Oziv or Azov. Map: VI-20. A city (2001 pop 82,090) and port on the Don River and a raion center in Rostov oblast, Russian Federation. Founded near the site of the ancient Greek colony of Tanais, Oziv is one of the oldest settlements on the Sea of Azov. In the 10th and 11th centuries it was part of the Tmutorokan principality of Kyivan Rus’. In 1067 it was captured by the Cumans, who renamed it Azak and brought it under the control of the Golden Horde. During the 13th to 15th centuries an Italian (Genoaesen) settlement called Tana stood at the site. Azov was captured by Turkey in 1471, and a fortress was built there. During 1637–42 it was held by the Don Cossacks and the Zaporozhian Cossacks. In the late 17th century the Russians fought the Turks for possession of Azov. It was captured by Russia in 1774 and turned into the capital of Azov gubernia (1775–82). From 1810 it was part of Katerynoslav gubernia, and from 1888, of Don Cossack province. According to the census of 1926, Ukrainians accounted for 83.6 percent of the Azov raion population.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]