Isthmus of Perekop

The Isthmus of Perekop (Ukrainian: Перекопський перешийок; translit. Perekops'kyy pereshyyok; Russian: Перекопский перешеек; translit. Perekopskiy peresheek Crimean Tatar: Or boynu, Turkish: Orkapı; Greek: Τάφρος; translit. Taphros) is the narrow, 5–7 kilometres (3.1–4.3 mi) wide strip of land that connects the Crimean Peninsula to the mainland of Ukraine. The isthmus is located between the Black Sea to the west and the Sivash to the east. The isthmus takes its name of Perekop from the Tatar fortress of Or Qapi.

The border between the Crimea republic and Ukraine's Kherson Oblast runs though the northern part of the isthmus. The cities of Perekop, Armyansk, Suvorovo and Krasnoperekopsk are situated on the isthmus. The North Crimean Canal ran through the isthmus, supplying Crimea with fresh water from the Dnieper River. The canal was closed by Ukraine in 2014, and the water supply was replaced by other local and Russian sources.

South of Perekop, there are rich salt ores which still are very important commercially for the region.

Isthmus of Perekop map
A map with the Isthmus of Perekop.


The name Taphros in Greek means a dug-out trench, per a defensive trench dug between the Azov sea and the Black sea; there also appears to have been a town in the vicinity of the same name.[1] The Crimean Tatar name of Or Qapı adopts the Greek in the Crimean Tatar language meaning Or=trench and Qapı=gate, and Perekop in the Slavic languages literally means a dug-out.


The strategic and commercial value of this area, together with the strategic value of being the gateway to Crimea, has made the isthmus the location of some particularly fierce battles. From antiquity through the Byzantine era the Greeks fortified the area, and so subsequently did the Crimean Tatars. In the 15th century the area became a colony of the maritime Republic of Genoa. In 1783 the area became a part of the Russian Empire, which made Perekop a county center of Tavriia gubernia.[2][3] In 1954, together with Crimea it was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic.

In November 1920, during the Russian Civil War, a battle was fought here between Red Army and the White troops of Pyotr Wrangel, who was in control of the Crimea. The Red Army turned out victorious, but 140,000 civilians fled over the Black Sea to Istanbul.

During World War II, the combined forces of German and Romanian troops under the command of Erich von Manstein entered Crimea through the Isthmus of Perekop. The battle of the isthmus lasted five days from September 24, 1941 before the isthmus was secured by the Axis forces. On October 27 the Axis forces advanced further into Crimea, leading to the Battle of Sevastopol. On 9 May 1944, the Red Army regained control of Crimea (The Crimean Offensive (8 April – 12 May 1944)).

On March 2, 2014, it was reported that Russian troops were digging trenches along the border between Crimea and Ukraine, which runs across the isthmus.[4]


  1. ^ Milner, Thomas. The Crimea: Its Ancient and Modern History: The Khans, the Sultans, and the Czars, Nabus Press, 2010, p. 6.
  2. ^ Danylo Husar Struk (15 December 1993). Encyclopedia of Ukraine: Volume III: L-Pf. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. p. 2488. ISBN 978-1-4426-5125-8.
  3. ^ J. Murray. Handbook for Travellers in Russia, Poland, and Finland. Рипол Классик. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-147-56625-3.
  4. ^ "Ukraine orders full military mobilisation over Russia moves". BBC News. Retrieved March 2, 2014.

Coordinates: 46°08′58″N 33°40′20″E / 46.14944°N 33.67222°E

2nd Cavalry Army

The 2nd Cavalry Army (Russian: 2-я Конная армия) was a cavalry army of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War.

87th Guards Rifle Division

The 87th Guards Rifle Division was created on April 16, 1943, from the veterans of the 300th Rifle Division, in recognition of that division's leading role in the penetration of the German/Romanian defenses south of Stalingrad in the opening stages of Operation Uranus, its subsequent defense against Army Group Don's attempt to relieve the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, and later for its pursuit of the defeated German forces along the Don River to Rostov-na-Donu as far as the Mius River. The 87th Guards continued a record of distinguished service through the rest of the Great Patriotic War, first in the southern sector of the front, where it participated in the liberation of the Donbass region and the Crimea, and then, after a major redeployment, in the north-central sector, advancing through the Baltic states and into East Germany. After the war it was restructured into a rifle brigade, before being reestablished as 87th Guards Rifle Division in October, 1953. In June, 1957, it was reorganized as a motor rifle division, but appears to have been disbanded in 1959.


Armyansk (Ukrainian: Армянськ, Russian: Армянск, Armenian: Արմյանսկ, Crimean Tatar: Ermeni Bazar) is a town of regional significance in northern Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine, but de facto under control and administration of Russia. Armyansk serves as the administrative center of Armyansk municipality, one of the regions Crimea is divided into. It is located on the Isthmus of Perekop. Population: 21,987 (2014 Census).

Armyansk Municipality

Armyansk City Municipality (Russian: Армянский горсовет, Ukrainian: Армянська міськрада, Crimean Tatar: Ermeni Bazar şeer şurası) is an administrative territorial entity of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Population: 24,415 (2014 Census).It is one of the smallest regions of the republic, located on the Isthmus of Perekop and is the main part of the peninsula that connects to mainland Ukraine.

Asander (Bosporan king)

Asander, named Philocaesar Philoromaios (Greek: Άσανδρoς Φιλοκαισαρ Φιλορώμαίος, Asander, lover of Caesar lover of Rome, 110 BC – 17 BC) was a Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom. He was of Greek and possibly of Persian ancestry. Not much is known of his family and early life. He started his career as a general under Pharnaces II, the king of the Bosporus. According to some scholars, Asander took as his first wife a woman called Glykareia, known from one surviving Greek inscription, "Glykareia, wife of Asander".

By 47 BC, Asander had taken Dynamis, the daughter of Pharnaces II by a Sarmatian wife, as his second wife. She was a granddaughter of King Mithridates VI of Pontus by his first wife, his sister Laodice.

In 47 BC Pharnaces II put Asander in charge the Bosporan Kingdom while he went away to invade the eastern parts of [Anatolia]. This was successful and Pharnaces started to advance towards the western parts of Anatolia. However, he stopped because Asander revolted against him. Asander hoped that by betraying his father-in-law he would win favor with the Romans and they could help him become the Bosporan King. Pharnaces defeated Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Calvinus but was then defeated by Gaius Julius Caesar. After this, he fled to Sinope with 1,000 cavalry. He was allowed leave with his cavalry. He killed his horses and sailed to the Cimmerian Bosporus, intending to recover it from Asander. He captured Theodosia (Feodosia) and Panticapaeum. Asander, attacked him. He was defeated because he was short of horses and his men were not used to fighting on foot. Pharnaces was killed in this battle. Strabo wrote that Asander, took possession of the Bosporus.Asander was soon overthrown from the Bosporan throne. Julius Caesar gave a tetrarchy in Galatia and the title of king to Mithridates of Pergamon. He also allowed him to wage war against Asander and conquer the Cimmerian Bosporus because Asander “had been mean to his friend Pharnaces.”. When Caecilius Bassus plotted a rebellion against Caesar and gathered troops to take over Syria in late 47 BC or early 46 BC, he claimed that “he was collecting these troops for the use of Mithridates the Pergamenian in an expedition against Bosporus.” Mithridates of Pergamon overthrew Asander and became Mithridates I of the Bosporus.

Mithridates robbed the temple of Leucothea in Moschia.. He was then overthrown by Asander.According to Lucian, Asander had been an ethnarch and then was proclaimed king of Bosporus by Augustus. This must have taken place after Augustus became the first Roman emperor in 27 BC.According to Strabo, Asander blocked the isthmus of the Chersonesus (Chersonesus Tauricus, modern Crimea) near Lake Maeotis (the Sea of Azov) with a wall which was 360 stadia long ( 53 kilometres, 35 miles) and had ten towers for every stadium. The wall was probably built because the Georgi of the region engaged in piracy. This isthmus was probably the modern Isthmus of Perekop.

Lucian wrote that Asander "at about ninety years proved himself a match for anyone in fighting from horseback or on foot; but when he saw his subjects going over to Scribonius on the eve of battle, he starved himself to death at the age of ninety-three."Cassius Dio wrote that a certain Scribonius claimed to be a grandson of Mithridates VI and that he had received the Bosporan Kingdom from Augustus after the death of Asander. He gained the control of the kingdom by marrying Dynamis, who had been entrusted with the regency of the kingdom by her husband. Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa sent Polemon against him. Scribonius was killed by the people, before Polemon got there because they had heard of his advance. They resisted Polemon because they were afraid that he may be appointed as their king. Polemon defeated them but was unable to quell the rebellion until Agrippa went to Sinope to prepare a campaign against them. They surrendered. Polemon was appointed as their king. He married Dynamis with the sanction of Augustus. Dynamis' marriage with a usurper, Scribonius must have been forced on her. She died in 14 BC, and Polemon ruled until his death in 8 BC, succeeded by Aspurgus.


Chongar Strait

The Chongar Strait (Russian: Чонгарский пролив; Ukrainian: Чонгарська протока) is a short, shallow, narrow strait separating the eastern and western portions of the Syvash, the shallow lagoon system separating the Crimea from the mainland east of the Isthmus of Perekop.


Crimea (; Russian: Крым; Ukrainian: Крим, translit. 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 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 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.

Crimean Campaign

The Crimea Campaign was an eight-month-long campaign by Axis forces to conquer the Crimea peninsula, and was the scene of some of the bloodiest battles on the Eastern Front during World War II. The German, Romanian, and defending Soviet troops suffered heavy casualties as the Axis forces tried to advance through the Isthmus of Perekop linking the Crimean peninsula to the mainland at Perekop, from summer of 1941 through to the first half of 1942.

From 26 September 1941 the German 11th Army and troops from the Romanian Third Army and Fourth Army were involved in the fighting, opposed by the Red Army's 51st Army and elements of the Black Sea Fleet. After the campaign, the peninsula was occupied by Army Group A with the 17th Army as its major subordinate formation.Once the Axis (German and Romanian troops) broke through, they occupied most of Crimea, with the exception of the city of Sevastopol, which was given the title of Hero City for its resistance, and Kerch, which was recaptured by the Soviets during an amphibious operation near the end of 1941 and then taken once again by the Germans during Operation Bustard Hunt on 8 May. The Siege of Sevastopol lasted 250 days from 30 October 1941 until 4 July 1942, when the Axis finally captured the city.

In the early hours of 6 November, the Romanian submarine Delfinul torpedoed and sank the Soviet 1,975-ton cargo ship Uralets four miles South of Yalta. The submarine was subsequently attacked by Soviet forces but she followed a route along the Turkish coast and managed to evade up to 80 depth charges, before safely arriving in the port of Constanța on 7 November.Sevastapol, the main object of the campaign, was surrounded by German forces and assaulted on 30 October 1941. German troops were repulsed by a Soviet counterattack. Later, many troops who had been evacuated from Odessa contributed to the defence of Sevastopol. The Germans then began an encirclement of the city. Other attacks on 11 November and 30 November, in the eastern and southern sections of the city, failed. German forces were then reinforced by several artillery regiments, one of which included the railway gun Schwerer Gustav. Another attack on 17 December was repulsed at the last moment with the help of reinforcements and Soviet troops landed on the Kerch peninsula the day after Christmas, to relieve Sevastopol. The Soviet forces remained on the peninsula until a 9 April German counterattack. They held on for another month before being eliminated on 18 May. With the distraction removed, German forces renewed their assault on Sevastopol, penetrating the inner defensive lines on 29 June. Soviet commanders had been flown out or evacuated by submarine towards the end of the siege and the city surrendered on 4 July 1942, although some Soviet troops held out in caves outside of the city until 9 July.

In 1944, the Crimea was recaptured by troops of the 4th Ukrainian Front during the Crimean Offensive (8 April 1944 – 12 May 1944) and its three sub-operations:

Kerch–Eltigen Operation (31 October 1943 – 11 December 1943)

Perekop–Sevastopol Offensive Operation (8 April 1944 – 12 May 1944)

Kerch–Sevastopol Offensive Operation (11 April 1944 – 12 May 1944)

Crimean campaigns of 1687 and 1689

The Crimean campaigns of 1687 and 1689 (Russian: Крымские походы, Krymskiye pokhody) were two military campaigns of the Tsardom of Russia against the Crimean Khanate. They were a part of the Russo-Turkish War (1686–1700) and Russo-Crimean Wars. These were the first Russian forces to come close to Crimea since 1569. They failed due to poor planning and the practical problem of moving such a large force across the steppe but nonetheless played a key role in halting the Ottoman expansion in Europe. The campaigns came as a surprise for the Ottoman leadership, spoiled its plans to invade Poland and Hungary and forced it to move significant forces from Europe to the east, which greatly helped the League in its struggle against the Ottomans.Having signed the Eternal Peace Treaty with Poland in 1686, Russia became a member of the anti-Turkish coalition ("Holy League" — Austria, the Republic of Venice and Poland), which was pushing the Turks south after their failure at Vienna in 1683 (the major result of this war was the conquest by Austria of most of Hungary from Turkish rule). Russia's role in 1687 was to send a force south to Perekop to bottle up the Crimeans inside their peninsula.

Government of South Russia

The Government of South Russia (Russian: Правительство Юга России Pravitel'stvo Yuga Rossii) was a White movement government established in Sevastopol, Crimea in April 1920.

It was the successor to General Anton Denikin's South Russian Government (Южнорусское Правительство Yuzhnorusskoye Pravitel'stvo) set up in February 1920.General Pyotr Wrangel was the pravitel' (правитель, "ruler") while the head of the government itself was the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Alexander Krivoshein, with Peter Berngardovich Struve serving as foreign minister. The government officially adopted the name "Government of South Russia" on 16 August 1920, and it controlled the area of the former Russian Empire's Taurida Governorate, i.e., the Crimean Peninsula and adjacent areas of the mainland.

The Government of South Russia received assistance from the Allied Powers including France (which recognized it in August 1920) and the United States, as well as from the newly independent Poland. However, foreign support gradually dried up so offensives of the former Armed Forces of South Russia and the Volunteer Army, now called the Russian Army, had failed in Northern Taurida.

In early November with the Perekop–Chongar operation, the Bolsheviks won decisive victories and entered Crimea proper. Between 7 and 17 November it broke through Russian Army defenses on the Isthmus of Perekop, crossing the Sivash and capturing the Lithuanian Peninsula, the fortified Turkish Wall, Yushun, and Chongar positions. After breaking through at Perekop, the front advanced into Crimea. Wrangel initiated an evacuation of 146,000 people to Constantinople with the last boats departing on 16 November. With this withdrawal, the final remnants of the White forces in European Russia were defeated.

Henichesk Strait

The Henichesk Strait (alternatively Genichesk Strait; Russian: Генический пролив, Ukrainian: Генічеська протока) is a narrow strait which connects the Syvash (the shallow lagoon system separating the Crimea from the Ukraine east of the Isthmus of Perekop) with the Sea of Azov. It separates the Arabat Spit from the Ukrainian mainland.The strait is about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) long and the width varies from 80 to 150 metres (260 to 490 ft), with a depth of 4.6 metres (15 ft). On account of its narrowness, it is also sometimes called Thin Strait (Russian: Тонкий пролив, Ukrainian: тонкий протоку). The direction of flow depends on the wind. On the north side of the strait is the town and port of Henichesk in the Ukraine.Although the strait separates the Crimea from the Ukraine geographically, it does not do so politically: both sides of the strait are in the Ukrainian Kherson Oblast, and the political and military boundary between Kherson Oblast and the disputed polity described either as the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea or the independent Republic of Crimea lies further south on the Arabat Spit.

Karkinit Bay

Karkinit, Karkinitski, or Karkinitsky Bay (Ukrainian: Каркінітська затока, Karkinits’ka zatoka; Russian: Каркинитский залив, Karkinitskiy zaliv) is a bay of the Black Sea that separates the northwestern Crimean Peninsula from the mainland Ukraine. It was named after the early Greek settlement of Kerkinitis (Κερκινίτης) on the Crimean coast in place of modern Yevpatoria.

The northeastern tip of the Karkinitis Bay, by the Isthmus of Perekop, is known as the Perekop Bay or Gulf of Perekop.

The bay contains the preserve Karkinits'ka Zatoka State Zakaznik.

List of isthmuses

This list of isthmuses is an appendix to the article isthmus. The list is sorted by the region of the world in which the isthmus is located. An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses, or occasionally isthmi; from Ancient Greek: ἰσθμός, translit. isthmos, lit. 'neck') is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water that otherwise separates them. A tombolo is an isthmus that consists of a spit or bar.

Lithuanian Peninsula

The Lithuanian Peninsula (Ukrainian: Литовський півострів; Russian: Литовский полуостров), also known as the Chuvash Peninsula, is a small peninsula in the north of the Crimean Peninsula on the Isthmus of Perekop.

It is part of the Krasnoperekopsk region and situated to the east of the city of Armyansk and near the village of Filatovskaya. It extends into the Syvash lagoon.

The maximum height of the peninsula is only 15 meters. The eastern shores have a height of 10 meters, while the western shores are flat.

Panther–Wotan line

The Panther–Wotan line (also known as the East Wall or Ostwall) was a defensive line partially built by the German Wehrmacht in 1943 on the Eastern Front. The first part of the name refers to the short northern section between Lake Peipus and the Baltic Sea at Narva. It stretched all the way south towards the Black Sea along the Dnieper.

Siege of Perekop (1736)

The Siege of Perekop on June 17, 1736 was part of the Russo-Turkish War (1735–1739). Russian Field Marshal Burkhard Christoph von Münnich (known in Russia as Minikh) successfully stormed the fortifications at the Isthmus of Perekop and left the Tatar fortress Fortress Or Qapi (known as Perekop Fortress in Russian) in ruins. This was a serious, if not mortal, blow to the independence of the Crimean Khanate and left the Tatar fortress in ruins. As a result, the Russian Empire for the first time gained access into the Crimean Peninsula. This was a serious blow to the independence of the Crimean Khanate.Minikh feigned a false attack on the right flank, and the major attack on the fight flank broke through the fortifications. The army went up to the capital of the Kahante, Bakhchisaray, and Akmescit (now Simferopol). However epidemic, epizooty, and mutiny in the army forced Minikh to leave Crimea.

Siege of Perekop (1920)

The Siege of Perekop, also known as the Perekop-Chongar Operation, was the final battle of the Southern Front in the Russian Civil War from 7 to 17 November 1920. The White Army stronghold on the Crimean Peninsula was protected by the Chongar fortification system along the strategic Perekop Isthmus and the Syvash, from which the Crimean Corps under General Yakov Slashchov successfully repelled several Red Army invasion attempts in early 1920. The Red Army in South Russia and the Black Army, under the command of Mikhail Frunze, launched an offensive on Crimea with an invasion force four-times larger than the defenders, the Army of Wrangel under the command of General Pyotr Wrangel. Despite suffering heavy losses, the Reds successfully broke through the fortifications, and the Whites were forced into retreat southwards. Following their defeat at the Siege of Perekop, the Whites evacuated from the Crimea, dissolving the Army of Wrangel and ending the Southern Front in Bolshevik victory.


The Syvash or Sivash (Russian and Ukrainian: Сива́ш; Crimean Tatar: Sıvaş, Cyrillic: Сываш, "dirt"), also known as the Putrid Sea or Rotten Sea (Russian: Гнило́е Мо́ре, Gniloye More; Ukrainian: Гниле́ Мо́ре, Hnyle More; Crimean Tatar: Çürük Deñiz, Cyrillic: Чюрюк Денъиз), consists of a large system of shallow lagoons on the west coast of the Sea of Azov. Separated from the sea by the narrow Arabat Spit, the water of the Syvash covers an area of around 2,560 km2 (990 sq mi) and the entire area spreads over about 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi). Its eastern connection to the Sea of Azov is called the Henichesk Strait. The Syvash borders the northeastern coast of the main Crimean Peninsula; Central and Eastern Syvash registered as wetlands of Ukraine under Ramsar Convention, after the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea became under a territorial dispute.

Tugay Bey

Mirza Tughai Bey, Tuhay Bey (Crimean Tatar: Toğay bey; Polish: Tuhaj-bej; Cyrillic: Тугай-бей) sometimes also spelled as Tugai Bey (died June 1651) was a notable military leader and politician of the Crimean Tatars.

Crimea articles

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