Izmail [Ізмаіл; Izmajil]. Map: VIII-9. City (2012 pop 73,336) under oblast jurisdiction and raion center in Odesa oblast; an important commercial port in southern Bessarabia on the left bank of the Kiliia Channel of the Danube River Delta, situated about 80 km from the Black Sea. Originally called Smil, from 1484 to 1812 and from 1856 to 1877 it belonged to the Turks, who fortified the town and built a large citadel there. The Cossacks attacked it in 1603, 1609, 1610, and 1630, and pillaged it in 1632. In 1770, 1790, and 1809 it was captured by Russian armies. From 1812 to 1856 and from 1877 to 1917 Izmail belonged to Russia and was a county town in Bessarabia. From 1918 to 1940 and from 1941 to 1944 it belonged to Romania. In 1940–1 and from 1944 to 1954 it was an oblast capital. Today the city's industries repair ships, process fish, and produce canned food and industrial equipment. Among its architectural monuments are a 16th-century mosque and three early 19th-century churches.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]