Politics of Crimea

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politics and government of Crimea
See also
Political status of Crimea
Politics of Ukraine
Politics of Russia

Formerly a Soviet oblast, the politics of Crimea from 1991 were that of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea on one hand, and that of the city of Sevastopol on the other.

With the 2014 Crimean crisis, the political status of Crimea is disputed, with the Russian Federation claiming and administering the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as its subjects.


According to Ukraine's Constitution, sovereignty over Crimea belongs to the Ukrainian government, giving Crimea no role in its foreign affairs. Thus, according to Ukrainian law, the Crimean head of state is simultaneously the President of Ukraine, currently Oleksandr Turchynov.[1] According to the Russian constitution, as amended in 2014, Crimea is the 85th Federal Subject of the Russian Federation.

Parliament of Crimea[edit]

Before 2014, the 100-seat legislative branch of Crimea was called the Supreme Council of Crimea, but was renamed to the State Council of Crimea.[2] This parliament has no right of legislative initiative.[3] It appoints the Council of Ministers.

Government of Crimea[edit]

The Prime Minister of Crimea is the head of the Council of Ministers, serving as the executive branch of government.


Further information: Judiciary of Ukraine and Judiciary of Russia

The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature branches and the responsibility of the national authorities.

In Russia, for serious and specific crimes (murder, kidnapping, rape with aggravating circumstances, child trafficking, gangsterism, large-scale bribery, treason, terrorism, public calls for violent change in the constitutional system or for the seizure of power, and select other crimes against the state), the accused have the option of a jury trial consisting of 12 jurors, who must be 25 years old, legally competent, and without a criminal record.[4] In Ukraine, "jury trials" have 2 judges and 3 jurors,[5] but there is confusion over whether or not these are jurors or lay judges.[6][7][8] Russian juries are similar to common law juries, and unlike lay judges, in that they sit separately from the judges and decide questions of fact alone while the judge determines questions of law.[9] (Russia used jury trials from 1864-1917, reintroduced the jury trial in 1993, and extended it to another 69 regions in 2003;[10] Ukraine's first "jury trial" ended in October 2013 in Sumy.[5])

Administrative divisions[edit]

Crimea is subdivided into a total of 25 regions: 14 raions (districts) and 11 city municipalities. 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. The capital of Crimea is the City of Simferopol, located in the interior of the peninsula. According to the Treaty on the Adoption of the Republic of Crimea to Russia, Sevastopol will become one of the three federal cities of Russia, along with Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Politics of Crimea today[edit]

Crimea was transferred over to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (the predecessor to Ukraine) by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1954. From 1954 until 1992, Crimea was an oblast (province) of Ukraine, until its autonomy was restored as the Republic of Crimea on 12 February 1992. Crimea's status in Ukraine was re-affirmed with Ukraine's 1996 constitution.

The current constitution (under scrutiny of the Ukrainian parliament) has been in effect since 12 January 1999.[11]

During the 2014 Crimean crisis, on 27 February 2014, the Supreme Council of Crimea installed the new Chairman of Council of Minister Sergey Aksyonov, a leader of the Russian Unity party.[12] They also agreed to hold a referendum on the status of Crimea on 25 May 2014. [13] The date for the referendum is later brought forward to 30 March [14] and further to 16 March [15]

Official languages[edit]

The Constitution of Crimea stipulates that the language of official documents "certifying the status of a citizen" shall be in Ukrainian and Russian, and at request in Crimean Tatar.[16] Government proceedings, notarial proceedings and legal aid are in Ukrainian or at request in Russian.[16]

Elections and referendums[edit]

The latest parliamentary elections in Crimea were held in 2010. Before the current constitution took force, Crimea had a President for a brief time. The first and only presidential elections took place in January 1994. The most recent referendum was held in 2014 concerning whether Crimea should declare independence and seek to join Russia.

Crimean parliamentary election, 2010[edit]

e • d Summary of the 31 October 2010 Supreme Council of Crimea election results[17]
Parties Party list votes Party list % Swing (party list) % Mandates won on party list Constituencies won Swing (in mandates)
Party of Regions 357030 48,93% +19,54% 32 48 +4
Communist Party of Ukraine 54172 7,42% +1,15% 5 -4
Qurultai-Rukh 51253 7,02% +0,47% 5 -3
Soyuz 38514 5,28% -1,47% 3 2 -5
Russian Unity 29343 4,02% 3
Strong Ukraine 26515 3,63% 2
People's Party 4563 0,63%
Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine 12614 1,73% -7
Party of Pensioners of Ukraine 11133 1,53%
Batkivschyna 19589 2,68% -3,62 -8
Front for Change 8281 1,13%
Svoboda 1361 0,19%
Against all Invalid ballots 57552 7.89%
Invalid ballots 21794 -1.43%
Total 997,575 100% 50 50

Crimean parliamentary election, 2006[edit]

e • d Summary of the 26 March 2006 Supreme Council of Crimea election results
Parties Votes % Mandates
Bloc "For Yanukovych!" (Блок "За Януковича!") 324,710 32.55 44
Soyuz (Союз) 76,143 7.63 10
Electoral Bloc of Kunitsyn (Блок Куніцина) 75,391 7.63 10
Communist Party of Ukraine (Комуністична партія України) 65,341 6.55 9
Qurultai-Rukh (Курултай-Рух) 62,448 6.26 8
Yulia Tymoshenko Electoral Bloc (Блок Юлії Тимошенко) 60,153 6.03 8
People's Opposition Bloc of Natalia Vitrenko (Блок Наталії Вітренко) 49,579 4.97 7
Opposition Bloc "Ne Tak" (Опозиційний блок "НЕ ТАК!") 30,825 3.09 4
Lytvyn's People's Bloc (Народний блок Литвина) 19,153 1.92 -
Bloc Our Ukraine (Блок Наша Україна) 12,369 1.24 -
Socialist Party of Ukraine (Соціалістична партія України) 9,576 0.96 -
Pora! (ПОРА!) 1,895 0.19 -
Against all 33,569 20.98 -
Total 997,575 100.0 100

Crimean presidential election, 1994[edit]

e • d Summary of the 16 January and 30 January 1994 Crimea presidential election results
Candidates — nominating parties Votes first round  % Votes second round  %
Yuriy Meshkov — Bloc "Russia" 557,226 38.50 1,040,888 72.92
Mykola Bahrov — (supported by Mejlis) 254,042 17.55 333,243 23.35
Serhiy Shuvainykov — Russian Party of Crimea 196,324 13.56
Leonid HrachCommunist Party of Ukraine 176,330 12.80
Ivan Yermakov — Ukrainian president representative in Sevastopol 90,347 6.22
Volodymyr Verkoshansky — self-nomination 14,205 0.98
Total 1,288,474 100.00 1,374,131 100.00

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anastasia Forina (23 February 2014). "Ukraine's parliament hopes to choose new government by Feb. 25". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  2. ^ Verkhovna Rada Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Rada.crimea.ua. Retrieved on 19 March 2014.
  3. ^ The Crimea wants to protect majority principle, Den (7 October 2003)
    Crimea prepares amendments to Constitution, ForUm (21 January 2013)
  4. ^ Terrill, Richard J. (2009). World Criminal Justice Systems: A Survey (7 ed.). Elsevier. p. 439. ISBN 978-1-59345-612-2. 
  5. ^ a b "First 'jury trial' in Ukraine ends with an acquittal". Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. 29 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "In Ukraine, scales of justice often imbalanced". Kyiv Post. Reuters. 9 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Role of jury in Ukraine". Kyiv Post. 1 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Why Ukraine still has no jury trials". Kyiv Post. 16 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Terrill 2009, p. 439.
  10. ^ Terrill 2009, pp. 438-439.
  11. ^ Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2004, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 1857431871 (page 540)
  12. ^ The new premier of Crimea elected the leader of Russian Unity Aksenov. Intefax. 27 February 2014.
  13. ^ В ВР Крыма проголосовали за проведение референдума. Gazeta.ua (3 March 2014). Retrieved on 19 March 2014.
  14. ^ Poroshenko calls Crimea's decision to hold referendum illegal. Kyivpost.com (1 March 2014). Retrieved on 19 March 2014.
  15. ^ Ukraine crisis: Hopes for united nation fade as Crimea’s MPs vote to become part of Russia – Europe – World. The Independent (6 March 2014). Retrieved on 19 March 2014.
  16. ^ a b (Ukrainian) "Мовний" закон Колесніченка-Ківалова нічого не дав Криму "Language" law Kolesnichenko-Kivalov gave Crimea nothing, Ukrayinska Pravda (27 March 2013)
  17. ^ Regions Party gets 80 of 100 seats on Crimean parliament, Interfax Ukraine (11 November 2010)

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