Republic of Crimea

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This article is about the federal subject of Russia. For the autonomous republic of Ukraine, see Autonomous Republic of Crimea. For other uses, see Republic of Crimea (disambiguation).
Republic of Crimea
Республика Крым (Russian)
Республіка Крим (Ukrainian)
Къырым Джумхуриети (Crimean Tatar)
—  Republic (disputed)  —

Flag

Coat of arms
Anthem:
"Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина" (Russian)
Nivy i gory tvoi volshebny, Rodina  (transliteration)
Your fields and mountains are magical, Motherland
Location of the  Republic of Crimea  (red)

in Russia  (light yellow)

Location of the  Republic of Crimea  (light yellow)

in the Crimean Peninsula

Coordinates: 45°24′N 35°18′E / 45.400°N 35.300°E / 45.400; 35.300Coordinates: 45°24′N 35°18′E / 45.400°N 35.300°E / 45.400; 35.300
Political status
Country  Russia
Federal district Crimean[1][2]
Economic region Not yet assigned[3]
Established March 21, 2014
Capital Simferopol
Government (as of April 2014)
 - Head of the Republic Sergey Aksyonov (acting)[4]
 - Legislature State Council
Statistics
Area [5]
 - Total 26,100 km2 (10,100 sq mi)
Population (2014 est.)
 - Total 1,966,801[6]
Time zone(s) MSK (UTC+04:00)[7]
Official languages Russian;[9] Ukrainian;[8] Crimean Tatar[8]

The Republic of Crimea (/krˈmə/ or /krɨˈmə/; Russian: Республика Крым, Respublika Krym; Crimean Tatar: Къырым Джумхуриети, Qırım Cumhuriyeti; Ukrainian: Республіка Крим, Respublika Krym) is an internationally disputed federal subject of the Russian Federation. It is located on the Crimean Peninsula.

On March 16, 2014, the pro-Russian government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which was not recognised by the Ukrainian government, conducted a referendum with the support of Russia. According to results announced by the referendum commission, 96.77% of voters voted for joining Russia. Crimea declared its independence and joined Russia the next day. Ukraine and the majority of the United Nations member states have explicitly declared that they do not recognise Russian rule on the peninsula, viewing Russian actions during and after the 2014 referendum as an illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory; they continue to recognise Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea. Reports from the UN criticised the circumstances surrounding the referendum, especially the presence of paramilitaries, self-defence groups and unidentifiable soldiers.[10] Russia, in turn, referred to the Kosovo and South Sudan precedents, when the UN supported their secession.

On March 18, 2014, one day after Crimea and Sevastopol seceded from Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty of accession with Crimean and Sevastopolian leaders, which specified that Crimea and Sevastopol would join the Russian Federation as separate political entities. On 21 March, the accession treaty was ratified and the establishment of two new constituent entities in the Russian Federation was marked by a 30 gun salute under an executive order of the Russian President.[11]

The Republic of Crimea is one of two constituent entities of Russia included in the Crimean Federal District, along with the federal city of Sevastopol.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet "About the transfer of the Crimean Oblast".
Further information: Modern history of Crimea and Crimean Oblast

Crimea was a part of Taurida Oblast belonging to the Russian Empire between 1784 and 1917. During the Russian Civil War (1917–1921) Crimea changed hands numerous times and finally became a part of Soviet Russia in 1921, when it was granted the status of an autonomous republic. During World War II, in 1944, Soviet authorities deported the Crimean Tatars for alleged collaboration with the Nazi occupation regime and after the war stripped the region of its autonomy. In 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union transferred the region to Ukraine. The Crimean Tatars were allowed to return to Crimea in the mid-1980s under perestroika.[12]

Ukraine restored Crimea's autonomous status in 1991. Crimea's autonomous status was further reiterated in 1996 with the ratification of Ukraine's current constitution, which declared Crimea to be the "Autonomous Republic of Crimea", but also an "inseparable constituent part of Ukraine."[13]

Separation from Ukraine[edit]

On March 11, 2014, in the course of the Crimean crisis, the Crimean parliament and the Sevastopol City Council issued a letter of intent to unilaterally declare independence from Ukraine.[14] The document specifically mentioned Kosovo as a precedent in the lead part.[14]

The declaration was made in an attempt to legitimise a referendum on the status of Crimea where citizens were to vote on whether Crimea should apply to join Russia as a federal subject of the Russian Federation, or remain part of Ukraine.

On March 16, 2014, according to statements of organizers of Crimean status referendum, a large majority (reported as 96.77% of the 81.36% of the population of Crimea who voted) voted in favour of independence of Crimea from Ukraine and joining Russia as a federal subject.[15][16] The BBC reported that most of the Crimean Tatars that they interviewed were boycotting the vote.[15] Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov stated that 40% of Crimean Tatars took part in the referendum, and according to Russian state media, polling data showed a majority of Tatars in Sevastopol voted to join Russia, with a turnout of over 50% in the city.[17] The European Union, Canada, Japan and the United States condemned the vote as illegal.[15][18]

After the referendum, Crimean lawmakers formally voted both to secede from Ukraine and ask for membership in the Russian Federation. The Sevastopol City Council, however, requested the port's separate admission as a federal city.[19]

Russian annexation[edit]

Diagram showing the merge, short-lived independence, and separation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol that gave birth to the Republic of Crimea as a federal subject of Russia.

On March 18, 2014, the self-proclaimed independent Republic of Crimea signed a treaty of accession to the Russian Federation. The accession was granted but separately for each the former regions that composed it: one accession for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as a federal subject, and another accession for Sevastopol as a federal city. The newly formed federal subject comprising the former Autonomous Republic of Crimea now bears the name Republic of Crimea—the same name as the short-lived self-proclaimed independent republic. During the transition period, which will last until January 1, 2015, both sides will resolve the issues of integration of the new subjects “in the economic, financial, credit and legal system of the Russian Federation.”[20] The accession has been recognised internationally by only a few states.

On March 19, 2014, the Ukrainian military began to withdraw from Crimea.[21]

On March 24, 2014, the Russian ruble goes into official circulation in Crimea, parallel circulation of the hryvnia is permitted through January 1, 2016. Taxes and fees in Crimea and Sevastopol will be paid in rubles only, and wages to the workers of budget-receiving organisations will also be made in rubles.[22]

On March 31, 2014, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a series of programs aimed at swiftly incorporating the territory of Crimea into Russia’s economy and infrastructure. Medvedev announced the creation of a new ministry for Crimean affairs, and ordered Russia’s top ministers who joined him there to make coming up with a development plan their top priority.[23]

On March 31, 2014, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that foreign citizens visiting Crimea need to apply for a visa to the Russian Federation in one of the Russian diplomatic missions of Russian consulates.[24]

On April 3, 2014, Moscow sent diplomatic note to Ukraine on terminating the actions of agreements concerning the deployment of the Russian Federation's Black Sea Fleet on the territory of Ukraine. As part of the agreements, Russia paid the Ukrainian government $530 million annually for the base, and wrote off nearly $100 million of Kiev's debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters. Ukraine also received a discount of $100 on each 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas imported from Russia, which was provided for by cutting export duties on the gas, money that would have gone into the Russian state budget. The Kremlin stated that as the base is no longer located in Ukraine, there were no legal grounds for the discount to be continued.[25]

On April 3, 2014, Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became part of Russia's Southern Military District.[26]

On April 11, 2014, the parliament of Crimea approved a new constitution, with 88 out of 100 lawmakers voting in favor of its adoption.[27] The constitution ensures the Republic of Crimea as a democratic state within the Russian Federation and says that its territory is united and inseparable. The Crimean parliament will become smaller and have 75 members instead of current 100.[28] According to the Kommersant newspaper, the authorities, including the State Council chair Vladimir Konstantinov unofficially promised that certain quotas would be reserved for Crimean Tatars in various government bodies.[29] On the same day a new revision of the Russian Constitution was officially released with the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol included in the list of federal subjects of the Russian Federation.[30]

On April 12, 2014, the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea, adopted at the session of the State Council on April 11 entered into legal force. The Constitution was published by the Krymskiye Izvestiya newspaper, and it has entered into legal force today, the State Council of Crimea said. The Constitution of Crimea consists of 10 chapters and 95 articles; its main regulations are analogous to the articles of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The text states that the Republic of Crimea is a democratic, legal state within the Russian Federation and an equal subject of the Russian Federation. The source of power in the Crimean Republic is its people, which is part of the multinational people of the Russian Federation. It is noted that the supreme direct manifestation of the power of the people is referendum and free elections, seizure of power and appropriation of power authorization is unacceptable.[31]

On 15 April 2014, the Ukrainian parliament declared Crimea and the city of Sevastopol "occupied territories".[32]

Government and politics[edit]

Main article: Politics of Crimea

The legislative body is a 100-seat parliament, renamed the State Council of Crimea (ru).[33]

The executive power is represented by the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister (officially called Head of the Republic). The authority and operation of the State Council and the Council of Ministers of Crimea are determined by the Constitution of Crimea and other Crimean laws, as well as by regular decisions carried out by the Council.[34]

Justice is administered by courts, as part of the judiciary of Russia.

While not an official body controlling Crimea, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is a representative body of the Crimean Tatars, which addresses grievances to the State Council, the Prime Minister, and international bodies.[35]

Administrative divisions[edit]

The Republic of Crimea continues to use the administrative divisions previously utilised by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and is thus subdivided into 25 regions: 14 districts (raions) and 11 city municipalities (mis'krada or misto), officially known as territories governed by city councils.[36][not in citation given]

Raions
1. Bakhchysarai Raion
2. Bilohirsk Raion
3. Dzhankoy Raion
4. Kirovske Raion
5. Krasnohvardiiske Raion
6. Krasnoperekopsk Raion
7. Lenine Raion
8. Nyzhnohirskyi Raion
9. Pervomaiske Raion
10. Rozdolne Raion
11. Saky Raion
12. Simferopol Raion
13. Sovietskyi Raion
14. Chornomorske Raion
City municipalities
15. Alushta municipality
16. Armyansk municipality
17. Dzhankoy municipality
18. Yevpatoria municipality
19. Kerch municipality
20. Krasnoperekopsk municipality
21. Saky municipality
22. Simferopol municipality
23. Sudak municipality
24. Feodosiya municipality
25. Yalta municipality
Subdivisions of Crimea.

Political geography[edit]

Main article: Geography of Crimea

Crimea is one of two parts of European Russia that have no land connection to the rest of the country, the other being Kaliningrad Oblast on the Baltic Sea. There are plans to construct a bridge over the Kerch Strait to link the Republic of Crimea to its closest neighbour in Russia, Krasnodar Krai.[37]

If Crimea is considered separate from Ukraine, which continues to claim sovereignty over the peninsula, then Ukraine is the only country with which it shares a land border. However, only a handful of road and rail connections between Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula exist. These crossings have been under the control of pro-Russian troops since at least mid-March 2014.

Demographics[edit]

Ethnic groups[edit]

According to the 2001 Ukrainian census the ethnic makeup of the population of the whole Crimean peninsula at the time comprised the following self-reported groups:

According to the 2001 census, 77% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 11.4% – Crimean Tatar; and 10.1% – Ukrainian.[39]

No official census has been held since 2001.[40]

Languages[edit]

The Republic of Crimea has three official languages: Crimean Tatar, Russian and Ukrainian.[8] Its Education Minister Natalia Goncharova announced mid-August 2014 that (since no parents of first-graders wrote an application for learning Ukrainian) Crimea had decided not to form Ukrainian language classes in its primary schools.[41] Goncharova said that since more than a quarter of parents at the Ukrainian gymnasium in Simferopol had written an application to teach children in Ukrainian; this school might have Ukrainian language classes.[41] Goncharova also added that the parents of first-graders had written application for learning the Russian language, and (in areas inhabited by Crimean Tatars) for learning Crimean Tatar.[41]

Human rights[edit]

United Nations monitors (that had been in Crimea from 2 April to 6 May 2014) expressed concern on the treatment of journalists, sexual, religious and ethnic minorities and AIDS patients.[42] The monitors had found that journalists and activists who had opposed the 2014 Crimean referendum had been harassed and abducted.[43] They also claimed that Crimeans who had not applied for Russian citizenship faced harassment and intimidation.[44] Russia criticized their report as politically motivated and as an attempt to whitewash "the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities".[45] Russia added that it did not support the deployment of human rights monitors in Crimea.[46] The (new) Crimean authorities vowed to investigate the reports of human rights violations.[47]

International status[edit]

Results of the United Nations General Assembly vote about the territorial integrity of Ukraine on March 2014.
  In favour   Against   Abstentions   Absent

The status of the republic is disputed as Russia and some other states recognised the independence declared by the Autonomous Republic and Sevastopol and their subsequent incorporation into the Russian Federation. Most other nations do not recognise these actions due to the Russian military intervention that occurred as these events unfolded. Russia argues that the results of a referendum held in Crimea and Sevastopol justify the accession. Internationally, Russia's actions have been widely condemned as a violation of sovereignty of Ukraine and as an act of aggression. Ukraine still considers both the Autonomous Republic and Sevastopol as subdivisions of Ukraine under Ukrainian territory and subject to Ukrainian law. According to some unverified media reports, The Ukrainian government did however discontinue supplying the region with water through the North Crimean Canal.

On March 21, 2014, Armenia recognised the Crimean referendum, which led to Ukraine recalling its ambassador to that country.[48] The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic also recognised the referendum earlier that week on March 17.[49] On March 22, 2014, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan told a U.S. delegation that he recognised and supported the Crimean referendum and "respects the free will of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol to decide their own future".[50] On March 23, 2014, Belarus recognised Crimea as de-facto part of Russia.[51] On March 27, 2014, Nicaragua unconditionally recognised the incorporation of Crimea into Russia.[52]

On March 27, 2014, the UN General Assembly voted on a non-binding resolution claiming that the referendum was invalid and reaffirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity, by a vote of 100 to 11, with 58 abstentions and 24 absent.[53][54] Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, as well as Russia, voted against.[55] Russia Today alleged that Western countries resorted to "political blackmail and economic threats" to coerce diplomats to vote for the resolution,[56] whereas Reuters alleged that, as per anonymous UN diplomats, the Russian delegation threatened punitive action against certain Eastern European and Central Asian countries if they supported the resolution.[57]

On April 6, 2014, president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman said in an interview for Czech radio that the EU should impose the toughest sanctions on Russia as "at the moment Russia would decide to widen its territorial expansion to the Ukrainian east, this will become really serious as this would trigger a chain reaction". But he also said that Crimea will not be returned to Ukraine in the foreseeable future.[58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Putin signs set of laws on reunification of Crimea, Sevastopol with Russia
  2. ^ Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
  3. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  4. ^ Сергей Аксёнов назначен врио Главы Крыма kremlin.ru
  5. ^ "Autonomous Republic of Crimea". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Population as of February 1, 2014. Average annual populations January 2014". State Statistics Service of Ukraine. 
  7. ^ "Crimea sets clocks to Moscow time". Bangkok Post. March 30, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c Putin addresses Russia's parliament in Crimea
  9. ^ Official on the whole territory of Russia according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
  10. ^ "UN report on Euronews - 15 April 2014". Euronews. March 11, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Executive Order on holding a celebratory gun salute in Moscow, Simferopol and Sevastopol" which was reported as "To celebrate the establishment of two new constituent entities in the Russian Federation – the Republic of Crimea and city of federal importance Sevastopol – the President ordered that a gun salute of 30 rounds will take place in Moscow, the Russian Federation’s capital, and in Simferopol and Sevastopol on March 21, 2014 at 22.00.", Source: President of Russia official website (kremlin.ru)
  12. ^ "The Crimean Tatars began repatriating on a massive scale beginning in the late 1980s and continuing into the early 1990s. The population of Crimean Tatars in Crimea rapidly reached 250,000 and leveled off at 270,000 where it remains as of this writing [2001]. There are believed to be between 30,000 and 100,000 remaining in places of former exile in Central Asia." Greta Lynn Uehling, The Crimean Tatars (Encyclopedia of the Minorities, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn) iccrimea.org
  13. ^ "Constitution of Ukraine, 1996". Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Парламент Крыма принял Декларацию о независимости АРК и г. Севастополя". Государственный Совет Республики Крым. March 11, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c BBC News – Crimea referendum: Voters 'back Russia union'
  16. ^ Crimeans vote over 90 percent to quit Ukraine for Russia | Reuters
  17. ^ "About 40% of Crimean Tatars take part in Crimean referendum – Prime Minister". ITAR-TASS. March 16, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  18. ^ Japan does not recognise Crimea vote – govt spokesman | Reuters
  19. ^ "Lawmakers in Crimea Move Swiftly to Split From Ukraine". The New York Times. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Treaty to accept Crimea, Sevastopol to Russian Federation signed". Russia Today. March 18, 2014. 
  21. ^ Carol Morello and Kathy Lally (19 March 2014). "Ukraine says it is preparing to leave Crimea". The Washington Post. 
  22. ^ ITAR-TASS: Russia - Russian ruble goes into official circulation in Crimea as of Monday
  23. ^ Medvedev visits Crimea, vows development aid - The Wall Street Journal - MarketWatch
  24. ^ Now foreigners need Russian visas to visit Crimea - Russian Foreign Ministry - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, ...
  25. ^ Moscow Sent Diplomatic Note to Ukraine on Terminating Black Sea Fleet Agreements | Russia | RIA Novosti
  26. ^ Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol become part of Southern Military District - News - Russia - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, Int...
  27. ^ Crimean Parliament Approves New Constitution | Russia | RIA Novosti
  28. ^ Crimea approves new Constitution - English pravda.ru
  29. ^ Crimea’s new constitution put up for discussion — RT Russian politics
  30. ^ Russia Amends Constitution to Include Crimea, Sevastopol | Russia | RIA Novosti
  31. ^ Crimean Constitution comes into legal force - News - Russia - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Ex...
  32. ^ Ukraine’s Parliament Declares Crimea, Sevastopol ‘Occupied Territory’ | World | RIA Novosti
  33. ^ http://www.vsarc.ru/en/news/17_03_2014_2
  34. ^ "Autonomous Republic of Crimea – Information card". Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Retrieved February 22, 2007. 
  35. ^ Ziad, Waleed; Laryssa Chomiak (February 20, 2007). "A lesson in stifling violent extremism". CS Monitor. Retrieved March 26, 2007. 
  36. ^ "Infobox card – Avtonomna Respublika Krym". Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved February 23, 2007. 
  37. ^ "Kerch Strait bridge to be built ahead of schedule — deputy minister". ITAR-TASS. March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  38. ^ this combines the figures for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, listing groups of more than 5,000 individuals. "Autonomous Republic of Crimea". 2001 Ukrainian Census. Retrieved 2014-03-24. ; "Sevastopol". 2001 Ukrainian Census. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 
  39. ^ "Results / General results of the census / Linguistic composition of the population / Autonomous Republic of Crimea". 2001 Ukrainian Census. 
  40. ^ (Ukrainian) "Census of the population is transferred to 2016". Dzerkalo Tzhnia. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  41. ^ a b c (Ukrainian) Crimea has no longer Ukrainian classes, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 August 2014)
  42. ^ U.N. monitors warn on human rights in east Ukraine, Crimea
  43. ^ U.N. Cites Abuses in Crimea Before Russia Annexation Vote
  44. ^ U.N. monitors warn on human rights in east Ukraine, Crimea
  45. ^ U.N. monitors warn on human rights in east Ukraine, Crimea
  46. ^ U.N. Cites Abuses in Crimea Before Russia Annexation Vote
  47. ^ U.N. Cites Abuses in Crimea Before Russia Annexation Vote
  48. ^ "Ukraine Recalls Ambassador to Armenia over Crimea Recognition". Asbarez Armenian News. March 21, 2014. 
  49. ^ "Karabakh Foreign Ministry Issues Statement on Crimea". Asbarez Armenian News. March 17, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Afghanistan respects Crimea's right to self-determination – Karzai". Russia Today. March 22, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Belarusian president: Crimea is de-facto part of Russia". Russia Today. March 23, 2014. 
  52. ^ "Nicaragua unconditionally recognises incorporation of Crimea into Russia". The Voice of Russia. March 27, 2014. 
  53. ^ United Nations News Centre - Backing Ukraine’s territorial integrity, UN Assembly declares Crimea referendum invalid
  54. ^ U.N. General Assembly declares Crimea secession vote invalid | Reuters
  55. ^ UN Gen Assembly adopts resolution backing Ukraine's territorial integrity — RT News
  56. ^ UN vote shows Russia far from isolated – Churkin — RT News
  57. ^ Charbonneau, Louis (March 28, 2014). "Russia Threatened Countries Ahead Of UN Vote On Ukraine, Diplomats Say". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  58. ^ Zeman: NATO should go to Ukraine if Russia invades it | Prague Monitor

External links[edit]