Crimea ( ) or the
Autonomous Republic of Crimea ( ; ,
Avtonomnaja Respublika Krym; , Qırım, Qırım Muhtar
Cumhuriyeti) is the only autonomous republic of Ukraine.
located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of
the same name.
The territory of Crimea was conquered and controlled many times
throughout its history. The Cimmerians
, the state of Kievan
, Tatars, Kalmyks and the Mongols
all controlled Crimea in its early history.
13th century, it was partly controlled by the Venetians and by the Genovese; they were followed by the
Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire in the 15th to 18th centuries,
Empire in the 18th to 20th centuries, the Russian SFSR and later the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union in the rest of the 20th century, Germany in World War II, and now Crimea is an autonomous
Ukrainian administrative region.
Crimea is a parliamentary
which is governed by the Constitution of Crimea in
accordance with the laws of Ukraine. The capital and
administrative seat of the republic's government is the city of
Simferopol, located in the center of the peninsula.
Crimea's area is and its population was 1,973,185 as of 2007.
, an ethnic minority
who now make up about 13% of the population, occupied Crimea since
the Mongol conquest. The Crimean Tatars were forcibly expelled
by Joseph Stalin
's government. After the fall of
the Soviet Union, some Crimean Tatars began returning to the
Etymology of the name
Crimea comes from the name of a city, Qırım (today's
Krym), which served as a capital of the Crimean
province of the Golden Horde.
The word Qırım
is believed by most researchers to derive
from archaic Turkic
there are other versions of the etymology of Qırım
f. ex. qır
– hill, -ım
– my in modern Crimean Tatar
). Russian Krym
is a Russified form of Qırım. The ancient
called Crimea Tauris
), after its
inhabitants, the Tauri
. The Greek historian
mentions that Heracles
plowed the land that became Crimea using a
huge ox ("Taurus"): the name of the land thus asserts that its
people named their land, and hence themselves, after an ox
used by a mythical Greek
English, Crimea is sometimes
referred to with the definite article, as the Crimea, as
Gambia, etc. However, usage without the article has
become more common in journalism since the years of the Soviet Union.
The earliest inhabitants of whom we have any authentic traces were
, who were expelled by the
during the seventh century BC.
The remaining Cimmerians, those who took refuge in the mountains
later, became known as the Tauri
. According to
other historians, the Tauri were known for their savage rituals and
piracy and were also the earliest indigenous peoples of the
peninsula. In the fifth century BC, Greek colonists began to settle along the
Sea coast; among them were the Dorians from Heraclea who founded a sea port of Chersonesos outside Sevastopol and the Ionians from Miletus who landed
at Feodosiya and Panticapaeum (also
centuries later (438 BC), the Archon (ruler) of the latter settlers
assumed the title of the Kings of Cimmerian Bosporus, a
state that maintained close relations with Athens, supplying
the city with wheat, honey and other commodities.
of that line of kings, Paerisades V, being hard-pressed by the
Scythians, put himself under the protection of Mithridates VI
, the king of
, in 114 BC. After the death of
this sovereign, his son, Pharnaces II, was invested by
Pompey with the kingdom of Bosporus in 63 BC as a reward for the assistance rendered to
the Romans in their war against his
father. In 15 BC, it was once again restored to the
king of Pontus, but then was ranked as a tributary state of
Throughout the later centuries, Crimea was invaded or occupied
successively by the Goths
(376), the Bulgars
(fourth–eighth century), the Khazars
(eighth century), the state of Kievan Rus'
(tenth–eleventh centuries), the
(the Kumans) (1050), and the
In the mid-tenth century, the eastern area of Crimea was conquered
by Prince Sviatoslav I of Kiev
and became part of the Kievan Rus' principality of Tmutarakan
. In 988, Prince Vladimir I of Kiev also captured the
Byzantine town of Chersones (presently part of Sevastopol) where he
later converted to Christianity.
An impressive Russian
cathedral marks the location of this historic
13th century, the Republic of
Genoa seized the settlements which their rivals, the Venetians, had built along the Crimean coast and established
themselves at Cembalo, Soldaia, Cherco and Caffa, gaining control of the Crimean
economy and of Black Sea commerce for two centuries.
Crimean Khanate: 1441–1783
A number of Turkic peoples
collectively known as the Crimean
, have been inhabiting the peninsula since the early
. The ethnicity of the
Crimean Tatars is quite complex as it absorbed both nomadic Turkic
and European components (in the first place, the Goths and the Genoese) which is still reflected in their appearance and
A small enclave of the Karaims
, possibly of Khazar (i.e. Turkic)
descent but members of a Jewish sect, was founded in the 8th
century. It existed among the Muslim Crimean Tatars,
primarily in the mountainous Çufut Qale area.
After the destruction of the Golden
in 1441, the Crimean Tatars
founded an independent Crimean
under Hacı I Giray
descendant of Genghis Khan
his successors reigned first at Qırq Yer, and from the beginning of the 15th century, at
Crimean Tatars controlled the steppes that stretched from the
Kuban and to the Dniester River, however, they were unable to take control over
commercial Genoese towns. After the Crimean Tatars asked for help from
the Ottomans, an Ottoman invasion of
the Genoese towns led by Gedik Ahmed
Pasha in 1475 brought Kaffa and the
other trading towns under their control.
After the capture of Genoese towns, the Ottoman Sultan held
Meñli I Giray
releasing him in return for accepting Ottoman sovereignty above the
Crimean Khans and allowing them rule as tributary princes of the
Ottoman Empire. However, the Crimean Khans still had a large amount
of autonomy from the Ottoman Empire, particularly, followed the
rules they thought were best for them: Crimean Tatars introduced
raids into Ukrainian lands, which were used to get slaves to be
sold on markets.
In 1553–1554, Cossack Hetman Dmytro
gathered together groups of Cossacks, and
constructed a fort designed to obstruct Tatar raids into Ukraine.
With this action, he founded the Zaporozhian Sich
, with which he would
launch a series of attacks on the Crimea peninsula and the Ottoman Turks
. In 1774, The Crimean Khans fell
under Russian influence with the Treaty of Küçük
. In 1783, the entire Crimea was annexed by
Russian Empire and Civil War: 1783–1922
The Crimean War
much of the economic and social infrastructure of Crimea. The
had to flee from their
homeland en masse
, forced by the conditions created by the
war, persecution and land expropriations. Those who survived
the trip, famine and disease, resettled in Dobruja, Anatolia, and other parts of the Ottoman Empire.
Finally, the Russian
government decided to stop the process, as the agriculture began to
suffer due to the unattended fertile farmland.
the Russian Civil War, Crimea was
a stronghold of the anti-Bolshevik White
Army, including the Crimean People's Republic.
It was in Crimea that the White Russians
led by General Wrangel
made their last stand against Nestor
and the Red Army
resistance was crushed, many of the anti-Communist fighters and
civilians had to board the ships and escape to Istanbul.
Soviet Union: 1922–1991
On October 18, 1921, the Crimean Autonomous
Soviet Socialist Republic
was created as part of the Russian SFSR
. However, this did not protect the
Crimean Tatars, who constituted about 25 percent of the Crimean
population, from Joseph Stalin
repressions of the 1930s.
were another cultural group that
suffered. Their lands were lost during the process of collectivisation
, in which farmers were
not compensated with wages. Schools which taught Greek were closed, and printed matter
containing Greek literature was
destroyed, because the Soviets considered the Greeks as
"counter-revolutionary" with their links to capitalist state Greece, and their
During World War II
, Crimea was a scene
of some of the bloodiest battles. The leaders of the Third Reich
were anxious to conquer and
colonize the fertile and beautiful peninsula as part of their
policy of resettling the Germans in Eastern Europe at the expense
of the Slavs (Generalplan Ost
Germans suffered heavy casualties in the summer of 1941 as they
tried to advance through the narrow Isthmus of Perekop
linking Crimea to the
Soviet mainland. Once the German army broke through (Operation Trappenjagd), they
occupied most of Crimea, with the exception of the city of Sevastopol, which was later awarded the honorary title of
Hero City after the war.
Sevastopol held out from October 1941 until July 4, 1942, when the
Germans finally captured the city. From September 1, 1942, the
peninsula was administered as the Generalbezirk Krim
(general district of Crimea) und Teilbezirk
by the Nazi
Generalkommissar Alfred Eduard Frauenfeld
(1898–1977), under the authority of the three consecutive Reichskommissare
for the entire Ukraine. In
spite of heavy-handed tactics by the Nazis and the assistance of
Crimean mountains remained an unconquered stronghold of the native
resistance (the partisans) until the day when the peninsula was
freed from the occupying force.
Sevastopol came under the control of troops from the Soviet Union.
The so-called "City of Russian Glory" once
known for its beautiful architecture was entirely destroyed and had
to be rebuilt stone by stone. Due to its enormous historical and
symbolic meaning for the Russians, it became a priority for Stalin
and the Soviet government to have it restored to its former glory
within the shortest time possible.
18, 1944, the entire population of the Crimean Tatars were forcibly
deported in the "Sürgün"
(Turkish word for "exile") to
Central Asia by Stalin's Soviet government as a form of collective punishment on the grounds
that they had collaborated with the Nazi
An estimated 46 percent of the deportees
died from hunger and disease. On June 26 of the same year the
populations were also deported to
Central Asia. By the end of summer 1944, the ethnic cleansing
of Crimea was complete.
the Crimean Tatars were rehabilitated, but they were banned from
legally returning to their homeland until the last days of the
Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was abolished in June
30, 1945, and transformed into the Crimean Oblast (province) of the Russian SFSR.
On February 5, 1954 the
Presidium of the RSFSR
requested the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine. On February 19, 1954,
the oblast was transferred from the Russian
to the Ukrainian SSR
According to the decree by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet
, the transfer was caused by close (1) geographic, (2)
economic, and (3) cultural ties to the Ukrainian SSR. The transfer
was also conducted to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the
Pereyaslav Treaty 1654
April 26, 1954 the decree was confirmed by a law unanimously passed
in the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union.
In post-war years, Crimea thrived as a prime tourist destination,
built up with new attractions and sanatoriums for tourists.
came from all around the Soviet Union and neighbouring countries,
particularly from the German Democratic Republic. Also, Crimea's infrastructure and
manufacturing developed, particularly around the sea ports at
Kerch and Sevastopol and in the oblast's landlocked capital, Simferopol.
Populations of Ukrainians
alike doubled, with more than 1.6 million Russians and 626,000
Ukrainians living on the peninsula by 1989.
On September 10, 1990 the Oblast Council of the People's Deputies
adopted the statement to annul the decree of the Presidium of the
Supreme Council of the Soviet Union of June 30, 1945 and the
corresponding laws of the Russian SFSR
in regards to the administrative changes that changed the Republic
into Oblast. In November 1990 in Kiev Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kravchuk signed the Russian-Ukrainian
Treaty which commits the two sides to respect each others
On January 20, 1991 the All-Crimean was held in
Crimea with 81% participants involved. Out of those 93.3% voted for
the restoration of the Crimean Autonomous SSR
in Soviet Union. On February 12, 1991 the Verkhovna
Rada recognized the referendum and adopted a law that
restored the status of the autonomous republic within the borders
of Ukrainian SSR and the city of
Sevastopol was granted special government status in the Soviet Union.
In the Ukrainian referendum on
on December 1, 1991, 54.19 percent of residents
from Crimea and 57.07 percent from Sevastopol city voted in favour
of Ukrainian independence.
Autonomy within independent Ukraine
With the collapse of the
, Crimea became part of the newly independent
Ukraine, a situation largely unexpected by its population. This led
to tensions between Russia and Ukraine. With the Black Sea Fleet
based on the peninsula,
worries of armed skirmishes were occasionally raised. In August
1991 Yuriy Meshkov
Republican Movement of Crimea and was registered on November
On September 2, 1991 the National Movement of Crimean Tatars
appealed to the V Extraordinary Congress of People's Deputies in
Russia demanding the program how to return the deported Tatar
population back to Crimea. Based on the resolution of the Verkhovna
Rada (the Crimean parliament) on February 26, 1992, the
Crimean ASSR was renamed the Republic of Crimea.
proclaimed self-government on May 5, 1992, and on the next day
passed the first Crimean constitution.
On May 19, Crimea agreed to remain as part of Ukraine and annulled
their proclamation of self-government. By June 30, Crimean
Communists forced the Kiev government
to expand on the already extensive autonomous status of
In the same period, Russian president Boris Yeltsin
and Ukraine's Leonid Kravchuk
agreed to divide the former
Soviet Black Sea Fleet
between Russia and the newly formed Ukrainian Navy
. On October 24 Meshkov
re-registered his movement as the Republican Party of Crimea -
Party of the Republican Movement of Crimea
. On December 11, 1992
the President of Ukraine called
the attempt of "the Russian deputies to charge the Russian
parliament with a task to define the status of Sevastopol as an imperial disease".
December 17, 1992 was created the office of the Ukrainian
presidential representative in Crimea which caused wave of protests
a month later. Among the protesters that created the unsanctioned
rally were the Sevastopol branches of the National Salvation Front,
the Russian Popular Assembly, and the All-Crimean Movement of
the Voters for the Republic of Crimea
. The protest was
held in Sevastopol on January 10 at Nakhimov Square
On January 15, 1993 Kravchuk and Yeltsin in the meeting in Moscow
appointed Eduard Baltin as the commander of the Black Sea Fleet. At
the same time the Union of the Ukrainian Naval Officers protested
the Russian intervention into the Ukrainian internal affairs.
after that there were more anti-Ukrainian protests led by the
Meshkov's party, the Voters for the Crimean Republic, Yedinstvo, and the Union of Communists that
demanded to turn Sevastopol under the Russian jurisdiction and followed by the
interview given by the Sevastopol's Communist, Vasyl Parkhomenko,
who said that the city's Communists request to recognize the
Russian as the state language and restoration of the Soviet Union.
On March 19, 1993 the Crimean deputy and
the member of the National Salvation Front, Alexander Kruglov,
threatened the members of the Crimean Ukrainian Congress not allow
into the building of the Republican Council. Couple of days after
that Russia established
an information center in Sevastopol. In April 1993 the Ukrainian Ministry of
Defense submitted an appeal to Verkhovna Rada to suspend the Yalta Agreement 1992 that divided the
Black Sea Fleet that was followed by the request from the Ukrainian
Republican Party to recognize the Fleet either fully Ukrainian or a
fleet of a foreign country in Ukraine.
over 300 Russian legislators called the planned Congress of
Ukrainian Residents a political provocation.
On April 14, 1993 the Presidium of the Crimean parliament called
upon the creation of the presidential post of the Crimean Republic.
A week later the Russian deputy, Valentin Agafonov, stated that
Russia is ready to supervise the referendum on Crimean independence
and include the republic as a separate entity into CIS. On July 28,
1993 one of the leader's of the Russian Society of Crimea, Viktor
Prusakov, stated that his organization is ready for an armed mutiny
and establishment of the Russian administration in Sevastopol. In
September Eduard Baltin accused Ukraine in converting some of his
fleet and an armed assault on his personnel and threatened to take
by placing fleet on alert.
On October 14, 1993, the Crimean parliament established the post of
President of Crimea
on the quota of the Crimean Tatars representation in the Council to
14. The head of the Russian People's Council in Sevastopol,
Alexander Kruglov, called it excessive
. The chairman of
the Tatar Mejlis
words categorically against
in regards to the proposed
election for Crimean president on January 16. He stated that there
cannot be two presidents in a single state. On November 6, the
Crimean Tatar leader, Yuriy Osmanov
was murdered. Series of terrorist actions rocked the peninsula in
the winter among them were the arson of the Mejlis apartment, the
shooting of a Ukrainian official, several hooligan attacks on
Meshkov, the bomb explosion in the house of a local parliamentary,
the assassination attempt on a Communist presidential candidate,
and others. On January 2, 1994 Mejlis announced a boycott of the
presidential elections, which were later canceled. The boycott
itself was later taken over by other Crimean Tatar organizations.
On January 11, Mejlis announced their representative, Mykola Bahrov
, the speaker of the Crimean
parliament, as the presidential candidate. On January 12, some
other candidates accused Bahrov of severe methods of agitation. At
the same time Vladimir
called on the people of Crimea to vote for the
Russian Sergei Shuvainikov.
January 30, 1994, the pro-Russian Yuriy Meshkov was
elected to the new
post but quickly ran into conflicts with parliament.
September 8, the Crimean parliament degraded the President's powers
from the head of state to the head of the executive power only, to
which Meshkov responded by disbanding parliament and announcing his
control over Crimea four days later. Amendments to the
constitution eased the conflict , but on March 17, 1995, the
of Ukraine intervened,
scrapping the Crimean Constitution and removing Meshkov along with
his office for his actions against the state and promoting
integration with Russia.
After a interim constitution lasting from April 4, 1996, to
December 23, 1998, the currently existing constitution was put into
effect, changing the territory's name to the Autonomous
Republic of Crimea
Following the ratification of the May 1997 Treaty of Friendship,
Cooperation, and Partnership on friendship and division of the
Black Sea Fleet
tensions slowly eased off. With the treaty, Moscow recognized
Ukraine's borders and territorial integrity, and accepted Ukraine's
sovereignty over Crimea and Sevastopol.
In a separate
agreement, Russia was to receive 80 percent of the Black Sea Fleet
and use of the military facilities in Sevastopol on a 20-year
other controversies between Ukraine and Russia still remain,
including the ownership of a lighthouse
Sarych. Because the Russian
Navy controlled 77 geographical objects on the south Crimean
Shore, the Sevastopol Government Court ordered the vacating of the
objects, which the Russian military did not carry out.
August 3, 2005, the lighthouse has been controlled by the Russian Army
. Through the years, there have
been various attempts to return Cape Sarych to Ukrainian territory,
all of which were unsuccessful.
In 2006, protests
on the peninsula after U.S. Marines arrived at the Crimean
city of Feodosiya to take part in the Sea Breeze 2006 Ukraine-NATO military exercise. Protesters greeted
the marines with barricades and slogans bearing "Occupiers go
home!" and a couple of days later, the Crimean
parliament declared Crimea a "NATO-free territory."
After several days of protest, the U.S. Marines withdrew from the
In September 2008, the Ukrainian Foreign
Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko
accused Russia of giving out Russian
to the population in the Crimea and described it as a
"real problem" given Russia's declared policy of military
intervention abroad to protect Russian citizens.
press conference in Moscow on 16
February 2009, the Mayor of Sevastopol Serhiy Kunitsyn claimed (citing recent polls) that
the population of Crimea is opposed to the idea of becoming a part
Although western newspapers like the Wall Street Journal
speculated about a Russian coup
or another Crimean city in connection with the Russian-Georgian war
and the Recognition
of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia
Nalyvaychenko, acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine
(SBU), stated on February 17, 2009, that he is confident that any
“Ossetian scenario” is impossible in Crimea.
had started criminal proceedings against the pro-Russian
association "People's front Sevastopol-Crimea-Russia" in January
On the 55th anniversary of the transfer of Crimea transfer of the
to the Ukrainian SSR
(on February 19, 2009) some 300
to 500 people took part in rallies to protest against the
On 24 August 2009, anti-Ukrainian demonstrations were held in
Crimea by ethnic Russian residents. Sergei P. Tsekov said that he
hoped that Russia would treat the Crimea the same way as it had
treated South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Return of Crimean Tatars
Proportion of the population that is
Crimean Tatar in various regions of Crimea.
Another area of conflict on the peninsula is land ownership. Since
the Crimean Tatars were forcibly deported from their homeland by
in May 1944, other people,
, settled the
peninsula and took control of the lands formerly belonging to the
Crimean Tatars. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Crimean Tatars
were allowed to return to Crimea, but conflict arose when they
demanded the return of land seized after their deportation.
Government and politics
Crimea is a parliamentary
that has no president
legislative body is a 100-seat parliament, the Verkhovna
Rada of Crimea which is elected every five years since amendments
to the Crimean Constitution in 2009.
The executive power is represented by the Council of Ministers
by a Prime Minister
appointed and dismissed by the Verkhovna Rada, with the consent of
the President of Ukraine
authority and operation of the Verkhovna Rada and the Council of
Ministers of Crimea are determined by the Constitution of Ukraine
the laws of Ukraine, as well as by regular decisions carried out by
the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea.
Justice is administered by courts that belong to the judicial system of Ukraine
Elections and parties
an official body controlling Crimea, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar
People is a representative body of the Crimean Tatars, which
could address grievances to the Ukrainian central government, the Crimean government, and international bodies.
During the 2004
, Crimea largely voted for the
presidential candidate Viktor
. In both the 2006 Ukrainian
and the 2007 Ukrainian
, the Yanukovych-led Party of Regions
also won most of the votes
from the region.
Following the Crimean parliamentary election, 2006, the following
political parties are represented in the Verkhovna Rada bloc: "Za
Yanukovycha!" (Party of Regions
the Russian Bloc): 32.55% (44 mandate
); party "Soiuz": 7.63% (10
mandates); Kunytsyna Electoral Bloc: 7.63% (10 mandates); Communist Party of Ukraine
(9 mandates); People's
Movement of Ukraine
: 6.26% (8 mandates); Yulia Tymoshenko Electoral
: 6.03% (8 mandates); People's Opposition
Bloc of Natalia Vitrenko
: 4.97% (7 mandates); Opposition Bloc "Ne Tak"
: 3.09% (4
Crimea – United States relations
February 2009 the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea sent a letter to the
of Ministers of Ukraine and the President
of Ukraine in which it stated that it deemed it inexpedient to
open a representative office of the United States in Crimea, and it urged the Ukrainian leadership to
give up the idea.
The letter is to be sent also to the
Chairman of the UN
. The contents of letter were adopted as policy
in a 77-to-9 roll-call vote with one abstention in the Crimean
Crimea is subdivided into 25 regions: 14 raions
) and 11 city
municipalities, officially known as "territories governed by city
councils". While the City of Sevastopol is located on the Crimean peninsula, it is
administratively separate from the rest of Crimea and is one of two
special municipalities of Ukraine.
Geography and Climate
located on the northern coast of the Black Sea and on the western coast of the Sea of Azov, bordering Kherson Oblast from the North. Although located in
the southwestern part of the Crimean peninsula, the city of
Sevastopol has a special but separate municipality
status within Ukraine.
Map of Crimea with major cities.
Crimea's total land area is 26,100 km² (10,038 sq mi).
Crimea is connected to the mainland by the 5–7-kilometre
(3–4 mi) wide Isthmus of
. At the eastern tip is the Kerch
Peninsula, which is
directly opposite the Taman Peninsula on the Russian mainland. Between the Kerch and
Taman peninsulas lies the 3–13-km (2–9 mi)-wide Strait of
Kerch, which connects the waters of the Black Sea with
the Sea of Azov.
The Crimean coastline is broken by several bays and harbors.
harbors lie west of the Isthmus of
Perekop by the Bay of Karkinit;
on the southwest by the open Bay of
Kalamita, with the ports of Eupatoria and Sevastopol; on the north by the Bay of Arabat of the Isthmus of
Yenikale or Kerch; and on the
south by the Bay of Caffa or Feodosiya, with the port of Feodosiya.
southeast coast is flanked at a distance of 8–12 km
(5–8 mi) from the sea by a parallel range of mountains, the
These mountains are backed by secondary
parallel ranges. Seventy-five percent of the remaining area of
Crimea consists of semi-arid prairie
a southward continuation of the Pontic
, which slope gently to the northwest from the foot of
the Crimean Mountains. The main range of these mountains shoots up
with extraordinary abruptness from the deep floor of the Black Sea to an altitude of 600–750 metres
(2,000–2,500 ft), beginning at the southwest point of the
peninsula, called Cape Fiolente.
At one time it was
believed that this cape was crowned with the temple of Artemis
, where Iphigeneia
is said to have officiated as priestess.Uchan-su waterfall on the south
slope of the mountains is the highest in Ukraine.
, or burial mounds
, of the ancient Scythians
are scattered across the Crimean
The terrain that lies beyond the sheltering Crimean Mountain range
is of an altogether different character. Here, the narrow strip of
coast and the slopes of the mountains are smothered with greenery.
"riviera" stretches along the southeast coast from Cape Sarych, in the extreme south, to Feodosiya, and is studded
with summer sea-bathing resorts such as Alupka, Yalta, Gurzuf, Alushta, Sudak, and
Feodosiya. During the years of Soviet rule, the
resorts and dachas of this coast served as the
prime perquisites of the politically loyal.
vineyards and fruit orchards are located in the region. Fishing,
mining, and the production of essential oils are also important.
Numerous Crimean Tatar
, and palaces
the Russian imperial family and nobles are found here, as well as
picturesque ancient Greek and medieval castles.
Most of Crimea has a temperate continental climate, except for the
south coast where it experiences a humid subtropical climate, due
to warm influences from the Black Sea. Summers can be hot ( Jul
average), and winters are cool ( Jan average) in the interior; on
the south coast winters are milder ( Jan average), and temperatures
much below freezing are exceptional. Precipitation in the interior
is low with only a year. On the south coast precipitation is more
than double that, with Yalta annually receiving about . Because of
its climate, the southern Crimean coast is a popular beach and sun
resort for Ukrainian and Russian tourists.
Places of interest
The main branches of the Crimean economy are tourism and
agriculture. Industrial plants are situated for the most part in
the northern regions of the republic. Important industrial
cities include Dzhankoy, housing a major railway connection, and Krasnoperekopsk, among others.
The most important industries in Crimea include food production,
chemical fields, mechanical engineering and metal working, and fuel
production industries. Sixty percent of the industry market belongs
to food production. There are a total of 291 large industrial
enterprises and 1002 small business enterprises.
branches of vegetation production in the region include cereals, vegetable-growing, gardening, and wine-making, particularly in the Yalta and
Other agricultural forms include
cattle breeding, poultry keeping, and sheep breeding. Other products
produced on the Crimea Peninsula include salt,
porphyry, limestone, and ironstone
(found around Kerch).
The number of tourists visiting Crimea dropped by 12.7% (to 4.8
million people) in 2009 compared to 2008. A total of 261 sanatoriums
and other tourist institutions are
operating in Crimea as of October 2, 2009 (274 in 2008), and they
were 46.1% full (50.9% in 2008).
Almost every settlement in Crimea is connected with another
settlement with bus lines. Crimea contains the longest (96 km
or 59 mi) trolleybus route
in the world, stretching from Simferopol to Yalta. The trolleybus line
starts in near Simferopol's
Railway Station through the
mountains to Alushta and on to Yalta.
cities of Yalta, Feodosiya, Kerch, Sevastopol, Chornomorske, and Yevpatoria are connected to one another by sea routes.
In the cities of Yevpatoria and nearby townlet
Molochnoye are tram
systems. Railroad lines
running through Crimea include Armyansk—Kerch (with a link to Feodosiya), and Melitopol—Sevastopol (with a link to Yevpatoria), connecting
Crimea to the Ukrainian mainland.
As of 2005, the total population of Crimea is 1,994,300.
From 1989 to 2001, Crimea's population declined by 396,795 people,
representing 16.33% of the 1989 population, despite the return of
displaced groups such as Crimean
. From 2001–2005 the population declined by another
39,400 people, representing a decline from 2001 of another
According to 2001 Ukrainian
, the population of Crimea was 2,033,700. The ethnic
makeup was comprised the following self-reported groups: Russians
: 58.32%; Ukrainians
: 24.32%; Crimean Tatars
: 12.1%; Belarusians
: 1.44%; Tatars
: 0.54%; Armenians
: 0.22%; and Italians
Other minorities are Black Sea
, Roma people
. The number of Crimea Germans
was 45,000 in 1941. In 1944,
from the Crimea were deported
toCentral Asia and Siberia, along with 200,000 Crimean Tatars and
is the single
official state language
countrywide, and is the sole language of government in Ukraine. In
Crimea government business is still carried out mainly in Russian
. Attempts to expand the usage of Ukrainian
in education and
government affairs has been less successful in Crimea than in other
areas of the nation.
Another language widely spoken is Crimean Tatar. According to the census mentioned, 77% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 11.4% – Crimean Tatar; and 10.1% – Ukrainian.
Currently 2/3 of the migrants into Crimea are from other regions of
Ukraine, every 5th is from the former Soviet Union and every 40th
from outside of the former Soviet Union. 3/4 of those leaving
Crimea move to other areas in Ukraine. Every 20th migrates to the
The population of the Crimean peninsula has been consistently
falling at a rate of 0.4% per year. This is particularly apparent
in both the Russian and Ukrainian ethnic populations, whose growth
rate has been falling at the rate of 0.6% and 0.12% annually
respectively. In comparison, the overall growth rate of the ethnic
Crimean Tatar population has been growing at the rate of 0.9% per
growing trend in the Crimean Tatar population has been explained by
the continual Crimean Tatar repatriation (mainly from Uzbekistan), the high birth rate amongst the resettlers, and
the low death rate as few senior citizens have resettled back into
their ancestral home.
Crimea figures prominently in Ukrainian sports, especially the most
popular: Association football
The most successful Crimean football
is Tavriya Simferopol
the Ukrainian Premier
, and it possesses one championship title. In the
Ukrainian First League
is represented by FC
, FC Ihroservice Simferopol
, PFC Sevastopol
the Second League
the club FC Tytan Armyansk
Crimea is represented within Ukrainian Bandy
and Rink-bandy Federation.
Footnotes and references