About 30 years ago I visited Taganrog ( steel mill ), and drove through Rostov-on-Don. I did not realize how close Stalingrad was (I only saw Volograd on the map). We did pass a monument marking the limit of the German advance. We stayed in a 100 year old hotel in Taganrog and much of the steel mill was about that old : How did they escape the damage of the nearby war ?
Taganrog never saw the city fighting Stalingrad or other sites of major battles did. Both times it changed hands the defenders were too weak to hold it, and most fighting was done in the vicinity of the city, but not inside. Nevertheless, according to damage assesment commission, which worked in the city after it was retaken by Red Army in 1943, damage to the city really was extensive: for example, the city lost 1300 residential buildings - 15% of available housing; out of 31 schools 13 were completely destroyed, and all of the rest were damaged to some extent. All in all, the commission registered 4082 material damage acts, and assessed the damage to the city to ~778.5 million rubles - about 203 million of 2018 USD, if we take the value of dollar in 1946 (53 rubles) and account for inflation.
By the way, the steel mill was amongst the factories listed as damaged in the report. In the years after the war, USSR directed a large-scale restoration effort on the territories damaged by the war. Thus, the steel mill was likely restored to working condition amongst hundreds of other factories elsewhere.
And the hotel? Probably just lucked out to not be amongst those 1300 residential buildings.
Source: Донскова Л. А., "Цена победы: о материальном ущербе и демографических потерях СССР в годы Великой Отечественной войны (общесоюзный и региональный аспекты)" // "Вестник Таганрогского института имени А. П. Чехова", 2010, специальный выпуск № 2, стр. 207, retrieved @ https://cyberleninka.ru/journal/n/vestnik-taganrogskogo-instituta-imeni-a-p-chehova#/967218
Mostly luck - though at about 450 km distance from Stalingrad/Volgograd it was well behind the main lines for most of that conflict.
- Russian counter attacks in December 1941 as well as the German responses centred around Moscow.
- The German offensive in Spring 1942 was launched further north, aimed through Voronezh with (mostly successful) intent of encircling Soviet forces around Taganrog and Rostov-on-Don.
- The German offensive in Spring 1943 was exclusively focused on Kursk, much further north.
- The Soviet offensive in Spring 1943 did, at its southernmost extent, run straight through Taganrog; however when this occurred in August (1) the local German defenders were too weak to mount a strong defense; and (2) Taganrog itself was on a backwater peninsula peripheral to the nearby conflict.