The city history starting in 16th century the Cossack fortress called Kalmius was built at the mouth of Kalmius river for the purpose of protecting their hunting grounds, fisheries and salt-works against devastating raids of Crimean Tatars. After the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774), the great influx of orthodox Greeks from Crimea to the area caused the local population growth. In 1782 it was the capital of uyezd in Azov Governorate of Russian Empire. After construction of the railway line from Yuzovka in 1882 made this city to a local trading centre. End of 19th century Belgian subsidiary SA Providence Russe opened a steelworks in Sartana near Mariupol. In 1933 along the Kalmius River a new steelworks (Azovstal) were built.