Dreaming a City: From Wales to Ukraine

The story of Hughesovka/Stalino/Donetsk

Colin Thomas

The history of Hughesovka (later Stalino/Donetsk), a mining/steel town founded in the 1870s in Ukraine by Welsh entrepreneur John Hughes and 70 Welsh workers. Excellent background reading on the Ukraine-Russia situation. Includes free (PAL format) DVD of award-winning BBC TV documentary series Hughesovka and the New Russia, directed by the author.
Date Published :
August 2022
Publisher :
Y Lolfa
Illustration :
40 b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781912631438
Pages : 112
Dimensions : 7.9 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : In stock


In the inaugural BAFTA Cymru ceremony in 1991, author Colin Thomas received the BAFTA for Best Documentary for the BBC TV series Hughesovka and the New Russia, directed by himself and presented by eminent Welsh historian Gwyn Alf Williams. This short volume of social and political history stems from that series. It looks into how the town came to be founded in the 1870s by a Welshman in what was then the Russian-held territory of Ukraine, and traces its subsequent history through industrialization, revolution, Communist rule as part of the USSR, and the independence of Ukraine upon the USSR's break-up. Themes include capitalism vs. communism, nationalism vs. internationalism, and freedom vs. exploitation. Through analysis of Hughesovka’s development, we explore the retreat from political idealism and the nature of hope and disillusion. Anyone struggling to understand the present-day war in Ukraine will find this rewarding background reading on the complex situation which still entangles Ukraine, Russia and the West to this day.

Includes free (PAL format) DVD of award-winning BBC TV documentary series Hughesovka and the New Russia, directed by the author.

“The recent events in the East of Ukraine make this book very current and an important piece of the puzzle for anyone who wants to understand the situation in which Russia, Ukraine, and the West are all entangled.” - Alexander Korobko, CEO, Russian Hour

“The name Colin Thomas... a guarantee of intelligence and scrupulous integrity.” - The Financial Times

“A book for anyone interested not only in one man's remarkable vision and drive, but also social and political history played out on a large stage, but examined on a very human level.” - Michael Nobbs, Gwales.com

About The Author

Colin Thomas is a prize-winning documentary screenwriter and producer, whose accolades include the Celtic Film and TV Festival Jury Award; the Gold Award at Houston International Film Festival; the Prix Europa and three BAFTA Cymru awards. The TV documentary series, 'Hughesovka and the New Russia', from which this book stems, won Best Documentary at the inaugural BAFTA Cymru awards in 1991. His BBC Radio 4 drama documentary on the subject of this book, 'Hiraeth in Hughesovka', was broadcast in 2008.


Prologue: Day Dreaming
1 Mud and Bullock Carts
2 Icy Winds in the Blast Furnace
3 Slow Approach of Thunder
4 Revolution
5 The Shadow of Stalin
6 Jackboots in Stalino
7 A Town Without Men
8 New Town, Old Ways
9 Seeing for Ourselves
10 Blood and Belonging
11 Return Journey
12 Epilogue

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