Due to the Soviet authorities frequently renaming cities after Communist leaders, the city was known as Zhdanov, after the Soviet functionary Andrei Zhdanov, between 19.
The isolation of the region was increased further by the Treaty of Constantinople (1700), which provided that there should be no settlements or fortifications on the coast of the Azov Sea to the mouth of the Mius River.
Moreover, in 1709 in response to a Cossack alliance with Sweden against Russia, Tsar Peter the Great ordered the destruction of the Zaporozhian central stockade (Sich) and their complete expulsion from the area, without allowance for their return.
For the Russian authorities the city was named after the Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna; but the city was named de facto after the Greek settlement of Mariampol, a suburb of Bakhchisaray.
The name was derived from the Hodegetria icon of the Holy Theotokos and Virgin Mary.
In the 1850s the population grew to 4,600 and the city had 120 shops and 15 wine cellars.
After construction of the railway line from Yuzovka in 1882, much of the wheat grown in the Yekaterinoslav Governorate and coal from the Donets Basin were exported via the port of Mariupol (the second largest after Odessa in the South Russian Empire), which served as a key funding source for opening a hospital, public library, electric power station and urban water supply system.
The last Tatar raid, launched in 1769, covered a vast area, overrunning the New Russia province with a huge army in severe winter weather.
In 1770, the Russian government, not waiting for the end of the war with Turkey, moved its border with the Crimean Khanate southwest by more than two hundred kilometres, initiating the Dnieper fortified line (running from the today's locations of Zaporozhye to Novopetrovka), thereby laying claim to the region, including the site of the future Mariupol, from the Ottoman Empire.
During the late Middle Ages through the early modern period, here taken from the 12th through the 16th century, Mariupol lay within a broader region that was largely devastated and depopulated by the intense conflict among the surrounding peoples, including the Crimean Tatars, the Nogai Horde, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and Muscovy.
By the middle of the 15th century much of the region north of the Black Sea and Azov Sea was annexed to the Crimean Khanate and became a dependency of the Ottoman Empire.