Sevastopol (/ˌsɛvəˈstoʊpəl, -ˈstɒpəl, səˈvæstəˌpɒl, -pəl/; 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.
Orthographic projection of Sevastopol (in green)
Map of the Crimean Peninsula with Sevastopol highlighted
|Status within Ukraine||City with special status|
|Status within Russia||Federal City|
|Founded||1783 (236 years ago)|
|• Governor||Dmitry Ovsyannikov|
|• Total||864 km2 (334 sq mi)|
|Elevation||100 m (300 ft)|
|• Density||480/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+03:00 (MSK (de facto))|
299000—299699 (Russian system)
|Area code(s)||+7-8692 (Russian system)|
|License plate||92 (Russian system)|
The name of Sevastopolis was originally chosen in the same etymological trend as other cities in the Crimean peninsula that was intended to reflect its ancient Greek origins. It is a compound of the Greek adjective, σεβαστός (sebastos, 'venerable') and the noun πόλις (pólis) ('city'). Σεβαστός is the traditional Greek equivalent of the Roman honorific Augustus, originally given to the first emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus and later awarded as a title to his successors.
Despite its Greek origin, the name itself is not from Ancient Greek times. The city was probably named after the Empress ("Augusta") Catherine II of Russia who founded Sevastopol in 1783. She visited the city in 1787 accompanied by Joseph II, the Emperor of Austria, and other foreign dignitaries.
In the west of the city, there are well-preserved ruins of the ancient Greek port city of Chersonesos, founded in the 5th (or 4th) century BC by settlers from Heraclea Pontica. This name means "peninsula", reflecting its immediate location, and is not related to the ancient Greek name for the Crimean Peninsula as a whole: Chersonēsos Taurikē ("the Taurian Peninsula").
The name of the city is spelled as:
In the 6th century BC, a Greek colony was established in the area of the modern-day city. The Greek city of Chersonesus existed for almost two thousand years, first as an independent democracy and later as part of the Bosporan Kingdom. In the 13th and 14th centuries, it was sacked by the Golden Horde several times and was finally totally abandoned. The modern day city of Sevastopol has no connection to the ancient and medieval Greek city, but the ruins are a popular tourist attraction located on the outskirts of the city.
Sevastopol was founded in June 1783 as a base for a naval squadron under the name Akhtiar (White Cliff), by Rear Admiral Thomas MacKenzie (Foma Fomich Makenzi), a native Scot in Russian service; soon after Russia annexed the Crimean Khanate. Five years earlier, Alexander Suvorov ordered that earthworks be erected along the harbour and Russian troops be placed there. In February 1784, Catherine the Great ordered Grigory Potemkin to build a fortress there and call it Sevastopol. The realisation of the initial building plans fell to Captain Fyodor Ushakov who in 1788 was named commander of the port and of the Black Sea squadron. It became an important naval base and later a commercial seaport. In 1797, under an edict issued by Emperor Paul I, the military stronghold was again renamed to Akhtiar. Finally, on 29 April (10 May), 1826, the Senate returned the city's name to Sevastopol.
One of the most notable events involving the city is the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55) carried out by the British, French, Sardinian, and Turkish troops during the Crimean War, which lasted for 11 months. Despite its efforts, the Russian army had to leave its stronghold and evacuate over a pontoon bridge to the north shore of the inlet. The Russians chose to sink their entire fleet to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy and at the same time to block the entrance of the Western ships into the inlet. When the enemy troops entered Sevastopol, they were faced with the ruins of a formerly glorious city.
A panorama of the siege originally was created by Franz Roubaud. After its destruction in 1942 during World War II, it was restored and is currently housed in a specially constructed circular building in the city. It portrays the situation at the height of the siege, on 18 June 1855.
During World War II, Sevastopol withstood intensive bombardment by the Germans in 1941–42, supported by their Italian and Romanian allies during the Battle of Sevastopol. German forces used railway artillery—including history's largest-ever calibre railway artillery piece in battle, the 80-cm calibre Schwerer Gustav—and specialised mobile heavy mortars to destroy Sevastopol's extremely heavy fortifications, such as the Maxim Gorky Fortresses. After fierce fighting, which lasted for 250 days, the supposedly untakable fortress city finally fell to Axis forces in July 1942. It was intended to be renamed to "Theoderichshafen" (in reference to Theoderic the Great and the fact that the Crimea had been home to Germanic Goths until the 18th or 19th century) in the event of a German victory against the Soviet Union, and like the rest of the Crimea was designated for future colonisation by the Third Reich. It was liberated by the Red Army on 9 May 1944 and was awarded the Hero City title a year later.
On 29 October 1948, the Presidium of Supreme Council of the Russian SFSR issued a ukase (order) which confirmed the special status of the city. Soviet academic publications since 1954, including the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, indicated that Sevastopol, Crimean Oblast was part of the Ukrainian SSR (Great Soviet Encyclopedia 1976, Vol.23. pp 104).
In 1954, under Nikita Khrushchev, both Sevastopol and the remainder of the Crimean peninsula were administratively transferred from being territories within the Russian SFSR to being territories administered by the Ukrainian SSR. Administratively, Sevastopol was a municipality excluded from the adjacent Crimean Oblast. The territory of the municipality was 863.5 km² and it was further subdivided into four raions (districts). Besides the City of Sevastopol proper, it also included two towns—Balaklava (having had no status until 1957), Inkerman, urban-type settlement Kacha, and 29 villages.
At the 1955 Ukrainian parliamentary elections on 27 February, Sevastopol was split into two electoral districts, Stalinsky and Korabelny (initially requested three Stalinsky, Korabelny, and Nakhimovsky). Eventually, Sevastopol received two people's deputies of the Ukrainian SSR elected to the Verkhovna Rada A. Korovchenko and M. Kulakov.
In 1957, the town of Balaklava was incorporated into Sevastopol.
On 10 July 1993, the Russian parliament passed a resolution declaring Sevastopol to be "a federal Russian city". At the time, many supporters of the president, Boris Yeltsin, had ceased taking part in the Parliament's work. On 20 July 1993 the United Nations Security Council denounced the decision of the Russia parliament. According to Anatoliy Zlenko, it was for the first time that the council had to review actions and come up with qualification of them for a legislative body.
On 14 April 1993, the Presidium of the Crimean Parliament called for the creation of the presidential post of the Crimean Republic. A week later, the Russian deputy, Valentin Agafonov, stated that Russia was ready to supervise the referendum on Crimean independence and include the republic as a separate entity in the CIS. On 28 July 1993, one of the leaders of the Russian Society of Crimea, Viktor Prusakov, stated that his organisation was ready for an armed mutiny and establishment of the Russian administration in Sevastopol.
In September, the commander of the joint Russian-Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet, Eduard Baltin, accused Ukraine of converting some of his fleet and conducting an armed assault on his personnel, and threatened to take countermeasures of placing the fleet on alert. (In June 1992, the Russian president Boris Yeltsin and the Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk had agreed to divide the former-Soviet Black Sea Fleet between Russia and Ukraine. Eduard Baltin had been appointed commander of the Black Sea Fleet by Yeltsin and Kravchuk on 15 January 1993.)
In May 1997, Russia and Ukraine signed the Peace and Friendship Treaty, ruling out Moscow's territorial claims to Ukraine. A separate agreement established the terms of a long-term lease of land, facilities, and resources in Sevastopol and the Crimea by Russia.
The ex-Soviet Black Sea Fleet and its facilities were divided between Russia's Black Sea Fleet and the Ukrainian Naval Forces. The two navies co-used some of the city's harbours and piers, while others were demilitarised or used by either country. Sevastopol remained the location of the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters with the Ukrainian Naval Forces Headquarters also in the city. A judicial row periodically continued over the naval hydrographic infrastructure both in Sevastopol and on the Crimean coast (especially lighthouses historically maintained by the Soviet or Russian Navy and also used for civil navigation support).
As in the rest of the Crimea, Russian remained the predominant language of the city, although following the independence of Ukraine there were some attempts at Ukrainisation with very little success. The Russian society in general and even some outspoken government representatives never accepted the loss of Sevastopol and tended to regard it as temporarily separated from the homeland.
In July 2009, the chairman of the Sevastopol city council, Valeriy Saratov (Party of Regions) stated that Ukraine should increase the amount of compensation it is paying to the city of Sevastopol for hosting the foreign Russian Black Sea Fleet, instead of requesting such obligations from the Russian government and the Russian Ministry of Defense in particular.
On 27 April 2010, Russia and Ukraine ratified the Russian Ukrainian Naval Base for Gas treaty, extending the Russian Navy's lease of Crimean facilities for 25 years after 2017 (through 2042) with an option to prolong the lease in 5-year extensions. The ratification process in the Ukrainian parliament encountered stiff opposition and erupted into a brawl in the parliament chamber. Eventually, the treaty was ratified by a 52% majority vote—236 of 450. The Russian Duma ratified the treaty by a 98% majority without incident.
On 20 February 2014, Russian armed forces seized control of the Crimean peninsula. The city council of Sevastopol reportedly unilaterally declared that it wished to join the Russian Federation as a federal subject. The city council on 11 March released a joint resolution with the Supreme Council of Crimea to unite as an independent republic between the potential passing of the referendum and union with Russia. Ukrainian authorities and the international community strongly criticised the referendum decision. The actions of the Russian Federation were qualified by the international community as aggression against Ukraine, and occupation of its territory.
On 16 March, a controversial referendum on leaving Ukraine took place in the city, along with the rest of Crimea. During the voting, the Building of the Supreme Council of Crimea was controlled by the Russian military. The official reports by the organizers of the referendum were that a majority of 95.6% voted to become a part of the Russian Federation, though these results are contested. This referendum resulted in the establishment of the short-lived Republic of Crimea, which consisted of both Sevastopol and Crimea.
On 18 March 2014, the treaty on the incorporation of the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia was signed between Russia and the Republic of Crimea, with the following content:
While Russia and ten other UN member states recognize the Crimean peninsula as part of the Russian Federation, Ukraine continues to claim Crimea and Sevastopol as an integral part of its territory, supported by most foreign governments and United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262.
The city of Sevastopol is located at the southwestern tip of the Crimean peninsula in a headland known as Heracles peninsula on a coast of the Black Sea. The city is designated a special city-region of Ukraine which besides the city itself includes several of its outlying settlements. The city itself is concentrated mostly at the western portion of the region and around the long Bay of Sevastopol. This bay is a ria, a river canyon drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and the outlet of Chorna River. Away in a remote location southeast of Sevastopol is located the former city of Balaklava (since 1957 incorporated within Sevastopol), the bay of which in Soviet times served as a main port for the Soviet diesel-powered submarines.
The coastline of the region is mostly rocky, in a series of smaller bays, a great number of which are located within the Bay of Sevastopol. The biggest of them are the Southern Bay (within Bay of Sevastopol), the Archer Bay, a gulf complex that consists of the Deergrass Bay, the Bay of Cossack, the Salty Bay, and many others. There are over thirty bays in the immediate region.
Through the region flow three rivers: the Belbek, Chorna, and Kacha. All three mountain chains of Crimean mountains are represented in Sevastopol, the southern chain by the Balaklava Highlands, the inner chain by the Mekenziev Mountains, and the outer chain by the Kara-Tau Upland (Black Mountain).
Sevastopol has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification: Cfa), thanks to summer mean straddling 22 °C (72 °F) that is bordering on a four-season oceanic climate, with cool winters and warm to hot summers.
The average yearly temperature is 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) during the day and around 9 °C (48 °F) at night. In the coldest months, January and February, the average temperature is 5–6 °C (41–43 °F) during the day and around 1 °C (34 °F) at night. In the warmest months, July and August, the average temperature is around 26 °C (79 °F) during the day and around 19 °C (66 °F) at night. Generally, summer/holiday season lasts 5 months, from around mid-May and into September, with the temperature often reaching 20 °C (68 °F) or more in the first half of October.
The average annual temperature of the sea is 14.2 °C (58 °F), ranging from 7 °C (45 °F) in February to 24 °C (75 °F) in August. From June to September, the average sea temperature is greater than 20 °C (68 °F). In the second half of May and first half of October; the average sea temperature is about 17 °C (63 °F). The average rainfall is about 400 millimetres (16 in) per year. There are about 2,345 hours of sunshine duration per year.
The executive power of Sevastopol is exercised by the Sevastopol City State Administration led by a chairman. Since April 2014 the executive power is held by the Government of Sevastopol, led by the City Governor.
Before 2014, the Sevastopol City Council was the legislature of Sevastopol and the mayor of Sevastopol was appointed by the Ukrainian central government. However, during the 2014 Crimean crisis, the pro-Russian City Council threw its support behind Russian citizen Alexei Chaly as the "people's mayor" and said it would not recognise orders from Kiev.
After the Accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation, the Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol replaced the City Council and the mayor is appointed by the legislative branch on the nomination of the Russian President, and officially the mayor is called the Governor of Sevastopol City.
Sevastopol is administratively divided into four districts.
Within the Russian municipal framework, the territory of the federal city of Sevastopol is divided into nine municipal okrugs and the Town of Inkerman. While individual municipal divisions are contained within the borders of the administrative districts, they are not otherwise related to the administrative districts.
The city received millions of US Dollars in compensation for hosting the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the Russian and the Ukrainian government.
There are seven types of transport in Sevastopol:
Sevastopol Shipyard comprises three facilities that together repair, modernise, and re-equip Russian Naval ships and submarines. The Sevastopol International Airport is used as a military aerodrome at the moment and being reconstructed to be used by international airlines.
Sevastopol maintains a large port facility in the Bay of Sevastopol and in smaller bays around the Heracles peninsula. The port handles traffic from passengers (local transportation and cruise), cargo, and commercial fishing. The port infrastructure is fully integrated with the city of Sevastopol and naval bases of the Black Sea Fleet.
After World War II, Sevastopol was entirely rebuilt. Many top architects and civil engineers from Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and other cities and thousands of workers from all parts of the USSR took part in the rebuilding process which was mostly finished by the mid-1950s. The downtown core situated on a peninsula between two narrow inlets, South Bay and Artillery Bay, features mostly Mediterranean-style, three-story residential buildings with columned balconies and Venetian-style arches, with retail and commercial spaces occupying the ground level. Some carefully restored landmarks date back to the early 20th century (e.g., the Art Nouveau Main Post Office on Bolshaya Morskaya St and the Art Museum on Nakhimovsky Prospect). It has been a long-time tradition for the residents of surrounding suburbs to spend summer evenings by coming to the downtown area for a leisurely stroll with their families along the avenues and boulevards encircling the Central Hill, under the Sevastopol chestnut trees, and usually ending up on the waterfront with its Marine Boulevard.
Due to its military history, most streets in the city are named after Russian and Soviet military heroes. There are hundreds of monuments and plaques in various parts of Sevastopol commemorating its military past.
The population of Sevastopol proper is 418,987 (01.01.16), making it the largest in the Crimean Peninsula. The city's agglomeration has about 600,000 people (2015). According to the Ukrainian National Census, 2001, the ethnic groups of Sevastopol include Russians (71.6%), Ukrainians (22.4%), Belarusians (1.6%), Tatars (0.7%), Crimean Tatars (0.5%), Armenians (0.3%), Jews (0.3%), Moldovans (0.2%), and Azerbaijanis (0.2%).
There are many historical buildings in the central and eastern parts of the city and Balaklava, some of which are architectural monuments. The Western districts have modern architecture. More recently, numerous skyscrapers have been built. Balaklava Bayfront Plaza (On Hold), currently under construction, will be one of the tallest buildings in Ukraine, at 173 m (568 ft) with 43 floors.
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The 2013–14 Ukrainian Premier League season was the 23rd since its establishment.
A total of sixteen teams participated in the league. Fifteen teams from last season's competition and one promoted club from the 2012–13 Ukrainian First League formed the league. The competition commenced on the 12 July 2013 when Tavriya Simferopol hosted Zorya Luhansk. Eighteen rounds were played prior to the winter recess. The competition was affected by the political turmoil that affected Ukraine during the spring session.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 followed 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.Balaklava
Balaklava (Ukrainian: Балаклáва, Russian: Балаклáва, Crimean Tatar: Balıqlava, Greek: Σύμβολον) is a former city on the Crimean Peninsula and part of the city of Sevastopol. It was a city in its own right until 1957 when it was formally incorporated into the municipal borders of Sevastopol by the Soviet government. It also is an administrative center of Balaklava Raion that used to be part of the Crimean Oblast before it was transferred to Sevastopol Municipality. Population: 18,649 (2014 Census).Black Sea Fleet
The Black Sea Fleet (Russian: Черноморский Флот, Chernomorsky Flot) is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean Sea.
The fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783. In 1918, the fleet was inherited by the Russian SFSR then the Soviet Union in 1922, where it became part of the Soviet Navy. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Black Sea Fleet and most of its vessels were inherited by the Russian Federation.
The Black Sea Fleet's official primary headquarters and facilities are located in the city of Sevastopol (Sevastopol Naval Base). The remainder of the fleet's facilities are based in various locations on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, including Krasnodar Krai, Rostov Oblast and Crimea. The current commander is Vice Admiral Aleksandr Moiseev, who has held the position since June 2018.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.Crimea
Crimea (; 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 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 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.Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Crimea
The Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Crimea was a joint resolution adopted on March 11, 2014 by the Russian-proclaimed Supreme Council of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council where they expressed their intention to join Russia, in the event of a Yes vote in a referendum that was to be held on March 16. The participants were at the time subnational divisions of Ukraine.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).FC Sevastopol
FC Sevastopol was a Ukrainian football club based in Sevastopol. The club was a spiritual descendant of the Soviet clubs from Sevastopol such as Chaika Sevastopol. After the completion of 2013–14 Ukrainian Premier League season due to the 2014 Crimean Conflict, the club ceased its existence and applied for a Russian license with the new name FC SKChF Sevastopol.Medal "For the Defence of Sevastopol"
The Medal "For the Defence of Sevastopol" (Russian: Медаль «За оборону Севастополя») was a World War II campaign medal of the Soviet Union established on December 22, 1942 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR to reward the participants of the defence of the port city of Sebastapol against the armed forces of Nazi Germany. The medal's statute was amended on July 18, 1980 by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR № 2523-X.Political status of Crimea
The political status of Crimea has been a subject of a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 following a referendum, and administers it as two federal subjects of Russia, and claimed it to be 'fully integrated' in July 2015. Ukraine and the majority of international governments continue to regard Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine.
The dispute started after the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, contrary to Ukrainian law, held a referendum on rejoining Russia and then, when official results showed overwhelming support for the proposal, unilaterally declared their independence from Ukraine as a single united state under the name of Republic of Crimea. These two entities (Crimea and Sevastopol) were then annexed by Russia, where the Crimean Autonomous Republic became the "Republic of Crimea" as a Russian republic and Sevastopol became a Russian federal city. However, Ukraine and the majority of the international community do not consider the merge, the independence, the referendum, nor the annexation legitimate and still consider both entities as parts of Ukraine. Despite international opinion however, the currency, tax and legal system are all operational under Russian jurisdiction. Ukraine has applied for multiple litigations through international crime, water resources, European Union and other courts.
In 1920, immediately after the RSFSR recognized the independence of the Ukrainian SSR (The "Workers' and Peasants Union Treaty between the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic" signed 28 December 1920), the responsibility for all Crimean administration was reassigned directly to the Kremlin. In 1994 Russia signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, which states that it would "Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence, sovereignty, and the existing borders".Populated places in Ukraine
Populated places in Ukraine (Ukrainian: Населенні пункти) are systematized into two major categories: urban and rural. Urban populated places can be either cities or urban settlements, while rural populated places can be either villages or rural settlements. According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census there are 1,344 urban populated places and 28,621 rural populated places in Ukraine.
All populated places are governed by their municipality (usually a council or a territorial state administration), may it be a village, a city or any settlement. A municipality may consist of one or several populated places and is either a constituent part of a raion (city of district significance, settlement council, or rural council) or separated from its surrounding raion becoming the equivalent of a raion (city of regional significance). Certain city municipalities may be constituents of an oblast (province) or the whole Ukraine such as Kiev or Sevastopol. Note that Kiev and Sevastopol are the only populated places that also have local state administrations.
In 1995 there was created a special category for mountainous populated places in Ukraine. Mountainous status is received by populated places located in mountainous area, have inadequately developed sphere of employment and social services as well as a limited transportation access.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 battleship Sevastopol (1895)
Sevastopol (Russian: Севастополь) was the last of three ships in the Petropavlovsk class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1890s.
Named for the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, the ship was commissioned into the First Pacific Squadron of the Russian Pacific Fleet and was stationed at Port Arthur (today Lüshunkou District, Dalian, Liaoning, China), a Russian naval base acquired from China in 1898 as part of the Kwantung Leased Territory. One of the first ships to use Harvey nickel-steel armor and Popov radios, she displaced 11,854 long tons (12,044 t) at full load and was 369 feet (112.5 m) long overall, and mounted a main battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns in two twin turrets. She was laid down in May 1892, launched on 1 June 1895 and completed in 1899. Her sea trials lasted until 1900.
Sevastopol saw service in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. Slightly damaged during a surprise attack on Port Arthur in early February, the ship later participated in several attempts to break out from the besieged port. The most notable of these was the Battle of the Yellow Sea, where she was damaged by several shells but managed to make it back to port with the remnants of the Russian Fleet, leaving one crewman dead and 62 wounded. Immediately after the surrender of Port Arthur, Sevastopol was scuttled to prevent her capture by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japanese never raised her. The remains of the ship still lie outside the entrance to the port.Sevastopol City Council
The Sevastopol City Council (Russian: Севастопольский городской совет, Ukrainian: Севастопольська міська рада, Crimean Tatar: Aqyar şeer şurası) was the unicameral legislature of Sevastopol. The Council was composed by 76 members. Following the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea the City council was dissolved and replaced by Legislative Assembly of Sevastopol.Sevastopol International Airport
Sevastopol International Airport (Ukrainian: Міжнародний аеропорт Севастополь "Бельбек", (IATA: UKS, ICAO: UKFB) is a military airfield in Belbek, a village near Sevastopol in Crimea.
There are plans to restore the airfield into an international airport by 2020.Siege of Sevastopol (1854–55)
The Siege of Sevastopol (at the time called in English the Siege of Sebastopol) lasted from October 1854 until September 1855, during the Crimean War. The allies (French, Ottoman, and British) landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854, intending to make a triumphal march to Sevastopol, the capital of the Crimea, with 50,000 men. The 56-kilometre (35 mi) traverse took a year of fighting against the Russians. Major battles along the way were Alma (September 1854), Balaklava (October 1854), Inkerman (November 1854), Tchernaya (August 1855), Redan (September 1855), and, finally, Sevastopol (September 1855). During the siege, the allied navy undertook six bombardments of the capital, on 17 October 1854; and on 9 April, 6 June, 17 June, 17 August, and 5 September 1855.
Sevastopol is one of the classic sieges of all time. The city of Sevastopol was the home of the Tsar's Black Sea Fleet, which threatened the Mediterranean. The Russian field army withdrew before the allies could encircle it. The siege was the culminating struggle for the strategic Russian port in 1854–55 and was the final episode in the Crimean War.
During the Victorian Era, these battles were repeatedly memorialized. The Siege of Sevastopol was the subject of Crimean soldier Leo Tolstoy's Sebastopol Sketches and the subject of the first Russian feature film, Defence of Sevastopol. The Battle of Balaklava was made famous by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and Robert Gibb's painting The Thin Red Line. A panorama of the siege itself was painted by Franz Roubaud.
The Jamaican and English nurses who treated the wounded during these battles were much celebrated, most famously Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale.Siege of Sevastopol (1941–42)
The Siege of Sevastopol also known as the Defence of Sevastopol (Russian: Оборона Севастополя, transliteration: Oborona Sevastopolya) or the Battle of Sevastopol (German: Schlacht um Sewastopol) was a military battle that took place on the Eastern Front of the Second World War. The campaign was fought by the Axis powers of Germany, Romania, and Italy against the Soviet Union for control of Sevastopol, a port in the Crimea on the Black Sea. On 22 June 1941 the Axis invaded the Soviet Union during Operation Barbarossa. Axis land forces reached the Crimea in the autumn of 1941 and overran most of the area. The only objective not in Axis hands was Sevastopol. Several attempts were made to secure the city in October and November 1941. A major attack was planned for late November, but heavy rains delayed it until 17 December 1941. Under the command of Erich von Manstein, Axis forces were unable to capture Sevastopol during this first operation. Soviet forces launched an amphibious landing on the Crimean peninsula at Kerch in December 1941 to relieve the siege and force the Axis to divert forces to defend their gains. The operation saved Sevastopol for the time being, but the bridgehead in the eastern Crimea was eliminated in May 1942.
After the failure of their first assault on Sevastopol, the Axis opted to conduct siege warfare until the middle of 1942, at which point they attacked the encircled Soviet forces by land, sea, and air. On 2 June 1942, the Axis began this operation, codenamed Störfang (Sturgeon Catch). The Soviet Red Army and Black Sea Fleet held out for weeks under intense Axis bombardment. The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) played a vital part in the siege, its 8th Air Corps bombing the besieged Soviet forces with impunity, flying 23,751 sorties and dropping 20,528 tons of bombs in June alone. The intensity of the German airstrikes was far beyond previous German bombing offensives against cities such as Warsaw, Rotterdam or London. At the end of the siege, there were only 11 undamaged buildings left in Sevastopol. The Luftwaffe sank or deterred most Soviet attempts to evacuate their troops by sea. The German 11th Army suppressed and destroyed the defenders by firing 46,750 tons of artillery ammunition on them during Störfang.
Finally, on 4 July 1942, the remaining Soviet forces surrendered and the Germans seized the port. The Soviet Separate Coastal Army was annihilated, with 118,000 men killed, wounded or captured in the final assault and 200,481 casualties in the siege as a whole for both it and the Soviet Black Sea Fleet. Axis losses in Störfang amounted to 35,866 men, of whom 27,412 were German and 8,454 Romanian. With the Soviet forces neutralized, the Axis refocused their attention on the major summer campaign of that year, Case Blue and the advance to the Caucasus oilfields.
|Climate data for Sevastopol|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.7
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||57
|Average precipitation days||12||11||10||10||9||9||7||8||7||9||11||13||116|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||93||87||155||180||248||300||310||279||240||186||90||62||2,230|
|Source #1: weather2travel.com|
|Source #2: Climate-Data.org|
Administrative center: Sevastopol
|Cities with special status|