1991 Crimean sovereignty referendum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Referendum on the State and Legal Status of Crimea,
20 January 1991
Do you support re-establishing the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic as a subject of the Union SSR and a participant of the Union Treaty?
Votes %
Yes 1,343,855 94.30%
No 81,254 5.70%
Valid votes 1,425,109 98.74%
Invalid or blank votes 18,151 1.26%
Total votes 1,443,260 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 1,770,841 81.5%
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of Crimea
Emblem of Crimea.svg

Republic of Crimea (within Russia) since 2014

Autonomous Republic of Crimea (within Ukraine)

See also
Political status of Crimea
Politics of Russia
Politics of Ukraine

A referendum on sovereignty was held in the Crimean Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR on 20 January 1991[1] two months before the 1991 All-Union referendum. Voters were asked whether they wanted to re-establish the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which had been abolished in 1945. The proposal was approved by 94% of voters.



The Crimean ASSR was originally created in 1921, as part of the Russian SFSR in the Soviet Union.[2] Crimea was invaded by Nazi Germany during World War II, and when the region was reclaimed by the USSR in 1944, the Crimean Tatars, Armenians, Bulgarians and Greeks were deported to Central Asia under the pretext of alleged collaboration with the German occupiers.[3][4] The ASSR was abolished and Crimea became an oblast.[5] On 5 February 1954 it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR.[5]

The key difference between being an Oblast and an Autonomous Republic that suggested the referendum lies in republics being parties of New Union Treaty and according to the contemporary laws on quitting from the USSR could decide on their own whether to remain within the leaving Soviet Republic or remain in the USSR. The Crimean ASSR implemented that right later in 1994 and 2014.


Choice Votes %
For 1,343,825 94.30
Against 81,254 5.70
Invalid/blank votes 15,910
Total 1,441,019 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,770,841 81.37
Source: KIA News


Following the referendum, the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR passed the law "On Restoration of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialistic Republic" on 12 February 1991. By this law it became an autonomous republic within Ukraine although it is not clear that Ukraine had the standing to legislate Crimea's state status.


  1. ^ Crimean Tatars: Reflections On “Autonomy” Day UNPO
  2. ^ Sergei Lavrov defends Russia's position on Ukraine Euronews, 3 March 2014
  3. ^ Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. "Sürgün: The Crimean Tatars' deportation and exile - Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence". Massviolence.org. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  4. ^ To understand Crimea, take a look back at its complicated history The Washington Post, 27 February 2014
  5. ^ a b Maria Drohobycky (1995) Crimea: Dynamics, Challenges and Prospects, Rowman & Littlefield, p40