Autonomous Republic of Crimea

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Coordinates: 45°18′N34°24′E / 45.3°N 34.4°E / 45.3; 34.4


Autonomous Republic of Crimea
  • Автономна Республіка Крим
  • Автономная Республика Крым
  • Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti
"Процветание в единстве" (Russian)
Protsvetaniye v yedinstve  (transliteration)
Prosperity in Unity
"Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина" (Russian)
Nivy i gory tvoi volshebny, Rodina  (transliteration)
Your fields and mountains are magical, Motherland
Crimea in Ukraine.svg
Location of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (red)

in Ukraine  (light yellow)

Outline Map of Crimea.svg
Location of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (light yellow)

in the Crimean Peninsula

Status Government in exile
and largest city
Official languages Ukrainian, Russian, Crimean Tatar
Ethnic groups
CountryFlag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine
Government Autonomous republic
Anton Korynevych
12 February 1991
21 October 1998
20 February 2014 [nb 1]
18 March 2014 [2]
26,100 km2 (10,100 sq mi)
  2001  census
77.9/km2 (201.8/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code UA-43
Collage of Crimean culture Crimean culture collage.jpg
Collage of Crimean culture

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian : Автономна Республіка Крим, Avtonomna Respublika Krym; Russian : Автономная Республика Крым, Avtonomnaya Respublika Krym; Crimean Tatar : Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti) is de jure an autonomous republic of Ukraine encompassing most of Crimea that was annexed by Russia in 2014.

In February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian separatists and Russian troops took control over the territory. [3] A controversial Crimea-wide referendum, unconstitutional under the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions, [4] [5] [6] was held on the issue of becoming part of Russia which official results indicated was supported by the overwhelming majority of Crimeans who voted. [7] [8] 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. [9] While Russia and 17 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 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262. [10]


Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet "On the transfer of the Crimean Oblast" The transfer of Crimea.jpg
Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet "On the transfer of the Crimean Oblast"

In 1921, The Soviet Union establishes the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the Russian SFSR run as a Tatar enclave. Its status was downgraded to autonomous district Crimean Oblast in 1945, and in 1954 Crimea was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. [11] [12] [13] on the basis of "the integral character of the economy, the territorial proximity and the close economic and cultural ties between the Crimea Province and the Ukrainian SSR.": [14]

Following a referendum on 20 January 1991 in which over 94% backed the proposal, the Crimean Oblast was upgraded to the status of an autonomous republic on 12 February 1991 by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became an independent country, Crimea remained a republic within the newly independent Ukraine leading to tensions between Russia and Ukraine as the Black Sea Fleet was based on the peninsula.


On 26 February 1992, the Crimean parliament renamed the ASSR the Republic of Crimea. It then proclaimed self-government on 5 May 1992 [15] [16] with a referendum, for approval, planned for the August [17] (which, in the event, was never conducted) and also passed the first Crimean constitution. [17] The following day, the same parliament inserted a new sentence into this constitution that declared that Crimea was part of Ukraine [17] and then, on 19 May, it annulled its proclamation of self-government after the Ukrainian government expanded on the republic's already extensive autonomous status. [18] :587 The following year, on 14 October 1993, the Crimean parliament established the post of President of Crimea.

On 17 March 1995, the parliament of Ukraine abolished the Crimean Constitution of 1992, all the laws and decrees contradicting those of Kyiv, and also removed Yuriy Meshkov, the then President of Crimea, along with the office itself. [19] [20] After an interim constitution, the 1998 Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was put into effect, changing the territory's name to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Following the ratification of the May 1997 Russian–Ukrainian Friendship Treaty, in which Russia recognized Ukraine's borders and sovereignty over Crimea, international tensions slowly eased. However, in 2006, anti-NATO protests broke out on the peninsula. [21] In September 2008, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko accused Russia of giving out Russian passports to the population in Crimea and described it as a "real problem" given Russia's declared policy of military intervention abroad to protect Russian citizens. [22]

On 24 August 2009, anti-Ukrainian demonstrations were held in Crimea by ethnic Russian residents. Sergei Tsekov (of the Russian Bloc [23] and then deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament) [24] said then that he hoped that Russia would treat Crimea the same way as it had treated South Ossetia and Abkhazia. [25] The 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty extended Russia's lease on naval facilities in Crimea until 2042, with optional five-year renewals. [26]

Geopolitics of Crimea, March 2014. Geopolitics South Russia2.png
Geopolitics of Crimea, March 2014.

Crimea voted strongly for the pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions in presidential and parliamentary elections, [27] and his ousting on 22 February 2014 during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution was followed by a push by pro-Russian protesters for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and seek assistance from Russia. [28] Four days later, thousands of pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine protesters clashed in front of the parliament building in Simferopol.

On 28 February 2014, Russian forces occupied airports and other strategic locations in Crimea [29] though the Russian foreign ministry stated that "movement of the Black Sea Fleet armored vehicles in Crimea (...) happens in full accordance with basic Russian-Ukrainian agreements on the Black Sea Fleet".[ citation needed ] Gunmen, either armed militants or Russian special forces, occupied the Crimean parliament and, under armed guard with doors locked, members of parliament elected Sergey Aksyonov as the new Crimean Prime Minister. [30] Aksyonov then said that he asserted sole control over Crimea's security forces and appealed to Russia "for assistance in guaranteeing peace and calmness" on the peninsula. The interim Government of Ukraine described events as an invasion and occupation [31] [32] and did not recognize the Aksyonov administration as legal. [33] [34] Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich sent a letter to Putin asking him to use military force in Ukraine to restore law and order.[ citation needed ] On 1 March, the Russian parliament granted President Vladimir Putin the authority to use such force. [35] Three days later, several Ukrainian bases and navy ships in Crimea reported being intimidated by Russian forces and Ukrainian warships were also effectively blockaded in Sevastopol. [36] [37]

On 6 March, the Crimean Parliament asked the Russian government for the region to become a subject of the Russian Federation with a Crimea-wide referendum on the issue set for 16 March. The Ukrainian government, the European Union, and the US all challenged the legitimacy of the request and of the proposed referendum as Article 73 of the Constitution of Ukraine states: "Alterations to the territory of Ukraine shall be resolved exclusively by an All-Ukrainian referendum." [38] International monitors arrived in Ukraine to assess the situation but were halted by armed militants at the Crimean border. [39] [40]

Ukrainian military base at Perevalne surrounded by Russian troops without military rank insignia or cockade on 9 March 2014. 2014-03-09 - Perevalne military base - 0203.JPG
Ukrainian military base at Perevalne surrounded by Russian troops without military rank insignia or cockade on 9 March 2014.

On 6 and 7 March, Russian forces scuttled the Russian cruiser Ochakov and a diving support vessel across the entrance channel to Donuzlav Lake to blockade Ukrainian navy ships in their port. [41] [42]

The day before the referendum, Ukraine's national parliament voted to dissolve the Supreme Council of Crimea as its pro-Moscow leaders were finalising preparations for the vote. [43]

The 16 March referendum required voters to choose between "Do you support rejoining Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?" and "Do you support restoration of the 1992 Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Crimea's status as a part of Ukraine?" There was no option on the ballot to maintain the status quo. [44] [45] However, support for the second question would have restored the Republic's autonomous status within Ukraine. [19] [46] The official turnout for the referendum was 83%, and the overwhelming majority of those who voted (95.5%) [47] supported the option of rejoining Russia. However, a BBC reporter claimed that a huge number of Tatars and Ukrainians had abstained from the vote. [48]

Following the referendum, the members of the Supreme Council voted to rename themselves the State Council of the Republic of Crimea and also formally appealed to Russia to accept Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. [49] This was granted and on 18 March 2014 the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea signed a treaty of accession to the Russian Federation [50] though the accession was granted separately for each of the former regions that composed it: one accession for the Republic of Crimea, and another for Sevastopol as a federal city. [51] On 24 March 2014 the Ukrainian government ordered the full withdrawal of all of its armed forces from Crimea and two days later the last Ukrainian military bases and Ukrainian navy ships were captured by Russian troops. [52] [53] [nb 2]

Ukraine, meanwhile, continues to claim Crimea as its territory and in 2015 the Ukrainian parliament designated 20 February 2014 as the (official) date of the start of "the temporary occupation of Crimea." [1] On 27 March 2014 100 United Nations member states voted for United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262 affirming the General Assembly's commitment to the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders while 11 member states voted against, 58 abstained and 24 member states absented. [10] Since then 6 countries (Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, and North Korea) have publicly recognized Russia's annexation of Crimea while others have stated support for the 16 March 2014 Crimean referendum. [56]

Government and administration

Executive power in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was exercised by the Council of Ministers of Crimea, headed by a Chairman, appointed and dismissed by the Supreme Council of Crimea, with the consent of the President of Ukraine. [57] Though not an official body, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People could address grievances to the Ukrainian central government, the Crimean government, and international bodies. [58]

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea had 25 administrative areas: 14 raions (districts) and 11 mis'kradas and mistos (city municipalities), officially known as territories governed by city councils. [59]

1. Bakhchysarai Raion
2. Bilohirsk Raion
3. Dzhankoi Raion
4. Kirovske Raion
5. Krasnohvardiiske Raion
6. Krasnoperekopsk Raion
7. Lenine Raion
8. Nyzhniohirskyi Raion
9. Pervomaiske Raion
10. Rozdolne Raion
11. Saky Raion
12. Simferopol Raion
13. Sovetskyi Raion
14. Chornomorske Raion
City municipalities
15. Alushta Municipality
16. Armianks Municipality
17. Dzhankoi Municipality
18. Yevpatoria Municipality
19. Kerch Municipality
20. Krasnoperekopsk Municipality
21. Saki municipality
22. Simferopol Municipality
23. Sudak Municipality
24. Feodosia Municipality
25. Yalta Municipality

Major centres of urban development:

Map of Crimea with major cities Map of the Crimea.png
Map of Crimea with major cities

An administrative reform, enacted by the Verkhovna Rada on 17 July 2020, envisages redivision of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea into 10 enlarged raions (districts), into which cities (municipalities) of republican significance will be absorbed. Delayed until return of the peninsula under Ukrainian control, the reform envisages the following subdivision of the republic: [60] [61] [62]

  1. Bakhchysarai Raion (Bağçasaray rayonı) — composed of Bakhchysarai Raion and parts of territory that earlier was subordinated to the Sevastopol municipality (without the Sevastopol city proper and also without Balaklava as such that exists within the Sevastopol city limits within the framework of Ukrainian legislation),
  2. Bilohirsk Raion (Qarasuvbazar rayonı) — composed of Bilohirsk and Nyzhniohirsk raions,
  3. Dzhankoi Raion (Canköy rayonı) — composed of Dzhankoi Raion and former Dzhankoi municipality,
  4. Yevpatoria Raion (Kezlev rayonı) — composed of Saky and Chornomorske raions and former Yevpatoria and Saky municipalities,
  5. Kerch Raion (Keriç rayonı) — composed of Lenine Raion and former Kerch municipality,
  6. Kurman Raion (Qurman rayonı) — composed of Krasnohvardiysky and Pervomaisk raions,
  7. Perekop Raion (Or Qapı rayonı) — composed of Krasnoperekopsk and Rozdolne raions, former Armiansk and Krasnoperekopsk municipalities,
  8. Simferopol Raion (Aqmescit rayonı) — composed of Simferopol Raion and former Simferopol municipality,
  9. Feodosia Raion (Kefe rayonı) — composed of Kirovske and Sovietskyi raions, former Feodosia and Sudak municipalities,
  10. Yalta Raion (Yalta rayonı) — composed of former Yalta and Alushta municipalities.

See also


  1. In 2015 the Ukrainian parliament officially set 20 February 2014 as the date of "the beginning of the temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia." [1]
  2. (Also) on 24 March 2014, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense stated that approximately 50% of the Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea had defected to the Russian military. [54] [55]

Related Research Articles

Crimea Peninsula in the Black Sea

Crimea is a peninsula along the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe. It is almost entirely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. Crimea is located south of Kherson Oblast in Ukraine, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and lies west of Krasnodar Krai in Russia, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge since 2018. The Arabat Spit is located to its northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. To the peninsula's west, across the Black Sea, lies Romania, and to its south, Turkey.

Simferopol Second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula

Simferopol is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula, and the capital of the (Autonomous) Republic of Crimea. Simferopol is an important political, economic and transport hub of the peninsula, and serves as the administrative centre of both Simferopol Municipality and the surrounding Simferopol District. Founded on the site of a Crimean Tatar town Aqmescit, the city adopted its current name after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire. The population was 332,317 .

Krasnoperekopsk City in Crimea, Disputed between Russia and Ukraine

Krasnoperekopsk is a town of regional significance that was, following the 2014 annexation of Crimea, incorporated into Russia's Republic of Crimea, though the territory is recognised by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine within the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. It also serves as the administrative center of Krasnoperekopsk Raion, although it is not a part of the raion (district). Population: 26,268 .

Dzhankoi City in Crimea, Disputed between Russia and Ukraine

Dzhankoi or Jankoy is a town of regional significance in the north of the Crimea. It also serves as administrative centre of Dzhankoi Raion although it is not a part of the raion (district). Population: 38,622 .

History of Crimea Development of the peoples on the Crimean peninsula

The recorded history of the Crimean Peninsula, historically known as Tauris, Taurica, and the Tauric Chersonese, 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, and its successor states, the Byzantine Empire, the Empire of Trebizond, and the independent Principality of Theodoro. 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.

The politics of Crimea today is that of the Republic of Crimea on one hand, and that of the federal city of Sevastopol on the other, within the context of the largely unrecognised annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in March 2014.

Council of Ministers of Crimea Former subnational governmental body in Ukraine

The Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, briefly SovMin, is the executive branch of government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a republic within southern Ukraine that is currently suspended due to Russian occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea since February 27, 2014. The Council of Ministers derived its authority from the Constitution and laws of Ukraine and normative acts of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea which bring them into its competency.

2014 Crimean status referendum Referendum on decision whether to join Russia or remain in Ukraine

The Crimean status referendum was a vote on the political status of Crimea held on March 16, 2014, by the legislature of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the local government of Sevastopol. The referendum asked 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. The official result from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was a 97 percent vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 83 percent voter turnout, and within the local government of Sevastopol there was also a 97 percent vote for integration of the region into the Russian Federation with an 89 percent voter turnout.

The annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. On 22–23 February, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an all-night meeting with security services chiefs to discuss pullout of deposed President, Viktor Yanukovych, and at the end of that meeting Putin remarked that "we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia.". Russia sent in soldiers on February 27, 2014. Crimea held a referendum. According to official Russian and Crimean sources 95% voted to reunite with Russia. The legitimacy of the referendum has been questioned by the international community on both legal and procedural grounds.

Vladimir Konstantinov (politician)

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Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Crimea 2014 declaration of Crimean independence and intent to join Russia

The Declaration of Independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol was a joint resolution adopted on March 11, 2014 by the dissolved Supreme Council of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council that proclaimed the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol a sovereign state — the Republic of Crimea. The decision was based on the results of an referendum that was held on March 16, 2014 after Russian troops took over Crimea and seized the region's parliament. The declaration of independence and the referendum following it was not internationally recognised by most countries.

Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia from Ukraine

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Republic of Crimea First-level administrative division of Russia, annexed territory of Ukraine

The Republic of Crimea is a federal subject (republic) of Russia located on the disputed Crimean Peninsula, which was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, but is still internationally recognized as being part of Ukraine. The capital city and largest city within the republic is Simferopol, which is also the second-largest city of the peninsula, behind the federal city of Sevastopol. At the last census, the republic had a population of 1,891,465 .

Administrative divisions of Crimea

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The Constitution of the Republic of Crimea is the basic law of the Republic of Crimea as a federal subject of Russia formed in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. It was ratified on 11 April 2014. Its purpose is to replace the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea based on the premise that it was repealed by referendum during the 2014 Crimean crisis. The Ukrainian government and the majority of the international community do not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia and regard the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as active.

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