian insurgents, and has been under attack several times since.