The transfer of the Crimean Oblast in 1954 was an administrative action of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union which transferred the government of the Crimean Peninsula from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian SSR.
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 SSR. The documents which are now housed at the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) do confirm that the move was originally approved by the Presidium of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) on 25 January 1954, paving the way for the authorizing resolution of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union three weeks later. According to the Soviet Constitution (article 18), the borders of a republic within the Soviet Union could not be re-drawn without the agreement of the republic in question. The transfer was approved by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union; however, according to article 33 of the constitution, the Presidium did not have the authority to do so. The constitutional change (articles 22 and 23) to accommodate the transfer was made several days after the decree issued by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.
On April 26, 1954 The decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet transferring the Crimea Oblast from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.
Taking into account the integral character of the economy, the territorial proximity and the close economic and cultural ties between the Crimea Province and the Ukrainian SSR, the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet decrees:
To approve the joint presentation of the Presidium of the Russian SFSR Supreme Soviet and the Presidium of the Ukrainian SSR Supreme Soviet on the transfer of the Crimea Province from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.
Consequently, amendments were made to the republican constitutions of Russia and Ukraine. On 2 June 1954 the Supreme Soviet of Russia adopted amendments to the Russian Constitution of 1937, which, among other things, excluded Crimea from list of subdivisions enumerated in article 14, and on 17 June 1954, the Verkhovna Rada added Crimea to article 18 of the 1937 Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR.
According to the Russian website Pravda.ru, the Presidium of the Supreme Council gathered for a session on February 19, 1954 when only 13 of 27 members were present. There was no quorum, but the decision was adopted unanimously.
The earlier published documents and materials that have emerged more recently confirm that the transfer of Crimea from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR was carried out in accordance with the 1936 Soviet constitution, which in Article 18 stipulated that "the territory of a Union Republic may not be altered without its consent." The proceedings of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium meeting indicate that both the Russian SFSR and the Ukrainian SSR had given their consent via their republic parliaments.
On 27 June 2015, the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation accepted the request of the leader of A Just Russia party, Sergey Mironov, to evaluate legitimacy of 1954 transfer of Crimea and stated that the transfer violated both the Constitution of the Russian SFSR and the Constitution of the Soviet Union. The text of the document signed by Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Sabir Kehlerova Mironov stated: "Neither the Constitution of the RSFSR or the USSR Constitution provide powers of the Presidium Supreme Soviet of the USSR for the consideration of the changes in the constitutional legal status of the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, members of the union republics. In view of the above, the decision adopted in 1954 by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviets of the RSFSR and the Soviet on the transfer of the Crimean region of the RSFSR to the USSR, did not correspond to the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the RSFSR and the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the USSR."
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 Tsardom of Russia. That "symbolic gesture" came out as a post factum and was never discussed as one of the reasons prior to the transfer. It was also attributed to Nikita Khrushchev, although the person who signed the document was Kliment Voroshilov.
Nina Khrushcheva, the political scientist and great-granddaughter of Nikita Khrushchev, the then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union said of Khrushchev's motivation "it was somewhat symbolic, somewhat trying to reshuffle the centralized system and also, full disclosure, Nikita Khrushchev was very fond of Ukraine, so I think to some degree it was also a personal gesture toward his favorite republic. He was ethnically Russian, but he really felt great affinity with Ukraine." Sergei Khrushchev, Khrushchev's son, claimed that the decision was due to the building of a hydro-electric dam on the Dnieper River and the consequent desire for all the administration to be under one body. Sevastopol in Crimea being the site of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, a quintessential element of Russian and then of Soviet foreign policy, the transfer had the intended effect of binding Ukraine inexorably to Russia, "Eternally Together", as a poster commemorating the event of 1954 proclaimed.
The transfer was described by some of the Supreme Soviet as a gift to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Pereyaslav in 1654 when the Cossack Rada apparently decided to unify with Muscovy, putting in place the eventual acquisition of Ukraine by Russia. Other reasons given were the integration of the economies of Ukraine and Crimea and the idea that Crimea was a natural extension of the Ukrainian steppes.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Henry Kissinger stated it was possible Khruschev gave Crimea to Ukraine because he was drunk at the time.
The transfer increased the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine by almost a million people. Prominent Russian politicians such as Alexander Rutskoy considered the transfer to be controversial. Controversies surrounding the legality of the transfer remained a sore point in relations between Ukraine and Russia for the first few years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and in particular in the internal politics of the Crimea. However, in a 1997 treaty between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, Russia recognized Ukraine's borders, and accepted Ukraine's sovereignty over Crimea.
In January 1992, the Supreme Soviet of Russia questioned the constitutionality of the transfer, accusing Nikita Khrushchev of treason against the Russian people and said that the transfer was illegitimate. Alexander Rutskoy, the former Vice President of Russia, said that this was a “harebrained scheme” for which Khrushchev was famous saying that those who signed the document must have been suffering from sunstroke or hangovers.
There was confusion about the status of Sevastopol and whether it was a part of the transfer as it had a degree of independence from the Crimean Oblast and never formally ratified the transfer, although it was later mentioned as Ukrainian territory in the Soviet Constitution and the Belavezha Accords between Ukraine and Russia.
After the overthrow of President Victor Yanukovych during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, the territories of Sevastopol and Crimea were seized by the Russian Federation; the annexation was formalized following an unconstitutional referendum in which 96% of the Crimean population purportedly voted "Yes." This move was denounced by the new Ukrainian government and disregarded by most UN states, which continue to recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine. The Venice Commission (an advisory body of the Council of Europe in the field of constitutional law) issued an opinion in 2014, concluding that the referendum was illegal under the Ukrainian constitution and that "circumstances in Crimea did not allow the holding of a referendum in line with European democratic standards."
However, at that time, Ukraine could not fully claim jurisdiction over Crimea. Indeed, further legislative acts and constitutional amendments were needed to legitimise the territorial changes in that region. On 2 June 1954, the Supreme Council of the Russian SFSR adopted the Law on the introduction of changes and amendments to Article 14 of the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the SFSR, according to which the Crimean Region was excluded from Soviet Russia at the same time that the Supreme Council of the Ukrainian SFSR introduced changes to the Ukrainian Constitution.
The following lists events that happened during 1954 in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.1994 Crimean presidential election
The only presidential elections were contested in the Republic of Crimea for the post of President of Crimea, at the time a republic within Ukraine. The office was created by the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, the republic's unicameral parliament October 13, 1993. Elections were subsequently held on January 16, 1994 with the second round on January 30 since a two-round system was used to elect the President. The presidential elections in Crimea were one of the most important precedents of the Crimean crisis that laid the basis for the Ukrainian-Russian international relationship.2003 Tuzla island conflict
There was a territorial dispute over the ownership of the Tuzla Island between Ukraine and Russia in October 2003. The Russian authorities claimed the 1954 transfer of Crimea to Ukraine had only included the continental parts of Crimea, even though the Tuzla Island had been administratively part of Crimea since 1941.Agreement on settlement of political crisis in Ukraine
Creating Agreement on settlement of political crisis in Ukraine – the documents, signed on 21 February 2014 by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and the leaders of the parliamentary opposition under the mediation of the European Union and the Russian Federation. The signing of the Agreement was intended to stop the mass bloodshed in Kiev and to end the sharp political crisis, which began in November 2013 in connection with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to suspend the process of signing the Association agreement with the European Union.
An agreement to resolve the political crisis was signed by the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform), Arseniy Yatsenyuk (All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland") and Oleh Tyahnybok (Svoboda). Witnessing the signing was made by the foreign Ministers of Germany and Poland – Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Sikorski and head of the Department for continental Europe of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the French Republic Eric Fournier. Special representative of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Lukin, who participated in the negotiations, refused to put his signature under the agreement.The agreement provided for a return to the 2004 Constitution, that is, to a parliamentary-presidential form of government, the holding of early presidential elections before the end of 2014 and form a "government of national trust". Also provided for the withdrawal of security forces from downtown Kiev, the cessation of violence and surrender of weapons by the opposition.Belarus–Russia relations
Russia is the largest and most important partner for Belarus both in the political and economic fields. The Treaty on Equal Rights of Citizens between Belarus and Russia was signed in December 1998, covering employment, and access to medical care and education. The two countries constitute the supranational Union State.Crimean speech of Vladimir Putin
Crimean speech of President Vladimir Putin refers to a speech by the Russian president Vladimir Putin's on March 18, 2014 to both chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in connection with the request for admission by the Crimean parliament of the republic in the Russian Federation. He spoke in the St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace in the Moscow Kremlin.In the same place, Putin delivered another speech on December 4, 2014 that also picked out the Crimea as a central theme.February 19
February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 315 days remaining until the end of the year (316 in leap years).History of the Soviet Union
The "History of Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union" reflects a period of change for both Russia and the world. Though the terms "Soviet Russia" and "Soviet Union" often are synonymous in everyday speech, when referring to the foundations of the Soviet Union, "Soviet Russia" properly refers to the few years between the October Revolution of 1917 and the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922.Medal "For the Return of Crimea"
The Medal "For the Return of Crimea" (Russian: Медаль «За возвращение Крыма») is a Russian campaign medal of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. The existence of the awards was also confirmed by Yaroslav Roshchupkin, an employee of the Central Military press service.The medal was awarded to military and civilian personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for services and distinction displayed during the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the March 16, 2014 Crimean status referendum, and the entry of Crimea into the Russian Federation as the result of the referendum. The medal can also be awarded to other citizens of the Russian Federation and to foreign citizens for assistance in solving the tasks assigned to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation relating to these security measures taken in the Crimea. Besides the troops it was also awarded to Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov and Krasnodar Krai governor Aleksandr Tkachyov, as well as the Night Wolves leader Alexander Zaldostanov for "helping Crimeans to self-determinate".
As it can be seen at the photo of the reverse side of the medal Russian Defense Ministry has clearly indicated the term of the campaign: February 20 — March 18, 2014. Official date of the beginning of the "Return of Crimea" operation appears February 20 when Viktor Yanukovych was yet an acting head of Ukrainian state. In fact, only the next day President Yanukovych left Kiev, and it was already 22 February 2014 when the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Resolution "On the dissociation of the President of Ukraine from fulfillment of constitutional powers and appointment of early presidential elections in Ukraine", used by Russia as a pretext for accusations of the alleged "unconstitutional coup in Ukraine". The fact that (according to the medal) Crimea started its "homing" to Russia two days before Yanukovych's removal from power and his resignation from the post of the President of Ukraine can be considered as an indirect proof that Russia launched its operation against Ukraine of seizing Crimean peninsula on February 20, 2014.It was widely reported in the media when a 'Crimea medal' was to be put on auction in Moscow on the 13th of April 2019 by Igor Strelkov, a Russian, former militant commander involved in the wars in Ukraine. This medal was however not the one described above, but one organized by a private initiative.Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet
The "Agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Parameters of the Division of the Black Sea Fleet", the "Agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Status and Conditions of the Presence of the Russian Federation Black Sea Fleet on the territory of Ukraine" and "Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Ukraine on Payments Associated with the Division of the Black Sea Fleet and Its Presence on the territory of Ukraine" were the three treaties signed between Russia and Ukraine on 28 May 1997 whereby the two countries established two independent national fleets, divided armaments and bases between them., and set out conditions for basing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.
Under the partition treaty, the Soviet Black Sea Fleet that was located in the Crimean Peninsula at the time, was partitioned between Russia (81.7%) and Ukraine (18.3%). Russia maintained the right to use the Port of Sevastopol in Ukraine for 20 years until 2017. The treaty also allowed Russia to maintain up to 25,000 troops, 24 artillery systems, 132 armored vehicles, and 22 military planes on the Crimean Peninsula. The basing rules were set in a status of forces agreement, namely Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the Status and Conditions of the Stationing of the Black Sea Fleet [BSF] on the territory of Ukraine. In particular, Russia was bound to "respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, honor its legislation and preclude interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine" and, furthermore, Russian military personnel had to show their "military identification cards" when crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border; Russian forces could operate "beyond their deployment sites" only after "coordination with the competent agencies of Ukraine.". By a payment treaty Russia paid $526 million as a compensation for its part of the divided fleet and agreed to a $97 million price for leasing Crimean bases.A fourth agreement, the Kharkiv Pact, was signed on 21 April 2010 and extended the lease until 2042 (with possibility of renewal for an additional five years) in exchange for a multiyear discounted contract to provide Ukraine with Russian natural gas.On 28 March 2014, following the annexation of Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted proposals to the State Duma on terminating a number of Russia–Ukraine agreements, including the Black Sea Fleet partition treaty and the Kharkiv Pact. The State Duma approved the abrogation of these Russian-Ukrainian agreements unanimously by 433 members of parliament on 31 March 2014.Political status of Crimea
The political status of Crimea has been a subject of a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 following a referendum, and administers it as two federal subjects of Russia, and claimed it to be 'fully integrated' in July 2015. Ukraine and the majority of international governments continue to regard Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine.
The dispute started after the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, contrary to Ukrainian law, held a referendum on rejoining Russia and then, when official results showed overwhelming support for the proposal, unilaterally declared their independence from Ukraine as a single united state under the name of Republic of Crimea. These two entities (Crimea and Sevastopol) were then annexed by Russia, where the Crimean Autonomous Republic became the "Republic of Crimea" as a Russian republic and Sevastopol became a Russian federal city. However, Ukraine and the majority of the international community do not consider the merge, the independence, the referendum, nor the annexation legitimate and still consider both entities as parts of Ukraine. Despite international opinion however, the currency, tax and legal system are all operational under Russian jurisdiction. Ukraine has applied for multiple litigations through international crime, water resources, European Union and other courts.
In 1920, immediately after the RSFSR recognized the independence of the Ukrainian SSR (The "Workers' and Peasants Union Treaty between the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic" signed 28 December 1920), the responsibility for all Crimean administration was reassigned directly to the Kremlin. In 1994 Russia signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, which states that it would "Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence, sovereignty, and the existing borders".Russian–Ukrainian Friendship Treaty
The Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation is an agreement between Ukraine and Russia, signed in 1997, which fixed the principle of strategic partnership, the recognition of the inviolability of existing borders, and respect for territorial integrity and mutual commitment not to use its territory to harm the security of each other.
The treaty prevents Ukraine and Russia from invading one anothers country respectively, and declaring war. Ukraine announced its intention not to renew the treaty in September 2018. By doing so the treaty will expire on 31 March 2019.Until 2019 the treaty was automatically renewed on each 10th anniversary of its signing, on the condition that one party advised the other of its intention to end the treaty.Russia–Ukraine relations have deteriorated since the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and Russian support for separatist forces in the war in Ukraine's Donbass region. In response, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree not to extend the treaty.Sergei Zhurikov
Sergei Nikolayevich Zhurikov (Russian: Сергей Николаевич Журиков; 21 November 1980 – 2 May 2014) was a commander of the Donbass People's Militia in the secessionist Donetsk People's Republic during the War in Donbass. He was killed in the Siege of Sloviansk fighting against Ukrainian government forces.Strilkove
Strilkove (Ukrainian: Стрілкове, Russian: Стрелковое, Crimean Tatar: Çoqraq) is a Ukrainian village in the Henichesk raion of the Kherson oblast. In 2001 its population was 1,372, and was predominantly ethnic Russian. The village became a focal point in the 2014 Russian military intervention in Ukraine. The village is located on the Arabat Spit and is geographically part of Crimea, however it falls the administration of Kherson Oblast. Moreover, the village also housed a gas transit center strategically important for the peninsula. Russian troops occupied parts of the village, this was the first time Russian troops moved into the Kherson Oblast. In December 2014 the Ukrainian Border Guards Service stated Russian troops began a withdrawal from Kherson ending the 9 month standoff, however although Russian troops left all other positions in Kherson they continued to occupy the gas distribution station located outside the city. Strilkove represents one of the few parts of Crimea that is under direct Ukrainian control.Treaty on the Creation of the USSR
The Treaty on the Creation of the USSR officially created the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), commonly known as the Soviet Union. It de jure legalised a union of several Soviet republics that had existed since 1919 and created a new centralised federal government (Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union and Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union (TsIK) were the legislative while Council of People's Commissars was the executive) where key functions were centralised in Moscow.
The Treaty along with the Declaration of the Creation of the USSR was approved on 30 December 1922 by a conference of delegations from the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the Byelorussian SSR. The Treaty and the Declaration were confirmed by the 1st Congress of Soviets of the USSR and signed by heads of delegations – Mikhail Kalinin, Mikhail Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze and Grigory Petrovsky, Aleksandr Chervyakov respectively on December 30, 1922. The treaty provided flexibility to admit new members. Therefore, by 1940 the Soviet Union grew from the founding four republics to 15 republics.
On 8 December 1991, Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian Presidents signed the Belavezha Accords. The agreement declared dissolution of the USSR by its founder states (denunciation of the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR) and established the CIS. On 10 December, the accord was ratified by the Ukrainian and Belarusian parliaments. On 12 December, the agreement was ratified by the Russian Parliament, therefore the Russian SFSR renounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and de facto declared Russia's independence from the USSR.
On 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Council of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the first house of Soviet legislature (the second house, the Council of the Union, was without a quorum).Tuzla Island
Tuzla Island (Russian: Тузла, Ukrainian: Тузла, Crimean Tatar: Тузла, Tuzla; from Turkish "tuzluk" – saturated solution of salt in water for salting fish), is a sandy islet in the form of a spit located in the middle of the Strait of Kerch between the Kerch Peninsula in the west and the Taman Peninsula in the east. The Strait of Kerch connects the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. Administratively, Tuzla is part of Kerch city in eastern Crimea.Ukrainian crisis
A prolonged crisis in Ukraine began on 21 November 2013 when then-president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. The decision sparked mass protests from the proponents of the agreement. The protests, in turn, precipitated a revolution that led to Yanukovych's ousting. After the ousting, unrest enveloped in the largely Russophone eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, from where Yanukovych had drawn most of his support. Subsequently, an ensuing political crisis developed after Russia invaded said regions and annexed the then-autonomous Ukrainian region of Crimea. As Russia's invasion emboldened the Russophone Ukrainians already in upheaval, the unrest in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts devolved into a subnational war against the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government. Then, as that conflict progressed, the Russophone Ukrainian opposition turned into a pro-Russian insurgency often supported and assisted by the Russian military and its special forces.Vladimir Konstantinov (politician)
Vladimir Andreyevich Konstatinov (Russian: Влади́мир Андре́евич Константи́нов, Ukrainian: Володимир Андрійович Константинов; born November 19, 1956) is a Crimean and Russian politician serving as Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea from 17 March 2014.
Chairman of the Supreme Council in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from 17 March 2010 until 17 March 2014.
On March 5, 2014, the Shevchenko district court of Kyiv ruled on the detention of the self-proclaimed leaders Sergey Aksyonov and Vladimir Konstantinov. The Security Service of Ukraine was charged to bring them to court. On March 15, 2014 Ukrainian parliament dissolved the Supreme Council of CrimeaIn 2012 Konstantinov strongly condemned calls for an incorporation of Crimea into Russia. On 20 February 2014, during a visit to Moscow, he stated that the 1954 transfer of Crimea from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic had been a mistake. Since March 2014 Konstantinov is a strong supporter of the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.
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