Melitopol is a city in the Zaporizhia Oblast of the southeastern Ukraine. It is situated on the Molochna River that flows through the eastern edge of the city and into the Molochnyi Liman, which eventually joins the Sea of Azov. Melitopol is a town of regional significance (the second largest city in the Zaporizhzhya region after the regional center).
Melitopol is also called "the gateway to the Crimea" (in the summer time road traffic in the city reaches the level of 40,000 - 45,000 vehicles per day, heading for the coast of Azov and Black Seas). Generally, the Russian language is spoken in the city. In 1941, the Soviet Union was attacked by Nazi Germany. The city became strategically important due to its location. The Red Army was not ready for the war and had to retreat. The Nazis occupied Melitopol on October 6, 1941.