Nikopol (Ukrainian: ; Russian: ; Greek: , literally: "City of Victory") is a city in Ukraine, in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, on the right bank of the Dnieper River, about 100 km south-west of Dnipropetrovsk. Administratively, Nikopol is incorporated as the city of oblast significance and serves as the administrative center of Nikopol Raion which it does not belong to. Population: 118,720?(2013 est.).
In terms of population, Nikopol is the third biggest city in the oblast as well as among the top 50 nationwide. The city is also a powerful industrial and transportation center in the country conveniently located by the Kakhovka reservoir.
There are some claims by the Russian and Polish historians referring to the area in the medieval and late-medieval times as the Wild Fields. That, of course, is a dubious identification as the land here is famous for its fruitfulness, being cultivated since the remotest past. The land for a long time was ruled by both the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Moscovy which wanted to colonize it.
In times of the Kievan Rus the land belonged to the Pechenegs, who later were displaced by the Polovtsi (also known as Cumans) that established their own state in todays southern Ukraine and Crimea. In the 13th century the advancing Mongol hordes had conquered the Polovtsi, only running into difficulties in the Crimea, and established the Golden Horde state. After the fall of the Golden Horde, it is believed that the land belonged to the Nogai people (later under the suzerainty of the Crimean Khanate), although it is possible that the land might have been inhabited by a Slavic population as well. Whatever the case, the first concrete historical evidence found for a Slavic settlement is from the 15th century, when the area was being populated by the Cossacks. This was first documented in the diary of E.Liasota.
By 1648, in the close proximity of todays Nikopol, Mykytyn Sich was built, renowned for the fact that it was here that Bohdan Khmelnytsky was elected as the Hetman of Ukraine, and it was here that war against the Catholic Polish state has started. Until 1775, the time of the Sich sacking, it was called "Mykytyn Rih", "Mykytyn Pereviz", or simply "Mykytyne". The name rih (Ukrainian for horn) was given because the locality rose at a place reminiscing a peninsula, as it was almost surrounded by the Dnieper river (see Kryvyi Rih). Mykytyne was a town of the Kodak Palanka, an administrative division of the Zaporizhian Sich. Later it was renamed into Slovianske and then Nikopol.
Interestingly, what could be now the most sacred place of an early distinctly Ukrainian statehood was eventually submerged by water, owing to the Soviet policy of industrialization. The Kakhovka Reservoir covers now the lands of the former Zaporizhian Host and the burial sites of thousands of former heroes whose names, probably, will never be recovered.
During World War II, Nikopol was occupied by the German Army from August 17, 1941 to February 8, 1944.
Just a few miles west of the city was buried the Kosh otaman Ivan Sirko.