User:Emmette Hernandez Coleman/sandbox/Crimea

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Autonomous Republic of Crimea
  • Автономная Республика Крым
  • Автономна Республіка Крим
  • Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti
"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)
Location of Crimea (red) with respect to Ukraine (white)
and largest city
44°57′N 34°6′E / 44.950°N 34.100°E / 44.950; 34.100
Official languagesUkrainian
Recognized regional languagesRussian, Crimean Tatara
Ethnic groups (2001)
GovernmentAutonomous republic
Serhiy Kunitsyn (de facto)[1]
Sergey Aksyonov (de facto)[2][3]
Vladimir Konstantinov (de facto)[4][5]
LegislatureSupreme Council
Modern history of statehood
13 December 1917
January 1918
April 1918
April 1919
June 1919
October 1921
June 1945
February 1954
February 1991
21 October 1998
16 March 2014
• Total
26,100 km2 (10,100 sq mi) (148th)
• 2007 estimate
1,973,185 (148th)
• 2001 census
• Density
75.6/km2 (195.8/sq mi) (116th)
CurrencyUkrainian hryvnia, Russian ruble [6] (UAH)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Calling code+380d
Internet TLDcrimea.uac
  1. 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.
  2. The Crimean Oblast's autonomy was restored when it became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within the newly independent Ukraine.
  3. Not officially assigned.
  4. +380 65 for the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, +380 692 for the administratively separate City of Sevastopol.
Collage of Crimean culture

Crimea is a disputed territory covering almost all the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea. Ukraine claims the territory as one of its subdivisions within its contiguous national territory under the name of Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Russia, on the other hand, claims it as one of its federal subjects under the name of Republic of Crimea. The majority of the international community, however, considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory rather than a Russian federal subject. Before the dispute, the territory considered itself an autonomous republic until it reunified with the city of Sevastopol. These two regions then declared their independence from Ukraine together as a single united nation. This nation then requested accession to Russia which was granted separately: one for the former Autonomous Republic of Crimea and another for Sevastopol.[a][8] The Russian federal subject is virtually the same as the Ukrainian autonomous republic, save for being part of Russia as a federal subject rather than being part of Ukraine as an autonomous republic. The accession is temporarily being applied even though it has not been ratified yet.[by whom?] However, the status of the republic is disputed as only Russia recognized the independence declared by the Autonomous Republic and Sevastopol, as well as being the only nation that recognized their subsequent incorporation into the Russian Federation. Most nations do not recognize these actions due to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine that occurred as these events unfolded. Russia, however, argues that the results of a referendum held in Crimea and Sevastopol justify the accession, claiming that its result reflected such desire. Internationally, Russia's actions have been widely condemned as a violation of sovereignty of Ukraine and as an act of aggression. Ukraine, for all intents and purposes, still considers the Autonomous Republic as one of its subdivisions under Ukrainian territory and subject to Ukrainian law.

Since c. 700 BC, the peninsula has changed hands several times, with all or part having been controlled by Cimmerians, Bulgars, Greeks, Scythians, Romans, Goths, Huns, Khazars, Kievan Rus' (the historical precursor to the modern states of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia[9]), the Byzantine Empire, Venice, Genoa, Kipchaks, the Golden Horde, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, Germany, Ukraine, and now, perhaps, the Russian Federation.

Crimea is an autonomous parliamentary republic within Ukraine[10] and is governed by the Constitution of Crimea in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. The capital and administrative seat of the republic's government is the city of Simferopol, located in the center of the peninsula. Crimea's area is 26,200 square kilometers (10,100 sq mi) and its population was 1,973,185 as of 2007. These figures do not include the area and population of the City of Sevastopol (2007 population: 379,200), which is administratively separate from the autonomous republic. The peninsula thus has 2,352,385 people (2007 estimate).

Crimean Tatars, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority who in 2001 made up 12.10% of the population,[11] formed in Crimea in the late Middle Ages, after the Crimean Khanate had come into existence. The Crimean Tatars were forcibly expelled to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin's government. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Crimean Tatars began to return to the region.[12] According to the 2001 Ukrainian population census 58% of the population of Crimea are ethnic Russians and 24% are ethnic Ukrainians.[11]


The name Crimea derives from the name of the city of Qırım (today's Stary Krym), which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde. The name Krim thus traces to the Tatar word for 'steppe, hill' (Crimean Tatar: qırım - ‘my steppe, hill’, from Old Turkic, Middle Turkic qır ‘mountain top, mountain ridge; steppe, desert, level ground’).[13][14] Russian Krym is a Russified form of Qırım. The ancient Greeks called Crimea Tauris (later Taurica, Ταυρική in Ancient Greek), after its inhabitants, the Tauri. The Greek historian Herodotus accounts for the name by asserting that Heracles plowed that land using a huge ox ("Taurus"). Herodotus also refers to a nearby region called Cremni[15] or 'the Cliffs'", which may also refer to the Crimean peninsula, notable for its cliffs along what is otherwise a flat northern coastline of the Black Sea.

In English, Crimea has often been referred to with the definite article, as the Crimea, although this usage was more common before the late 20th century.


Early history[edit]

The Greek colony of Chersonesos near modern Sevastopol

Taurica was the name of Crimea in antiquity. Taurica was inhabited by a variety of peoples. The inland regions were inhabited by Scythians and the mountainous south coast by the Taures, an offshoot of the Cimmerians. Greek settlers inhabited a number of colonies along the coast of the peninsula, notably the city of Chersonesos in modern Sevastopol. In the 4th century BC[16] the eastern part of Taurica became part of the Bosporan Kingdom, before being incorporated into the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, Taurica was host to Roman colonists in Charax, Crimea.[17] Taurica was eventually renamed by the Crimean Tatars, from whose language Crimea's modern name derives. The word "Crimea" comes from the Crimean Tatar name Qırım, via Greek Krimea (Κριμαία).[citation needed]

Throughout the later centuries, Crimea was invaded or occupied successively by the Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths (AD 250), the Huns (376), the Bulgars (4th–8th century), the Khazars (8th century), the state of Kievan Rus' (10th–11th centuries), the Byzantine Empire (1016), the Kipchaks (Kumans) (1050), and the Mongols (1237).[citation needed] In the 13th century, the Republic of Genoa seized the settlements that their rivals, the Venetians, had built along the Crimean coast and gained control of the Crimean economy and the Black Sea commerce for two centuries.[citation needed] The Black Death pandemic came to Europe in the 14th century, probably aboard Genoese merchant ships from the Crimean peninsula.[18]

A number of Turkic peoples, now collectively known as the Crimean Tatars, came to inhabit the peninsula starting with the early Middle Ages. At times these dominated the peninsula demographically, while at other times their numbers dwindled (1750–1944) or disappeared altogether (1944–91), only to reappear again (1991–present) After the destruction of the Golden Horde by Tamerlane, the Crimean Tatars founded an independent Crimean Khanate in 1441, under Hacı I Giray, a descendant of Genghis Khan. The Crimean Tatars controlled the steppes that stretched from the Kuban and to the Dniester River, however, they were initially unable to take control over commercial Genoese towns. After the capture of Genoese towns, the Ottoman Sultan held Meñli I Giray captive,[19] later releasing him in return for accepting Ottoman sovereignty above the Crimean Khans and allowing them rule as tributary princes of the Ottoman Empire.[20][21]:78 However, the Crimean Khans still had a large amount of autonomy from the Ottoman Empire. In 1774, the Crimean Khans fell under Russian influence with the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca and, in 1783, the entire Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire.[21]:176

Crimean Gothic, an East Germanic language, was spoken by the Crimean Goths in some isolated locations in Crimea until the late 18th century.[22]

The Crimean Khan's Palace and a Mosque in Bakhchysaray was the center of Islam in Ukraine for nearly 300 years

Crimean Khanate[edit]

The Crimean Khanate was a Tatar state founded by Hacı I Giray, a descendant of Genghis Khan, from 1441 to 1783. In 1478 the Khanate became a tributary of the Ottoman Empire, during the long wars of Russian expansion it became a formally independent state by the terms of the 1774 Russo-Ottoman Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, and was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, and called the Taurida Governorate.

Slave trade[edit]

Until the late 18th century, Crimean Tatars maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East.[23] About 2 million slaves from Russia and Ukraine were sold over the period 1500–1700.[24] Tatars were known for frequent, at some periods almost annual, devastating raids on the Slavic peoples to the north. In 1769 a last major Tatar raid, which took place during the Russo-Turkish War, saw the capture of 20,000 slaves.[25]

Crimean War and the 19th century[edit]

British cavalry charged against Russian forces at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War

Crimea became part of Russia's Taurida Governorate and was the site of much of the fighting in the Crimean War (1853–1856) between Russia on one side, and France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia on the other. Russia and the Ottoman Empire went to war in October 1853 over Russia's rights to protect Orthodox Christians. Russia gained the upper hand after destroying the Ottoman fleet at the Black Sea port of Sinope; to stop Russia's conquest, France and Britain entered in March 1854. Most of the fighting took place for control of the Black Sea, with land battles on the Crimean peninsula in southern Russia. The Russians held their great fortress at Sevastopol for over a year. After it fell, peace was arranged at Paris in March 1856. The religion issue had already been resolved. The main results were that the Black Sea was neutralized—Russia would have no warships there—and the two vassals, Wallachia and Moldavia, became largely independent under nominal Ottoman rule. The war devastated much of the economic and social infrastructure of the peninsula.

Crimea in the 20th and 21st centuries[edit]

In the Soviet Union[edit]

During the Russian Civil War following the overthrow of the Russian Empire, Crimea changed hands a number of times and was a stronghold of the anti-Bolshevik White Army. It was in Crimea that the White Russians led by General Wrangel made their last stand against the Anarchist forces of Nestor Makhno and the Red Army in 1920. Approximately 50,000 White prisoners of war and civilians were summarily executed by shooting or hanging after the defeat of General Wrangel at the end of 1920.[26] This is considered one of the largest massacres in the Civil War.[27]

On 18 October 1921, the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) was created as part of the Russian SFSR, which then became part of the Soviet Union.[20] Crimea experienced two severe famines in the 20th century, the Famine of 1921–1922 and the Holodomor of 1932–1933.[28]

During World War II, Crimea was the scene of several bloody battles. The Axis forces under the command of Nazi Germany suffered heavy casualties in the summer of 1941 as they tried to advance through the narrow Isthmus of Perekop linking Crimea to the Soviet mainland. Once the Axis forces broke through, they occupied most of Crimea, with the exception of the city of Sevastopol, which held out from October 1941 until 4 July 1942 when the Germans finally captured the city. From 1 September 1942, the peninsula was administered as the Generalbezirk Krim (general district of Crimea) und Teilbezirk (and sub-district) Taurien. In spite of heavy-handed tactics by the Nazis and their allies, the Crimean mountains remained an unconquered stronghold of the native resistance until the day when the peninsula was freed from the occupying force in 1944.

On 18 May 1944, the entire population of the Crimean Tatars was forcibly deported in the "Sürgün" (Turkish (Crimean Tatar) for exile) to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin's Soviet government as a form of collective punishment, on the grounds that they had collaborated with the Nazi occupation forces and formed anti-Soviet Tatar Legions.[21] An estimated 46% of the deportees died from hunger and disease.[29] On 26 June of the same year, the Armenian, Bulgarian, and Greek population was also deported to Central Asia. By the end of summer of 1944, the ethnic cleansing of Crimea was complete. In 1967, the Crimean Tatars were rehabilitated, but they were banned from legally returning to their homeland until the last days of the Soviet Union. The Crimean ASSR was abolished on 30 June 1945 and transformed into the Crimean Oblast (province) of the Russian SFSR.

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.[30][31] 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.[32][33] The General Secretary of the Communist Party in Soviet Union at the time was Ukrainian native Nikita Khrushchev.

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.[20] 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.

Following a referendum on 20 January 1991, the Crimean Oblast was upgraded to that of an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic on 12 February 1991 by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR.[34]

In Independent Ukraine[edit]

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.

The former Soviet Union is undergoing a religious revival. The Church of the Resurrection of Christ, near Yalta.

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[36][37] (which was yet to be approved by a referendum held 2 August 1992[38])[clarification needed Did the referendum happen, or was it cancelled?] and passed the first Crimean constitution the same day.[38] On 6 May 1992 the same parliament inserted a new sentence into this constitution that declared that Crimea was part of Ukraine.[38]

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.[21]: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.[39]

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,[citation needed] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42]

On 24 August 2009, anti-Ukrainian demonstrations were held in Crimea by ethnic Russian residents. Sergei Tsekov (of the Russian Bloc[43] and then deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament[44]) said then that he hoped that Russia would treat the Crimea the same way as it had treated South Ossetia and Abkhazia.[45] 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.[46]

2014 Crimean crisis and Russian military intervention[edit]

Geopolitics of the Crimean autonomous Republic, March 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 has been the abolition, on 23 February 2014, of the law on languages of minorities, including Russian.[47] This decision, that would make Ukrainian the sole state language, has not been upheld by the interim president.[48][49]

The demonstrations followed the ousting of the 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.[50]

On 28 February 2014, Russian Ground Forces occupied airports and other strategic locations in Crimea.[51] The interim Government of Ukraine described the events as an invasion and occupation of Crimea by Russian forces.[52][53] However, Russian troops have been stationed in Crimea for over a decade under an agreement with Ukraine,[54] although the number of forces present in late February 2014 constituted a violation of Ukrainian-Russian treaty agreements.[citation needed] 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 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 does not recognize the Aksyonov administration and considers it illegal.[55][56] Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich sent a letter to Putin asking him to use military force in Ukraine to restore law and order.[57] 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".[58]

On 1 March, the Russian parliament granted President Vladimir Putin the authority to use military force in Ukraine.[59] 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.[60] Russia established de facto control of the territory.

On 3 March, it was reported 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.[61] However, Interfax news agency later quoted a fleet spokesman who denied that any ultimatum had been issued.[61] 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. In one particular display, Ukrainian soldiers at Belbek airbase marched unarmed from their barracks to the Russian lines, where they were stopped by sentries who fired warning shots and surrounded them. Journalists recorded the encounter.[62] Ukrainian warships were also effectively blockaded in their port of Sevastopol.[63][64]

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."[65] International monitors arrived in Ukraine to assess the situation in Crimea but were halted by armed militants at the Crimean border.[66][67] Russian forces scuttled a Russian Kara-class Cruiser Ochakov near Novoozerne, Yevpatoria on the west coast of Crimea to blockade Ukrainian navy ships in their port on Donuzlav Lake.[68][69]

On 7 March, Russian forces scuttled a second ship, a diving support vessel, to further block the navy port at Donuzlav Lake.[69]

The Crimean Parliament released the Ballot Questions for the 16 March referendum. The referendum questions are:

  1. "Do you support rejoining Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?"
  2. "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."[70][71] 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.

On 18 March, the Kremlin in Russia claimed that Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation.[72] Ukraine's government, the European Union, and the USA all disagree with the Kremlin.[73]


Crimea's southernmost point is the Cape of Sarych on the northern shore of the Black Sea, currently used by the Russian Navy.

Crimea is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea and on the western coast of the Sea of Azov, bordering Kherson Oblast from the North. There are two rural communities of Henichesk Raion in Kherson Oblast that are physically located on the peninsula, on the smaller peninsula Arabat Spit, Shchaslyvtseve and Strilkove. Although located in the southwestern part of the Crimean peninsula, the city of Sevastopol has a special but separate municipality status within Ukraine. Crimea's total land area is 26,100 km2 (10,077 sq mi).

Crimea is connected to the mainland by the 5–7 kilometers (3.1–4.3 mi) wide Isthmus of Perekop. At the eastern tip is the Kerch Peninsula, which is directly opposite the Taman Peninsula on the Russian mainland. Between the Kerch and Taman peninsulas, lies the 3–13 kilometers (1.9–8.1 mi) wide Strait of Kerch, which connects the waters of the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov. The peninsula consists of many other smaller peninsulas such as Arabat Spit, Kerch peninsula, Herakles peninsula, Tarhan Qut peninsula and many others. Crimea also features other headlands such as Cape Priboiny, Cape Tarhan Qut,[citation needed] Sarych, Nicholas Cape, Cape Fonar, Cape Fiolent, Qazan Tip,[citation needed] Cape Aq Burun, and many others.

Geographically, the peninsula is generally divided into three zones: steppes, mountains and southern coast.

The Crimean Mountains in the background and Yalta as seen from the Tsar's Path.

The southeast coast is flanked at a distance of 8–12 kilometers (5.0–7.5 mi) from the sea by a parallel range of mountains, the Crimean Mountains.[74] These mountains are backed by secondary parallel ranges. Seventy-five percent of the remaining area of Crimea consists of semiarid prairie lands, a southward continuation of the Pontic steppes, which slope gently to the northwest from the foot of the Crimean Mountains. The main range of these mountains shoots up with extraordinary abruptness from the deep floor of the Black Sea to an altitude of 600–750 meters (1,969–2,461 ft), beginning at the southwest point of the peninsula, called Cape Fiolente. It was believed that this cape was supposedly crowned with the temple of Artemis, where Iphigeneia is said to have officiated as priestess.[75]

Uchan-su waterfall on the south slope of the mountains is the highest in Ukraine.

Numerous kurgans, or burial mounds, of the ancient Scythians are scattered across the Crimean steppes.

The terrain that lies beyond the sheltering Crimean Mountain range is of an altogether different character. Here, the narrow strip of coast and the slopes of the mountains are smothered with greenery. This "riviera" stretches along the southeast coast from capes Fiolente and Aya, in the south, to Feodosiya, and is studded with summer sea-bathing resorts such as Alupka, Yalta, Gurzuf, Alushta, Sudak, and Feodosiya. During the years of Soviet rule, the resorts and dachas of this coast served as the prime perquisites of the politically loyal.[citation needed]why here? and ref? In addition, vineyards and fruit orchards are located in the region. Fishing, mining, and the production of essential oils are also important. Numerous Crimean Tatar villages, mosques, monasteries, and palaces of the Russian imperial family and nobles are found here, as well as picturesque ancient Greek and medieval castles.

The Crimean coastline is broken by several bays and harbors. These harbors lie west of the Isthmus of Perekop by the Bay of Karkinit; on the southwest by the open Bay of Kalamita, with the ports of Yevpatoria and Sevastopol;[citation needed](not Sevastopol) on the north by the Bay of Arabat of the Isthmus[citation needed](nonsense) of Yenikale or Kerch; and on the south by the Bay of Caffa[citation needed](name?) or Feodosiya, with the port of Feodosiya. The natural borders between the Crimean peninsula and the Ukrainian mainland serve the saline Lake Syvash (a unique shallow system of estuaries and bays).


Most of Crimea has a temperate continental climate, except for the south coast where it experiences a humid[citation needed] subtropical climate, due to warm influences from the Black Sea. Summers can be hot (28 °C or 82.4 °F Jul average) and winters are cool (−0.3 °C or 31.5 °F Jan average) in the interior, on the south coast winters are milder (4 °C or 39.2 °F Jan average) and temperatures much below freezing are exceptional. Precipitation throughout Crimea is low, averaging only 400 mm (15.7 in) a year. Because of its climate, the southern Crimean coast is a popular beach and sun resort for Ukrainian and Russian tourists.


Government and politics[edit]

The Massandra Palace near Yalta is one of the official residences of Ukraine
Vladimir Putin with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on board the Black Sea Fleet's flagship, July 2001

Crimea is 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.[76]

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.[5][77] 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.[77]

Justice is administered by courts, as part of the judicial system of Ukraine.[77]

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.[78]

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.[79]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Crimea is subdivided into 25 regions: 14 raions (districts) and 11 city municipalities, officially known as territories governed by city councils.[80] 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.

1. Bakhchisaray Raion
2. Bilohirsk Raion
3. Dzhankoy Raion
4. Kirovske Raion
5. Krasnohvardiyske Raion
6. Krasnoperekopsk Raion
7. Lenine Raion
8. Nizhnyohirskyi Raion
9. Pervomayske Raion
10. Rozdolne Raion
11. Saky Raion
12. Simferopol Raion
13. Sovetskyi 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. Saki municipality
22. Simferopol municipality
23. Sudak municipality
24. Feodosiya municipality
25. Yalta municipality
Subdivisions of Crimea
Map of Crimea with major cities

The largest city is Simferopol with major centers of urban development including Kerch (heavy industry and fishing center), Dzhankoy (transportation hub), Yalta (holiday resort) and others.

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Foreign and intergovernmental relations[edit]

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.[81] The letter was also sent to the Chairman of the UN General Assembly.



Tourism is an important sector of Crimea's economy

The main branches of the Crimean economy are tourism and agriculture.[citation needed] Industrial plants are situated for the most part in the northern regions of the republic. Important industrial cities include Dzhankoy, housing a major railway connection, Krasnoperekopsk and Armyansk, among others.

The most important industries in Crimea include food production, chemical fields, mechanical engineering and metal working, and fuel production industries.[77] Sixty percent of the industry market belongs to food production. There are a total of 291 large industrial enterprises and 1002 small business enterprises.[77]

The main branches of vegetation production in the region include cereals, vegetable-growing, gardening, and wine-making, particularly in the Yalta and Massandra regions. Other agricultural forms include cattle breeding, poultry keeping, and sheep breeding.[77] Other products produced on the Crimean Peninsula include salt, porphyry, limestone, and ironstone (found around Kerch).[82]


Crimea also possesses several natural gas fields both onshore and offshore, all connected to Ukraine's pipeline system.[83][84] The inland fields are located in Chornomorske and Dzhankoy, while offshore fields are located in the western coast in the Black Sea and in the northeastern coast in the Azov Sea:[85]

Name Type Location Reserves
Dzhankoyske gas field onshore Dzhankoy
Golitsyna gas field offshore Black Sea
Karlavske gas field onshore Chornomorske
Krym gas field offshore Black Sea
Odessa gas field[86] offshore Black Sea 21 billion m3
Schmidta gas field offshore Black Sea
Shtormvaya gas field offshore Black Sea
Strilkove gas field offshore Sea of Azov

The republic also possesses two oil fields: one onshore, the Serebryankse oil field in Rozdolne, and one offshore, the Subbotina oil field in the Black Sea.


Trolleybus in Simferopol
The cableway in Yalta
Public transportation

Almost every settlement in Crimea is connected with another settlement with bus lines. Crimea contains the longest (96 km or 59 mi) trolleybus route in the world, stretching from Simferopol to Yalta.[87] The trolleybus line starts near Simferopol's Railway Station through the mountains to Alushta and on to Yalta. The length of line is about 90 km. It was founded in 1959.

Railroad lines running through Crimea include Armyansk—Kerch (with a link to Feodosiya), and Melitopol—Sevastopol (with a link to Yevpatoria), connecting Crimea to the Ukrainian mainland.

Sea transport

The cities of Yalta, Feodosiya, Kerch, Sevastopol, Chornomorske and Yevpatoria are connected to one another by sea routes. In the cities of Yevpatoria and nearby townlet Molochnoye are tram systems.


Genoese fortress of Caffa

The development of Crimea as a holiday destination began in the second half of the 19th century. The development of the transport networks brought masses of tourists from central parts of Russia. At the beginning of the 20th century, a major development of palaces, villas, and dachas began—most of which remain. These are some of the main attractions of Crimea as a tourist destination. There are many Crimean legends about famous touristic places, which attract the attention of tourists.

A new phase of tourist development began when the Soviet government realized the potential of the healing quality of the local air, lakes and therapeutic muds. It became a "health" destination for Soviet workers, and hundreds of thousands of Soviet tourists visited Crimea. Nowadays Crimea is more of a get-away destination than a "health-improvement" destination. The most visited areas are the south shore of Crimea with cities of Yalta and Alushta, the western shore - Eupatoria and Saki, and the south-eastern shore - Feodosia and Sudak.

Crimea possesses significant historical and natural resources and is a region where it is possible to find practically any type of landscape; mountain ranges and plateaus, grasslands, caves. Furthermore, Saki poses unique therapeutic mud and Eupatoria has vast empty beaches with the purest quartz sand.[88]

According to National Geographic, Crimea was among the top 20 travel destinations in 2013.[89]

Places of interest include

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Distribution of ethnicities in Crimea according to the local 2001 census. Ethnic Russians comprise a majority at 58%.
Map of Ukraine by language in the 2001 census, with Russian (in red) dominant in Crimea.
Age structure
0–14 years old 291,848 (14.9%)
15–64 years old 1,377,276 (70.4%)
65 years and over 287,298 (14.7%)
Source: [citation needed][disputed ]
Median age
Male 36.2 years Increase
Female 43.5 years Increase
Total 39.9 years Increase
Source: [citation needed]

According to the 2001 Ukrainian census, the population of Crimea was 2,033,700.[90] As of 2013, however, the population decreased to 1,967,119.[citation needed]

From 1989 to 2001, Crimea's population declined by 396,795 people, representing 16.33% of the 1989 population, despite the return of displaced groups such as Crimean Tatars. From 2001–2005 the population declined once again by another 39,400 people, representing a decline from 2001 of 2%.[citation needed](Sevastopol was included in 1989)

The population of the Crimean peninsula as a whole has been consistently falling at a rate of 0.4% per year.[91] This is particularly apparent in both the Russian and Ukrainian ethnic populations, whose growth rate has been falling at the rate of 0.6% and 0.12% annually respectively. In comparison, the ethnic Crimean Tatar population has been growing at the rate of 0.9% per annum.[92]

The growing trend in the Crimean Tatar population has been explained by the continuing repatriation of Crimean Tatars mainly from Uzbekistan.[citation needed]

Ethnic makeup comprised the following self-reported groups: Russians: 58.5%; Ukrainians: 24.4%; Crimean Tatars: 12.1%; Belarusians: 1.5%; Tatars: 0.5%; Armenians: 0.4%; Jews: 0.2% and others.[93][94]

1897 census 1939 census 1959 census 1979 census 1989 census[93] 2001 census[93]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
Russians 180,963 33.11% 49.6% 71.4% 68.4% 65.6% 1,180,441 58.5%
Ukrainians 64,703 11.84% 13.7% 22.3% 25.6% 26.7% 492,227 24.4%
Crimean Tatars 194,294 35.55% 19.4% 0% 0.7% 1.9% 243,433 12.1%

Other minorities are Black Sea Germans, Romani people, Bulgarians, Poles, Azerbaijanis, Koreans, Greeks and Italians. The number of Crimea Germans was 45,000 in 1941, before being forcibly expelled, many to labor camps in Siberia because of the suspicion against any German in the Soviet Union during WWII. This was part of the 800,000 Germans in Russia who were relocated within the Soviet Union during Stalinist times.[95] In 1944, 70,000 Greeks and 14,000 Bulgarians from the Crimea were deported to Central Asia and Siberia,[96] along with 200,000 Crimean Tatars and other nationalities.[97]

Ukrainian is the single official state language countrywide, and is the sole language of government in Ukraine. According to the census mentioned, 77% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 11.4% – Crimean Tatar; and 10.1% – Ukrainian.[98] In Crimea government business is carried out mainly in Russian. Attempts to expand the usage of Ukrainian in education and government affairs have been less successful in Crimea than in other areas of the nation.[99]

Two thirds of the migrants into Crimea are from other regions of Ukraine; every fifth migrant is from the former Soviet Union and every 40th from outside of it. Three quarters of those leaving Crimea move to other areas in Ukraine. Every 20th migrates to the West.[98]

The number of Crimean residents who consider Ukraine their motherland increased sharply from 32% to 71.3% from 2008 through 2011; according to a poll by Razumkov Center in March 2011,[100] although this is the lowest number in all Ukraine (93% on average across the country).[100] Surveys of regional identities in Ukraine have shown that around 30% of Crimean residents claim to have retained a self-identified "Soviet identity".[101]

A survey in May 2013 by the International Republican Institute, sponsored by USAID, found that 59% of Crimeans were ethnic Russians and that 82% of Crimeans spoke the Russian language at home.[102]


People at the Kazantip music festival in 2007
Aivazovsky's painting of the Black Sea (1881)


Ivan Aivazovsky, the 19th century marine painter of Armenian origin, who is considered one of the major artists of his era was born in Feodosia and lived there for the most part of his life. Many of his paintings depict the Black Sea. He also created battle paintings during the Crimean War.[103]


Almost 100 broadcasters and around 1,200 publications are registered in Crimea, although no more than a few dozen operate or publish regularly.[10] Of them most use the Russian language only.[10] Crimea's first Tatar-owned, Tatar-language TV launched in 2006.[10]


Crimean boxer Oleksandr Usyk.

Crimea figures prominently[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Their[clarification needed] chairman is Vice president of Ukrainian Federation of Bandy and Rink-Bandy.[104] In 2011 they for the first time organized the rink bandy tournament Crimea Open.[105]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ In a summer 2013 poll by VTSIOM where respondents in Russia were asked what they consider Russian territory 56% claimed that Crimea was part of Russia.[35]


  1. ^ (in Ukrainian) Kunitsyn appointed President's representative in the Crimea, Ukrayinska Pravda (27 February 2014)
  2. ^ "Crimean Parliament Dismisses Cabinet and Sets Date for Autonomy Referendum". The Moscow Times. February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ Installed during the 2014 Crimean crisis and not appointed by the President of Ukraine
  4. ^ Vasyl Dzharty of Regions Party heads Crimean government, Kyiv Post (March 17, 2010).
  5. ^ a b Crimean parliament to decide on appointment of autonomous republic's premier on Tuesday, Interfax Ukraine (7 November 2011)
  6. ^ "Ukraine cries 'robbery' as Russia annexes Crimea". March 18, 2014.
  7. ^ Englund, Will (18 March 2014). "Kremlin says Crimea is now officially part of Russia after treaty signing, Putin speech". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
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  9. ^ Plokhy, Serhii (2006). The Origins of the Slavic Nations: Premodern Identities in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus (PDF). New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 10–15. ISBN 978-0-521-86403-9. Retrieved 2010-04-27. For all the salient differences between these three post-Soviet nations, they have much in common when it comes to their culture and history, which goes back to Kievan Rus', the medieval East Slavic state based in the capital of present-day Ukraine.
  10. ^ a b c d Cite error: The named reference BBCprofileCrimea was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ a b About number and composition population of AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC OF CRIMEA by data All-Ukrainian population census', Ukrainian Census (2001)
  12. ^ Pohl, J. Otto. The Stalinist Penal System: A Statistical History of Soviet Repression and Terror. Mc Farland & Company, Inc, Publishers. 1997. 23.
  13. ^ “kır” in Nişanyan Dictionary (Turkish Etymological dictionary)
  14. ^ “*Kɨr” in Sergei Starostin, Vladimir Dybo, Oleg Mudrak (2003), Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers
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  24. ^ Darjusz Kołodziejczyk, as reported by Mikhail Kizilov (2007). "Slaves, Money Lenders, and Prisoner Guards:The Jews and the Trade in Slaves and Captivesin the Crimean Khanate". The Journal of Jewish Studies. p. 2.
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  36. ^ Wolczuk, Kataryna (August 31, 2004). "Catching up with 'Europe'? Constitutional Debates on the Territorial-Administrative Model in Independent Ukraine". Taylor & Francis Group. Retrieved December 16, 2006.
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  39. ^ Ready To Cast Off, TIME Magazine, June 15, 1992
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  104. ^ "Ukrainian Bandy and Rink-bandy Federation". Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  105. ^ "Ukrainian national and regional competition". Retrieved 2014-02-28.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  •, the official portal of the Council of Ministers of Crimea (in English) (in Ukrainian) (in Russian) (in Crimean Tatar)
  •, the official web-site of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea (in English) (in Ukrainian) (in Russian) (in Crimean Tatar)
  •, the official web-site of the Permanent Presidential Representative in the Republic of Crimea (in Ukrainian) (in Russian)

Category:Autonomous republics Category:Autonomous Turkic states Category:Disputed territories in Europe Category:Oil and gas industry regions of Ukraine Category:Russian-speaking countries and territories Category:Subdivisions of Ukraine
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