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Zaporizhzhya (Ukrainian, ‘Beyond the Rapids’) City on the River Dnieper, se Ukraine. Zaporozhye Cossacks, leaders of the Ukrainian nationalist movement, settled the area in the 16th century. In 1770, Zaporizhzhya was founded as a fortress, and in 1775 the Russian army of Catherine II forcibly ejected the Cossacks. In the early 19th century, the fortress became a town, known as Aleksandrovsk until 1921. Zaporizhzhya consists of the old city and the new industrial area, development of which began in the 1930s with the construction of the Dneproges dam and a large hydroelectric plant. It is now one of the Ukraine's leading industrial complexes, producing aluminium, iron and steel, motor vehicles and chemicals. Pop. (2001) 815,000.