Crimea (/kraɪˈmiːə/; Russian: Крым; Ukrainian: Крим, Krym; Crimean Tatar: Къырым, translit. Kirim/Qırım; Ancient Greek: Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit. Kimmería/Taurikḗ) is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania and to its south Turkey.
Crimea (or Tauric Peninsula, as it was called from antiquity until the early modern period) has historically been at the boundary between the classical world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Its southern fringe was colonised by the Greeks, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Crimean Goths, the Genoese and the Ottoman Empire, while at the same time its interior was occupied by a changing cast of invading steppe nomads and empires, such as the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Huns, Khazars, Kipchaks, Mongols and the Golden Horde. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century.
In 1783, Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire as the result of the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Crimea became an autonomous republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the USSR. During World War II, Crimea was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast after its entire indigenous population, the Crimean Tatars, were deported to Central Asia, an act recognized as a genocide. In 1954, it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was formed as an independent state in 1991 and most of the peninsula was reorganized as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, while the city of Sevastopol retained its special status within Ukraine. The 1997 Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet partitioned the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet and allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Crimea: both the Ukrainian Naval Forces and Russian's Black Sea Fleet were to be headquartered in Sevastopol. Ukraine extended Russia's lease of the naval facilities under the 2010 Kharkiv Pact in exchange for further discounted natural gas.
In March 2014, following the Ukrainian revolution and subsequent takeover of the territory by pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces, a Crimea-only referendum, deemed unconstitutional by the Ukrainian Constitutional Court, was held on whether to leave Ukraine and join Russia; the official result was that a large majority of Crimeans wished to join with Russia. Russia then incorporated the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as federal subjects of Russia. While Russia and some other UN member states recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation, Ukraine continues to claim Crimea as an integral part of its territory, supported by most foreign governments and non-binding United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262.
May 2015 satellite image of the Crimean Peninsula
|Adjacent bodies of water|
|Area||27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,545 m (5,069 ft)|
|Status||Controlled and governed as part of the Russian Federation (except Ukrainian-controlled part of Arabat Spit), though internationally recognised as part of Ukraine|
Ukraine (de jure)
|Regions||Kherson Oblast (northern part of Arabat Spit, Henichesk Raion)|
|Uncontrolled de jure regions||Autonomous Republic of Crimea|
Russia (de facto)
|Federal district||Southern Federal District|
|Federal subjects||Republic of Crimea|
|Population||2,284,000 (2014 census)|
|Pop. density||84.6 /km2 (219.1 /sq mi)|
|Ethnic groups||65.3% Russians (1.492 mln)|
15.1% Ukrainians (344.5 thousand)
10.8% Crimean Tatars (246.1 thousand)
0.9% Belarusians (21.7 thousand)
0.5% Armenians (11 thousand)
7.4% Others (169.1 thousand), including:
Crimea Germans (2014)
Strabo (Geography vii 4.3, xi. 2.5), Polybius, (Histories 4.39.4), and Ptolemy (Geographia. II, v 9.5) refer variously to the Strait of Kerch as the Κιμμερικὸς Βόσπορος (Kimmerikos Bosporos, romanized spelling, Bosporus Cimmerius), its easternmost part as the Κιμμέριον Ἄκρον (Kimmerion Akron, Roman name: Promontorium Cimmerium, as well as to the city of Cimmerium and whence the name of the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus (Κιμμερικοῦ Βοσπόρου).
The earliest recorded use of the toponym “Crimea” for the penninsula occurred between 1315-1329 AD by the Arab writer Abū al-Fidā where he recounts a political fight in 1300-1301 AD resulting in a rival's decapitation and having “sent his head to the Crimea”.
The Crimean Tatar name of the peninsula is Qırım (Crimean Tatar: Къырым, translit. Kirim/Qırım) and so also for the city of Krym which is now called Stary Krym which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde. Some sources hold that the name of the capital was extended to the entire peninsula at some point during Ottoman suzerainty.
The origin of the word Qırım is uncertain. Suggestions argued in various sources include:
Other suggestions either unsupported or contradicted by sources, apparently based on similarity in sound, include:
The name "Crimea" is the Italian form, i.e., la Crimea, since at least the 17th century and the "Crimean peninsula" becomes current during the 18th century, gradually replacing the classical name of Tauric Peninsula in the course of the 19th century. In English usage since the early modern period the Crimean Khanate is referred to as Crim Tartary. The omission of the definite article in English ("Crimea" rather than "the Crimea") became common during the later 20th century.
The classical name was used in 1802 in the name of the Russian Taurida Governorate. While it was replaced with Krym (Ukrainian: Крим; Russian: Крым) in the Soviet Union and has had no official status since 1921, it is still used by some institutions in Crimea, such as the Taurida National University, the Tavriya Simferopol football club, or the Tavrida federal highway.
In the 8th century BCE the Cimmerians migrated to the area in retreat from Scythian advances, of whom the latter also migrated to the region. Contemporaneously, and possibly because of the migration, the region came within sphere of Greek maritime interest, and became the site of Greek colonies. The most important Greek city was Chersonesos at the edge of today's Sevastopol.
In the 9th century CE, Byzantium established the Theme of Cherson to defend against incursions by the Rus' Khaganate. The Crimean peninsula from this time was contested between Byzantium, Rus' and Khazaria. The area remained the site of overlapping interests and contact between the early medieval Slavic, Turkic and Greek spheres. It became a center of slave trade. Slavs were sold to Byzantium and other places in Anatolia and the Middle-East during this period.
Trapezuntine Perateia had already been subjected to pressure from the Genoese and Kipchaks by the time Alexios I of Trebizond died in 1222 before the Mongol invasions began its western swept through Volga Bulgaria in 1223. With them, control of the peninsula changed in 1238, as all but the Perateia of Crimea was incorporated into the territory of the Golden Horde throughout the 14th century CE. In the course of the 13th century CE, portions were controlled by the Republic of Venice and by the Republic of Genoa, the Perateia soon became the Principality of Theodoro and Genoese Gazaria, respectively.
The Crimean Khanate, a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, succeeded the Golden Horde and lasted from 1449 to 1783. In 1571, the Crimean Tatars attacked and sacked Moscow, burning everything but the Kremlin. Until the late 18th century, Crimean Tatars maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire, exporting about 2 million slaves from Russia and Ukraine over the period 1500–1700.
The Taurida Oblast was created by a decree of Catherine the Great on 2 February 1784. The center of the oblast was first in Karasubazar but was moved to Simferopol later in 1784. The establishment decree divided the oblast into 7 uyezds. However, by a decree of Paul I on 12 December 1796, the oblast was abolished and the territory, divided into 2 uyezds (Akmechetsky [Акмечетский] and Perekopsky [Перекопский]) was attached to the second incarnation of the Novorossiysk Governorate.
From 1853 to 1856, the peninsula was the site of the principal engagements of the Crimean War, a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia.
Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the military and political situation in Crimea was chaotic like that in much of Russia. During the ensuing Russian Civil War, Crimea changed hands numerous times and was for a time a stronghold of the anti-Bolshevik White Army. The White Army controlled Crimea before remnants were finally driven out by the Red Army in November 1920. It was in Crimea that the White Russians led by General Wrangel made their last stand against Nestor Makhno and the Red Army. When resistance was crushed, many of the anti-Communist fighters and civilians escaped by ship to Istanbul. Between 56,000 and 150,000 of the Whites were murdered as part of the Red Terror, organized by Béla Kun.
The Artek youth camp was created in 1925. During the Second World War the peninsula was invaded by Nazi Germany and Romanian troops in summer 1941 across the Isthmus of Perekop. Following the capture of Sevastopol on 4 July 1942, Crimea was occupied until German and Romanian forces were expelled in an offensive by Soviet forces ending in May 1944. The Nazis murdered around 40,000 Crimean Jews. On 25 June 1946, it was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast, and the Crimean Tatars were deported for alleged collaboration with the Nazi forces. A total of more than 230,000 people – about a fifth of the total population of the Crimean Peninsula at that time – were deported, mainly to Uzbekistan. 14,300 Greeks, 12,075 Bulgarians, and about 10,000 Armenians were also expelled.
On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a decree on the transfer of the Crimean region of the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. This Supreme Soviet Decree states that this transfer was motivated by "the commonality of the economy, the proximity, and close economic and cultural relations between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR". At that time no vote or referendum took place, and Crimean population had no say in the transfer (also typical of other Soviet border changes). After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, doubts have been expressed - from the Russian side by all means, but even by Western historians (Richard Sakwa, "Frontline Ukraine. Crisis In the Borderlands", 2015) - about the very legitimacy of the 1954 transition of Crimea to Ukraine; in the critics' view the transition contradicted even the Soviet law.
In post-war years, Crimea thrived as a tourist destination, with new attractions and sanatoriums for tourists. Tourists came from all around the Soviet Union and neighbouring countries, particularly from the German Democratic Republic. In time the peninsula also became a major tourist destination for cruises originating in Greece and Turkey. Crimea's infrastructure and manufacturing also developed, particularly around the sea ports at Kerch and Sevastopol and in the oblast's landlocked capital, Simferopol. Populations of Ukrainians and Russians alike doubled, with more than 1.6 million Russians and 626,000 Ukrainians living on the peninsula by 1989.
In January 1991, a referendum was held in the Crimean Oblast, and voters approved restoring the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. However, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union less than a year later, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was formed as a constituent entity of independent Ukraine, with a slight majority of Crimean voters approving Ukrainian independence in a December referendum. On 5 May 1992, the Crimean legislature declared conditional independence, but a referendum to confirm the decision was never held amid opposition from Kiev: elected president of Crimea Yuriy Meshkov, was replaced by Kiev appointed Anatoliy Franchuk, which was done with the intent to rein in Crimean aspirations of autonomy. The Verkhovna Rada voted to grant Crimea "extensive home rule" during the dispute.
The last election of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, the parliament of Crimea, took place on 31 October 2010 and was won by the Party of Regions. On 15 March 2014, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine officially dissolved the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea, and, on 17 March 2014, one day before the Russian annexation of Crimea, the State Council of Crimea was established in place of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea.
After the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and flight of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych from Kiev on 21 February 2014, Russian President, Vladimir Putin stated to colleagues that "we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia." Within days, unmarked forces with local militias took over the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as occupying several localities in Kherson Oblast on the Arabat Spit, which is geographically a part of Crimea. Following a controversial referendum, the official results of which showed majority support for joining Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty of accession with the self-declared Republic of Crimea, annexing it into the Russian Federation as two federal subjects: the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. Though Russia had control over the peninsula, sovereignty was disputed as Ukraine and the majority of the international community consider the annexation illegal, as was shown by the United Nations General Assembly adopting a non-binding resolution calling upon states not to recognise changes to the integrity of Ukraine. A range of international sanctions have remained in place against Russia and a number of named individuals as a result of the events of 2014.
Russia withdrew its forces from southern Kherson in December 2014 Since Russian control over Crimea was established in 2014, the peninsula has been administered as part of the Russian Federation except for the northern areas of the Arabat Spit and the Syvash which are still controlled by Ukraine.
Within days of the signing of the accession treaty, the process of integrating Crimea into the Russian federation began: in March the Russian ruble went into official circulation and clocks were moved forward to Moscow time, in April a new revision of the Russian Constitution was officially released with the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol included in the list of federal subjects of the Russian Federation, and in June the Russian ruble became the only form of legal tender. In July 2015, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that Crimea had been fully integrated into Russia.
Since 2014 the Russian government has invested heavily in the peninsula’s infrastructure—repairing roads, modernizing hospitals and building the Crimean Bridge that links the peninsula to the Russian mainland. New sources of water are trying to be developed, with huge difficulties, to replace closed Ukrainian sources.
While part of Crimea's electricity supplies used to be provided by Russia, and a surge in electricity at Russian power station Taman had caused an automatic shutdown in June 2018 leading to a full electrical blackout of Crimea, Russia's power grid company Rosseti reported to have fixed and restored the electricity supply for Crimea in just over an hour..
On 28 December 2018, Russia completed a high-tech security fence marking the de facto border between Crimea and Ukraine.
According to Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea, there are three official languages in the republic: Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar. However, in practice, Russian is by far the main language.
The history of Crimea is complex as it lies at a conjunction of European and Asian peoples, with a mosaic of distinct and affiliated ethnic communities. From the ancient period to the medieval period, the principal ethnic communities classed by linguistic origins are:
The Indo-European language family:
The Semitic language group comprising the Jews
The Mongolic family is represented by the Mongols
The Huns were of uncertain linguistic origins.
From the medieval period to the early modern period additional ethnic communities migrated to the area, prominent representation includes the Armenian, German, Serbian, and Jewish ethnic communities.
Covering an area of 27,000 km2 (10,425 sq mi), Crimea is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea and on the western coast of the Sea of Azov, the only land border is shared with Ukraine's Kherson Oblast from the north. Crimea is almost an island and only connected to the continent by the Isthmus of Perekop, a strip of land about 5–7 kilometres (3.1–4.3 mi) wide.
The natural border between the Crimean Peninsula and the Ukrainian mainland is formed by the Sivash or "Rotten Sea", a large system of shallow lagoons between Russia by Kerch Strait. Beside isthmus of Perekop, the peninsula is connected to the Kherson Oblast's Henichesk Raion bridges over the narrow Chonhar and Henichesk straits and Kerch Strait to the Krasnodar Krai. The northern part of Arabat Spit is administratively part of Henichesk Raion in Kherson Oblast, including its two rural communities of Shchaslyvtseve and Strilkove. The eastern tip of the peninsula is the Kerch Peninsula, separated from Taman Peninsula on the Russian mainland by the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov, at a width of between 3–13 kilometres (1.9–8.1 mi).
Given its long history and many conquerors, most towns in Crimea have several names.
West: The Isthmus of Perekop /Perekop/Or Qapi is about 7 km wide and connects Crimea to the mainland. It was often fortified and sometimes garrisoned by the Turks. The North Crimean Canal now crosses it to bring water from the Dnieper. To the west Karkinit Bay separates the Tarkhankut Peninsula from the mainland. On the north side of the peninsula is Chernomorskoe/Kalos Limen. On the south side is the large Donuzlav Bay and the port and ancient Greek settlement of Eupatoria/Yevpatoria/Kerkinitis/Gozleve. The coast then runs south to Sevastopol/Chersonesus, a good natural harbor, great naval base and the largest city on the peninsula. At the head of Sevastopol Bay is Inkermann/Kalamita. South of Sevastopol is the small Heracles Peninsula.
South: In the south, between the Crimean Mountains and the sea is a narrow coastal strip which was held by the Genoese and after 1475 by the Turks. Under Russian rule it became a kind of riviera. In Soviet times the many palaces were replaced by dachas and health resorts. From west to east are: Heracles Peninsula; Balaklava/Symbalon/Cembalo, a smaller natural harbor south of Sevastopol; Foros, the southernmost point; Alupka with the Vorontsov Palace (Alupka); Gaspra; Yalta; Gurzuf; Alushta. Further east is Sudak/Sougdia/Soldaia with its Genoese fort. Further east is Kaffa/Theodosia/Feodosia which was once a great slave mart and a kind of capital for the Genoese and Turks. Unlike he other southern ports, there are no mountains to the north. At the east end of the 90km Kerch Peninsula is Kerch/Panticapaeum, once the capital of the Bosporian Kingdom. Just south of Kerch is the new Crimean Bridge which connects Crimea to the Taman Peninsula.
Sea of Azov: There is little on the south shore. The west shore is marked by the Arabat Spit. Behind it is the Syvash or "Putrid Sea", a system of lakes and marshes which in the far north extend west to the Perekop Isthmus. The northern part of Syvash is now crossed by road and rail bridges.
Interior: Most of the former capitals were on the north side of the mountains. Mangup/Doros (Gothic, Theodoro). Bakhchisarai (1532-1783). Southeast of Bakhchisarai is the cliff-fort of Chufut-Kale/Qirq Or which was used in more warlike times. Simferopol/Ak-Mechet, the modern capital. Karasu-Bazar/Bilohorsk was a commercial center. Solkhat/Stary Krym was the old Tatar capital. Towns on the northern steppe area are all modern, notably Dzhankoy, a major road and rail junction.
Rivers: The longest is the Salhir River which rises southeast of Simferopol and flows north and northeast to the Sea of Azov. The Alma River flows west to reach the Black Sea between Eupatoria and Sevastopol. The shorther Chornaya River (Crimea) flows west to Sevastopol Bay.
The southeast coast is flanked at a distance of 8–12 kilometres (5.0–7.5 mi) from the sea by a parallel range of mountains, the Crimean Mountains. These mountains are backed by secondary parallel ranges.
The main range of these mountains shoots up with extraordinary abruptness from the deep floor of the Black Sea to an altitude of 600–1,545 metres (1,969–5,069 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. Uchan-su, on the south slope of the mountains, is the highest waterfall in Crimea.
There are 257 rivers and major streams on the Crimean peninsula which are primarily fed by rainwater, with snowmelt playing a very minor role. This means there is significant annual fluctuation in water flow with many streams drying up completely during the summer. The largest rivers are the Salhir (Salğır, Салгир), the Kacha (Кача), the Alma (Альма), and the Belbek (Бельбек). Also important are the Kokozka (Kökköz or Коккозка), the Indole (Indol or Индо́л), the Chorna (Çorğun, Chernaya or Чёрная), the Derekoika (Dereköy or Дерекойка), the Karasu-Bashi (Biyuk-Karasu or Биюк-Карасу) (tributary of Salhir river), the Burulcha (Бурульча) (tributary of Salhir river), the Uchan-su, and the Ulu-Uzen'. The longest river of Crimea is the Salhir at 204 km. The Belbek has the greatest average discharge at 2.16 cubic metres per second (76 cu ft/s). The Alma and the Kacha are the second and third longest rivers.
There are more than fifty salt lakes and salt pans on the peninsula, the largest of them is Lake Sasyk (Сасык) on the southwest coast, but others include Aqtas, Koyashskoye, Kiyatskoe, Kirleutskoe, Kizil-Yar, Bakalskoe, and Donuzlav. The general trend is for the former lakes to become salt pans. Lake Syvash (Sıvaş or Сива́ш) is a system of interconnected shallow lagoons on the northern coast, which covers an area of around 2,560 km2. There are a number of dams that have created reservoirs, among the largest are the Simferopolskoye, Alminskoye, the Taygansky and the Belogorsky just south of Bilohirsk in Bilohirsk Raion. The North Crimea Canal, which transports water from the Dnieper, is the largest of the man-made irrigation channels on the peninsula.
Seventy-five percent of the remaining area of Crimea consists of semiarid prairie lands, a southward continuation of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, which slope gently to the northwest from the foot of the Crimean Mountains. 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.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 Mountains and the southern coast are part of the Crimean Submediterranean forest complex ecoregion. The natural vegetation consists of scrublands, woodlands, and forests, with a climate and vegetation similar to the Mediterranean Basin.
Crimea is located between the temperate and subtropical climate belts and is characterized by warm and sunny weather. It is characterized by the diversity and presence of microclimates. The northern parts of Crimea have a moderate continental climate with short, mild winters and moderately hot dry summers. In the central and mountainous areas, the climate is transitional between the continental climate to the north and the Mediterranean climate to the south. Winters are mild at lower altitudes (in the foothills) and colder at higher altitdues. Summers are hot at lower altitudes and warm in the mountains. A subtropical, Mediterranean climate is found in the southern coastal regions, and is characterized by mild winters and moderately hot, dry summers.
The climate of Crimea is influenced by its geographic location, relief, and influences from the Black sea. The Crimean coast is shielded from cold air masses coming from north and as a result has milder winters. Maritime influences from the Black Sea are restricted to coastal areas; inside the peninsula, the influence is weak and does not play an important role. Because a high pressure system is located north of Crimea in both summer and winter, winds predominantly come from the north and northeast year-round. In winter, these winds bring in cold, dry continental air while in summer, it brings in dry and hot weather. Winds from the northwest bring warm and wet air from the Atlantic Ocean and are responsible for bringing precipitation during spring and summer. As well, winds from the southwest bring very warm and wet air from the subtropical latitudes of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea and are responsible for bringing precipitation during fall and winter.
Mean annual temperatures range from 10 °C (50.0 °F) in the far north (Armiansk) to 13 °C (55.4 °F) in the far south (Yalta). In the mountains, the mean annual temperature is around 5.7 °C (42.3 °F). For every 100 m (330 ft) increase in altitude, temperatures decrease by 0.65 °C (1.17 °F) while precipitation increases. In January, mean temperatures range from −3 °C (26.6 °F) in Armiansl to 4.4 °C (39.9 °F) in Myskhor. Cool season temperatures average around 7 °C (44.6 °F) and it is rare for the weather to drop below freezing except in the mountains, where there is usually snow. In July, mean temperatures range from 15.4 °C (59.7 °F) in Ai-Petri to 23.4 °C (74.1 °F) in the central parts of Crimea to 24.4 °C (75.9 °F) in Myskhor. The frost free period ranges from 160–200 days in the steppe and mountains regions to 240–260 days on the south coast.
Precipitation in Crimea varies significantly based on location; it ranges from 310 millimetres (12.2 in) in Chornomorske to 1,220 millimetres (48.0 in) at the highest altitudes in the Crimean mountains. The Crimean mountains greatly influence the amount of precipitation present in the peninsula. However, most of Crimea (88.5%) receives 300 to 500 millimetres (11.8 to 19.7 in) of precipitation per year. The plains usually receive 300 to 400 millimetres (11.8 to 15.7 in) of precipitation per year, increasing to 560 millimetres (22.0 in) in the southern coast at sea level. The western parts of the Crimean mountains receive more than 1,000 millimetres (39.4 in) of precipitation per year. Snowfall is predominant in the mountains during winter.
Most of the peninsula receives more than 2,000 sunshine hours per year; it reaches up to 2,505 sunshine hours in Karabi–Yayla in the Crimean mountains. As a result, the climate is favorable for recreation and tourism. Because of its climate and subsidized travel packages from Russian state-run companies, the southern Crimean coast has remained a popular resort for Russian tourists.
The Black Sea ports of Crimea provide quick access to the Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans and Middle East. Historically, possession of the southern coast of Crimea was sought after by most empires of the greater region since antiquity (Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Russian, British and French, Nazi German, Soviet).
The Dnieper River is a major waterway and transportation route that crosses the European continent from north to south and ultimately links the Black Sea with the Baltic Sea, of strategic importance since the historical trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The Black Sea serves as an economic thoroughfare connecting the Caucasus region and the Caspian Sea to central and Eastern Europe.
The main branches of the modern Crimean economy are agriculture and fishing oysters pearls else, industry and manufacturing along mining and chemical, tourism, ports. Industrial plants are situated for the most part in the southern coast (Eupatoria Sevastopol Feodosia Kerch) regions of the republic, few northern (Armyansk Krasnoperekopsk Dzhankoj), aside central area, mainly Simferopol okrug and eastern region in Nizhnegorsk (few plants, same for Dzhankoj) city. Important industrial cities include Dzhankoy, housing a major railway connection, Krasnoperekopsk and Armyansk, among others.
After the Russian annexation of Crimea in early 2014 and subsequent sanctions targeting Crimea, the tourist industry suffered major losses for two years. The flow of holidaymakers dropped 35 percent in the first half of 2014 over the same period of 2013. The number of tourist arrivals reached a record in 2012 at 6.1 million. According to the Russian administration of Crimea, they dropped to 3.8 million in 2014, and rebounded to 5.6 million by 2016.
The most important industries in Crimea include food production, chemical fields, mechanical engineering and metal working, and fuel production industries. Sixty percent of the industry market belongs to food production. There are a total of 291 large industrial enterprises and 1002 small business enterprises.
Agriculture in the region includes cereals, vegetable-growing, gardening, and wine-making, particularly in the Yalta and Massandra regions. Livestock production includes cattle breeding, poultry keeping, and sheep breeding. Other products produced on the Crimean Peninsula include salt, porphyry, limestone, and ironstone (found around Kerch) since ancient times.
Crimea also possesses several natural gas fields both onshore and offshore, which were starting to be drilled by western oil and gas companies before annexation. 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:
|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||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|
Crimea has 540 MW of its own electricity generation capacity including Simferopol Thermal Power Plant (100 MW), Sevastopol Thermal Power Plant (22 MW) and Kamish-Burunskaya Thermal Power Plant (19 MW). This is insufficient for local consumption and since annexation by Russia, Crimea is reliant on an underwater power cable to mainland Russia.
Building and near start up are two combined cycle gas steam turbo thermal plants PGU, both 470 MW (116 167 MW GT, 235 MW block), build (plant) by TPE along others and turbines by Power Machines (UTZ KalugaTZ ?), NPO Saturn with Perm PMZ, either GTD-110M modified or GTE-160 or 180 units or UTZ KTZ or a V94.2 bought by MAPNA, modified in Russian plants for PGU Thermal plants specifics. Also many solar photovoltaic SES plants lie along the peninsula (north of Sevastopol too, a smaller facility). Also gas thermal Saki plant close to Jodobrom chemical plant and SaKhZ(SaChP) boosted production with Perm GTE GTU25P (PS90GP25 25 MW aeroderivative GP) PGU turbogenerators. Older plants are Sevastopol TEC (close to Inkerman) which use AEG and Ganz Elektro turbines and turbogenerators abot 25 MW each, Sinferopol TEC (north, in Agrarne locale) Eupatoria, Kamysh Burun TEC (Kerch south - Zaliv) and few others.
In May 2015, work began on a multibillion-dollar road-rail link (a pair of parallel bridges) across the Kerch Strait. The road bridge opened in May 2018, and the rail bridge is projected to be fully completed and operational by 2019. With a length of 19 km, it is the longest bridge in Europe, as it overcame Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon.
Almost every settlement in Crimea is connected with another settlement by bus lines. Crimea contains the longest (96 km or 59 mi) trolleybus route in the world, stretching from Simferopol to Yalta. The trolleybus line starts near Simferopol's Railway Station (in Soviet times it started near Simferopol International Airport) through the mountains to Alushta and on to Yalta. The length of line is about 90 km. It was founded in 1959.
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 the Russian Empire. 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 realised 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.
Artek is a former Young Pioneer camp on the Black Sea in the town of Hurzuf, near Ayu-Dag, established in 1925. In 1969 it had an area of 3.2 km². The camp consisted of 150 buildings Unlike most of the young pioneer camps, Artek was an all-year camp, due to the warm climate. Artek was considered to be a privilege for Soviet children during its existence, as well as for children from other communist countries. During its heyday, 27,000 children a year vacationed at Artek. Between 1925 and 1969 the camp hosted 300,000 children. After the breaking up of the Young Pioneers in 1991 its prestige declined, though it remained a popular vacation destination.
In the 1990s, Crimea became 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. According to National Geographic, Crimea was among the top 20 travel destinations in 2013.
Places of interest include
Following the Russia's largely unrecognized annexation of Crimea, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and several other countries (including Ukraine) imposed economic sanctions against Russia, including some specifically targeting Crimea. Many of these sanctions were directed at individuals—both Russian and Crimean. In general they prohibit the sale, supply, transfer, or export of goods and technology in several sectors, including services directly related to tourism and infrastructure. They list seven ports where cruise ships cannot dock. Sanctions against individuals include travel bans and asset freezes. Visa and MasterCard temporarily stopped service in Crimea in December 2014. The Russian national payment card system now allows Visa and MasterCard cards issued by Russian banks to work in Crimea. The Mir (payment system) operated by the Central Bank of Russia operates in Crimea as well as Master Card and Visa. However, there are no major international banks in the Crimea.
The politics of Crimea is that of the Republic of Crimea on one hand, and that of the federal city of Sevastopol on the other. Since becoming the 84th and 85th Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation in 2014, both have strongly supported United Russia in both local and national elections.
At the most recent Crimean parliamentary election on 14 September 2014, United Russia won 70 of the 75 seats in the State Council of Crimea based on just over 70% of the vote. Despite calls from local Crimean Tatars for a boycott of the elections, turnout was over 53% which compared well with elections in other regions of Russia. Following the election, Sergey Aksyonov became Head of the Republic of Crimea: he had previously been Acting Head from 14 April 2014. United Russia is also the leading party in the Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol having won 22 of the 24 seats at the last election. The Governor of Sevastopol is Dmitry Ovsyannikov who was first appointed on 28 July 2016 following the resignation of Sergey Menyaylo, and secured re-election on 71% of the vote on 10 September 2017.
United Russia maintained its position as the most supported political party across Crimea at the Russian legislative election on 18 September 2016, achieving 72.8% of the vote. At 49.1%, turnout was slightly ahead of that for Russia as a whole which was only 47.8%.
As of 2014, the total population of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol was 2,248,400 people (Republic of Crimea: 1,889,485, Sevastopol: 395,000). This is down from the 2001 Ukrainian Census figure, which was 2,376,000 (Autonomous Republic of Crimea: 2,033,700, Sevastopol: 342,451).
According to the 2014 Russian census, 84% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 7.9% – Crimean Tatar; 3.7% – Tatar; and 3.3% – Ukrainian. It was the first official Russian census in Crimea since Ukrainian that held in 2001.
According to the 2001 census, 77% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 11.4% – Crimean Tatar; and 10.1% – Ukrainian. In 2013, however, the Crimean Tatar language was estimated to be on the brink of extinction, being taught in Crimea only in around 15 schools at that point. Turkey provided the greatest support to Tatars in Ukraine, which had been unable to resolve the problem of education in their mother tongue in Crimea, by bringing the schools to a modern state.
Ethnic composition of Crimea's population has changed dramatically since the early 20th century. The 1897 Russian Empire Census for the Taurida Governorate reported: 196,854 (13.06%) Crimean Tatars, 404,463 (27.94%) Russians and 611,121 (42.21%) Ukrainians. But these numbers included Berdyansky, Dneprovsky and Melitopolsky uyezds which were on mainland, not in Crimea. The population number excluding these uyezds is given in the table below.
|Carried out by||Russian Empire||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||Soviet Union||Ukraine||Russia|
|Total population stating nationality||546,592||713,823||1,126,429||1,813,502||2,184,000||2,430,495||2,401,200||2,197,564|
|Nationality not stated||12,000||87,205|
Crimean Tatars, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority who in 2001 made up 12.1% of the population, 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 as a form of collective punishment, on the grounds that they had formed pro-German Tatar Legions. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Crimean Tatars began to return to the region. According to the 2001 Ukrainian population census, 58% of the population of Crimea are ethnic Russians and 24% are ethnic Ukrainians.
Jews in Crimea were historically Krymchaks and Karaites (the latter a small group centered at Yevpatoria). The 1879 census for the Taurida Governorate reported a Jewish population of 4.20%, not including a Karaite population of 0.43%. The Krymchaks (but not the Karaites) were targeted for annihilation during Nazi occupation.
The number of Crimea Germans was 60,000 in 1939. During WWII, they were forcibly deported on the orders of Stalin, as they were regarded as a potential "fifth column". This was part of the 800,000 Germans in Russia who were relocated within the Soviet Union during Stalinist times. The 2001 Ukrainian census reports just 2,500 ethnic Germans (0.1% of population) in Crimea.
In 2013, Orthodox Christians made up 58% of the Crimean population, followed by Muslims (15%) and believers in God without religion (10%).
Following the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea 38 out of 46 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate parishes in Crimea ceased to exist, in three cases churches were seized by the Russian authorities. Notwithstanding the annexation the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) kept control of its eparchies in Crimea.
Almost 100 broadcasters and around 1,200 publications are registered in Crimea, although no more than a few dozen operate or publish regularly. Of them most use the Russian language only. Crimea's first Tatar-owned, Tatar-language TV launched in 2006.
Alexander Pushkin visited Bakhchysarai in 1820 and later wrote the poem The Fountain of Bakhchisaray. Crimea was the background for Adam Mickiewicz's seminal work, The Crimean Sonnets inspired by his 1825 travel. A series of 18 sonnets constitute an artistic telling of a journey to and through the Crimea, they feature romantic descriptions of the oriental nature and culture of the East which show the despair of an exile longing for the homeland, driven from his home by a violent enemy.
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.
According to the, broken in practice by Russian companies, Ukrainian “law on concert activities” only Ukrainian companies can organise concerts in Crimea.
Following Crimea's vote to join Russia and subsequent annexation in March 2014, the top football clubs withdrew from the Ukrainian leagues. Some clubs registered to join the Russian leagues but the Football Federation of Ukraine objected. UEFA ruled that Crimean clubs could not join the Russian leagues but should instead be part of a Crimean league system. The Crimean Premier League is now the top professional football league in Crimea.
A number of Crimean-born athletes have been given permission to compete for Russia instead of Ukraine at future competitions, including Vera Rebrik, the European javelin champion. Due to Russia currently being suspended from all international athletic competitions Rebrik participates in tournaments as a "neutral" athlete.
I will be frank; we used our Armed Forces to block Ukrainian units stationed in Crimea
Спустя 22 года и 364 дня после первого в СССР референдума в автономной республике Украины Крым состоялся последний референдум. Проводился он вопреки украинскому законодательству, не предусматривающему понятия региональный референдум и предписывающему решать территориальные вопросы только на всеукраинском референдуме
Organizing and holding the referendum on Crimea's accession to Russia was illegal under the Ukrainian constitution. Article 2 of the constitution establishes that “Ukraine shall be a unitary state” and that the "territory of Ukraine within its present border is indivisible and inviolable". This is confirmed in regard to Crimea by Chapter X of the constitution, which provides for the autonomous status of Crimea. Article 134 sets forth that Crimea is an “inseparable constituent part of Ukraine”. The autonomous status provides Crimea with a certain set of authorities and allows, inter alia, to hold referendums. These rights are, however, limited to local matters. The constitution makes clear that alterations to the territory of Ukraine require an all-Ukrainian referendum.
|Taurida Governate||Berdyansk County||Dneiper County||Melitopol County||Crimea|
|accessdate=(help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
A controversial referendum on the status of Crimea was held on March 16, 2014, by the legislature of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and by the local government of Sevastopol (both subdivisions of Ukraine). The referendum requested local populations whether they wanted to join Russia as a federal subject, or if they wanted to restore the 1992 Crimean constitution and Crimea's status as a part of Ukraine. After the events of Euromaidan, the referendum was held during a Russian military takeover of Crimea. The referendum is not internationally recognized by most countries.In 1991 and 1994, Crimea passed referendums in support for greater Crimean autonomy within Ukraine's sovereignty. Most recently, members of the Supreme Council of Crimea claimed the ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution was a "coup" and the new interim government in Kiev was illegitimate and stated that the referendum was a response to these developments.The March 16 referendum's available choices did not include keeping the status quo of Crimea and Sevastopol as they were at the moment the referendum was held. The 1992 constitution accords greater powers to the Crimean parliament including full sovereign powers to establish relations with other states; therefore, many Western and Ukrainian commentators argued that both provided referendum choices would result in de facto separation from Ukraine. The final date and ballot choices were set only ten days before the plebiscite was held. Before, during and after the plebiscite was proclaimed, the Crimean peninsula was host to Russian soldiers who managed to oversee public buildings and Ukrainian military installations. The official result from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was a 96.77 percent vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83.1 percent voter turnout.Following the referendum, The Supreme Council of Crimea and Sevastopol City Council declared the independence of the Republic of Crimea from Ukraine and requested to join the Russian Federation. On the same day, Russia recognized the Republic of Crimea as a sovereign state.The referendum was regarded as illegitimate by most members of the European Union, the United States and Canada mainly due to Russian intervention. Thirteen members of the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of a resolution declaring the referendum invalid, but Russia vetoed it and China abstained. A United Nations General Assembly resolution was later adopted, by a vote of 100 in favor vs. 11 against with 58 abstentions, which declared the referendum invalid and affirmed Ukraine's territorial integrity. As the plebiscite was proclaimed, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People had called for a boycott of the referendum. The Mejlis Deputy Chairman, Akhtem Chiygoz, felt that the actual turnout could not have exceeded 30–40 percent, arguing that to be the normal turnout for votes in the region.Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation
The Crimean Peninsula was annexed from Ukraine by the Russian Federation in February–March 2014 and since then has been administered as two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The annexation was accompanied by a military intervention by Russia in Crimea that took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and was part of wider unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine.On 22–23 February 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an all-night meeting with security service chiefs to discuss the extrication of deposed Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych. At the end of the meeting Putin remarked that "we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia". On 23 February, pro-Russian demonstrations were held in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. On 27 February masked Russian troops without insignia took over the Supreme Council (parliament) of Crimea, and captured strategic sites across Crimea, which led to the installation of the pro-Russian Aksyonov government in Crimea, the conducting of the Crimean status referendum and the declaration of Crimea's independence on 16 March 2014. Russia formally incorporated Crimea as two federal subjects of the Russian Federation with effect from 18 March 2014.
Ukraine and many world leaders condemned the annexation and consider it to be a violation of international law and Russian-signed agreements safeguarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Belavezha Accords establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1991, the Helsinki Accords, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of 1994 and the Treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. It led to the other members of the then G8 suspending Russia from the group, then introducing the first round of sanctions against the country. The United Nations General Assembly also rejected the vote and annexation, adopting a non-binding resolution affirming the "territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders". The UN resolution also "underscores that the referendum having no validity, cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of [Crimea]" and calls upon all States and international organizations not to recognize or to imply the recognition of Russia's annexation. In 2016, UN General Assembly reaffirmed non-recognition of the annexation and condemned "the temporary occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine—the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol".The Russian Federation opposes the "annexation" label, with Putin defending the referendum as complying with the principle of self-determination of peoples. In July 2015, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Crimea had been fully integrated into Russia.Autonomous Republic of Crimea
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Автономна Республіка Крим, Avtonomna Respublika Krym; Russian: Автономная Республика Крым, Avtonomnaya Respublika Krym; Crimean Tatar: Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti, Къырым Мухтар Джумхуриети, Ҡырым Мухтар Җумхуриети; Romanian: Republica Autonomă Crimeea) is, de jure, an autonomous republic of Ukraine, encompassing most of Crimea, though it was unilaterally annexed by Russia in 2014. While the territory is now, de facto, a federal subject of Russia called the Republic of Crimea, Ukraine’s continuing claim is supported by most foreign governments and United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262.Crimea had previously been under Russian control from 1783 until 1954 (except for short periods during political upheavals and wars), when it was transferred, within the USSR, to the Ukrainian SSR. Later, following a referendum on 20 January 1991, it was upgraded to the status of an autonomous republic within the Ukrainian SSR. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and Ukraine became an independent country, Crimea remained part of the newly independent Ukraine.
However, in February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces took over the territory. A controversial Crimea-wide referendum, unconstitutional under the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions, was held on the issue of reunification with Russia which official results indicated was supported by a large majority of Crimeans. Russia then formally annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014, incorporating the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia.Chersonesus
Chersonesus (Ancient Greek: Χερσόνησος, translit. Khersónēsos; Latin: Chersonesus; modern Russian and Ukrainian: Херсонес, Khersones; also rendered as Chersonese, Chersonesos), in medieval Greek contracted to Cherson (Χερσών; Old East Slavic: Корсунь, Korsun) is an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula. The colony was established in the 6th century BC by settlers from Heraclea Pontica.
The ancient city is located on the shore of the Black Sea at the outskirts of Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, where it is referred to as Khersones. It has been nicknamed the "Ukrainian Pompeii". The site is now part of the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos. The name Chersonesos in Greek means "peninsula", and aptly describes the site on which the colony was established. It should not be confused with the Tauric Chersonese, the name often applied to the whole of the southern Crimea.
During much of the classical period Chersonesus was a democracy ruled by a group of elected Archons and a council called the Demiurgoi. As time passed the government grew more oligarchic, with power concentrated in the hands of the archons. A form of oath sworn by all the citizens since the 3rd century BC has survived to the present day. In 2013, Chersonesus was listed as a World Heritage Site.Crimean Khanate
The Crimean Khanate (Mongolian: Крымын ханлиг; Crimean Tatar / Ottoman Turkish: Къырым Ханлыгъы, Qırım Hanlığı, قرم خانلغى or Къырым Юрту, Qırım Yurtu, قرم يورتى; Russian: Крымское ханство, translit. Krymskoje hanstvo; Ukrainian: Кримське ханство, Krymśke chanstvo; Polish: Chanat Krymski) was a Turkic vassal state of the Ottoman Empire from 1478 to 1774, the longest-lived of the Turkic khanates that succeeded the empire of the Golden Horde of Mongol origin. Established by Hacı I Giray in 1449, the Crimean khans were the patrilineal descendants of Toqa Temür, thirteenth son of Jochi and grandson of Genghis Khan through marriage; Temür married one of Genghis Khan's granddaughters. The khanate was located in present-day Russia and Ukraine.
Ottoman forces under Gedik Ahmet Pasha conquered all of the Crimean peninsula and joined it to the khanate in 1475. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Crimean Khanate was an important center of the slave trade. In 1774, it was released as a nationally independent state, following the Russo-Turkish Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, and formally annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, becoming the Taurida Governorate.Crimean Tatar language
Crimean Tatar (Къырымтатар тили, Qırımtatar tili), also called Crimean Turkic or simply Crimean (Къырым тили, Qırım tili), is a Kipchak Turkic language spoken in Crimea and the Crimean Tatar diasporas of Uzbekistan, Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as small communities in the United States and Canada. It should not be confused with Tatar proper, spoken in Tatarstan and adjacent regions in Russia; the languages are related, but belong to two different subgroups of the Kipchak languages and thus are not mutually intelligible. Crimean Tatar arrived in the 13th century with the Mongol Golden Horde, succeeding the Crimean Greek and Crimean Gothic Principality of Theodoro, and continued through the 15th–18th century Crimean Khanate period. Though only distantly related, it has been extensively influenced by nearby Oghuz Turkic languages such as Turkish, Turkmen and Azerbaijani.Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars or Crimeans (Crimean Tatar: Qırımtatarlar, qırımlar; Turkish: Kırım Tatarları, kırımlar; Russian: Крымские Татары, крымцы; Ukrainian: Кримськi Татари, кримцi) are a Turkic ethnic group, who are indigenous people of Crimea and formed in the Crimean Peninsula during the 13th–17th centuries, primarily from Cumans that appeared in Crimea in the 10th century, with strong contributions from all the peoples who ever inhabited Crimea. Since 2014 Crimean Tatars have been officially recognized as an indigenous people of Ukraine. Crimean Tatars are also listed among the indigenous peoples of Russia.Crimean Tatars constituted the majority of Crimea's population from the time of its ethnogenesis until the mid-19th century, and the relative largest ethnic population until the end of the 19th century. Almost immediately after the retaking of Crimea from Axis forces, in May 1944, the USSR State Defense Committee ordered the removal of all of the Tatar population from Crimea, including the families of Crimean Tatars serving in the Soviet Army – in trains and boxcars to Central Asia, primarily to Uzbekistan. Starting in 1967, some were allowed to return to Crimea, and in 1989 the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union condemned the removal of Crimean Tatars from their motherland as inhumane and lawless. Today, Crimean Tatars constitute approximately 12% of the population of Crimea. There remains a large diaspora of Crimean Tatars in Turkey and Uzbekistan.Crimean War
The Crimean War (French: Guerre de Crimée; Russian: Кры́мская война́, translit. Krymskaya voyna or Russian: Восто́чная война́, translit. Vostochnaya voyna, lit. 'Eastern War'; Turkish: Kırım Savaşı; Italian: Guerra di Crimea) was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".While the churches worked out their differences and came to an agreement, Nicholas I of Russia and the French Emperor Napoleon III refused to back down. Nicholas issued an ultimatum that the Orthodox subjects of the Ottoman Empire be placed under his protection. Britain attempted to mediate and arranged a compromise that Nicholas agreed to. When the Ottomans demanded changes, Nicholas refused and prepared for war. Having obtained promises of support from France and Britain, the Ottomans declared war on Russia in October 1853.
The war started in the Balkans in July 1853, when Russian troops occupied the Danubian Principalities (part of modern Romania), which were under Ottoman suzerainty, then began to cross the Danube. Led by Omar Pasha, the Ottomans fought a strong defensive campaign and stopped the advance at Silistra. A separate action on the fort town of Kars in eastern Anatolia led to a siege, and a Turkish attempt to reinforce the garrison was destroyed by a Russian fleet at Sinop. Fearing an Ottoman collapse, France and Britain rushed forces to Gallipoli. They then moved north to Varna in June 1854, arriving just in time for the Russians to abandon Silistra. Aside from a minor skirmish at Köstence (today Constanța), there was little for the allies to do. Karl Marx quipped, "there they are, the French doing nothing and the British helping them as fast as possible".Frustrated by the wasted effort, and with demands for action from their citizens, the allied force decided to attack Russia's main naval base in the Black Sea at Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula. After extended preparations, the forces landed on the peninsula in September 1854 and marched their way to a point south of Sevastopol after the successful Battle of the Alma. The Russians counterattacked on 25 October in what became the Battle of Balaclava and were repulsed, but at the cost of seriously depleting the British Army forces. A second counterattack, at Inkerman, ended in stalemate. The front settled into a siege and led to brutal conditions for troops on both sides. Smaller actions were carried out in the Baltic, the Caucasus, the White Sea, and in the North Pacific.
Sevastopol fell after eleven months, and neutral countries began to join the Allied cause. Isolated and facing a bleak prospect of invasion from the west if the war continued, Russia sued for peace in March 1856. This was welcomed by France and Britain, as the conflict was growing unpopular at home. The war was ended by the Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 March 1856. Russia was forbidden to host warships in the Black Sea. The Ottoman vassal states of Wallachia and Moldavia became largely independent. Christians there were granted a degree of official equality, and the Orthodox Church regained control of the Christian churches in dispute.The Crimean War was one of the first conflicts to use modern technologies such as explosive naval shells, railways, and telegraphs. The war was one of the first to be documented extensively in written reports and photographs. As the legend of the "Charge of the Light Brigade" demonstrates, the war quickly became an iconic symbol of logistical, medical and tactical failures and mismanagement. The reaction in the UK was a demand for professionalisation, most famously achieved by Florence Nightingale, who gained worldwide attention for pioneering modern nursing while treating the wounded.
The Crimean War proved to be the moment of truth for Nikolaevan Russia. Its humiliating outcome forced Russia’s educated elites to identify the Empire’s problems and recognize the need for fundamental transformations aimed at modernizing and restoring Russia’s position in the ranks of European powers. Historians have studied the role of the Crimean War as a catalyst for the reforms of Russia’s social institutions: serfdom, justice, local self-government, education, and military service. More recently, scholars have also turned their attention to the impact of the Crimean War on the development of Russian nationalistic discourse.Districts of Russia
A district (raion) is an administrative and municipal division of a federal subject of Russia.
As of 2014, excluding Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Sevastopol, there are 1,873 administrative districts (including the 14 in the Republic of Crimea) and 1,823 municipal districts (also including the 14 in the Republic of Crimea) in Russia. All these districts have an administrative center, which is usually the same locality for both the administrative and municipal entity.
In modern Russia, division into administrative districts largely remained unchanged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The term "district" ("raion") is used to refer to an administrative division of a federal subject or to a district of a big city.
In two federal subjects, however, the terminology was changed to reflect national specifics: in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, where they are known as ulus (улус), and in Tyva Republic, where they are known as kozhuun (кожуун).Feodosia
Feodosia (Russian: Феодосия, Feodosiya; Ukrainian: Феодо́сія, Feodosiia; Crimean Tatar and Turkish: Kefe), also called Theodosia (from Greek: Θεοδοσία), is a port and resort, a town of regional significance in Crimea on the Black Sea coast. Feodosia serves as the administrative center of Feodosia Municipality, one of the regions into which Crimea is divided. During much of its history the city was known as Caffa (Ligurian: Cafà) or Kaffa. Population: 69,145 (2014 Census).History of Crimea
The recorded history of the Crimean Peninsula, historically known as Tauris (Greek: Ταυρική), Taurica, and the Tauric Chersonese (Greek: Χερσόνησος Ταυρική, "Tauric Peninsula"), begins around the 5th century BC when several Greek colonies were established along its coast. The southern coast remained Greek in culture for almost two thousand years as part of the Roman Empire (47 BC – 330 AD), and its successor states, the Byzantine Empire (330 AD – 1204 AD), the Empire of Trebizond (1204 AD – 1461 AD), and the independent Principality of Theodoro (ended 1475 AD). In the 13th century, some port cities were controlled by the Venetians and by the Genovese. The Crimean interior was much less stable, enduring a long series of conquests and invasions; by the early medieval period it had been settled by Scythians (Scytho-Cimmerians), Tauri, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Kipchaks and Khazars. In the medieval period, it was acquired partly by Kievan Rus', but fell to the Mongol invasions as part of the Golden Horde. They were followed by the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, which conquered the coastal areas as well, in the 15th to 18th centuries.
In 1783, the Ottoman Empire was defeated by Catherine the Great. Crimea was traded to Russia by the Ottoman Empire as part of the Treaty provision. After two centuries of conflict, the Russian fleet had destroyed the Ottoman navy and the Russian army had inflicted heavy defeats on the Ottoman land forces. The ensuing Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca forced the Sublime Porte to recognize the Tatars of the Crimea as politically independent. Catherine the Great's incorporation of the Crimea in 1783 from the defeated Ottoman Empire into the Russian Empire increased Russia's power in the Black Sea area. The Crimea was the first Muslim territory to slip from the sultan's suzerainty. The Ottoman Empire's frontiers would gradually shrink for another two centuries, and Russia would proceed to push her frontier westwards to the Dniester.
In 1921 the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created. This republic was dissolved in 1945, and the Crimea became an oblast first of the Russian SSR (1945–1954) and then the Ukrainian SSR (1954–1991). From 1991 the territory was covered by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol City within independent Ukraine. However, during the 2014 Crimean crisis, the peninsula was taken over by Russia and a referendum on whether to rejoin Russia was held. Shortly after the result in favour of joining Russia was announced, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation as two federal subjects: the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.Krymchaks
The Krymchaks (Krymchak: sg. кърымчах - qrımçah, pl. кърымчахлар - qrımçahlar) are Jewish ethno-religious communities of Crimea derived from Turkic-speaking adherents of Orthodox Judaism. They have historically lived in close proximity to the Crimean Karaites, also Turkic but who follow Karaite Judaism.
At first krymchak was a Russian descriptive used to differentiate them from their Ashkenazi Jewish coreligionists, as well as other Jewish communities in the former Russian Empire such as the Georgian Jews, but in the second half of the 19th century this name was adopted by the Krymchaks themselves. Before this their self-designation was "Срель балалары" (Srel balalary) - literally "Children of Israel". The Crimean Tatars referred to them as zuluflı çufutlar ("Jews with pe'ot") to distinguish them from the Karaites, who were called zulufsız çufutlar ("Jews without pe'ot").Natalia Poklonskaya
Natalia Vladimirovna Poklonskaya (Russian: Ната́лья Влади́мировна Покло́нская, IPA: [nɐˈtalʲjə pɐkˈlonskəjə], Ukrainian: Наталія Володимирівна Поклонська; born 18 March 1980) is a Russian politician, serving as Deputy of the State Duma of Russia from 5 October 2016.She was the Prosecutor of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from 11 to 17 March 2014. From 2 May 2014 to 6 October 2016, she served as Prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea and in 2015 as State Counselor of Justice 3rd Class.
Poklonskaya was a Ukrainian prosecutor from 2002 to February 2014, working in various Prosecutor's Offices or as an assistant district attorney. During the 2014 Crimean crisis, she resigned from Ukrainian service and was appointed Prosecutor General of Crimea on 11 March 2014; a press conference given by Poklonskaya on that day resulted in her becoming an Internet phenomenon. After Crimea was annexed by Russia during the 2014 Crimean crisis, Poklonskaya's appointment was confirmed by Russian authorities on 25 March, around the same time Ukrainian judicial authorities declared her a wanted criminal.Poklonskaya resigned as Prosecutor General on 6 October 2016 due to her election to the State Duma during the 2016 Russian legislative election.Republic of Crimea
The Republic of Crimea (; Russian: Республика Крым, Respublika Krym [rʲɪsˈpublʲɪkə krɨm]; Ukrainian: Республіка Крим, Respublika Krym; Crimean Tatar: Къырым Джумхуриети, Qırım Cumhuriyeti) is a federal subject of Russia that is located on the Crimean Peninsula. The capital city and largest city within the republic is Simferopol which is also the second largest city of Crimea, behind the federal city of Sevastopol. At the last census the republic had a population of 1,891,465 (2014 Census).In March 2014, following the takeover of Crimea by pro-Russian separatists and the Russian Armed Forces, an unconstitutional referendum was held on the issue of reunification with Russia, which official results and opinion polls indicated was supported by a large majority of Crimeans. The official result was that Crimeans overwhelmingly wished to join with Russia. Russia then annexed the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as federal subjects of Russia.While Russia and 21 other UN member states recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation, Ukraine continues to claim Crimea as an integral part of its territory as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, supported by most foreign governments, and various United Nations General Assembly resolutions (68/262 and certain subsequent resolutions).Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present)
In February 2014, Russia made several military incursions into Ukrainian territory. After Euromaidan protests and the fall of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, Russian soldiers without insignias took control of strategic positions and infrastructure within the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Russia then annexed Crimea after an unlawful referendum in which Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation, according to Russian official results. In April, demonstrations by pro-Russian groups in the Donbass area of Ukraine escalated into an armed conflict between the Ukrainian government and the Russia-backed separatist forces of the self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics. In August, Russian military vehicles crossed the border in several locations of Donetsk Oblast. The incursion by the Russian military was seen as responsible for the defeat of Ukrainian forces in early September.In November 2014, the Ukrainian military reported intensive movement of troops and equipment from Russia into the separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine. The Associated Press reported 80 unmarked military vehicles on the move in rebel-controlled areas. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission observed convoys of heavy weapons and tanks in DPR-controlled territory without insignia. OSCE monitors further stated they observed vehicles transporting ammunition and soldiers' dead bodies crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border under the guise of humanitarian aid convoys. As of early August 2015, OSCE observed over 21 such vehicles marked with the Russian military code for soldiers killed in action. According to The Moscow Times, Russia has tried to intimidate and silence human rights workers discussing Russian soldiers' deaths in the conflict. OSCE repeatedly reported that its observers were denied access to the areas controlled by "combined Russian-separatist forces".The majority of members of the international community and organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Russia for its actions in post-revolutionary Ukraine, accusing it of breaking international law and violating Ukrainian sovereignty. Many countries implemented economic sanctions against Russia, Russian individuals or companies – to which Russia responded in kind.In October 2015, The Washington Post reported that Russia has redeployed some of its elite units from Ukraine to Syria to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In December 2015, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin admitted that Russian military intelligence officers were operating in Ukraine, insisting though that they were not the same as regular troops.Sevastopol
Sevastopol (; Russian: Севасто́поль; Ukrainian: Севастополь; Crimean Tatar: Акъяр, Aqyar) is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and a major Black Sea port. The city is administered as a federal city of the Russian Federation following Crimea's annexation by Russia in 2014, though Ukraine and most of the UN member countries continue to regard Sevastopol as a city with special status within Ukraine.
Sevastopol has a population of 393,304 (2014 Census), concentrated mostly near the Sevastopol Bay and surrounding areas. The location and navigability of the city's harbours have made Sevastopol a strategically important port and naval base throughout history. The city has been a home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which is why it was considered as a separate city in Crimea of significant military importance and was therefore once a closed city.
Although relatively small at 864 square kilometres (334 sq mi), Sevastopol's unique naval and maritime features provide the basis for a robust economy. The city enjoys mild winters and moderate warm summers; characteristics that help make it a popular seaside resort and tourist destination, mainly for visitors from the former Soviet republics. The city is also an important centre for marine biology; in particular, dolphins have been studied and trained in the city since the end of World War II.Simferopol
Simferopol (; Russian: Симферополь, IPA: [sʲɪmfʲɪˈropəlʲ]; Ukrainian: Сімферополь, pronounced [sʲimfɛˈrɔpɔlʲ]; Crimean Tatar: Aqmescit, Акъмесджит) is a city on the Crimean peninsula which is, since the 2014 annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the de facto capital city of the Republic of Crimea within the Russian Federation. De jure, it remains the capital city of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within Ukraine. The status of Crimea is disputed between Russia and Ukraine as a result of the 2014 vote to join Russia, which was held during Russian military intervention, and the subsequent annexation. Simferopol is an important political, economic, and transport hub of the peninsula and serves as the administrative centre of both Simferopol Municipality and Simferopol District though it does not belong to the district. Population: 332,317 (2014 Census).Archaeological evidence in Simferopol indicates the existence of an ancient Scythian city, collectively known as the Scythian Neapolis. The location was also home to a Crimean Tatar town, Aqmescit. After the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire, the city's name was changed to its present Simferopol.Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named the Argonaut Conference, held from 4 to 11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the purpose of discussing Germany and Europe's postwar reorganization. The three states were represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively. The conference convened near Yalta in Crimea, Soviet Union, within the Livadia, Yusupov, and Vorontsov Palaces.
The aim of the conference was to shape a post-war peace that represented not just a collective security order but a plan to give self-determination to the liberated peoples of post-Nazi Europe.
The meeting was intended mainly to discuss the re-establishment of the nations of war-torn Europe. However, within a few short years, with the Cold War dividing the continent, Yalta became a subject of intense controversy.
Yalta was the second of three major wartime conferences among the Big Three. It was preceded by the Tehran Conference in November 1943, and was followed by the Potsdam Conference in July 1945. It was also preceded by a conference in Moscow in October 1944, not attended by President Roosevelt, in which Churchill and Stalin had carved up Europe into Western and Soviet spheres of influence. The Potsdam Conference was to be attended by Stalin, Churchill (who was replaced halfway through by the newly elected British prime minister Clement Attlee) and Harry S. Truman, Roosevelt's successor after his death.
General Charles de Gaulle was not present at either the Yalta or Potsdam conferences; a diplomatic slight that was the occasion for deep and lasting resentment. De Gaulle attributed his exclusion from Yalta to the longstanding personal antagonism towards him by Roosevelt, although the Soviet Union had also objected to his inclusion as a full participant. But the absence of French representation at Yalta also meant that extending an invitation for De Gaulle to attend the Potsdam Conference would have been highly problematic; as he would then have felt honor-bound to insist that all issues agreed at Yalta in his absence would have had to be re-opened.Yevpatoria
Yevpatoriya, sometimes called also Eupatoria, is a city of regional significance in Western Crimea, north of Kalamita Bay. Yevpatoriya serves as the administrative center of Yevpatoriya municipality, one of the districts (raions) into which Crimea is divided. Population: 105,719 (2014 Census).