Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea

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Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea
Ratified October 21, 1998 (Crimea)
December 23, 1998 (Ukraine)
Repealed April 11, 2014[1]
Purpose Establishing Crimean status within Ukraine
Emblem of Crimea.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of Crimea
See also
Political status of Crimea
Politics of Ukraine
Politics of Russia

The constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Конституція Автономної Республіки Крим Konstytutsiya Avtonomnoyi Respubliky Krym; Russian: Конституция Автономной Республики Крым Konstitutsiya Avtonomnoy Respubliki Krym) was the basic law of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a republic that existed on the Crimean peninsula as part of Ukraine. The constitution established the republic's status and authority within Ukraine. It granted Crimea the right to draft a budget and manage its own property.[2] The constitution was repealed by referendum during the 2014 Crimean crisis, after which the Republic of Crimea was established as a federal subject of the Russian Federation.[1] As of 2015, the Ukrainian government has refused to recognize the reunification of Crimea with Russia and still recognizes the constitution has active, despite the Autonomous Republic and Ukrainian law no longer being recognized in the region.


After a referendum on 20 January 1991, Crimea regained its status as an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.[2] (Since this was months before the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine of 24 August 1991 (by December 1991 internationally recognized[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]) Crimea was at the time part of the Ukrainian SSR which was one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union.[2][10]) In February 1992 the Crimean parliament transformed Crimea into "Republic of Crimea" and the Ukrainian government offered them more self-government.[2] On 5 May 1992 parliament declared Crimea independent[2] (which was yet to be approved by a referendum to be held 2 August 1992[11]) 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.[11] The Ukrainian parliament convened on May 15, annulled the Crimean declaration of independence and gave the Crimean parliament one week to cancel the referendum.[11][11] In June 1992 the parties reached a compromise and Crimea was given the status of "Autonomous Republic".[2]

In May 1994, the Crimean parliament voted to restore the May 1992 Constitution.[2] In September 1994 President of Crimea Yuriy Meshkov and parliament decided to write a new Constitution.[2] On 17 March 1995 the Verkhovna Rada abolished the May 1992 Constitution (and the post of President of Crimea).[2] From June till September 1995 Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma governed Crimea under a direct presidential administration decree.[2] In October 1995 the Crimean parliament adopted a new Constitution which was not recognized by the national (Ukrainian) authorities until April 1996 when significant amendments were suggested.[2] A fifth draft law of the October 1995 constitution was ratified on 21 October 1998 at the second session of the Crimean Verkhovna Rada (parliament).[2][12] The Verkhovna Rada confirmed this constitution on 23 December 1998.[12] (Article 135 of the Ukrainian Constitution provides that the Crimean Constitution must be approved by the Ukrainian parliament.)[13]It came into effect on 12 January 1999.[2]

In 2014, following the Euromaidan protests, the elected government of Ukraine was overthrown in a coup supported by pro-Western populists and oligarchs who opposed the administration of Viktor Yanukovych and its intentions to strengthen ties with Russia. The new government was extremely unpopular in the east, prompting a series of secessionist movements. The government of Crimea initiated a referendum on how to respond to the crisis, with either remaining under Ukrainian status with the 1992 constitution of Crimea or withdrawing from Ukraine and rejoining the Russian Federation. Over 90% voted in favor of withdrawing, which resulted in the repeal of the 1998 constitution and the establishment of the Republic of Crimea, a federal subject of Russia.


The Crimean parliament had no right of legislative initiative.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Crimean lawmakers approve new pro-Russian constitution". April 11, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2004, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 1857431871 (page 540)
  3. ^ Ukraine and Russia: The Post-Soviet Transition by Roman Solchanyk, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0742510182 (page 100)
  4. ^ Canadian Yearbook of International Law, Vol 30, 1992, University of British Columbia Press, 1993, ISBN 9780774804387 (page 371)
  5. ^ Russia, Ukraine, and the Breakup of the Soviet Union by Roman Szporluk, Hoover Institution Press, 2000, ISBN 0817995420 (page 355)
  6. ^ Russia's Revolution from Above, 1985-2000: Reform, Transition, and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime by Gordon M. Hahn, Transaction Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0765800497 (page 482)
  7. ^ A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Ukraine, Office of the Historian
  8. ^ The Limited Partnership: Building a Russian-Us Security Community by James E. Goodby and Benoit Morel, Oxford University Press, 1993, ISBN 0198291612 (page 48)
  9. ^ Ukrainian Independence, Worldwide News Ukraine
  10. ^ A History of Ukraine: The Land and Its Peoples by Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto Press, 2010, ISBN 1442610212 (page 722/723)
  11. ^ a b c d Russians in the Former Soviet Republics by Pål Kolstø, Indiana University Press, 1995, ISBN 0253329175 (page 194)
  12. ^ a b (Ukrainian) "Мовний" закон Колесніченка-Ківалова нічого не дав Криму "Language" law Kolesnichenko-Kivalov gave Crimea nothing, Ukrayinska Pravda (27 March 2013)
  13. ^ Parliamentary Assembly - Documents - 1999 Session (First part, January 1999) - Volume I, Council of Europe, 25–29 January 1999, ISBN 978-92-871-3957-3 (page 13)
  14. ^ The Crimea wants to protect majority principle, Den (7 October 2003)
    Crimea prepares amendments to Constitution, ForUm (21 January 2013)

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