Autonomous Republic of Crimea
|Autonomous Republic of Crimea
"Процветание в единстве" (Russian)
Protsvetanie v yedinstve (transliteration)
"Prosperity in unity"
"Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина" (Russian)
Nivy i gory tvoi volshebny, Rodina (transliteration)
Your fields and mountains are magical, Motherland
Location of Crimea (red) with respect to Ukraine (white)
and largest city
|Recognized regional languages||Russian, Crimean Tatara|
|Ethnic groups (2001)|
|-||Constitution||21 October 1998|
|-||Total||26,100 km2 (148th)
10,038 sq mi
|ISO 3166 code||UA-43|
|a.||Because Ukrainian is the only state language in Ukraine, no other language may be official, although according to the Constitution of Crimea, Russian is the language of inter-ethnic communication. However, government duties are fulfilled mainly in Russian, hence it is a de facto official language. Crimean Tatar is also used.|
|b.||The Crimean Oblast's autonomy was restored when it became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within the newly independent Ukraine.|
|c.||Not officially assigned.|
|d.||+380 65 for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, +380 692 for the administratively separate City of Sevastopol.|
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Автономна Республіка Крим, Avtonomna Respublika Krym; Russian: Автономная Республика Крым, Avtonomnaya Respublika Krym; Crimean Tatar: Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti) is internationally viewed as an autonomous republic of Ukraine, located in the Crimean Peninsula. It is currently subject to a territorial dispute between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, which administers the territory as one of its federal districts. Population: 1,965,177 (2013 population estimate).
The entire Crimean Peninsula has been outside the control of Ukrainian authorities since late February 2014, when Russian special forces and pro-Russian militias occupied the region. In March 2014, a popular referendum in support of reunification with Russia (See accession to Russia) was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, although the vote was disavowed by Ukraine and did not enjoy widespread international recognition. Within days, Russia absorbed the peninsula, although Ukraine continues to claim Crimea as an integral part of its territory.
Under Ukrainian law, Crimea is considered an autonomous parliamentary republic within Ukraine, which is governed by the Constitution of Crimea in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. The capital of the autonomous republic is the city of Simferopol, located in the center of the peninsula. The city of Sevastopol is a separate administrative unit and is considered a city with special status, like the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev.
From Soviet Russia to Soviet Ukraine
On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union issued a decree transferring the Crimean Oblast from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The transfer of the Crimean Oblast to Ukraine has been described as a "symbolic gesture," marking the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of the Russian Empire. The General Secretary of the Communist Party in Soviet Union at the time was Nikita Khrushchev; an individual who was born and raised in the border area of Eastern Ukraine/ Western Russia, and married to a Ukrainian.
In post-war years, Crimea thrived as a prime tourist destination, built with new attractions and spas for tourists. Tourists came from all over the Soviet Union and neighbouring countries. Crimea's infrastructure and manufacturing was also developed, particularly around the sea ports at Kerch and Sevastopol and in the oblast's landlocked capital of Simferopol.
In Independent Ukraine
|This section is missing information about the details regarding the referendums promoted by the Crimean parliament in 1992 and 1994, the tensions these created in Kiev, Kiev's reasons to deter them, the required majority vote for the referendums, and Tatar repatriation and population distribution at the time. (March 2014)|
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of the newly independent Ukraine, which led to tensions between Russia and Ukraine.[nb 1] With the Black Sea Fleet based on the peninsula, worries of armed skirmishes were occasionally raised. Crimean Tatars began returning from exile and resettling in Crimea.
On 26 February 1992, the Verkhovniy Sovet (the Crimean parliament) renamed the ASSR the Republic of Crimea and proclaimed self-government on 5 May 1992 (which was yet to be approved by a referendum held 2 August 1992)[clarification needed Did the referendum happen, or was it cancelled?] and passed the first Crimean constitution the same day. On 6 May 1992 the same parliament inserted a new sentence into this constitution that declared that Crimea was part of Ukraine.
On 19 May, Crimea agreed to remain part of Ukraine and annulled its proclamation of self-government but Crimean Communists forced the Ukrainian government to expand on the already extensive autonomous status of Crimea.:587 In the same period, Russian president Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk agreed to divide the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet between Russia and the newly formed Ukrainian Navy.
On 14 October 1993, the Crimean parliament established the post of President of Crimea and agreed on a quota of Crimean Tatars represented in the Council of 14. However, political turmoil continued. Amendments[clarification needed] to the constitution eased the conflict, but on 17 March 1995, the parliament of Ukraine intervened, scrapping the Crimean Constitution and removing Yuriy Meshkov (the President of Crimea) along with his office for his actions against the state and promoting integration with Russia. After an interim constitution, the current constitution was put into effect, changing the territory's name to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Following the ratification of the May 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership on friendship and division of the Black Sea Fleet, international tensions slowly eased. However, in 2006, anti-NATO protests broke out on the peninsula. In September 2008, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko accused Russia of giving out Russian passports to the population in the Crimea and described it as a "real problem" given Russia's declared policy of military intervention abroad to protect Russian citizens.
On 24 August 2009, anti-Ukrainian demonstrations were held in Crimea by ethnic Russian residents. Sergei Tsekov (of the Russian Bloc and then deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament) said then that he hoped that Russia would treat the Crimea the same way as it had treated South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Chaos in the Ukrainian parliament erupted during a debate over the extension of the lease on a Russian naval base on 27 April 2010 after Ukraine’s parliament ratified the treaty that extends Russia's lease on naval moorings and shore installations in port of Sevastopol and other locations in Crimea until 2042 with optional five-year renewals. Along with Verkhovna Rada, the treaty was ratified by the Russian State Duma as well.
Events in 2014
On 26 February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, thousands of pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine protesters clashed in front of the parliament building in Simferopol. The pretext of the clash was the abolition, on 23 February 2014, of the law on languages of minorities, including Russian. This decision, that would make Ukrainian the sole state language, has not been upheld by interim Ukraine president Turchynov.
The demonstrations followed the ousting of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych on 22 February 2014, and a push by pro-Russian protesters for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and seek assistance from Russia.
On 28 February 2014, Russian forces occupied airports and other strategic locations in Crimea. The interim Government of Ukraine described the events as an invasion and occupation of Crimea by Russian forces. However, Russia is allowed to have 25,000 men stationed in Crimea under the terms of a 1997 agreement with Ukraine,  although the number of forces present in late February 2014 constituted a violation of Ukrainian-Russian treaty agreements. Gunmen, either armed militants or Russian special forces, occupied the Crimean parliament. Under armed guard and with the doors locked, members of parliament apparently elected Sergey Aksyonov as the new Crimean Prime Minister. De facto Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov said he asserted sole control over Crimea's security forces and appealed to Russia "for assistance in guaranteeing peace and calmness" on the peninsula. The central Ukrainian government did not recognize the Aksyonov administration and considers it illegal. Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich sent a letter to Putin asking him to use military force in Ukraine to restore law and order. The Russian foreign ministry stated that "movement of the Black Sea Fleet armored vehicles in Crimea (...) happens in full accordance with basic Russian-Ukrainian agreements on the Black Sea Fleet".
On 1 March, the Russian parliament granted President Vladimir Putin the authority to use military force in Ukraine. The move was condemned by many Western and Western-aligned nations. On the same day, the acting president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov decried the appointment of the Prime Minister of Crimea as unconstitutional. Russia established de facto control of the territory.
On 3 March, Ukrainian defense sources were reported to have said that the head of Russia's Black Sea Fleet gave Ukraine a deadline of dawn on the 4th to surrender their control of the Crimea, or face an assault by Russian troops occupying the area. However, Interfax news agency later quoted a fleet spokesman who denied that any ultimatum had been issued. Nothing came to pass at the deadline.
On 4 March, several Ukrainian bases and navy ships in Crimea reported being intimidated by Russian forces but vowed non-violence. Ukrainian warships were also effectively blockaded in their port of Sevastopol.
On 6 March, MPs of the Crimean Parliament asked the Russian Government for the region to become a subject of the Russian Federation with a referendum on the issue set for the Crimean region for March 16. The Ukrainian central government, EU and US disputed the legitimacy of the request and referendum. Article 73 of the Constitution of Ukraine states: "Alterations to the territory of Ukraine shall be resolved exclusively by the All-Ukrainian referendum." International monitors arrived in Ukraine to assess the situation in Crimea but were halted by armed militants at the Crimean border. Russian forces scuttled a Russian Kara-class Cruiser Ochakov across the entrance channel to Donuzlav Lake on the west coast of Crimea to blockade Ukrainian navy ships in their port.
The Crimean Parliament released the Ballot Questions for the 16 March referendum. The referendum questions are:
- "Do you support rejoining Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?"
- "Do you support restoration of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Crimea and Crimea's status as a part of Ukraine?"
Only the ballots with exactly one positive response were considered valid. There was no option on the 16 March ballot to maintain the status quo. Ukrainian outlets considered the questions as equivalent to "join Russia immediately or declare independence and then join Russia." The current Crimean constitution came into effect in 1999 and Article 135 of the Ukrainian constitution provides that the Crimean Constitution must be approved by the Ukrainian parliament. Turnout for the referendum was 83%, and the overwhelming majority of them (95.5%) voted to join Russia, however, a "huge number of people in the minority population - the Tatars and Ukrainians - abstained from the vote", making it "difficult to tell if the figures added up".
On 18 March, the Kremlin claimed that Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin signed a law formalising Russia's annexation of Crimea on 21 March, Crimea's flag was added to the flags of Russian regions in the Russian Parliament on 24 March. On 29 March, the clocks in Crimea were moved forward to Moscow time. Ukraine's government says "it is a robbery on an international scale". On June 1, 2014 Crimea officially switched over to the Russian ruble as its only form of legal tender.
Politics and government
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is technically an autonomous republic within the unitary state of Ukraine, with the Presidential Representative serving as a governor and replacing once established post of president. The legislative body is a 100-seat parliament, the Supreme Council of Crimea.
The executive power is represented by the Council of Ministers, headed by a Chairman who is appointed and dismissed by the Verkhovna Rada, with the consent of the President of Ukraine. The authority and operation of the Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers of Crimea are determined by the Constitution of Ukraine and other the laws of Ukraine, as well as by regular decisions carried out by the Supreme Council of Crimea.
While not an official body controlling Crimea, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is a representative body of the Crimean Tatars, which could address grievances to the Ukrainian central government, the Crimean government, and international bodies.
During the 2004 presidential elections, Crimea largely voted for the presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych. In both the 2006 Ukrainian parliamentary elections and the 2007 Ukrainian parliamentary elections, the Yanukovych-led Party of Regions also won most of the votes from the region, as they did in the 2010 Crimean parliamentary election.
Crimea (excluding Sevastopol) is subdivided into 25 administrative areas: 14 raions (districts) and 11 mis'kradas and mistos (city municipalities), officially known as territories governed by city councils. While the City of Sevastopol is located on the Crimean peninsula, it is administratively separate from the rest of Crimea and is one of two special municipalities of Ukraine. Sevastopol, while having a separate administration, is tightly integrated within the infrastructure of the whole peninsula.
- Simferopol: capital
- Kerch: Hero City, important industrial, transport and tourist center
- Yevpatoria: major port, a rail hub, and resort city
- Feodosiya: port and resort city
- Yalta: one of the most important resorts in Crimea
- Dzhankoy: important railroad connection
- Bakhchisaray: historical capital of the Crimean Khanate
- Krasnoperekopsk: industrial city
- Armyansk: industrial city
- Alushta: resort city
Foreign and intergovernmental relations
|This section is missing information about Crimea's liaison to the Ukrainian national government and Crimea's liaison to foreign entities. (March 2014)|
Crimea is subject to the Constitution of Ukraine. At the local level it has its own constitution.
On 18 February 2009 the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea sent a letter to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the President of Ukraine, in which it stated that it deemed it inexpedient to open a representative office of the United States in Crimea, and urged the Ukrainian leadership to give up this idea. The letter had passed in the Crimean parliament by a 77 to 9 roll-call vote with one abstention. The letter was also sent to the Chairman of the UN General Assembly.
Crimea has figured prominently in Ukrainian sports, especially the most popular: association football. The most successful Crimean football club is Tavriya Simferopol who won the inaugural Ukrainian Premier League title in 1992. FC Sevastopol also currently competes in the top division. In the Ukrainian First League, Crimea has been represented by clubs such as FC Feniks-Illichovets Kalinine, FC Krymteplitsia Molodizhne (from Simferopol suburbs) and FC Tytan Armyansk.
Crimea has a bandy federation. Their[clarification needed] chairman is Vice president of Ukrainian Federation of Bandy and Rink-Bandy. In 2011 they for the first time organized the rink bandy tournament Crimea Open.
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- The Verkhovna Rada of Crimea should not be confused with the national Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
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- These figures do not include the area and population of the City of Sevastopol. Administratively, Sevastopol is a municipality excluded from the surrounding Autonomous Republic of Crimea
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- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- (German) Stefan Albrecht, Michael Herdick: Ein Spielball der Mächte: Die Krim im Schwarzmeerraum (VI.-XV. Jahrhundert). =A Pawn of the Powers- The Crimea in the Black Sea Region (VI-XV. Century). In: Stefan Albrecht, Falko Daim, Michael Herdick (Hg.): Die Höhensiedlungen im Bergland der Krim. Umwelt, Kulturaustausch und Transformation am Nordrand des Byzantinischen Reiches. RGZM, Mainz 2013, S. 25-56. ISBN 978-3-884-67220-4 (with an Englisch and Russian Summary)
- (German) Stefan Albrecht, Michael Herdick, Rainer Schreg: Neue Forschungen auf der Krim. Geschichte und Gesellschaft im Bergland der südwestlichen Krim - eine Zusammenfassung. =New Researches on the Crimea. Synthesis: A Hypothetical Model of Competing Neighborhoods. In: Stefan Albrecht, Falko Daim, Michael Herdick (Hg.): Die Höhensiedlungen im Bergland der Krim. Umwelt, Kulturaustausch und Transformation am Nordrand des Byzantinischen Reiches. RGZM, Mainz 2013, S. 471-497. ISBN 978-3-884-67220-4 (with an Englisch and Russian Summary)
- (Russian) Bazilevich Basil Mitrofanovich. (1914) From the History of Moscow-Crimea Relations in the First Half of the 17th Century (Из истории московско-крымских отношений в первой половине XVII века) at Runivers.ru in DjVu and PDF formats
- (Russian) Bantysh-Kamensky Nikolay. (1893) Register of cases of Crimean court with 1474 to 1779 (Реестр делам крымского двора с 1474 по 1779 год) at Runivers.ru in DjVu and PDF formats
- (Russian) Berg Nikolai. (1858) Sevastopol album by N. Berg (Севастопольский альбом Н. Берга) at Runivers.ru in DjVu and PDF formats
- (Russian) Berezhkov Michael N.Plan for the conquest of the Crimea compiled during the reign of Emperor Alexis of Russia Slav scholar Yuri Krizhanich (План завоевания Крыма составленный в царствование государя Алексея Михайловича ученым славянином Юрием Крижаничем) at Runivers.ru in DjVu and PDF formats
- (Russian) Berezhkov Michael N. (1888) Russian captives and slaves in the Crimea (Русские пленники и невольники в Крыму) at Runivers.ru in DjVu and PDF formats
- (Russian) Bogdanovich Modest I. (1876) Eastern War 1853-1856 (Восточная война 1853-1856 гг.) at Runivers.ru in DjVu format
- (Russian) Dubrovin Nikolai Fedorovich. (1900) History of the Crimean War and the defense of Sevastopol (История Крымской войны и обороны Севастополя) at Runivers.ru in DjVu format
- (Russian) Dubrovin Nikolai Fedorovich. (1885–1889) Joining the Crimea to Russia (Присоединение Крыма к России) at Runivers.ru in DjVu format
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- crimea-portal.gov.ua, the official portal of the Council of Ministers of Crimea (English) (Ukrainian) (Russian) (Crimean Tatar)
- rada.crimea.ua, the official web-site of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea (English) (Ukrainian) (Russian) (Crimean Tatar)
- www.ppu.gov.ua, the official web-site of the Permanent Presidential Representative in the Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian) (Russian)
- Series about the recent political history of Crimea by Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies “Borysfen Intel” (English)
- Historical footage of Crimea, 1918, filmportal.de